Friday, September 30, 2011

Some Things

Other than a new baby, there are some other new things in our house. Most exciting to me are two things that belonged to my grandparents. When my grandmother passed away earlier this year, I was fortunate to be able to attend her funeral. I also got to pick out some things from her house that I'd like to have. And then I fortunate again that my parents offered to drive them out to me so I didn't have to ship them.

First is this old sewing table. I mean, really. How cool and beautiful is it?! Yes, it still works but no, I have no plans to actually use it.

Second is this awesome painting that my great-grandfather did. After we hung it, I felt like it was just meant to be there, like it had been there since the house was built. It just fits. I've been wanting some art work (not photographs) in my house for quite some time; so to have something that was created by a family member? Sweet.

I also got some awesome china and need only an excuse to get it out.

And totally unrelated: I "found" (meaning I saw it in my YouTube account) this video of Rhett the other day. This captures everything I loved about this age (22 months), an age that is truly my favorite of Rhett's. Isn't he just so cute? I love how he says "Yeah" to everything.

P.S. It's almost October!!!!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Life is Good

I know I can complain with the best of them. But I am the first to admit that I shouldn't. When people ask me how I'm feeling and how life is with the two boys, I honestly answer that it's probably as good as it gets. I mean, here are the facts:

My husband is awesome. I feel that most people I know have awesome husbands, and I love that. However, not only is my husband awesome, but his schedule is awesome. He has a very short commute and is home nearly every day by 3. So when people ask how I'm doing with the two, I reply that really, all I have to do is get to lunch with Rhett. After lunch comes nap, and frequently Chuck is home before Rhett wakes. I'm so very lucky.

Unfortunately I can't breastfeed. Fortunately, I have a husband who handled late-night feedings for the first three weeks and now on weekends. Also fortunately, the baby is only waking once at night (well, most nights at least). We feed him at 10:00 p.m. (our bedtime), once in the night, and then usually again around 6:00 a.m. (our wake time). It's enough so that I don't even need naps during the day.

My good friend Natalie recently posted about why she loves day care. I'd copy and paste the post, but am too lazy. Rhett resumed his twice-weekly schedule at his babysitter's a couple of weeks ago. So now I get two days a week in which I can actually accomplish things like errand-running, house cleaning, and most importantly one-on-one time with Ollie. I love these days and so does Rhett. It also means that on the other days when Rhett's home, I can focus on playing with him and Ollie rather than agonizing over all the stuff I'm not getting done. It's been wonderful for me.

My body is recovering phenomenally. Aside from the inability to lose weight, I feel great. In fact, last Saturday I ran an 8K race and did pretty well, if I say so myself (and I do). In previous runs, I'd been averaging a 13-minute-mile pace of run-walking. My goal for the race was to finish before one hour, ten minutes. My time? 56:07--this is an average of 11:15-minute miles! I was really excited about this and am now excited to get to training to better it. (Also body-related is that now that I'm back on birth control, the acne is getting better!)

See? I am fully aware of how good I have it. I mean, unless I had a personal nanny, I don't think it could be better.

Monday, September 26, 2011

And So it Begins...

Oh happy day.

And a couple more pictures just for fun.

Friday, September 23, 2011

I Feel 20 Years Younger!

Unfortunately 20 years younger puts me at 14 years old. This was not a good time. Sure, I was in 9th grade dance company thinking I was hot stuff. But I was still 14--one of the hardest ages to be, in my opinion.

So why this flashback? First, the acne. I'm blaming this on pregnancy as it happened with Rhett, but man is it gross. Thankfully it's not on my face, just on my neck, but it's still yucky. I don't feel good about it and it makes me very self-conscious. Too bad it's not cold enough for turtlenecks. (Does anyone have any good products they like to use? I can't find anything that works well. And by "works well," I mean "gets rid of the crap on my neck.")

Second, baby weight. I know, I know, I just had a baby, but I'm still not feeling good about the rest of my body either. I'm struggling to find times to run and can't stop the eating. If I felt like I could get both of those in control, I'd be more okay with my current size. But as I see no end to this, it is just depressing. A corollary to this is that until I can fit in my pre-baby clothes, I can't finish all the organizing I've been going nuts with. And you know this drives me crazy.

Finally, friends. I'm learning that I'm just not very good at making friends. I can do small talk (What do you do? Where are you from?) and I can do big talk (Would you ever go to a nude beach?), but it's the medium talk where I fall apart. Sadly, I think one needs medium talk to forge friendships. And sadder still, I'd like more friends. Oh well.

I think when I'm 45 saying "I feel 20 years younger!" will be a good thing because 25 was a very good year. But just not now.

I finally got around to doing a birth announcement for Ollie. If you'd like one, let me know. And then email me your address as I just can't seem to keep those organized.

Monday, September 19, 2011


Sorry cousin Emily but I'm actually on the other side of the headphones-while-driving issue. Hi. My name is Erin and I drive with headphones plugged into my iPod. Why? Because I'm really far behind on my podcasts and Rhett's really attached to his Veggie Tales CD (amongst other music albums) so he doesn't give me much time with the SoundDock. To be honest, I do not see how it's any different from driving with the radio on or driving while talking to someone. I listen to podcasts (so no music, just conversation) and it's turned down very, very low. So low, in fact, that when driving on the freeway I can't hear it. I just don't see the problem. Sorry. (Chuck doesn't agree with me, FYI. And sister Emily, I love your western/Republican/small government attitude about the whole thing. It made me smile.)

Chuck's school pictures have been safely put away in our files. He doesn't have any friends to whom I could send them. I did have to translate the "INVU..." for him. Ha.

To those "no skulls at church"-sayers, does seeing the fabric change your mind? Chuck thought you might think it was more Jolly Roger-esque than actually is. And if it doesn't change your mind, please tell me what I should do with it. It's just too great to let sit. (We already have a trick or treat bag, so while a great suggestion, it's just not practical. And as you know, I only sew practical items, like ties for very little boys.  Totally practical.) To be honest, I'm really not sure how I feel about the ties at church, so everyone wins.

Oh no, here it comes. Trying. To. Resist.  But can't. Temptation too strong. Mommy blog alert! Look how cute my baby is! That tuft of hair kills me.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Another Vote, Another Day that I'm Too Tired to Post Anything Interesting

I am too exhausted to post anything too deep or thoughtful; sorry. You get this instead:

Do you think it's bad/unsafe/dangerous/should-be-illegal to drive a car while listening to headphones? I won't try to convince you (well, not now) of the correctness of my side of the issue. Just tell me what you think.

Only one P.S. today: Let's say your husband is a school teacher and therefore has school pictures done yearly. And because he's a teacher, he gets the prints for free. What would you do with them? Hand them out to all his bffs? Mail them to his grandparents?

P.P.S. (So what if I lied about the number of addenda.)  I bought some super cute skull fabric. What should I make out of it? Are skull ties appropriate for church?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Exercise Your Right to Vote!

Now that we've got Rhett and Oliver's stuff in the goon boys' room, we can start working on the library. I really want a map in there, but am torn between these two. (They would both be created to be an appropriate size for the wall space.) Please vote.



C. Other: ____________ (please give me other idea)

And while you're busy voting, why not tell me if I should do a birth announcement for Ollie. We did one for Rhett, but I'm feeling less than motivated to do one for Ollie. Thoughts?

P.S. Any Marylanders seen canned pumpkin in stores yet? If so, please tell me where so I can go get it. Why is this not carried all year long? Seriously, when I find it I'm buying a case or two to last me through the year.

P.P.S. As I was typing the title of this post, I initially wrote "Exercise Your
WRITE to Vote!" I kid you not. Clearly someone needs to go back to school. And you know, I actually miss math class.

P.P.P.S. I'm running this race next Saturday. Anyone care to join me? Before you think I'm crazy, I just want to get some sort of baseline so I can work hard and see large improvements!

P.P.P.P.S. Has your mail become boring? Guess what?! My cousin Emily has the solution! Just join her little swap and soon your mail will be exciting once again.

P.P.P.P.P.S. Did post-partum brain bring ADD to anyone else besides myself?

Monday, September 12, 2011

What We're Up To

I've turned into a regular mommy blogger. Sigh. Sorry. Hopefully I'll soon return to the drivel I usually type.

I've completed my first week of "mom to two." I know it doesn't sound like much, but it is to me. Of course I know that I have it easy. I just have to get to lunch time and then get Rhett down, and Chuck comes home before Rhett awakes. I really am aware of my blessings--believe me. And thankfully, the mornings have been the easiest times around here. Even with the rainy days, Rhett's been pretty content and didn't seem to develop too much cabin fever. Ollie is getting into a semi-routine at night: eating around 10 p.m., again at 2 a.m., and then again around 6 a.m., which means only one nighttime feeding. Like I said, it could be much, much harder.

In addition to all that help I get from Chuck, the second child is easier for me in many respects. First, I am much more confident in this parenting thing. Second, I knew to expect the loss of some of the things that make me "me." For example, the schedules. I love schedules and routines, but with a new baby in the house, they don't exist. I also love feeling accomplished, but that's achieved now when I brush my teeth 15 minutes before Chuck gets home. Also, I love my evenings with Chuck...and only Chuck. Sadly, we've had to share them with an infant. But again, I know they'll return. As I am prepared for this loss of "me-ness" I am better-equipped to handle it now.

I am struggling with feeling like things aren't getting done. You know, like dusting or sweeping. But that's about the hardest thing for me now. Wait, that's not true. The hardest thing is the crazy acne I have on my neck and chin. It just doesn't seem to want to clear up. Then there is the persistent tendinitis.  I kind-of ran with my mom once while she was here, but had my first real solo run Saturday morning. It was slow, painful, and jiggly, but it was a run. We're trying to figure out when a good time for a regular run is and aside from early in the morning (which Chuck is not a fan of due to safety issues), we think that as soon as Chuck gets home from work could be okay. Hopefully weather will cooperate. If not, I'll be running with my umbrella. (Can you imagine? I do love the umbrella almost that much.)

Chuck continues to be a champ. He helped me make the switch for the boys' room on Sunday morning and we're getting the house almost as organized as I'd like. I feel like we don't have as much "couple time" and I miss that though.

Saturday Rhett and I went on a date to a small local theater for their "A Year with Frog and Toad." Oh my. Rhett was adorable. Watching him clap after each musical number was the cutest thing ever. I was dying. The play itself was pretty cute and Rhett and I both enjoyed it. We also loved the McDonald's ice cream on the way home.

Ollie has been seen taking rides on "Goldie." Isn't he a fine-looking horseman? Oh, I love this baby.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Old News

First, I interrupt the regularly-scheduled post for one short note about the weather. First it was the earthquake. Then Hurricane Irene. Now remnants of Tropical Storm Lee and the rain. Seriously, it's crazy. We've had non-stop rain since Tuesday. Rainfall totals are probably around 5-6". Remember, Utah usually gets around 15" over an entire year. This rain just does not stop.

And let me tell you about yesterday's and Wednesday's thunderstorms. Ker-ay-zee. At times I had to ask if it was an earthquake aftershock or just thunder. To be honest, sometimes I wasn't sure. I'm saddened by how much of a pansy I've become with this second baby and homeownership. So not cool, erin, so not cool.

I guess the only good thing about the rain is its timing: I'm still kinda scared to go out with two kids and this rain has definitely kept me in the house and not feeling guilty about it. Can you imagine if this week was 70-degree weather with sun and no humidity?

Returning you to your regularly-scheduled post...

Even though I wasn't up for taking Oliver to enclosed spaces when he was two weeks old, the county fair seemed like a great way to get me out, get Rhett out, and not expose Oliver. Of course animals are cleaner than people: DUH! Anyway, we went to the fair and couldn't have had a better day. Even weather-wise, it was a beyond-beautiful Maryland August day.  Honestly, it was one of my favorite days ever with Rhett. He was so happy and loved everything he saw. He wanted to ride every ride, but wasn't upset when we had to say no. It was just so great to see him so happy.

P.S. Have I mentioned how Rhett loves loves loves to act? Oh yes, I did. He continues to love to act and wants to do it incessantly. Chuck refused to be Sister Bear on his birthday though. Ha. Anyway, I found out that one of his favorite things to act, "Frog and Toad," is an actual real play! Why did no one tell me? Anyway, it's playing here and I got tickets for Rhett for tomorrow. We downloaded the music from the play so that he'll be familiar with it and we'll make sure to re-read the book multiple times before then.

P.P.S. Related to Rhett's theatrical skills, we also enrolled him in a little acting class through the county. In a couple of weeks, he'll join other kids and learn a little bit about acting and act out some classic children's lit. Oh my. I'm just hoping others sign up for the class!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Now for the Blessing Post (and other stuff)

I probably should be embarrassed that with all this big stuff going on, I go ahead and post about shopping. But I'm not.

Anyway, within the past couple of days, little Ollie turned one month old. How are things going with this little man? Well, he's a baby! I mean, he eats, is awake for a little bit, sleeps, and repeats. We love him, but this is about his life right now. He has rolled over (both ways) a couple of times and it weirds me out. I mean, the dude is barely five weeks old!

We made sure to include him in our "Birthday (observed)" celebrations, however. He proved able to party with the best of us. We did not have a dinner of formula though.

And the only D.C. thing I did with my parents: a trip to Eastern Market. Man, how I love their french toast. Don't you just love my dad's expression?

Chuck's birthday (observed) was flank steak with apple pie a la mode for dessert. And maybe for a subsequent breakfast as well (yes, it too was a la mode).

We blessed Ollie on Sunday and this is how the poor little man arrived at church. Chuck gave Ollie a great blessing and Ollie was reverent for the whole thing. Rhett, however, not so much. He chose to read the hymnal and then bring his sandwich to me during it. Classic.

Oh Rhett, how we love you. What style.

Here are some lovely things he's said recently. When my dad asked him if he was going on a mission, Rhett replied, "No. I'm going to stay with my mom and dad forever." And to get the full effect, you have to picture Rhett saying it in a soft, quiet, slow voice. He threatens to never leave us.

Also, during testimony meeting, our sweet friend Edna was bearing her testimony and was crying a bit. Rhett leans over to Chuck and says, "Dad, can I go up there and help Edna be happy?"

And can't not do some family pictures on the blessing day.

Finally, some family pictures from Labor Day.

What now? Well, my parents left yesterday and so now I'm all alone during the day. With two kids. Aiyiyi.

Monday, September 5, 2011

I Bet You Thought I'd Have a Post on Ollie's Blessing

But I fooled you! Instead I'm posting about my latest shopping spoils because they are incredibly exciting to me. Saturday night my parents volunteered to babysit while Chuck and I went on a date. Both of us desperately needed new shoes and I wanted a new dress, so to the mall we went. We both got shoes and I got a new dress. The umbrella was just an added bonus.

Holy smokes do I love these. They make me feel like a different woman. A sexy TALL woman.

Even Rhett loves them.

Then I got these. I have large calves and finding boots is hard. So when I saw these, I got them.

And then this umbrella. Seriously. How could I not buy this thing? I mean, really. It even has a great plastic smell to it. Bonus: this week's forecast is rainy every day. Sweet!

Does anyone else just really not like pictures of them? Do I really look that bad? Oh, on second thought, don't tell me.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Latest Happenings

My mom probably won't like her face, but look at Ollie's!

Ollie helping me make chocolate ice cream.

Chuck putting my baby's life at risk.

Between my dad, my mom, and Chuck, their three birthdays occur within a five-day span. Since two of them will happen after my parents leave, we thought we'd celebrate them in an "observed" manner. And if we're having "Dad's Birthday (Observed)" why not have an observed birthday for everyone? So Rhett got his special birthday dinner the other night (alfredo pasta), I got mine the next night (carrot cake pancakes), last night was my dad's (chili), tonight is Chuck's (steak and apple pie), and tomorrow night is my mom's (broccoli lemon pasta). And yes, the hat is necessary.

P.S. Answers to Monday's random post:
1. I wet mine before. I feel like if I do it after I put the toothpaste on the toothbrush, the water might knock off the toothpaste. Chuck does not wet his at all. Yuck.

2. This one kills me: If someone says their kid is a "rising junior" it means it's the summer before their kid's junior year. I guess this makes sense. But for whatever reason, I thought it meant more like what my cousin Nicole said, that the student was a high achiever, so clearly, I thought it was a very snooty thing to say. But now I learn it's not.  Phew; I didn't want a reason to dislike my doctor.

3. Swimming is HUGE out here. All of the eight kids in Chuck's family were on the swim team for, like, 100 years or something. Me? Not at all. Sure we'd visit the pool a few times during summer, but we in no way lived there like Chuck did. It's weird to me.

4. I drop heavy things on bugs and then let (yes, "let") Chuck do clean up. Two summers ago when we had lots of crickets in the basement, it wasn't unusual for Chuck to come home to four randomly placed heavy books on the floor.