Monday, May 31, 2010

9 Months & 10 Things I Love About Monkey

Okay, I don't know what happened.  I don't have an excuse.  I was a bad bad blogger last week.  But to make up for it, I'm blogging on a holiday.

Last Wednesday Mr. Monkey Pants turned 9 months old.  I'm still in shock about it (although I shouldn't be since I'm already planning his first birthday - yikes) but am trying to deal with it.  Therefore, in honor to Monkey, I'm going to share with you the ten things I currently love about him (these are new things... I'm adding to the list all the time).

1. How his belly button pops out after he drinks his bottle. Seriously, he finished his bottle and all the sudden his little innie looks like an outie.  It is the cutest thing I've ever seen.

2. You can do anything to him - he doesn't get annoyed.  His father ruffles his hair, covers his face, shoves his cheeks together and nothing.  He may try and wiggle away, but that's it.  He doesn't cry or get upset.  I have no idea where he got this even temperament from, it must be a latent gene in one of our families.

3. The swirl in his hair on the back of his head.  It is this perfect circle and it sits smack in the back of his head.  I'm sure some day, when he gets lots of hair, it will be annoying but right now, I love it.

4. How he comes to his gate when you call him.  No matter where he is, if you call his name he comes crawling over to his gate and starts jumping up and down on it.  On the days when he really does not want to be in the corral, all you have to do is get near the gate and he comes a-crawling.

5. How soundly he sleeps.  Once you get this boy to sleep, he sleeps hard.  This photo is taken at the end of a 2 hour nap.  I was going in to wake him up and couldn't resist calling in Brian.  He brought in the camera and took tons of photos.  Monkey didn't even stir.  I miss sleeping like that.  Apparently when he was born he took that power from me.

6. How he takes everything out of his toy box.  I blogged about that here but felt it needed another mention.  I just love watching him do it and seeing his face change as he uncovers his treasures.

7. How he smiles AFTER you take his picture.  Seriously, once he hears the click he is all smiles.  So, even though you see tons of photos where he smiles, just realize that in the photos where he isn't smiling, he did after the click.

8. Even when he is crying you can still make him smile.  He can be having a melt down from teething but he will still smile if you throw him up in the air.  The way I explain this to Brian is that Monkey is upset about a situation only and is not intrinsically upset.  Therefore, if you can take his attention away from the situation then his natural happiness comes up.  The only time this wasn't true was when he cried incessantly for a week (the start of which I blogged about here) because, as it turns out, the breast wasn't doing it and the boy was gassy and hungry!

9. He loves books.  I talked about Monkey's love affair with a specific book here, but that isn't the only book he loves.  He loves his touch and feel books (one of with came from Uncle Joe and Miss Joanna), he loves his ABC book, and he loves many many other books.  He likes to flip through the pages - all by himself.  And he loves to look at the pictures when Mommy reads to him.  That's my little boy.

10. The way he peers at his bowl of Cheerios for more.  Monkey has recently started eating Cheerios when he is at dinner with us.  This keeps him occupied and happy.  I put one or two at a time on his high chair and leave the rest in a bowl on the table.  When he eats the ones on his high chair, he leans forward, raises his eyebrows and looks in the bowl.  This is my cue to give him a few more.  It's just adorable. I'll try and catch it on film.

11. (I know I said 10... but come on, how can you hold me to just 10?)  How he deconstructs his floor.  I don't know how he figured it out (I know, it isn't rocket science but he is the smartest baby around) but Monkey knows that his floor comes apart.  There are a few spots that he likes to deconstruct and I like to watch him.  He doesn't yet put it back together (Mommy gets that fun) but he definitely knows how to take it apart...oh yeah, and eat the pieces.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Mother's Curse

Let me introduce you to my son (and to my family and Brian's family, this might sound eerily familiar).  I know most of you already know him from following this blog, but every day a little bit more of his personality emerges. 

This is my son in his corral (cage is such a cold word).  This corral is filled with toys, cool letters and numbers on the floor, a bouncy chair, and his exersaucer.  However, what you see him doing here is what he has been doing almost every time I've put him in his corral this week.  He grabs on to the gates and then he...

...starts to cry.  He HATES being in the corral.  All he can think about is everything outside the corral.  Nothing in the corral is good enough, he wants to explore.

So, I've been "letting him out" for a little at a time.  He crawls around and when he gets close to the ant traps / cat food / garlic skin on the kitchen floor (oops) / etc, I pick him up and remove the offensive item.

But this gets exhausting.  And I get nothing else done.  So, this morning, after he ate his breakfast, I decided to try something different.  I picked up everything first and then I swept the floors (novel idea) to get any stray trash off.  I took Monkey out of his high chair and let him explore while I folded laundry.

He walked all around the loft and ended up at the front door (yes, that is our cable wire, but for some reason he is so over playing with that so don't worry about it).  He played there for a little while exploring everything.

He peered through the window and was rather enraptured with outside.

And then, he looked around and went back in his corral to play with his toys.  Yup, he had complete freedom and chose to go back in.

So, here is the morale of the story.  Outside the corral was the most interesting when he couldn't go there.  And then it was still interesting when there were things he couldn't touch.  But, once he was allowed to do everything it was no longer fun.

He is his mother's / father's son.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

My Other Addiction

I'm addicted to the cuteness of my son and I spend every one of his waking moment's with him (well, almost all of them).  Usually when he sleeps I do everything else which includes cleaning and blogging.  However, this week none of this is happening because of my other addiction... a really good book.

I finally went and bought The Help and started reading it yesterday - practically non-stop.  So, no blogging is going to happen until I've finished it, probably within the next day or two.

Sorry, but addictions need a lot of attention.

Amendment:  I know some of you who read this blog have read the book I referenced above.  And I would like to know why not one person made me aware of the fact that I would cry at the end?  I don't like being ambushed like that... but I felt so bad for "baby girl" (I'm not giving anything away if you haven't read it).

Friday, May 21, 2010

A Few of My Favorite Moments

I have a faulty memory.  My family will attest to that and then probably tell you some lies about a golf cart and my dad... I'm just sayin'.  But, even my faulty memory can't erase important moments in my life... those moments that are forever ingrained in my mind.

For instance, I remember the moment, in third grade, when I had lost the Spelling Bee.  I stepped up and said, with a huge smile on my face, "Scissors, s-c-i-s-o-r-s, scissors," and confidently waited for them to tell me I had won.  Instead, Gabby won that year because she was able to remember that damn double "s".

I also remember that moment, when I was walking down the aisle on my wedding day and I was desperately looking for Brian.  His mother was standing in such a way that I couldn't see him right away.  And then, I took a step, and there he was... looking gorgeous in his tuxedo and crying just a little.  Then I looked at my bridesmaids and they too were crying.  And the joy bubbled up out of me and I laughed... yes, as I walked down the aisle at my own wedding.

And then there was the moment I first saw/heard Evan's heartbeat.  I'll never forget that one... the whoosha whoosha whoosha whoosha whoosha... nothing sounded better to me in my entire life.

And last night, there was another moment I will never forget.  I was doing the dishes and Brian was entertaining Monkey.  I looked over and this is what I saw:

My two favorite men reading a book together.

It's one of those moments that makes you realize you are exactly where you are supposed to be in your life doing exactly what you are supposed to be doing.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Busy Little Man

Sorry I didn't post yesterday, I went to the doctor's in the morning (as in ALL morning) and then was busy chasing after a busy baby in the afternoon.  No worries about the doctor, I went for a physical because... ummm... I probably haven't had one since I was 17 years old and just felt it was time.  So, she gave me every test my insurance would pay for (like an EKG, Breathing Test) and took 4 vials of blood.  All that came out of the appointment was that I have something on my arm she wants the dermatologist to look at... she isn't concerned, but just in case.  Thank God I spent 1.5 hours in the doctor's office for that.

Anyway, back to the busy little man.  My son has decided it is time to maximize his ability to move.  He is no longer satisfied with his gated circle.  He crawls to the "exit", rattles the gate, and starts to scream.  Eventually I let him out and spend my time following him around the house making sure he doesn't kill himself.  It's a lot of fun (but he is super cute crawling around).

When he does play in his gated circle, he has started to play with his toys in non-traditional ways.  For instance:

This started out as a simple game of "retrieval."  He would throw a toy in the middle of his exersaucer and then reach in to try and get it.

At some point he apparently decided he would just go in after it (see the toy on the right side of the exersaucer?).

And then I guess it wasn't too difficult to decide that since he was already in the exersaucer, he should just crawl out the other side.

And of course, you can't forget to smile for Daddy while he takes your picture!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Putting It In Action

So, it's turning into one of those days... where I have no motivation and a lot to do.  My house is a mess and I have a new babysitter coming tomorrow morning (so I can go to my GP and she can tell me how unhealthy I am... I can't believe I have to pay for that) and I would like her to believe that Evan doesn't live in squalor.  I need to get to Target because the piles of clothes Evan can't wear anymore are starting to merge with the pile he can wear... it's all very confusing.  And my list just keeps getting longer and longer (I know... waa waa waa, I'm just saying).

But I wanted to share with you some news about how Evan is implementing what he learned.  So Sunday night he learned all about kneeling and standing.  Yesterday he seemed to be thinking about trying kneeling or standing in his play area but nothing ever came of it.  This morning, I put him down to play, went to get myself yogurt, turned around and this is what I saw:

His Monkey-ness kneeling by his toy box taking out each thing one at a time.  Of course once he saw the camera he was all smiles.

Let's look a little closer.

Yup, he is kneeling all right.  Once or twice he tried to stand up but the box isn't tall enough.

Occasionally he would also try and grab at the books sitting in my TV stand.  I'm going to have to re-think this entire house.

And then...

...he got distracted, by something.  I have no idea what but the boy has really good eyesight.  He can pick a granule of litter off of those alphabet tiles. Most of the time I catch it before he eats it.

Next we went to take a bath.  As usual, I placed him on the bathroom floor while I get his tub ready.  He always explores the immediate area, but today he was wired.  He went crawling out of the bathroom, around the room, and then back into the bathroom.  Then he used the drawer pulls to get to a kneeling position, got all excited, and then fell and smashed his cheek into the edge of the door (and all I could think about was the time I ran into the side of the bathroom door as a child, all the blood and all the stitches that ensued).  Thankfully, he only had a red cheek and cried for a few seconds.  Not so thankfully since he is so fair, I'm pretty sure he is going to have a doozy of a bruise and someone will probably call child protective services on me.  But you got my back... right?

Monday, May 17, 2010

This Past Weekend

So, let's recap what happened this past weekend...

First, on Saturday, we kicked off Brian's birthday week (a tradition from my family that Brian has wholeheartedly embraced) with a trip to Sublime Doughnuts.  OMG people, I don't know if I can adequately explain to you the beauty of these doughnuts... especially the strawberry and cream doughnut.  They sound heavy but they are incredibly light... which of course means you will eat more than one and you will plummet from your sugar high just a few hours later.  But thankfully that sugar high lasted for a little while because Brian was able to put together all of the chairs we bought on Mother's Day weekend... yippee!

Next Brian, Evan, and I went to Toys-R-Us so I could get another package of the alphabet tiles for the floor.  The floor no longer has that "almost finished" look with half alphabet tiles and half rug.  Now it is all alphabet tiles and Monkey has a fabulous time picking off the edges and eating them.  He has also figured out how to take apart the tiles... his intelligence sometimes makes it difficult to childproof (and yes, his mother thinks he is a genius).

Then Monkey got to hang out with his cute babysitter while Brian and I went out for his birthday dinner at Maggiano's (yummy).  It was the first time we had been out alone, at night, for a long time. I think we only did it once before. 

Saturday closed out and Sunday dawned.  I made Brian banana waffles (thanks for the awesome waffle maker mom) and then Monkey and I went to Piedmont Park so Brian could work.  Piedmont Park is my new favorite place in Atlanta... I didn't want to leave yesterday.  To most it is just a city park but I've been living in this loft for so long that an expanse of green is so welcoming.  Monkey got to play on the grass and eat the grass (Mommy was apparently distracted) while he watched the older kids play on the swing set.  Then it was time to come home.

I made Brian a birthday dinner of marinated flank steak, mashed potatoes, and salad with blue cheese dressing and we put Monkey to bed.  He didn't feel like sleep so I was going in every 5 minutes to turn him over, put his covers back on, and basically be "Big Bad Mommy Who Says You Are Sleeping No Matter What."  After a few times I walked in and found this:

Can you tell what he is doing here?  Yes, that's right, he is kneeling in his crib.

Of course I called in Brian so he could see this and Brian immediately went to get the camera.  Because we knew you would want to see this as well.

So, after Evan had his photo session, I put him back down, covered him with his blanket, gave him his lambie, sang him his song, and turned out the lights.

Once I was back in the kitchen Brian and I were talking about the whole episode (which we couldn't believe because he had NEVER done anything like this before) and Brian said, "At least he wasn't standing."

He was quiet for a little while and I thought he had gone back to sleep.  But, I was wrong.  Pretty soon he was calling for us again (the signature cry that says, "Okay, game's over, I'd like to come out now").  And so I went in to put him back to sleep and this is what I found:

Notice any difference between this photo and the previous ones.  Yup, his head is a little higher because MY BABY WAS STANDING IN HIS CRIB.  I know... what?  He had never tried to pull himself up anywhere, but I guess the kneeling gave him an idea.

So, of course I called Brian again and of course he brought in the camera.  You can see my hand in the lower right corner because Monkey wasn't completely stable.  So, since we wanted to get a picture, I was ready to pounce in case he started to tumble out of the crib and on to the concrete floor.

Moral of the story?  Monkey got his wish.  He came out to play while Mommy and Daddy lowered his mattress to a position where he can't get out of his crib (surprisingly easy, but time consuming) and to a position which necessitates that Mommy go and buy a step stool to be able to comfortably reach Evan in his crib. 

So, this one was a Daddy milestone (as opposed to a Maga milestone - as explained in this post).  While it meant Daddy had to work, I think it was Monkey's way of wishing him a Happy Birthday.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Last Night in a One Act - True Story

[Mr. Monkey Pants is downstairs in his room, silently rolling around in his crib. Mommy and Daddy are upstairs sound asleep. It is 3:50 AM.]

Mommy hears a strange scream coming from Mr. Monkey Pants’ room.

Mommy: Brian, did you hear that?

Daddy: Yeah, what was that?

Mommy: I don’t know. I’ve never heard a cry like that before. I’ll go check.

Mommy goes downstairs, into Mr. Monkey Pants’ room and turns on the bedside lamp.

Mommy: Oh Mr. Monkey Pants, you got yourself all turned around. What other baby moves this much in his sleep. I’ll put you back in your place.

Mommy tries to turn Mr. Monkey Pants so he is parallel to the sides of his crib. As she does this, he starts to scream again.

Mommy: What’s a matter baby? Why won’t you… Oh my goodness. How did you get your foot stuck in the back of the crib? Just lay there and Mommy will get it out… Uh-oh, Mommy is too short to reach back there. Daddy? Daddy? I need your help.

Daddy: I’ll be right down there.

Mommy hears Daddy come running down the stairs while Mr. Monkey Pants continues to scream.

Daddy: What’s a matter, why won’t he stop crying?

Mommy: He has his foot stuck in the crib. I can’t reach back there so I needed to wake you up. Can you get his foot out? Be careful… do you need to pull that hard?

Daddy is able to get the crying Monkey out of his crib and holds Monkey close to his chest.

Daddy: Shh…shh…shh. It’s okay. Daddy got you out. It’s okay. Why won’t he stop crying? No, shh…shh..shh. Daddy’s here. It’s okay.

Mommy: I think he is too worked up. I’ll get a bottle ready and we can feed him to settle him down. Can you bring him out here?

Daddy: Shh…shh…shh. It’s okay. Mommy is making you a bottle. Do you want to see the water come out of the refrigerator into a glass? I don’t know why he likes this but he really does.

Mommy: He is probably trying to figure out how it happens. I’m sure he will take apart my refrigerator in a few months. Can you bring him over to the sofa and put him in my lap? The bottle is ready.

Daddy: Okay, but I want to soothe him a little more. Why is he crying again?

Mommy: He just saw the bottle. Give him to me, I’ll feed him and put him back to sleep. You go back to bed. I’m sorry I had to wake you, I just couldn’t reach.

Daddy: It’s okay. I’ll try and get back to sleep.

Mommy: Are you all better now sweetie? Yeah, Daddy saved you and now you have calmed down? Go ahead, drink the whole bottle, then Mommy will change your diaper and you can go back to sleep.

Mommy starts to sing in a low voice to Mr. Monkey Pants. When he finishes his bottle, Mommy puts him back to sleep and returns to her bed.

Daddy: Did he go back to sleep?

Mommy: I think so. He isn’t making any noise. He was still very tired.

Daddy: I’m sure. That must have been scary.

Mommy: Let’s try and go back to sleep.

Daddy: Okay, love you.

Mommy: YTT

Daddy turns off the light. Just as we hear snoring coming from the bed, there is a loud crash.

Mommy: What was that?

Daddy: Looks like Socks knocked the glass off of my night table.

Mommy: Okay, I’ll go and get the broom, you make sure the cats don’t walk through the glass. It’s been quite a night… no?


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Monkey's Domain

Brian made a really insightful comment this morning that I needed to share. He said, "It seems that the more space that Monkey takes up means less space for us." Oh, and by insightful, I meant obvious... but it is still a really good comment. Mostly because he is right.
And the reason he made that comment this morning?

So, what's going on in these photos?  Let's review.

Photo #1:  Monkey is in his bouncy chair... because that is how he rolls. We still have the adult couches and TV... but pretty much everything else is Monkey's (we'll talk more about the gate a little later).

Photo #2: Yup, there is still a not childproof fan sitting next to the television, but the plug for the fan is now outside the gate.  And yes, Monkey is watching Good Morning America.  He likes to see the weather and traffic.  I'm not kidding, he stops whatever he is doing when those items come on and watches the TV. 

Photo #3: I replaced the rug (or most of it, apparently I underestimated the size of the area) with baby proof alphabet and number tiles.  The final transformation will occur this weekend.

And so now a whole quarter of our first floor (maybe a little bit more but fractions and I were never friends) is all for baby. 

Now, let's take a minute to discuss the gate.  I hate it.  I really really hate it.  I hate that I have made it so my child can't explore his living area.  I hate these photos:

But, I have decided that this is a necessary evil (not a necessary evil like invading your personal liberties under the guise of saving our country from terrorists... oops, looks like my political leanings slipped in), but a necessary evil for the safety of Monkey and the sanity of Mommy.

You see, the loft just isn't baby friendly.  There are too many exposed outlets, too many cat food bowls and water bowls, too many ant traps, too many cat toys, etc, etc, etc.  And rather than spending my days following Monkey around the loft, I decided he needed to be in a child friendly space at all times. 

So, I will save these prison photos for when he goes to therapy as an adult.   I mean, he's going to need something to talk about... right?  Or, better, maybe I'll mess with him and tell him that I was the one inside the gates and he was outside the gates... oh, the possibilities.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Shocking News & Other Related Items

I hope the title of this post prepared you... because there is some shocking news I need to share.  You see, the son of Brian and Ellen... likes to eat!  (This was probably a lot funnier for me to write than for you to read... you should know I giggled a lot).

Yes, ladies and gentlemen (if there is a gentleman who reads this blog), Evan has been eating solid food for almost 2 months now and has decided he really likes this new phase of life.  He now eats 3 meals a day (and still 4 bottles) and I think he would be okay if we introduced linner (meal between lunch and dinner... think about it) but that won't be happening any time soon.

So, what does Evan eat?  Check it out:

Foods Evan Likes: (currently he is eating Earth's Best food so all of these combinations come from their line)
  • Apples and Apricots
  • Apples and Bananas
  • Apples and Blueberries
  • Bananas
  • Bananas, Peaches, and Raspberries (this is a new favorite)
  • Pears
  • Pears and Raspberries
  • Peach Oatmeal Banana
  • Carrots
  • Garden Vegetables
  • Green Beans and Rice
  • Peas and Brown Rice
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Winter Squash
  • Chicken and Brown Rice country dinner
  • Chicken Tomato Pastina country dinner
  • Harvest Squash turkey country dinner
  • Summer vegetable dinner
  • Sweet Potatoes and chicken dinner
  • Creamy Chicken Apple Compote (smells as nasty as it sounds but this one was a super winner)
  • Tender Beef Spinach
  • Barley Teething Biscuits
Foods Evan Could Do Without:
  • Whole Grain Rice Cereal with formula (and any fruit available mixed in as an incentive)
  • Whole Grain Oatmeal Cereal with formula (and the fruit trick again)
Morale of the story... the boy likes food.  More important morale... prunes will come nowhere near my child... he does just fine on his own.

I love this picture because it shows everything so clearly.  Evan's mouth covered with food.  Grandpa trying to feed Evan but he is distracted by anything new.  And, of course, DJ Lance on in the background.  It's perfect.

So, if you don't yet have any children or have a baby who hasn't started on solid food yet, let me clear up some things for you.
  1. You know how they say the bowel movements will change depending on what baby eats... it's true.  It's very very true. 
  2. Remember what your baby ate for dinner last night before you freak out about the color of the bowel movement. Trust me.
  3. Go ahead, try some of the food (even though my mom claims that with 4 children she never once tried it).  That way you will understand why my baby doesn't like the rice cereal - blech.
  4. Baby food with meat smells nasty.  Be warned, it may make your stomach turn.  Don't try this food... pureed meat just ain't right.
  5. Listen to the little cues your baby gives you.  For instance, if he flings the spoon out of your hand and sweet potato goes everywhere, he is probably done eating.  I'm just saying.
  6. Make sure that the baby spoon full of orange and green food is nowhere near your baby's mouth when he goes to sneeze.  Apparently the whole "covering your mouth while you sneeze" is a learned skill and not one that comes naturally.
  7. When you go to wipe your baby's mouth or in the tub, check in between the fingers, under the nails, in the neck folds (or that might just be my baby), behind the ear, along with all the usual places like the mouth for dried food.  Because you see, your baby will rub his fist on his mouth that is covered with baby food and then put his hand all over his entire body in the 2 seconds before you are able to capture his hand and wash it off.  Believe me, they are wily creatures.
  8. Finally, food is fun and that is okay.  If some drops on the high chair tray, let him make little Van Gogh paintings.  He is going to get it all over the place anyway so why not nurture some artistic talent at the same time?
Moms - any advice / information you want to share?  Go ahead, leave a comment for someone else.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Like Father Like Son

My husband is a sharp dresser... and I have absolutely nothing to do with it.  He wears fabulous colors, mixes patterns well, and has the coolest cuff links.  And, he has so many cuff links that people who know him well skip over his custom shirts and tailored suits to see what pair of cuff links he is wearing that day.

Turns out my baby likes cuff links just as much as his father.

Last night, when Brian came home, Evan had about 2-3 spoonfuls of pureed turkey (it looks just as gross as it sounds) and brown rice left in his jar.  He was being fussy, so daddy (also known as the coolest guy in the world for whom Evan will do anything) said he would try and feed him the last little bit.  Of course, for daddy, Evan gobbled it up and then he got very distracted.

He went directly to try and get daddy's cuff links.  He got a pretty good hold on it before Brian realized what was going on.

But can you blame him?  They are pretty cool cuff links.  And shouldn't he be allowed to play with him... I mean they are balls and all babies love balls!

(And by now you are obsessed with his little chubby fingers and little chubby hands and little chubby wrists... but they're mine.  And I get to kiss them all day long).

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day Loot

Aaah, Mother's Day.  What a fabulous holiday to get your children to spend time with their father.  But, seriously, I had a fabulous day / weekend.

My weekend started out with a quick trip to Atlantic Station (very cool shopping area of Atlanta).  You see, there were some chairs in a store that I had my eye on... for a couple of months now.  While I do have an obsession with chairs (it goes along with me weird plate obsession) I actually do need new chairs.  My current kitchen chairs are from Ikea and they have cloth slip covers.  They served their purpose well but after a few years of my hiney, they were starting to get wobbly in a way that couldn't be fixed.  And, the cloth slip covers had been washed one too many times and used as scratching posts.  My dining room chairs (currently in storage) are no better.  We bought leather chairs... and we have 3 cats that have claws.  Just take a minute to think about the repercussions.  So, the moral of the story is that we needed new chairs.

I wanted something cat proof (or close to... I understand actual cat proof is a dream), something that would make our dining room set a little more casual, something that would soften the hard lines of the dining room set, and something with personality.

So, meet my new chairs:

I adore them.. I mean I love love love them.  As Brian said, they are my way of slowly moving in some retro to our decor (because if it was up to me, our house would look like a 1950s/1960s house... everywhere).
When we bought them, Brian wasn't sure how comfortable they would be so we decided to get four of these and then 2 white chairs for his comfort:

I think they will add some pizzazz to our dining room, some curves to the table, and all around coolness to our life... because you know, that is definitely important.

So, Saturday we bought these chairs (that I love love love) and then on Sunday we went out to breakfast... along with every other mother in Atlanta.  Let me tell you, my son is amazing.  We had to wait for 25 minutes for a table, then breakfast took an hour, and he wasn't even that fussy. 

After breakfast Brian took Evan on some errands because I had asked to be alone in the loft so I could clean.  Yes, I said it... so I could clean.  It isn't easy to mop concrete floors with 4 cats, 1 mobile baby, and a husband all standing on top of them.  And with Evan's new found mobility and the return visit of summer ants, this place was going to sparkle like the top of the Chrysler building (little "Annie" quote to start off your week).

And then we had pizza... sitting on our new chairs... in a very clean house.  I think Mother's Day is my favorite day of all... and Thanksgiving - I mean, pumpkin pie... yummy.

Friday, May 7, 2010


Someone please tell me why we buy toys for our children?  Why do we think that manufactured pieces of plastic will be more interesting than a wooden spoon?  Or am electrical cord?  Or better yet, how about a sleeper?

Yup, that's my baby playing peek-a-boo with his sleeper.  I actually took this off of him on his changing table; Evan grabbed it and brought it out with him to his play area.  Then he started to play peek-a-boo and I sat back and watched (or more accurately, sat back and took pictures).

If the first picture was the "peek-a..." then this picture is the "...-boo." 

Look at all of those toys around him and it's his sleeper that he finds most interesting. 

On a completely unrelated note, see that cute one-piece outfit he is wearing?  Before we left Austin, someone gave us a gigantic bag of boys clothing.  This is one of the pieces from that bag.  And yes, it has a monkey on it.  It's like kismet.

Now, back to the sleeper.  I don't think he has any issues that one of his favorite toys is an article of clothing.  What do you think?

Happy Mother's Day (but I still think I'm the luckiest mother... well maybe I'm tied with my mom, because you know, she has me and all)!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Evan's New Favorite Thing

Usually Evan doesn't play favorites.  He doesn't have a favorite blanket, pacifier, stuffed animal, toy or anything (or if he does I never noticed it so I never accommodated it).  He is pretty easy going that way.
But recently, all of this has changed.  When we were in New Jersey, someone gave Evan this book:

What you can't tell by the picture is that the monkey faces are actually raised and each page counts down from 8 monkeys to 1 monkey.  Evan LOVES this book and looks for it almost as soon as I put him down on the ground to play.

Don't believe me?  Well, the proof is in the pudding (whatever that means):

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Babysitter

So, in order for Brian and me to go to the Metropolitan Food Show on Sunday we needed a baby sitter.  I'm sure Evan would have been fine if all we did was look at the exhibits, but not even the most perfect 8 month old in the world could not have sat through 1 hour of a cooking demonstration.

Originally, since this Sunday was really about me (Mario is my man, not Brian's), Brian was going to get the baby sitter.  But I think a combination of work and procrastination got the better of him and last Thursday we didn't have anyone. 

So, I did what I always do in these situations and went to the Internet (what did introverts like me do before the Internet?).  I found this awesome site, Sitter City, where you can look for local baby sitters, pet sitters, and adult sitters.  You pay a fee to join and then a monthly fee thereafter (for as long as you are a member).  You post a job and whoever replies, you can have a background check done on them, interview them, read ratings from other people who have used them, and ask for references. 

So far the Internet has given me Brian and my cat Lucy so I thought why not.  And it was definitely a smart thing to do.  I had 8 people respond to my job post before I closed it and after some interviews and reference checks, we went with a 26-year old kindergarten teacher.

I was nervous to leave Evan and, to be honest, a part of me was concerned he wouldn't miss me.  Well, with a cute blonde 26-year old to play with, my baby didn't miss me at all.  Thankfully he did smile when I walked in the door or I probably would have broken down in tears. 

She liked working for us (the babysitters get to rate the family after they babysit for them and I got to rate her - she gave us a good rate... we gave her a big tip - and of course Evan is a joy and all he did was smile for 4 hours straight) and I'm ecstatic that we have someone to use. I'm already planning Brian's birthday dinner, a movie night, and some other things.  Of course I need to be mindful of the cost, but sometimes splurging for my sanity is worth it!

PS - I talked myself out of the nannycam so I can only take her word for what happened.

PPS - I don't have a picture of her because I thought that was kind of creepy for our first meeting.  This is one of the cons of being a blogger about a person, you have to take pictures of people and that can be seen as weird.  Like when you're in the grocery store people wonder why you are taking pictures, or in a parking lot, etc.  Sometimes I wish I was a food bloggr, food never gets camera shy.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Short Post

Here is what I've learned about babies.  One day they will cry, scream, and refuse to sleep to the point where you want to put them on your front doorstep with a "free" sign on them.  Then you remember they are crying and screaming and not sleeping because of teething and you feel guilty.

Then, the next day, they rub their eyes because they are tired (you know, no sleep the day before can make you pretty tired), you pick them up, they put their little heads in the crook of your neck and promptly fall asleep before you even get them to the crib.  Then you stand there holding them and you can't even imagine that this precious little baby has ever cried before.  And that is when God gets you and you think about having a second and boom you're pregnant (not me, remember my first conception post and all the ones following, I need more than "boom" to get pregnant).

And now that he is sleeping I need to do all the things I had to do yesterday but couldn't. 

But first, remember this...

Can you believe this is the same baby?

Monday, May 3, 2010

My Own Personal Food Mentor

(Okay, baby is teething badly this week which makes it difficult for me to get much of anything done so the posts this week will probably be shorter than usual).

So, what did you do this weekend? Me... oh I went to a little food show called the Metropolitan Cooking and Entertaining Show. And I went there with only one purpose, to see the man I call my own personal food mentor... Mario Batali. Seriously, the man in the orange crocs has no idea I even exist but his philosophy of food has seriously impacted my philosophy... it's all about simplicity, fresh food, and flavor. Oh yeah, and he is really funny too.

While we were there, Brian used my phone to take some photos (so not the best quality, but not bad).

One of the surprises of the afternoon was that we got to see a demonstration from Chef Kevin Gillespie. In case you don't know who he is, he was a finalist on Top Chef last season AND he is on the premiere chefs in Atlanta. I love that man and am looking forward to a meal at his restaurant - Woodfire Grill.

Here is a picture of Mario with cavolo nero (aka kale in English). He was so convincingly singing the praises of kale that I may have to see if I can find it at the farmer's market (although I think it's a winter vegetable... but there might still be some around).

He cooked for us a super easy and yummy looking kale dish, pizza, and pasta all'amatriciana. We also got a signed copy of his newest cookbook so I'm sure there will be some recipes from there being made in the Castrucci household.

In the meantime, it's Monday, it's raining in Atlanta, and I'm stuck in the house with a teething baby. A cute teething baby... but still teething. I've already stopped talking to him twice today. This can't be good. And, oh yeah, if OnDemand doesn’t put up a new episode of “Yo Gabba Gabb” soon, I might stab a fork in my eye.