Thursday, September 8, 2011

Bookstore employee flashback, starring Nora

"I want you to get me this book, it's about a pig and a bull. What do they do? I don't know, but there's a pig, and there's a bull. Oh! They love to paint. The pig loves to paint, actually. Well, both of them. Their names? No, I don't know their names. And I don't know the title of the book, but Ms Kristen has it. Can't you find it for me? Actually, I do know the title. It's 'Somebody Meets Somebody,' except nobody's name is really somebody. And they LOVE art. Do you know what that book is? Can you get it for me, please?"

(Yup, I found it...)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Nora is 5!

I can't believe my baby is 5. I was 5 once, and I remember it, too!

I love her so much. We are kindred spirits. I'm so thankful to have her in my life.

She started back at her beloved school last week.

We had playdates in parks with dear friends, enjoyed a pre-first-day-of-school dinner at the local app & tap, and ran a bunch of errands. We borrowed 5 lemon juicers so we could make the freshly squeezed stuff at Nora's birthday party. It was a hot, sticky good time.

Anneliese is finally walking and has the most infectious laugh! We're looking forward to going back to library storytime now that big sister is back in school.

Now I'm looking ahead to fall. Cooler temperatures? Please?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

It's the little things.

I had the best day.

Last night I apparently collapsed in a heap on the bed after my shower (and after nursing Anneliese before bedtime), never to get up again until early this morning. I woke up feeling pretty good, which is really unusual for me since I am not at all a morning person.

Nora and I read books before Anneliese woke up. (Not much EVER happens before Anneliese wakes up, most days.)

I made a cup of coffee IN THE AM. (Doesn't happen often since I stopped using my pod coffeemaker.) I also made cold brewed coffee concentrate for iced coffee, which I will try tomorrow.

Anneliese took an early nap, went down easily, slept a good long while, and woke up happy. She started walking YESTERDAY and is a delight. When she pummeled Nora while they were playing (that part's not delightful) and I told her to stop, she said, "Ow! Ow!" and when I said "gentle," she said, "doh-dul." Which is her way of saying "gentle." I think.



We went to Glenlake pool. How have we never been to that one before? I don't know, but it's actually much more awesome than I thought it would be.

We had delicious veggie enchiladas for dinner.

I sold a few things on ebay and one thing on Amazon and I made a profit, which is great because it was something I've never used and was just taking up space.

What a wonderful day!

Now I have to go to bed. I'm excited about iced coffee in the AM.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Sticking with it.

I finished my first 12 week Jeff Galloway session last week. This week, I started the next session. It's been pretty amazing. I've improved so gradually that I barely even noticed how much harder I was working every week.

Being part of a group has been outstanding for me. It makes the workouts go by so much faster and easier, and it's just nice knowing that somebody will notice if you're there or not.

I'm supposed to go out by myself at least once a week, and that has been gratifying in it's own way. I try to use those sessions to push a little harder, so if I'm huffing and puffing more than usual I'm not slowing anyone else. I bump up my intervals so I'm doing more running and less walking. During the runs I sometimes get so frustrated. Tonight was a super short one (I'm following a training program that dictates the number of minutes I run). I was really unhappy with the way I was feeling, telling myself that this was way harder than it should have been and it must be because I have not been trying hard enough lately. I actually felt so bad that I had flashbacks to my first week
and wondered if I had made any progress at all. Then I got home and looked at my GPS running app.

2 minutes, y'all. I shaved two minutes off my usual pace. Yeah, it's likely because of that interval bump and the fact that this was a shorter run than usual, but it's just the beginning. I'm still making progress. I saw a number I have never seen before.

I remember being in labor with Anneliese, struggling and thinking about how I'd like to quit. Despite all the evidence to the contrary, I felt like I wasn't getting anywhere. At just the right moment, my doula looked at me and said, "You're doing this, Blair." Such a simple statement, but it brought it all into perspective for me.

I am doing this.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Turntable

One of my recent preoccupations has been the new site Turntable.fm. It's a streaming music site where you can play DJ in one of many themed "rooms." I like hanging out in the folk rooms, but there's a room for most varieties of popular music, and if you don't see one you like, you can create one.

The selection at Turntable is currently very user-driven. You can even upload your own songs if the ones you want to play aren't already in the system. The site is in beta right now and I suspect it will be greatly more restricted by the time it's all said and done, but in the meantime, there's a great energy there, and a spirit of genre-bending and exploration. I'm more excited about listening to new music than I have been in a while.

http://turntable.fm

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Happy July 4

If you're On CST, I still have time to wish you a happy day.

Mine was filled with sweetness. And other stuff, but mostly sweetness.

Anneliese's first blog post

Anneliese is clearly adept with technology as, at the age of 16 months, she has written and published her first blog post AND included a video. When my friend Dara e-mailed me and said, "That video
of Anneliese is cute!" my first response was, "What video?" I searched my phone and found a rogue video apparently recorded under my computer desk. The next question was, "Where?" I didn't see it on Facebook. Turned out she used Posterous to post it here. I'm just glad it didn't feature me (Nora takes horrifying digital photos of me, often undressed) or any of the more embarrassing parts of my house.

Speaking of Posterous, i never did figure out what the deal was. After hearing an NPR piece about Tumblr I feel like it may be more my style, but I'm afraid if I move everything over there it will suddenly go the way of MySpace. I've been reading or writing blogs since before they were called blogs. I've never been very prolific but I have seen a lot of platforms cone and go.

'tis all.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Red

P46

Fre. 06@6)4@; A's za "3

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Summertime, summertime, sum sum summertime...

The title of this post is from some old commercial that's stuck in my heard. What was it for, Applebee's? Sincere question because I really can't remember. Maybe it was even a real song before Applebee's co-opted it. I may never know.

We just (5 days ago) got back from a lovely vacation that took us to Western Massachusetts, then to Pensacola, then back to Decatur. We went to a reunion weekend of sorts for my longtime favorite band, the Nields. It had been about ten years since I had seen them. Jason has always wanted to see them, too, and in recent years they have been recording music for children, so there's something for everybody. Even Anneliese is a fan of their song, "Red Red Robin," which is an old song written by...I'm not sure because Google is attributing it to 3-4 different people. The chorus of "Red Red Robin" is basically, "When the red red robin goes bop, bop, bopping along..." Anneliese's contribution is "bahh bahh bahhing ah-laaag!" We attended an open mike (where Nora and I sang "Red Red Robin" in a microphone, with Nerissa and her daughter!) and cookout, a children's show, and a show at the Iron Horse in Northampton. It was pure magic.

This video is from the children's concert. Dar Williams, another family favorite, was singing the lead vocal. She also sang it at the open mind. I have to say, my mind was a little blown when I heard my favorite singer and my favorite band sing my daughter's favorite song. The funny thing is, Nora was totally starstruck by Dar but not by the Nields. She thought the Nields were our friends who were also in a band. That was really cool, but at the Iron Horse concert she kept saying, "Look, there's Dar Williams! Mommy, do you see Dar Williams? Do you think we can meet her?"

video

Jam for the Fans was on Friday and Saturday, but from Tuesday until Friday morning, we got to spend time with friends and explore the area a little bit. I got to hang out with a really cool friend I hadn't seen in about 4 years. She has three children and Nora and Anneliese had a blast! We went to Forest Park in Springfield and explored the zoo and ate sticky frozen treats under a tree overlooking a grassy field. (Ahh!) We drove by my friend Jessie's old house in Waterbury, CT because Jason had never had a chance to see it before they moved away. We visited the Yankee Candle flagship store because hey, why not? They had fake snow that fell every 4 minutes in the Christmas area. Nora loved it so much she wanted to watch the "snow" fall all day. They had more candles than you can shake a stick at. We spent a good portion of one day at Look Park in Northampton. I wished that I lived there because the weather was so wonderful and I so want to go run/walking on the shaded paths at Look Park. We also ate a lot of ice cream because we've been told that's what you do in New England, and we sure didn't want to break any traditions.

Sunday was a looooong day, starting with waking up at 3am so that we could get to the airport for our flight out of White Plains. Then we flew to Atlanta, and there was whining by two people who wanted to ditch the next flight and just go home to our house in Decatur. (I won't tell you which two people, but only three of the four of us are fully verbal so that may narrow it down a bit.) We were on perhaps the only terminal in Hartsfield-Jackson airport that does NOT have a Starbucks--and me with a gift card burning a hole in my coffee, and wishing for coffee at 10 am (AKA my seventh hour of wakefulness). Then we hopped another plane and headed to Pensacola, where we were so happy to see our parents and our pretty pretty Prius, which was looking gross on the inside after 5 days in a pristine rental car.

After that was Jason's brother's wedding, which was really nice. We enjoyed visiting with family, including people we very rarely get to see. Nora got to know a cousin who is a year younger than she is and we all wished we had more time to visit. The next day we got up, visited with my grandmother at the assisted living, had some delicious lasagna a la my mom, and hit the road! We were so glad to see our home late Monday night.

Vacations rock, but there's something to be said for needing a vacation after the vacation!

Tomorrow is Father's Day, so happy day to my own wonderful dad and to Jason, the guy who is a wonderful dad to our awesome kids.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Recalled.

P32

These were recalled a while back, but I can't say I was sad to find an unopened package in my husband's car. More like delighted.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

On the cusp.

What are we on the cusp of? Summer, of course. One more week of school. We're hoping to be in the pool this summer, a lot. We're hoping to visit friends and family. We're hoping to avoid boredom. You know, the usual.

Nora's last week of school sounds pretty awesome. They have a bike day, a sensory day (with the caution that the kids will be getting dirty--as if they don't already get super dirty at this school!), and two water days. Actually, they're "water and popsicle" days. Nora doesn't want me to forget the popsicles.

The school she attends is Reggio Emilia inspired, which means they've had tons of play-based and project-based learning. Her class's main project this year was "buildings." They built skyscrapers, castles, fairy houses, tons of stuff. Here's just a few of the things they built.


Nora was excited to show me her classroom in action.


Anneliese was along for the ride.



So, it's been a great year and we're pleased.

What else is up? Strawberry picking on Mother's Day.


And I started a new exercise program in April. I'm part of a Galloway run-walk-run group. I've done some running before (Couch to 5K in 2008) and I found it extremely gratifying, but mentally very tough. I'm enjoying this more because of the group aspect, which is surprising but awesome. I guess I'm less antisocial than I thought.

The older I get, the more I'm willing to try new things. Is that normal? In the past few years I've successfully, on some level, conquered several fears and misgivings. Like last year with gardening--I never thought of myself as a gardener, but no one had ever taught me anything and I had never tried before. We may not have had the most beautiful or even the most productive garden in the world (although perhaps the most beautiful and productive on our block!), but it was awesome to do something I never thought I could do. Since moving to our new house we just haven't been able to tackle our yard like we'd like to, and I think gardening has escaped us for this season. But it's not over yet. Uh uh. Fall planting, it is on. The one downfall of joining groups and trying new things is that it's a constant struggle for me to balance all of the different areas of my life. I think that's true for a lot of people, and it's definitely one of my biggest personal challenges. We've become even more active in church lately, which is great, but when focus shifts to one area I have to be careful that I don't let another area suffer. Work in progress? That's me.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Nora, on earworms

"Sometimes something gets stuck in my head. It's something I don't want in my head, and it's there with something I do want, but I can't remember what I want to remember. And it makes me mad."

Monday, April 25, 2011

Transitions

My grandmother, my one living grandparent, moved to an assisted living facility about a week ago. She left her house of the last 25 years, her city of the last 57(?) years, and moved to Pensacola to be closer to my dad. I haven't seen her new place yet, but she was able to bring a few things from home. She's not very mobile and hasn't been for a long time now, which is one reason that it finally came time for her to move. However, she is very sharp mentally. She told me that a very nice nurse at the facility was bringing her the crossword from the newspaper, but they were bringing her the "easy" one and she had to ask if they could bring her the New York Times.

She's also very much a people person. Family members have suggested that maybe that's where Nora gets it, and they may be right! It must have skipped a couple of generations, though, because most of the rest of us range from "more reserved" to "sort of antisocial."

One thing I've observed about all of my grandparents is that they know themselves so well. They know how they like their toast, what time they like to get up in the morning, which cabinet they keep their trashbags in. All minor things, but things that they settled on long before I was born. I have always found their routines comforting. I do well with routines myself, but they don't come very naturally to me. It has always seemed like it has taken me some effort to figure out what I want from life, even minor things. Anyway, it's hard to imagine Grandmother without her existing routines, having to come up with new routines for the first time in so many years. This will be the first place she'll have moved to without my grandfather, or any family member for that matter since I'm pretty sure she always lived with family before she got married. She has always taken comfort in her home, in family heirlooms she's collected and things that she has purchased or been given over the years. Her house had a lot of clocks, so I associate clocks chiming with her and my grandfather. She's told me and my sister that we can take pretty much anything we want from her house, and there are certain things she wants each of us to have. My dad is an only child and so we're the only two grandchildren. I'm incredibly flattered and I know I will value having some family heirloom, but it seems sort of wrong to be taking them now. Then again, she doesn't have a place for them in her new home, and the reality of the situation is that she won't be returning to her house in Mobile. That's pretty hard to wrap my mind around...


Sunday, April 24, 2011

I visited the Gateway Arch.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter Weekend

Jason doesn't have to work today. Nora and I started the "weekend" off Thursday night at Farm Burger. We attended their 1st anniversary celebration with a few dear friends.





 My friend Jessie asked us what we usually do for Easter. We try to attend some kind of community egg hunt on a Saturday--usually a Saturday earlier in the season, but we haven't yet this year so I guess we'll be finding something tomorrow. Easter morning, there are baskets from "the Easter Bunny"--pretty low-key 'round here. Then we attend church and afterward, a potluck luncheon at a church member's house in Druid Hills. The house is gorgeous, and looks aren't everything, but their property really is amazing. I always describe it as "like The Secret Garden." Really, really nice.

Here's a really old Easter picture!



Nora's first Easter...




Second Easter


Third


And here's last year (with a mouthful of chocolate, of course).


I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

New phone

I finally joined the rest if the world and got an iPhone. My old phone had been limping along at death's door for a while. Finally, the day before I was to hop a flight to St Louis, the battery stopped working completely. There were no replacement batteries to be found because the phone was soooooo old (you know, two years old). Several hundred dollars later, I now have an iPhone, insurance for it, and supposedly the most bulky and kidproof case available. Woohoo! And now I get to update my blog from bed...

Except this program I downloaded to update the blog doesn't seem all that great. I can't add pics.

BRB. Depending on your definition of the word "right."

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Spring Breakin'



I'm telling you, I have the best kids.

Nora is on Spring Break this week. I'm excited about it because she's in school 5 days a week this year. We still have our afternoons during the school year (although we try to get naps in when we can), but I welcome having this extra time to hang out and do fun stuff.

I didn't have much planned, though, and we're on a relatively tight budget. So this morning we slept in and, after waking, had eggs for breakfast. We enjoyed the breeze coming in through our open windows. Anneliese was getting cranky and I didn't have many ideas, so we decided to go for a picnic in the park in our neighborhood. The park is 1.25 miles away, which is a big of a walk for Nora, but we made it. It was so fun, I want to do it again and again. (Except for the fact that it's about to get blazing hot, and then I probably won't want to do it so much).

One of the best things about our walk was that I got to really look at a lot of the houses in our neighborhood. You know what? I really, really love our new neighborhood. It is just where I want to be. It's filled with adorable little houses circa 1940-1960. I love how the lawns are so vibrant and full of mature plants and trees, lovingly landscaped, and ranging in style from utterly expressive and funky to HGTV enviable. Curb appeal is one area our home is lacking, but we'll get there. I planted a few annual bulbs, and we really want to get a garden up and running again.

Thursday I'm going to St. Louis for the International Cesarean Awareness conference. I'm taking Anneliese and Nora is staying home with Jason. They're going to go to Fernbank and to a minor league baseball game while I'm gone. I'm a little nervous about flying with a one year old, but I've done it before and I'll have a bunch of friends there to help. There are 9 of us going from Atlanta and many of us will be on the same flights. I am sharing a hotel suite with a friend.

I became involved with ICAN when I was processing my cesarean and looking ahead to have a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean). Having a VBAC was something of a journey which began when I learned that the old adage "once a cesarean, always a cesarean" is not always true. This has actually been an exciting couple of years for VBAC. There was a big conference at the National Institute of Health affirming the safety of VBAC, and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology has recently revised their position on VBAC with the aim of making it available to more women and reducing our country's cesarean rate, which is 32.9% and over double the rate that the World Health Organization recommends.

ICAN is an organization that is near and dear to my heart. Many of my friends belong to it, and still others support it even if they have not had a cesarean myself. The thing about cesareans and birth in general is that it is a very broad topic and it is so much more than a medical decision. Every woman's situation is different and every birth is different. I do think that as a culture we have become somewhat detached from the birthing process, so I am a fan of doing things as naturally as possible. Still, I had a medicalized birth myself (in that it was in a hospital, I had a high risk pregnancy, etc) and so I understand the place for certain medical interventions.

Anyway, I'm happy to be attending this conference and spending time with my friends and learning more about birth and more about myself and other women (it's that kind of conference). I love a good conference. I truly do.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Worldless Wednesday--She's one!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

It is a cold, blustery day here in Atlanta. Unlike most people I know, I like the low temperatures. I don't like the damp and the gray, though, and I don't like having to choose weather-appropriate clothes for my children because I'm just not very good at that. If you see me carrying my baby and she's wearing questionable attire, just remember that I'm

a) from Florida

and

b) hot-natured

and take pity on my child. If you see Nora wearing questionable attire, well, she's 4.5, so I can't always been responsible for what she ends up wearing. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Anneliese has been sort-of crawling (scooting?) since she was 7 months old, but two days ago I looked up and she was really-for-real crawling. She's been a little more adventuresome lately. It's cute. I'm quite seriously afraid she might try to crawl through the cat door to the basement, so I suppose we should do some baby-proofing. My mom remarked that she seems really quiet compared to Nora, but I think she she says a lot, she's just much more shy. Most children will look shy compared to Nora, though. Yesterday I noticed two new teeth, but I think there are more on the way. Right about now I'm bummed that the homeopathic teething tablets we used were recalled. At 11.5 months, Anneliese says "mama,"  "dada," and "dat?" She babbles a lot of other things we don't understand. She will totally imitate our inflections as we chat or sing to her. It's super cute.

I have a neat idea about how to revitalize this blog and get Nora involved. More on that soon, I hope!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Snow days (and days and?)

It's going on three months since I've updated. We've been really busy, but I've finally run out of excuses. We're snowed in! Or rather, iced in. We had a beautiful snowfall Sunday night and now the roads are basically impassible. Most recently there was melting, but we're expecting another hard freeze, so who knows how long this could go on? Jason hasn't had to work for the past two days, but of course we're taking things one day at a time.

We have played games, snuggled, watched movies, played online (me), wrapped our socks in plastic bags, crunched in the snow, made snow cream, made a teeny tiny snow man, read books, and done laundry. Two days in and it just now occurs to me that I could have been using this time to do one million things that need to be done around the house, but, well, maybe I'll do that if we're still snowed in tomorrow.

We are sort of settled in our new house, but organizing is not my strength so we have a ways to go. Can we say work in progress? Nora is still loving preschool. Anneliese is still loving her mommy and daddy more than anything else, although she's starting to dig some of the neat toys she got for Christmas. She'll be having a birthday next month, in February. My little snow baby, born on a day just like today. Awwww.

Happy New Year!