Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Ball Pen

Tonight we thought it would be fun to take Calvin to Toys R' Us to see what he thought. He had his mouth wide open the whole time, like he just couldn't comprehend this new amazing place with so many toys that he didn't even know where to start. Andy found this little gem - some of the best money we've ever spent.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Two Teeth

It's official, he has a second tooth. It's on the bottom, right next to the first one, and about half the size. Now the big question is how to get him to let me take a picture.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

New Tricks

It's been a busy week - we have a whole portfolio of new tricks to report on.

Steadying himself on furniture, Calvin has mastered walking around. He can now maneuver corners and gaps like a champ, pulling himself almost anywhere he wants to go.

Calvin is a late bloomer on the clapping, but now that he's started he will sit and clap to himself while playing. Even better - he dances. If he hears a tune on the t.v., or if he's playing with his toys that sing songs, he'll sway, bounce, or clap along with the beat. You can't tell, but in this shot his bouncing his legs and swaying to some music.

I don't know how he figured it out, or how his pudgy fingers even managed it, but yesterday I walked away for just a few seconds, and when I came back he had pulled five keys off of his daddy's laptop. He was just stacking them in a pile, and getting down to business removing as many as he could before he got caught. He has done it repeatedly. Here's a picture of when Andy caught him at it.

This Baby Einstein gym that we thought was the worst purchase ever has now earned its place in our home. He uses it like a geriatric walker, holding onto the top and pushing it around the floor so that he can walk in spaces where there is no furniture to hold onto. Throughout the span of a day, I'd say he pushes it around for hours.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Nine Lives

My mom has the weirdest life of anyone I've ever met. Like the time that a bus was driving erratically, so she chased it down, realized the driver was having a heart attack, and started CPR before taking the only passenger, a lonely Mexican teenager, home for Thanksgiving dinner. Lately her weird luck has been bad for her. Within the last two weeks, she has had a tumor removed, been attacked by hornets on her bad, newly operated arm, pulled a hamstring and was ordered to stay down for six weeks (which she obviously refused to do), and then last night was the kicker.

She filled up a glass of water to take a drink, left for 2 minutes to turn out the lights, and then grabbed her water to drink as she walked to bed. As soon as she picked up the glass, she felt a prick on her tongue and then reached up and pulled something out of her mouth. She turned on the lights, and saw that it was a yellowsack spider that had bitten her tongue. Her tongue swelled and her throat started to close up, but she refused to go to the doctor because "they have seen me too often lately."

Anyone else would have been beaten down by now, but not her. Early this morning she drove 3 hours to work on a sprinkler project in southern Utah in the home where she grew up - post-cancer operation, swollen arm, pulled hamstring, puffy tongue and all. To her working one-armed, one-legged, and waiting a few days for the skin on her tongue to just turn black and fall off seems like a reasonable plan of action.

Pictures of the Day

Thursday, July 24, 2008

A Whole New Kind of Trouble

This Week I'm Grateful for...

Yes, I'm grateful for Caulk-It. For any of you who have ever struggled with caulking because the gun is too big and awkward to fit into the corners, this is your stuff. Andy just finished putting up our trim and toe-rail, so I'm doing the finishing work. My mom told me about this stuff and I adore it. It's so easy to use, easy to clean up, and simplifies the entire process. I'm a huge fan - maybe for my 8 loyal blog readers, I should offer my own money back guarantee.

Baby Crack. Calvin's Aunt Annette bought him the entire Baby Einstein series when he was born, and now he's an addict. I don't want him to watch a lot of tv ever, let alone when he's just a baby, so I try to limit it, but sometimes it's too hard to resist getting something done for 23.5 minutes while he's completely engrossed. His favorite is Baby MacDonald. He sits on the floor with his little neck craned back, laughing at the silly cow puppet, and doesn't move his eyeballs away from the screen until the credits roll. Hopefully I'm not giving him A.D.D. by letting him watch it once or twice a day.

Fresh Pennsylvania Produce. When Andy's parents came down last weekend they brought us fresh sweet corn and snap peas from the Mennonite farmer's stands. Hands down the best corn I have EVER tasted, and they brought enough that we've eaten it most days this week. The only thing left to do is ask, do they sell zucchini?

My Family. I know it's cheesy, but this week I've been thinking a lot about how great my family is. We started a tradition several years ago of putting together a family newsletter every two months. This past week as I was compiling all of the entries it was really emotional to read about the last year with Ruthie's invitro, my mom's cancer, and some of the other ways that our family has been so blessed. I feel lucky to have a family that is so tight-knit, and would literally do anything for each other. Big families are drama, but they're a lot of fun too.

My Monkey. I always love the kid, but the last couple of days he has been so sweet. He laughs a lot, talks and growls incessantly, plays on his own a lot but runs after me and his dad every so often just to make sure we're still around, snuggles deep into my lap when I read him books, and takes every possible chance to give me his big slobbery kisses. He loves that he can move on his own now, and seems happy and independent. I am torn between being depressed that he's growing so quickly, and adoring him and his antics more every new day.

My Man. How lucky am I? The man I wake up to every morning is smoking hot, sweet, brilliant, hard working, hilarious, and feels like the most important thing he can do in life is make me happy.

It's good to be me.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

How do YOU Sleep?

Last night I was feeling particularly fidgety and Andy had to be up at 3:30am to catch a flight, so I decided to sleep on the couch. I slept with the baby monitor right next to my head since Calvin has been waking up every hour, on the hour for the last week or so. Strangely, last night he didn't wake up at all. I wonder if it's because our bedroom is right next to his, and maybe he hears me moving all night and it wakes him up. Who knows?

Anyone who has ever shared a bed or room with me knows I'm an awful bed-buddy. I toss and turn, I kick people, I have to have my covers between my knees, my pillow right under my head, but not touching my shoulders, and my feet cannot be covered. I also grind my teeth and talk in my sleep. On two separate occasions, roommates of mine have woken up freaked out because they woke up to me attacking their feet in my sleep. No idea why I have foot issues in bedrooms, probably some weird thing from my childhood that I don't remember.

Andy is just the opposite. I took this picture in 2006. It amazed me then, and it amazes me now that he'll just lie down flat on his back, fold his hands over his chest like he's in a coffin, and then doze peacefully to sleep without moving or waking up until morning. In this one he had just come home from an eye exam (hence the freaky vamper-like appearance with his dark glasses) and decided to rest his eyes for a bit. He didn't even wake up when I kept clicking the camera.

I think Calvin will be more like me. He wakes up when the sprinklers come on, when a plane flies overhead, when we flush the toilet, or just whenever he feels like it. Unfortunately I can't quite bring myself to be tough and just let him scream it out until he falls back to sleep. I always wait a few minutes like this time I'm going to be strong and let him learn, but in the end I always cave and go rescue him.

Especially lately, it's so sad. He's always either standing up in bed staring at the door with tears streaming down his face, or else he has his soft blanky pulled over his face as he sits in bed doubled over, sobbing dejectedly into his lap. What kind of monster mother would I be if I didn't just go pick him up and rock him back to sleep at least 7 times a night?

Top Ten Reasons We Miss Nanny Carrie

10. I miss handing the boy over first thing in the morning so I could take a shower. Now I usually shower at 11pm after the boy is in bed. (If at all, if I'm completely honest.)

9. Andrew misses his formerly sweet-smelling wife. See number 10.

8. Calvin misses having someone play dress-up with him every day like he was a doll. Now I just let him wander around like a white-trash baby in his stain covered onesie all day and all night. My mom would be so disappointed in me - not sleeping in the clothes you had worn all day was like her second most important rule. Carrie always made him look so cute.

7. I miss hearing the stories of her Facebook boyfriend and late night decisions to text an old flame that she still has feelings. There was also the big-headed boy at church who would stare at her for hours. Romance was always a-brewin'.

6. I get so bored doing only my own homework (just kidding, Care)

5. I miss having Carrie around when Andy goes on his trips. We did fun things like stay up super late watching The Notebook in my big bed while Calvin slept. Eating some sort of chocolate, I'm sure.

4. We miss going on fun little weekend trips, trying to cross off a list full of sites we'd never seen and places we'd never been.

3. We miss nap time. It always involved watching Carrie wrap Calvin in the magic blanket with just the right amount of tightness, and just the right amount of his face poking out, before sitting on the exercise ball and balancing, while bouncing a wiggling child for just the right amount of time for him to fall fitfully to sleep, before being transferred to the swing at just the right speed (number 5), with just the right music (eine kleine nacht musik). He would then sleep for 15 minutes before waking up to have Carrie do it all over again. No one could get the boy to sleep like Carrie could. Now we just stick him in the crib. So boring!

2. So much chocolate has disappeared from my life since Carrie left. No more packages of double chunky chocolate chip cookies that could be consumed in one sitting, no more Oreo Cakesters, no more homemade truffles, no more late night brownie baking sessions, no more hot fudge sauce, no more smores, no more Costco sized buckets of chocolate covered raisins. No more hiding wrappers so Andy wouldn't judge us. My waistline is glad she left, but the rest of me, the shamefully undisciplined side, is very, very sad.

1. I miss spending quality time with a sister that I haven't seen much over the past several years. We had amusing discussions, sad discussions, and shocking discussions. My little sister is growing up much faster than I had realized, and it was so fun to get to know her again.

Carrie, thanks for giving up 5 months of your life to come share ours. We miss you!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Flora and Fauna

For the past six weeks or so, we have had a family of rabbits living in our bushes. We usually see them in the evenings when they come out to play in the sprinklers and munch on the grass. I was very excited about our visitors and kept telling Andy that we should get a pet bunny, until a few days ago when I noticed that someone has been eating my flowers. They are tall lilies, so from the ground to about 2/3 of the way up are nibbled clear to the stem. The only parts left are what the rabbits couldn't reach on their hind legs. After losing my pretty petals, the little things aren't quite as endearing. Calvin loves them though, and it is fun to watch them. They're adorable and seem to have become oblivious to our comings and goings.

Calvin looking mischievous, right before he mashes that entire stick into his mouth.

Cute little bunny in the background.

This is Andy being artistic, playing with the different lenses. Bunny in focus, Calvin is just a blur.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

A Break for Mommy and Daddy

Today Andy's parents came down to play with Calvin so that we could get some projects done. It's so great when they're around because Calvin loves them as much as they love him. I'm not sure how long their knees and backs are going to last though with as much as they have to stoop over to walk him around the house and yard (I know mine are about to give). We ate a lot, tried out the Wii Fit, and then Andy and I were able to finish some work we've been dying to do.

The best part of the day was that they watched him while Andy and I went to see the new Batman movie. It was a very stressful movie. Very dark and creepy, but definitely worth it. I've decided the one thing better than a man who can make you laugh is one who believes in a great cause and will do anything to defend it. As much as I love me some Christian though, Heath stole the show.

Thanks Dick and Hazel!

Hot Summer Nights

For the most part I think we're good neighbors. We are friendly, quiet and clean, with a well-kept house and yard. We are, however, the only ones who hang wet towels and bathing suits all along our back deck to dry and let our baby sit out on the front sidewalk in our snobby suburban neighborhood, playing with the hose in nothing but his diaper because it's 95+ degrees this week and nothing makes him happy like water does.

We've done this several times this week, but last night he ate several pieces of mulch and choked on two pieces of grass, despite our best efforts to keep things out of his mouth. We may have to come up with a safer white trash activity at some point, but for now this keeps Calvin entertained for longer than you would think.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Safe List Part 2

Andy's switching things up again. He wants to trade in Amanda for Isla. Therefore his final and perfect list is:

Rachel McAdams
Scarlett Johansson
Isla Fisher

Special Delivery!

We had everything ready for new passports months ago, but finally last week Andy had some time (both parents have to appear in person when applying for a minor), so we went to the post office to submit our forms. We went on Monday, and they arrived in the mail today. I can't believe how fast they got here. It was very exciting to open them up - I've been itching to go somewhere fun on vacation very soon (I'm voting Greece!). Australia is on hold for now since our company was bought out, but someday we'll make it happen.

The one issue was that when we got to the PO, they said my picture had been taken too closely and had to be retaken. Since I still had the final remnants of my rash, it will be immortalized forever. Or at least the next ten years.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Daddy's Laptop

Lately Calvin's favorite thing to do is play with Andy's computer. He swings it open and closed, sucks on the top, smashes the keys, sucks on the cord, and pushes it off the desk. Good family fun.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Safe List

I think most married couples have a safe list - a list of celebrities who, if your spouse were ever to meet them, they would be allowed to spend as much time with them as they wanted, doing whatever they chose, no questions asked.

Andy's List:
Angelina Jolie - she doesn't count. I told him to choose someone else. She's too obvious. He said, "fine, as long as she's a given." Sure she's a given, as long as her boy Mr. Pitt can be a given on my list.

Rachel McAdams - I full-heartedly approve of this choice.

Amanda Bynes - I Ireally like her, but I'll always think of her as a teenager, so naturally I feel like she's a bit too young to be on the list of a 30-year-old man. But whatever, it's his list.

Diane Kruger - That's fine. I think she's a passing fancy. As soon as Troy and National Treasure aren't fresh on his mind, he'll come running back to me.

My entire list was on the Today show today. How crazy is that? One day, and all of them - bam, bam, bam. They are:

Christian Bale - Andy full-heartedly approves of this choice. I have loved him since the Newsies days, but as a dark and twisty, muscle-man on Batman he's impossible to resist. He was hilarious on the Today show - he didn't interact with anyone, and he only almost smiled once. I still love him though. I could bring happiness into his life.

Joel McHale - Who doesn't love watching him on The Soup? Especially when he dresses up as Rainbow Bright. There is absolutely nothing more attractive than a man who is funny.

Colin Firth - I fell madly, deeply, and irreversibly in love with Mr. Darcy during Pride and Prejudice, but he just keeps getting better. I didn't know he was in Mamma Mia - I think I'll go see it now.
In the end, this would never work. If Andy ever did meet Angelina or any of the others, I would want every detail, and then I'd pretend to be okay with it, but I'd sulk and hold it against him for the rest of his life.

UPDATE: Andy says he wants to swap Diane Kruger for Scarlett Johansson. Ugh. I don't like her.

Master Bath

Since Andy has been traveling a lot less and I have been home, we've been working on knocking out a couple dozen projects that we've been working on since we moved in. The majority of the projects have been 90% done and only require a little push to complete them. I'll post pictures as we get them done. Here is the master bath. We finished it this weekend. The pictures don't do it justice - the space is very large, and we had the contractors turn the toilet a different direction so we could extend the shower and make it a lot bigger. Between all of the added space, the frameless glass, and the over-sized shower head, it is the world's best shower. We put down large brown tiles on the floor, and off-white tousled tiles with brown accents on the shower and tub. The colors look bad in the pictures, but the end result looks great.

I'm embarrassed that it's so messy, but it's when we were moving in. I'm glad my father-in-law took pictures, since I didn't.
We decided to leave the cabinets and the tub, but we changed everything else. The fixtures, lights, floor, window dressings, drawer pulls, tile, paint, ripped out the wall and flipped the toilet around, and extended the shower.
Andy said, "these pictures suck. You have to experience it. It's like a magnificent vista." We are very proud of our bathroom.