Thursday, July 29, 2010

What a Week

How is it only Thursday? Seriously? Today should be Friday. I am at a Friday level of exhaustion. Ear infection has passed and the cough has arrived. Charlie is so cute and sweet when he wakes up in the night, though, so its not too terrible a chore. Getting up in the morning - now that is a horrible chore.

Word is getting around work that I'm leaving and the announcement to our entire department goes out tomorrow. Everyone has been so nice and said the most supportive things. Turns out even the guys understand wanting to stay home with a baby! I realized yesterday that in a couple of weeks I can completely clear out my calendar of recurring meetings. What a happy thought that is! Some of those recurring meetings are just a whipping.

I've been poking around into what Charlie and I are going to do with ourselves after we're home all the time. I'd like to get a little schedule going and have something that will wear him out each day. I found a mom's group that does playdates and other events. A library reading group. Might sign up for Romp n' Roll. I also found a mommy n' me swim class at the Y. After seeing Charlie in the McAnally's pool in McKinney, I think he'd really enjoy that.

Mother's Day Out might be end up being a tall order - turns out there are waiting lists for those things. Who knew? I need to call around for a few more and hopefully I'll find something. If not, we'll be on the waiting list for spring! My backup plan is a University of Richmond babysitter for a couple of hours one morning a week.

I'm hopeful that whatever we sign up for I will meet some other moms. Some blog I read but now can't find had a post about making friends after baby and its challenges. I think this can be particularly difficult for working moms, who are limited to the weekends for play groups and activities. I know that's been a challenge for me - when can I get out and socialize? With Brad out of town, the answer has been, sadly, almost never.

Overall, the challenge seemed to be in finding like-minded moms who also have kids around your kid's age so they can play together - and then building friendships. It's not as easy as it was in college to make friends, but I've made some really good ones since then. I'm hopeful I'll make some more now that I have time to actually get to know some people. But it was nice to know I'm not alone - everyone who posted was having a hard time with it. Can't believe I can't find the dang entry to post.

In other news, I'm updating all the links in the right hand column, starting with the Design Blogs. Some of the ones I dropped just weren't updating very often.... and I'm breaking up with Young House Love. Even though they live around the corner and I've read it for a few years now, I don't think I am going to read it anymore.

I know it's hectic after you have a new baby, but an entire blog entry about buying 2 new throw pillows from Target? There are just too many other good design blogs to waste time on stuff like that. I will, however, have to go back and visit after said baby becomes mobile, and see what she does with all that white furniture. :)

I'm being summoned from a crib down the hall. Happy Friday Eve everyone!

Monday, July 26, 2010

We're Having a Heat Wave


When we stepped outside for the first time after our flight from Dallas landed, I thought to myself that maybe there was a mistake, we just circled DFW and were still in Texas. It has been so painfully hot here lately. I've been daydreaming of Maine. Or Seattle. Montreal. Anywhere where it is not triple digits with a heat index of whoops I just passed out from heat exhaustion.

Very hot weather used to be not much of an issue, other then the fact that it stinks and I hate it. We'd stay indoors, just go outside at night, etc. Now, however, there's the issue of keeping a certain someone entertained and not tearing the house apart. It's rather motivating. We've been looking for things to do indoors that still exert lots of toddler energy.

One handy way to do this is befriend people with summer babies and hit up their birthday parties! I'm kidding of course, but wow, did an afternoon at Romp n' Roll make a difference Saturday. It was my friend Wendy's daughter Bella's 2nd birthday. Charlie and Bella go to the same daycare and were in the same classroom for a little while. They were both ducks for Halloween last year, so share a common interest in great fashion.

I have to say, this is the most genius way to throw a birthday party. You show up with the birthday kid, some party platters of food and a cake and then sit back and enjoy. Everyone plays, has a great time, eats and goes home with a logo-covered party favor.

There is nothing for you to clean up and probably some leftovers so you don't even have to worry about dinner that night. As a gift to each parent who attends, their kids all go to bed early that night! Charlie crashed hard just a few hours later and it was blissful.

He loved all the activities... so much so that I'm going to look into signing up for a class after I stop working. In addition to the class, you can go during any of their open gym times and just play. They also have tambourines, which is a must-have for Charlie.

They did a little musical instrument time during the party and naturally Charlie made a bee line for the tambourines and grabbed not one, but two. I was worried he would scream his little head off when it was time to give the tambourines back, but because a teacher-type person asked for it, he reluctantly handed it over.... after some deep consideration of his options at that juncture, of course.
where's charlie??
We scheduled our sitter to come a few hours after the party when Charlie was in bed so we could sneak off and go see Inception. If you get a chance to see it, I highly recommend it if you like movies that make you think. After it's over, it's fun to debate and the ending leaves a question mark. Very good cast, too - that guy from Third Rock from the Sun - love him! Love you, former sitcom teenager!

Sunday we killed time indoors by having breakfast at Einstein's and shopping at Tom Leonard's, where both singing life-sized stuffed animals AND ceiling fans are featured for entertainment. They have some life-size cow statues out in front of the store and Charlie of course pointed and said DOG! Causing Brad to reminisce - again - about the harlequin great dane we almost adopted 7 years ago. Juno. Which he was deathly allergic to. Ah, memories.

I kicked around the idea of taking Charlie to the Children's Museum of Richmond's new location in Short Pump, but he ended up napping quite a bit that afternoon. I do want to go sometime soon - it's supposed to be very toddler focused. The other location further down Broad Street is supposedly for the bigger kids.

Unfortunately, all that napping was a leading indicator of illness. Charlie was up in the middle of the night last night and was burning up. This morning he slept late but wasn't running a temp and seemed fine so I went ahead and took him into daycare. Two hours later they were calling saying his temp had gone up and he was clearly not feeling well. Off to the doctor we went where we found out it was another ear infection... or the continuation of the last one.

He's on a strong antibiotic now but I'm still having a bear of a time getting his temp down. He will probably be home with me again tomorrow. Times like this and I can't WAIT until September gets here and I no longer have to wish to clone myself so I can both take care of Charlie and attend meetings all day. I mean, I'm good - but I'm not that good.

Before I go - I had to post this picture - it's from the Texas trip and my mom just sent it a couple of days ago. This is in the McAnally's backyard after we went swimming. The dog is Linus and he sure did love Charlie. Charlie likes to rub food in his hair and therefore always smells great to Linus!
And lastly, very exciting news from San Antonio today! My cousin Mike and his wife Jake are proud parents to a healthy baby boy - Atticus Rex. His big brother Harrison is all ready to show him the ropes and teach him cool stuff! Congratulations!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Texas Trip

Charlie and I got back from Texas late Tuesday night. Brad, of course, got back yesterday (Friday). It was a successful flight home, even though I realized right after take off I didn't charge the portable DVD player correctly. That was a tad sickening. Charlie was looking at me like what's the hold up? Let's watch us some Yo Gabba Gabba! Or as my mom called it, Yo Baby Baby.

But he was so good on the flight - I couldn't have asked for more from him. We played and talked and then chatted with quite a few people on the way to and from the bathroom. I figured out how to rig the CARES harness a bit tighter and Charlie seemed more comfortable in it on the return trip, even though he never did fall asleep. I might rent it again if we fly around the holidays.

We were in Texas for about 2 weeks and it was a really fun trip. Charlie had a blast with my parents. My mom taught him lots of new words, downloaded him a bunch of music, danced with him and let him swim in her garden tub about 3 times a day.

He also ate a bunch of yummy food, including spaghetti and meatballs, which is a new favorite. And pancakes. Lots and lots of pancakes. All eaten, of course, with grown up forks and spoons. Don't hand Charlie a baby spoon or fork unless you want it flung back at you. I find it hilarious that he has to have grown up utensils but also insists on drinking milk only from bottles. At what age do babies start appreciating irony?

My mom also let Charlie play with her cell phone quite a bit while we were there. Imagine her surprise when he downloaded Katy Perry's California Gurls and set it as the song you hear instead of the phone ringing. At just $2.50 for 3 months, Charlie must have found it to be a real bargain. We couldn't figure out how he did or how to get it off, so it will stay. Give my mom a call if you'd like to hear it.

Our first order of business when we got there was to get Charlie's hair cut so he wouldn't be the ragamuffin nephew at Aunt Megan and Uncle Bruce's engagement party. We found a salon that had DVD players at each station and took the Yo Gabba Gabba DVD with us for Charlie to watch. Worked like a charm! However, my baby was replaced with a little boy and I'm still not sure how I feel about that. Here's the before and after:
Why yes, that thing on his face is a smile. During a hair cut! I was shocked as well.

I managed to squeeze in seeing a few friends while I was there, though I never can fit in as many as I want. Between working, seeing my family and trying to spend time with Brad, there just wasn't a lot of spare time. But I met up with some people I hadn't seen in quite a while for lunch or dinner. Always over food. By the time I flew home, I was SICK of eating! Poor me and all the yummy food I had to eat. I also got to hear some exciting pregnancy news from a couple of people. :)

Last Saturday I got to go with my sister Megan and my mom to buy Megan's wedding dress at this cute little boutique, Stella, in Plano. Megan already had it picked out so I got to see it in person and help her pick out a veil and discuss other accessories. It was so much fun. She made an awesome choice on the veil - it just took the dress to a very sophisticated level when she had it on. I wish I could post pictures of it, but alas, we must wait until April!

I tried on some bridesmaid dresses at the salon but there wasn't really anything any of us loved. Megan's considering a knee-length, one-shouldered look, which I think will be gorgeous. Now we just have to find it! I've been scouring the internet but no luck yet. I think we may look some when we're in NYC for Meredith's 30th birthday later this month.

That night, Brad and I got to have another overnight date while my parents very generously watched Charlie for the night again. It was really fun. We stayed at Hotel Zaza downtown, which is where you will find Brad most nights of the week right now. Because he's there so often they gave us an awesome themed suite - West Indies - that had a balcony. We had drinks at Nobu and dinner at my old favorite, Trulucks. Wedge salad, stone crab and their famous chocolate cake. Heaven!

After dinner, we hung out in our room on the balcony some, watching all the action down below at Urban Oasis, which is the loung around the ZaZa pool. It was a spectacle. Being away from Dallas for so long, I forgot how very Dallas it is there. Everyone is dressed up and blinged out everywhere you go.

I remember moving from Dallas to DC and feeling completely overdressed the first 6 months when we'd go out. Now that I'm all East coast acclimated, I'm pretty sure I was underdressed everywhere I went in Dallas. Need to remember to pack my A game next time. I suppose when the only walking you need to concern yourself with is tottering from the valet stand to your seat, heel height is really no object.

Anyways, we had a great time and even had breakfast delivered to our room the next morning. I got to actually sit down and read the newspaper. For a single day, I was caught up on current events. Now I'm back to saying things like "Wait - there's a tropical storm going on?".

Sunday after we got back to McKinney, I got to see my childhood friends Julie and Lindsay and their little baby girls who are both a few months younger then Charlie. Lindsay just moved back from Shanghai after 5 years there and I don't think I'd seen her since my wedding, almost 8 years ago. We took the babies to the pool at our friends, the McAnally's, house, and had a great time. My dad made some awesome enchiladas and we killed some of the leftover alcohol from Megan's engagement party last weekend.
Monday, our last full day there, my parents took Charlie to eat at the Original Pancake House and then over to the playground at one of the malls. I had never really considered outings to mall playgrounds before, but it's really such genius given the heat.

At the Pancake House, they deliver little pancakes to the table immediately when there are kids sitting there. They call the Baby Cakes. Really cute idea - take note IHOP. Charlie ate his weight in baby cakes, worked off the sugar on the slides at the playground and they all had a great time.
That night my parents took us to downtown McKinney for a celebratory final dinner at Sauce. Downtown McKinney is very cute - lots of little shops and restaurants, some older restored homes nearby. Kind of a historic town square. The food was delicious and the server was very nice about Charlie going completely crazy and getting food everywhere.

By the time we got home, both my parents looked exhausted! Charlie does tend to have that effect on people. As a result, Tuesday we just took it easy until it was time to leave for the airport.

It's always hard to leave after we visit and fortunately we have a weekend in NYC to look forward to in just a few weeks. But I was sad to go. I know it was hard for my mom too, when she got home and the house was so quiet after two weeks of Charlie chatter.

Thank you Mom and Dad for an awesome visit!!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Kind of a Big Deal

I have some big news. Are you ready for it?

Hope you're sitting down, it's pretty exciting.

I've quit my job, effective September 1. For the first time in 11 years, I will not be employed outside the home.

That's right - this isn't for another job. I'm going to be staying home with Charlie for a while. I am *so* excited. I have wanted to do this since before my maternity leave even ended last year. I wasn't sure if it was just the major hormones playing with my mind at the time, but I figure a year is a long enough time to figure it out for sure. I know this is what I want.

This decision isn't based completely on the demands of my job and simply wanting to be at home. Brad is gone a lot on travel for his job and it's been extremely challenging flying solo as a parent during the week since Charlie was 5 weeks old.

Trying to juggle it all in the past year has left me in a major burned out funk. I could tell I needed a major change when I would walk through entire weeks feeling completely apathetic about everything I was working on at my job. I just didn't care - very uncharacteristic for me. But when your day consists of baby care, work, baby care, prep for the next day, burn out is probably inevitable.

I've also spent every day at work since I cam back from maternity leave counting the minutes until I can leave to pick up Charlie. No matter how much time I get with him, I want more. I hated that all I got was a measly hour or so in the morning, with me reluctantly taking him to daycare at the last minute and then a couple of hours at night, most of which was the bed time routine. I felt disappointed when he went to bed, wishing I got more time with him. Kind of sad hearing what I missed when I picked him up at daycare. I just haven't been getting to enjoy him like I want to.

It's going to be really nice to slow it down a bit, to remove the whole 'show up for work showered, professional and ready to think for 8+ hours' thing from the equation Eliminating the panic that accompanies Charlie being sick when I have 8 conference calls that day. Instead, I'll just be unshowered. We'll just be sick and stay home. I can focus on one thing - my favorite thing in the whole world.

I admit, though, coworkers are nice in that you can tell them to go away and give you a break and they do. Toddlers, not so much. Even with a very convincing power point presentation. So I know it's going to be work - just in a different flavor. I'm not delusional that this is going to be a vacation. For one thing, vacations were paid!

In a perfect world, I probably would have liked to go part time for a while and try that out to see if that would give me the balance I'm looking for. Unfortunately, me going part time would not have been a good fit for my employer - they really need someone full time in my position. I've never assumed I was irreplaceable, so I agree, it's no longer a good fit.

There are, of course, some things I will miss about working, and about this job in particular. I think working can be a great source of identity and self esteem - especially for the first born people pleasers among us, like myself. It feels good to be good at something. There's a camaraderie that goes along with working on a team that's fun. Socializing and joking around the office, dropping by happy hour - things like that. Basically being a non-mom person for a portion of the day.

This job in particular was great because I worked with wonderful people - and I'm not just saying that. Really nice, high quality, ethical, smart people. You don't find that every day - and I know that from experience too. The management there was as flexible as they could possibly be to me and empathetic about my situation of trying to take care of Charlie on my own during the week. I'm probably an idiot for giving up such a job, but I have high hopes I will know how to spot another such job in the future.

I don't really consider this a permanent departure from the workforce. It's more of a professional hiatus. However, when I come back again in my second career life, I think I want to do something different. I'm not sure what that something different will be yet, but I'm going to take time to give that some serious thought. Maybe something using the other side of my brain. It needs some exercise after all these years of analytical thinking. Who knows, though - I may go searching and find out I was in just the right job for me.

Brad and I have been talking about this for quite some time, but just decided and finalized this a few weeks ago. I told my manager last Thursday and he announced it today. Since it's official, I thought I'd make it super-official and put it here. Because it only really happens if it happens on the internet, right?

I've also been spreading the news as I have seen people, but it's going to be hard to tell everyone before they hear it from someone else. So that's why I'm posting it here. If I didn't get to tell you personally, I'm sorry.

As I've told the people I've seen, I've gotten some mixed reactions to the news. And that's ok. I figured that would be the case. I knew that some people would think I was making a mistake. I probably have some surprised looks, talking toos and speculation still ahead of me. It's not really phasing me, though, probably because I'm so excited and I already know this is the next step for me.

One thing is for certain - it's going to be interesting to go from working mom to stay at home mom. I promise to be as brutally honest about it as I can. I'm quite certain it is going to have lots of ups and downs.

Also, a request - if you stay at home or know someone who stays at home, I'd love some ideas and tips on how keep busy and social - mom's groups, finding a mother's day out, activities to try, etc. Charlie's pretty active and I'll take all the advice I can get!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Texas Tidbits

I have a feeling this 2 week period we are in Dallas is going to feel like about 48 hours by the time we go home. It's going by SO FAST! So much still left to try and cram in this week!! Some things going on:

My sister Megan's engagement party was this past weekend - one of the main reasons we came to visit these particular weeks. Some close family friends hosted and it was SUCH a nice party! There was a band playing and Charlie watched them the entire time he was at the party. At one point he stole their tambourine. They didn't look too thrilled, especially when he started flinging it on the ground for maximum noise impact and eventually they got it back.

The beautiful couple....
And a traditional sis pic... I decided to let Megan have the middle since it was her party and all. Still deciding whether that's allowable for the wedding or not..
Before the party, my sisters and I went to Megan's salon to get our hair done. I am trying to go back to my original color so they had to dye it darker first while the highlights grow out. I also needed to cut a bunch off because it is way over processed and dead.

I tried to prepare Brad for this but he was still shocked. Things you don't ever want to hear your husband say when you come home with a new hair cut and color:
  • I'm sure I'll get used to it eventually.
  • I didn't realize you meant that drastic.
  • Kara's gone goth!
My mom has been watching Charlie while I work and spend some time with Brad. Like magic, his vocabulary seems to increase with each passing day. New words: Nana, PawPaw, Odie (my parents dog) and... NO. Charlie has started saying No. A word I thought we wouldn't hear for a little while longer. It's a cute no. But it's still NO!

Charlie also said his first, well, sentence I guess. I didn't hear it myself - he said it to my parents. My dad would say to Charlie "I PawPaw" while pointing at himself and at one point Charlie pointed to himself and said "I Charlie." He is rather stubborn when prompted to do it again. Like back off people, I'm not a seal waiting for a sardine.
Brad and I got away on Sunday night to stay at his hotel downtown and go out to dinner. Since he didn't fly home this weekend we had some expense account to burn, so we had dinner at Fearing's in the Ritz Carlton. It was perfect, as you'd expect from such a famous chef. Perfectly cooked, fairly small, very expensive plates.

We didn't see Dean at the restaurant - we'd both heard he will circle the dining room and mingle with people. But about halfway through our entrees Jon Voight walked in! They sat him at a table across from us with a couple he was dining with. I don't think they were famous.

Anyways, we were walking down McKinney Avenue after dinner and I said "I can't believe we saw Angelina Jolie's dad!" and Brad said "You mean Academy Award winner Jon Voight?". Ugh, whatever Brad. You know you were watching too on the off chance she walked in after him!

We stayed at the Joule downtown and since they know Brad by name now, they upgraded us to a suite. A suite with a giant jacuzzi tub. I took advantage of that before I left. A big bubble bath with a good book - I was in heaven.

Per usual when I come back to Texas, I eat my way through the town and hope I can squeeze in my seat for the flight home. My dad has one of Matt Martinez's cookbooks and has made some amazing things from it. Matt's Rancho Martinez without the drive to Lakewood! We've also had Bread Winners, Taco Cabana and today I had Sprinkles cupcakes. Like, 2 of them. Now I'm a tad sick. I need to pace myself a bit better.

Charlie unfortunately developed an ear infection in the past week. He was fussy before we left Richmond, so I took him to the pediatrician a few hours before our flight left and his ears looked fine. Somehow between then and now he's developed an infection. He woke up from his nap yesterday feeling very hot, so we took him to the same clinic that saw him last summer with his respiratory infection.

Unfortunately they had to clean his ears quite a bit before they could see whether there was an infection. He screamed bloody murder the whole time. It was exhausting for everyone. He's on an antibiotic now and seems fine. Fortunately we are treating it now, way before the flight, so he won't hurt during takeoff and landing.

Lots more planned for this next week. Trying to squeeze in seeing some friends, spending time with my family and getting in a couple more nights away with Brad. Such a treat for the couple who spends most of their time apart.

I leave you with our latest attempt at a family photo.... must keep trying.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

We Made It!

We're in Texas now and the past few days have been busy. I hope both of my very devoted blog readers found some other way to pass the time.

The flight was... an adventure. As things with Charlie always are. I am lucky to have an extremely thoughtful husband who managed to work from home an extra couple of days this week so he could fly with me and help me Charlie-wrangle. And I am so happy he did. He had a seat a couple of rows up and we ended up taking turns - one of us in the 'sanity seat' and the other entertaining Charlie.

I was fairly happy with the CARES harness I rented on eBay for Charlie. My one complaint is that it's kind of a challenge to get the straps around the seat tight enough on a window seat - and the window seat is where you are supposed to put your child. The instruction card showed the harness on an aisle seat, where you would have quite a bit more leverage to tighten the straps. It took some effort and still wasn't very tight. I eventually just shrugged and gave up.

To install the harness, you have to lower the tray on the seat behind you and pull the main strap to tighten it. Sounds like the seat belt instructions on the flight, no? It's a similar concept. Because you have to lower someone else's seat tray, it's very important not to miss the small children boarding for the flight. Best to get it installed before the person behind you boards or you are going to be all up in their personal space.

I also think at 25 pounds, Charlie is just a tad small for the harness. It would work beautifully on a child just a little bit bigger. It seemed a bit big and unwieldy for him. I would only mess with it for children who are too young to understand they need to stay in their seat. It was lovely not having to haul the car seat through the airport and on to the plane - this thing fits in a small bag that I slipped into the diaper bag. Heaven knows we had enough stuff to lug through the airport.

Charlie did sit fairly well strapped in and only got frustrated pulling on the harness a few times. I foolishly let him out about halfway through the flight, thinking he would lay down on my lap and fall asleep. I'm incredibly naive like that sometimes. Brad had to come back and get him clicked back in, where 10 minutes prior to landing Charlie finally fell asleep. Naturally.

At the beginning of the flight I had a bunch of little bags of toys and things from the Dollar Tree that MIL Sue put together for Charlie over the holiday weekend for him to open on the plane. He absolutely loved all of it. Things to throw, things to squeeze, things to take apart and inspect. Very exciting.

I remember as a kid on long road trips, my mom would have paper bags we could open each hour that had something new to do in the card. Crosswords, books, car games, etc. This was the same concept, but for the younger set. I highly recommend. If it can keep Charlie occupied for an hour then it may work even longer for your child! Charlie has something of a short attention span.

The next portion of the flight, we entertained Charlie with the portable DVD player we bought on our way out of town. Along with two Yo Gabba Gabba DVD's. I felt slightly guilty on the plane watching Charlie watch DJ Lance Rock and crew with such a glazed look in his eyes. It was a trade off I suppose - brain cells for quiet time. We've also used it in the car here and it works like a charm! Of course, each night when I'm trying to go to sleep, all I can hear are the songs from the show - pretty maddening.

The final part of the flight, I passed Charlie over to Brad, as he was so restless and I'd finally hit my limit. Not sure what Brad did, but it sounded quiet from 2 rows up. I got some reading in and talked to the very nice man in the seat next to me. It was a rather blissful way to be traveling when you have a small child on the plane.

I have come to accept that I am just not one of those moms that can stay relaxed during the airport security screening and boarding processes. They stress the daylights out of me. I feel frazzled the whole time. I know there are other moms out there who can just sail through security, get their child on the plane and then relax while said child plays with something quietly in their seat. I saw this mother in the other security line and watched her for a sec until I had to get back to my control freak obsessing over where everything was and the squirmy 25 pound kid on my right hip.

Each time I've flow with Charlie, I have been a stressed out mess by the time I finally sit down and pretty desperate for the drink cart by take off. I'm trying not to think about the return flight, which I will need to do without Brad. It's gonna be a doozy! Fortunately we sprung for the portable DVD player with 5 hours of play time.

Until then we are keeping pretty busy in Dallas. Well, McKinney actually. My sister Megan's engagement party is tonight and my other sister Meredith flew in from New York with her boyfriend Lucas for it. Last night and today we've been hanging out, playing with Charlie and partaking in our 3 favorite food groups: carbs, fat and alcohol.

I also chopped off my hair and dyed it a chestnut color. I'm trying to get back to my natural color. It's taking some getting used to, going from overly bleached out hair to dark. And then 3 to 4 inches gone on top of it. I'll post some pictures of it later so those of you I see in real life will recognized me.

More later....

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Eclipse

Insert dreamy school girl sigh here.....

I think I have a crush on this movie. I loved the book and the movie is pretty much straight from the book. The first two weren't like that. In fact, the first two were kinda bad. They had several of what I call 'cringe-worthy' moments - parts that were so cheesy and lame you just had to turn away from the screen and feel kind of ashamed to be there watching it. When the target audience is 15 year old girls, they can get away with that.

This movie only had one cringe-worthy moment, in my opinion: wedding gown clad Rosalie coming to kill her fiance. Part of this is because Nikki Reed looks so ridiculous as a blond with those dark eyebrows. Such bad casting.

But overall, if you're a fan of the books, it's just a really fun movie to go see. The scenes with Bella and Edward are absolutely delicious. So romantic. I think my school-girl crush sigh may mainly be about RPattz/Edward. Yummy!

I read a quote from Robert Pattinson from Vogue magazine that he wants to record an album, direct a movie and start his own religion. Dude, I think you've already accomplished the last one.

Anyways, back to the movie's good parts. The the fight scenes were really well done. I mean, I knew what was going to happen between Victoria and Edward and my heart was still thumping through the entire fight. The new Victoria was pretty good. I also really loved the coordinated designer workout wear the Cullens wear for battle! Actually, that was almost cringe-worthy too.

And I do have some gripes. I've said it before, I'll say it again - Rosalie and Jasper: worst casting ever. And they cut a couple significant parts from the book I didn't like. Like in the book when Bella goes to see Jacob after he gets hurt there are a lot of things she tells him about how she feels about him and what she visualized their life being like if she chose him. In the movie it's just kinda like, Oh hey, yeah, this sucks, bye.

Also at the end with Bree, who is just like a scared little girl. In the book she is a stark raving mad newborn vampire and they had to tie her down so she wouldn't eat Bella. And Bella looks at her and feels scared because this is what she's about to go through and she has some second thoughts. None of that. They barely notice each other. Lame.

I left the theater wanting to see Breaking Dawn immediately. But it's going to be a long wait - November 2011. Ugh, will I still care by then? Who am I kidding? Probably. At least we have the last 2 Harry Potters to kill some time with until then. If it's not a movie targeted to people at least 15 years younger then me, I don't really care to see it, thank you very much.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Lots of Small Changes

I usually don't think about it much until I talk to someone who hasn't seen Charlie in a little while, but my baby is becoming a little boy! Sniff. Weep. Sob. Ok, little jump for joy. All this growing up does make the parenting incrementally easier.

There's been lots of communicating going on, which is really fun - but it's not always in a good way. I think we're at the beginning of the assertion of his independence because he is not about needing Mom all the time, he can do it himself! Back off! But don't go too far Mom or I'll have to scream in protest because I might need you.

I think we're going to have to work on sign language because Charlie's been getting so frustrated when I don't understand what he wants. And his reaching towards a cabinet where there is a lot of different food doesn't exactly help me solve the mystery.

Eventually in these scenarios, Charlie has no choice but to fling himself down because Mom doesn't get it and woe is me! I think he got the drama gene from me. The same thing happens when you try to unwrap his string cheese (horrors!), pull the paper muffin liner off his muffin (egad!), or pull his crackers out of the box without consulting him (armageddon!).

When Charlie gets in temper tantrum melt down mode we call him the Saddest Boy in the Whole World. Bottom lip jutted out, forehead down on his arm, crushed look on his face, inconsolable crying. It is hard work being Charlie and having to train the rather clueless hired help called his parents.

There are a lot more fun parts then not about him understanding and communicating more. It's just funnier to talk about the bad ones. We can make up games to play and he is so amazed by new things, even little things. Light fixtures, anything that spouts water and restaurant cups with lids, to name a few. Being around someone who is discovering things for the first time has high entertainment value. Because this is all about keeping me occupied, right? Actually, I just revel in all of it; it's fun.

In other big news about a small change, they talked to me at daycare today about transitioning Charlie to the next room in August. I've been waiting for this day to come with dread since he was about 13 months, completely aware it was going to be a much bigger ordeal for me then him.

Not sure why I got prepared at 13 months - he wasn't even walking then and they want them to be walking before they move. Now he's walking fairly well,but they still don't want to move him for another month and a half. We'll start transitioning him when we get back from Dallas towards the end of the month and then pick a day in August to be his last in the infant classroom.

The teacher said they wanted to give him some time to rule the roost because the kids they just moved out of his room had pretty strong personalities. And they think he needs just a little more time because he was a late walker. Which I don't really worry about because I was a late walker and you should see me now - I'm an awesome walker! I walk everywhere! Rarely fall down!

I'm not sure how much truth there is to all of these reasons they gave me - it may just be what you tell parents to give them a reason you've moved some other kids and not theirs. We happened to walk by the other classroom right before they told me this and I saw the two kids they just moved in there. I could see the wheels turning in the teacher's head - Uh Oh, Mom noticed, here comes the paranoia, better explain!

Who knows, maybe it was as simple as they had 2 spots in the next room and moved the kids they thought were the most ready. I was kind of sad Charlie got split up from his BFF Freddie, though. He was one of the kids they moved. And another little girl who has been speaking in full sentences since 8 months of age. Well not quite, but close. She's like creepy smart. She can clearly pronounce the lead teacher's name: Nancy. It's kind of scary when you hear it, like she's a highly trained parrot.

I kind of worried a little bit on the way home about whether Charlie was sad Freddie wasn't around anymore. They would get so excited to see each other in the morning. But if he is sad about it, you really can't tell. He likes anywhere where he is the center of attention. Probably got that gene from me too. And it's not like they had conversations or anything - basically just took turns stealing each other's toys and food and then crying about it. Ahh toddler friendship. So fleeting.

Well, I just wrote several paragraphs about not much at all. Wait until we potty train or move out of the crib. I'll probably be the Saddest Mom in the Whole World. That is, until I realize how much money we're saving not buying diapers!