Sunday, February 28, 2010

PPO On An Owl

For Eli's birthday, I bought this owl balloon to go along with the owl theme.  Since then, the owl has become a little too comfortable.  I'll often wake up in the middle of the night only to see his menacing shadow in our kitchen.  Or I'll be coming home and see his crazy eyes peering out at me from our window.  Before I go to bed now, I'll move him to a location in the house where I'm sure he will not be seen should I happen to wake up during the night.

Below is a photographic glimpse into our nightmare.  I would pop him, but I'm afraid he'd come back to haunt me.  I'm just lucky I had a camera on hand to capture the horror.

A futile attempt to entangle my child.  Look at Eli take him down.

A view from our bedroom
Waiting for my arrival home
  BEHIND YOU!!!
(we don't usually have random guitars or gift bags on our couch)

What?  I do not have too much time on my hands.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Rachel's List

I'm stealing this idea from my gorgeous, brilliant, hilarious friend Rachel.  I'm hoping the compliments will soften the plagiarism blow.  
 
Reading: Middlemarch by George Eliot 

Listening: A mellifluous mix of Arcade Fire, Ray LaMontagne, Cat Power and Priscilla Ahn

Watching: Modern Family, HGTV,  Lost and 24 (and Full House...not going to lie)

Cooking: I made venison tacos the other night.  
 
Eating: Honey Nut Cheerios (the only sweet I'm allowing myself right now)
Wishing: It were summer.  Eli and I have some serious cabin fever.

Thinking: I need a haircut. Stat.  Also, trying to come up with creative in-door activities to do with a one-year old.  Suggestions?

Craving: Hostess cupcakes...sweet, wonderful Hostess cupcakes. 

Excited About: flying to California to visit family and attend grandpa's wedding. 

Laughing At: Eli's dancing.  OH.EM.GEE.  He dances to everything right now.  He gets this huge grin on his face and starts bopping up and down.  Rhythm is gonna get ya. 

Annoyed With: Complacency.  And belly fat.

Feeling Bad: That I had a frozen pizza for dinner and not the sensible turkey sandwich I was planning to make.  Working until 7:30 makes it hard to be sensible for dinner.

Missing: my grandma.  Eli pulled one of my treasured Ramona Quimby books from my bookcase, and I opened it up to see my grandmother's handwriting, "Jeanette, I thought you would like this. Love, Grandma.  Christmas 1988" 

Loving: the movie Whip It.  If I didn't cry when I stubbed my toe, I'm pretty sure I'd be rad at roller derby.

Planning: to make brownies for my 'ladies with babies' group tomorrow.
 

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

You'll Lose Your Blues in Chicago

I think Chicago is probably one of my favorite places.  Granted, I haven't been anywhere, but I love Chicago.  This past weekend my mom, sister and I traveled to Chicago for a couple days to celebrate my and Carrie's birthdays.  Most of you won't care about these pictures, but I wanted to post them for Carrie and my mom to see.  We had a fun time shopping, gaining back all the weight I've lost and laughing.  Here's our weekend in pictures for you visual learners.

 
Waiting for our train

 
On our way

 Amalfi Hotel (awesome)

 Eating at Giordano's

Shopping on State St.

 Carrie near the old water tower on Michigan Ave.

Sweet bliss

Fun to come home to

Post Script: We also saw Shutter Island while we were there.  It was my first Martin Scorsese film.  But I have to say, I really liked it.  I should caution you that there is this one scene where you see some prisoners/patients in the buff (the frontal buff).  Also, Mark Ruffalo is in it and I think he's great.  

Post Post Script: Did you know that the sales tax in Chicago is 10%?  I'm sure you did, but WHAT?  That's a crime.  
Post Post Post Script: If you value your brain, do not see Couples Retreat.  We watched it one night in the hotel room, and by the time it ended, I couldn't remember my fact families--that's how much of my brain was damaged by watching such a stupid movie. 
 

Monday, February 15, 2010

Eli at 12 Months

Eli, Eli-oh. I cannot believe a WHOLE year has gone by. There is so much I could write about how this year has changed me, but I don't think anything would truly capture the experience. Honestly, I still feel like I'm adjusting to mommyhood. I was talking with a friend about a month ago and I admitted that I didn't feel like I was a natural mommy. I'm not sure I was equipped with a mother's intuition. Every time I've gone with my instincts (before you were born), I either made someone mad, said something stupid, embarrassed myself or all of the above. I question my judgment with you all the time. There are times when I ask your father a question about something we should do for you, and he'll look at me and say, "You're the mama." Yikes. Too. Much. Power.

I'm not one of those women who makes her own babyfood (lucky for you) or knits your clothes out of dryer lint. I haven't taught you how to read yet or solve quadratic equations. There are days when we don't leave the apartment (the very tiny apartment). Sometimes I get frustrated with you. I enjoy having moments of alone time. I probably have the t.v. on too much. I worry if I'm stimulating your brain enough. Am I giving you the right foods? Should I be reading you Tolstoy or Faulkner? All this and with a defective instinct mechanism. There is so much I'm unsure of. Except...



Except that I love you. I love you the best I know how. I love you so much that it sometimes brings me to tears. I would throw myself in front of moving traffic for you (standstill traffic would be preferable, but I would do moving). You have taught me a lot about love and selflessness; you have taught me about forgiveness. I feel like you've provided me with a small glimpse into the heart of God. I know the love I have for you is minuscule compared to God's love, but it's an amazing feeling. I don't know if this is enough. Maybe you'll tell your future therapist that your crippling anxiety issues stem from your mother's incessant singing or her insane knowledge of Full House trivia. "Yes, but did she love you?" she'll ask. I hope you can give a resounding yes.



I'm anticipating that the next 17 years are going to fly by based on the warp-speed nature of this first year. I just want to slow time down (sometimes reverse it...I would be so much better at getting you to sleep in your crib the second time around). Each night that I get to rock with you (not the Michael Jackson song), I think about where God is going to lead you. What are his plans for you? And there is this bossy voice in my head that starts telling God what to do. I mean I can't even figure out my camera, and I'm bossing the creator of the universe? And there's the teachable moment. You are going to grow up. You will fall down (both figuratively and literally), and all I can do is make sure you know that you are not alone (wow with the Michael Jackson references). I know what I am writing is somewhat repetitious of previous posts to you, but I don't want you to ever doubt my (or your dad's) love for you. My prayer for you, sweet boy, is that you grow up to be a virtuous, loving man (you have an incredible role model in your father). It's my hope that you pursue a life that is centered around God's will. I know that you are going to make mistakes, you're going to have bad days, you may even wear socks with sandals (gasp). It's okay. One time I wedged your grandparents' van in between two trees. We all do dumb stuff. But I hope you learn from these mistakes and push forward to be the best person you can be.


All photos by Sara Luke
So..kind of deep for a first birthday. Sorry. You will discover that I'm not the most mellow of people. Again, sorry. I hope that year two is as great as year one. You've set the bar pretty high. I mean you already laugh when either your dad or I flatulate (fancy pants way of saying toot). How much more awesome could it get?

video
(this is a very basic 'video' or photo journey of your first year. not sure if it will work, because I'm somewhat computer illiterate)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Whoooo is Turning One?

Did you ever see that episode of Friends where Ross and Rachel's little girl, Emma, turns one?  As with any sitcom, blunders and hi-jinks abound.  There was a mix-up with the cake, which was supposed to be a bunny, and it ends up being X-rated.  No one wants to stay for the party, Emma won't wake up from her nap, etc., etc., etc.  I kept picturing this episode while planning Eli's first birthday. While I had dreams of accidentally giving everyone salmonella poisoning with undercooked chicken wings or not being ready for the party, I can say that the day exceeded my expectations.  In the company of family, our little boy celebrated an exciting first birthday.


What was the theme, you ask?  (Oh...you didn't ask...)  I had an owl theme.  I know it sounds weird, but it was much cuter than it sounds.  Eli has this super cute owl shirt (you can see it here), and I thought I could do a party based around this shirt.  My friend Sara (whose Etsy shop you can see here) made adorable invitations.  And I found some other cute owl-themed items on Etsy, including stickers and cupcake toppers.  I also found an owl balloon online (b/c I could not find one anywhere in Jackson) and some owl ribbon at Michael's.  I was out of control with the owl stuff.

 
these are owl stickers that I made everyone wear (b/c I'm bossy)
  
 
 (there were more than four cupcakes, but I forgot to take a picture of them all)

I made chicken wings to go with our theme (let's see if you can figure that out without me having to write on the Internet how I made the decision to serve chicken wings).  I also had a jar of tootsie-roll pops (b/c of their owl mascot).  I decided to go with cupcakes for Eli's induction into the world of  diabetes-inducing food.  My first batch of cupcakes tasted like popcorn (because I accidentally bought butter-flavor cupcakes.  What?!  Who wants butter-flavored cupcakes?).  Luckily, I bought a box of normal flavor cupcakes and made those after discovering my butterific blunder.  Eli INHALED his cupcake.  I mean, it was a new world record in the one-year old division.  It was cute (until his stomachache caused him to wake up several times throughout the night).

It was a great day spent with great people!  Here are some more pictures for your viewing pleasure.  (You're welcome.)
 
 ("where's my next cupcake, fool?")

Happy Birthday, sweet boy!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

28, I Hardly Knew Thee...

I turned 29 last Thursday.  TWENTY-NINE!  Next year, I turn 20-10, better known as thirty. Twenty-eight was mostly consumed with Elijah.  It was also the year of minimal showering and record-breaking leg hair (I'll let you swallow the bile that just came up).  Needless to say it came and went in a flash.  It was one of my favorite years (since one of my favorite people came into the world) and it was one of the most challenging and discouraging years I have ever endured.  (Wow, Charles Dickens, way to be paradoxical.)


Anyway...back to birthday.  Ben has always been great about birthdays.  I mean I don't think he wants a repeat of marriage year one when I burst into tears at the end of the day because *sob* he DIDN'T DECORATE THE HOUSE!!!  Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I cried because my husband, who bought me a present, took me to dinner, etc.  did not decorate our house.  I'm not sure why he didn't get in his car and drive to the nearest divorce attorney and/or have me committed.  In college, my roommates would always decorate the house for each girl's birthday, and so I just assumed he would grow a uterus and be sensitive to this tradition.  I am a crazy woman.  I told him this year he didn't have to decorate, which he verified several times and then had a notary bear witness to my statement.  I just didn't want Eli to get into stuff. 

I woke up to two cards (from my boys), a box of hot tamales and a box of junior mints (it's a junior mint), and two wee bottles of coke (some of my favorite things.) **side note: I gave up pop for the new year, but I allowed myself the empty calories for my birthday...it was carbonated bliss.**  Then my mom called and played The Beatles' Birthday Song--one of my favorite family traditions.  Later in the day, fellow RD friends, Anna, Carrie and Mallary brought me some daisies (another favorite).  Then, Ben took me to buy new running shoes and then to dinner at Cottage Inn (another favorite).  Later that night, my dear sister-in-law came over to watch Eli whilst Ben and I went to a movie.  We went out...on a date...to a place where we didn't have our child with us...on a date.  It was great!  We held hands and everything.  We saw Book of Eli...go out and see it right now.  It was a great movie!  I had a lot of great birthday wishes from friends!  It was a great day. 

Birthday extravaganza continued into Friday when my parents took me to the Parlour for delicious, cellulite-inducing food.  On Saturday, I met one of my dearest friends, Jennifer, in Ann Arbor for shopping and talking.  I love and miss her!  You know you have a good friend when she helps you change your child's poopy diaper in a public restroom.  And finally, the weekend ended with an ACT tutoring session at Sylvan and Super Bowl fun with the Hunts.  Megan and I didn't really watch it, but it sounded like a Super good time.  (Yikes, I'm a nerd.)

This week I'm gearing up for Eli's FIRST BIRTHDAY!!!  Did you hear me?  He's ONE YEAR OLD!  He's one year closer to resenting me for not letting him date that girl with the tongue piercing. 


(I had pictures ready to post, but the Internet is being a db. So I may edit later on to post said pictures.)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Lost? (warning: if you're waiting to watch last night's episode on TiVo this weekend, don't read.)

Okay, so episodes of Lost often stick with me long after the final blackout.  Last night's episode was no exception.  And while I am a nerd about Lost, I can't bring myself to join one of those on-line forums with some handle like, 'lostfanelimom'.  Not that I've thought about it or anything.  So, I thought maybe if I post some of my questions from last night, people who know me and also love Lost might have answers or speculations.  If not, I've just upped my nerd factor exponentially, b/c a.) I'm using my blog to post questions about a t.v. show and b.) it will appear like I have no friends.

So here we go:

1. So what happened to the monster's body?  I mean how was he able to shift into Locke?  Didn't he have his own body like Jacob?

2.  Why was Jacob able to be killed?  Isn't he a spiritual presence?  And why couldn't Locke-monster do it?

3. What's up with the flash-sideways storylines?  According to Juliet via Miles, they succeeded...so what's going on?

4. Why would Claire still be going to LA.  Wouldn't the psychic see she wasn't going to crash.  I mean isn't that why he told her to go in the first place...b/c he knew she wouldn't make it?

5.  Where did Desmond go on the plane?

6. Is Sayid Jacob now?

7.  What's up with the protective ash?

8. Who's the kung-fu looking guy at the temple? 

9.  So, every time we saw Christian, was he actually Jacob or the monster guy?

10. Where's Christian's body?

Okay, it felt good to get those off my chest.  Now I'll have some extra space in my brain to think about important things, like where the Jersey Shore cast should tape their next season.  (Just kidding, I don't watch that show...*cough*)