28 March 2010

Weekly Update 03.28.10

Okay I am guilty of buying hideous clothing for my child just because it pleases me. I mean come on though! Mini Jail Bird! And I love babies in horizontal stripes, so fattening.

I am going to guess you don't really want to hear more about OMG NEMMIE IS STILL SICK. Well, I don't want to be sick anymore but I am, so it sucks to be both of us then. Seriously! Still sick! Not only that, but it's the not-fun kinda sick. Not the kind where I can mope around the office sneezing and coughing but not really in pain but everyone at work feels sorry for me, oh no. Instead I feel icky but don't sound too terribly awful, and I'm exhausted and I haven't been able to smell/taste for a week now, and also my eardrums ruptured from all the pressure so everything sounds like I'm underwater trying to hear the world (with a nice side of CONSTANT RINGING TINNITIS*). And that takes weeks to heal properly. So, in short: major sensory suckage for the Nems right now.

*Wanna know the first thing that comes up if you google 'tinnitis'? A little link entitled "Is Tinnitis Driving You To Crazytown?". Um. Yeah. That.

Anyhoo, you didn't come here to listen to all that whining, so let's move along to happier topics shall we?

Doots has decided he loves Easter. With the baskets. And the treats. And the GRASS YESSSS FAKE GRASS AWESOME.

Doots had a wellness appointment this week! Healthy healthy and smart smart blah blah blah, translation: our boy is doing well. Although Scott was a bit devastated to discover Peter's measurements - our boy is a bit on the demure side. 30% for height, 45% for fatness, head circ. is somewhere in between there. So in short: we slid from the 75%-ile in stuff to the teeny side of things. This, my friends, is what happens when you formula-feed.

HAHAHAHAHAHA! Er, totally kidding - formula rocks and millions of us were raised on the stuff and we are all capable, healthy, highly functioning members of society, and I should say that I looooooove the stuff for my babe. Did I ever mention how I stopped nursing? Well, I did. Pumping all the time at work got overwhelming, Peter's intake took yet another jump, and I really could not take another nursing weekend or pumping marathon or whatever, so we stopped. Right at 8 months old. Peter barely noticed the change, and seemed to be sleeping better on formula; I personally was delighted and relieved to have my body back and more time on my hands. Huzzah! A win for everyone involved.

Going for their nightly walk.

We had a few fleeting evenings of nice weather, so we took full advantage and took Peter for walks in the evenings. Peter loooooooves his little push-n-ride coupe, I mean loves it adoringly. Which is good, because I imagine we'll take lots of rides in the thing this spring/summer. We also hit the park a few times, for the swings. For the adrenaline junkie our kid seems to be, he appears to be less than impressed with swinging. He digs it, in a mellow-smiley kind of way, but no laughing or giggling or full-on happy madness. Hmm. Maybe he needs more time to warm up to it.

This is how my child looks at 6am on a weekend. Much better than his mother, who was waiting for the darn coffee to finally finish brewing omg.

Saturday was busy - Scott took 2 seminars at our favorite garden nursery, one on gardening and another on fruit trees. He won this awesome garden measuring stick at the gardening seminar, and got a lot of info at the fruit tree one. He also visited our local K-State Extension office for some pamplets and got free seed packets for wildflowers and prize-winning cukes. Score!

Our friends Michelle and Ryan were in town from Arkansas, so they stopped by for a quick visit in the afternoon. Then we hit the grocery store for supplies for Sunday brunch as well as groceries for the rest of the week. Grandma and grandpa Mueller were coming for an Easter get-together Sunday, so we were making a fun spread for brunch: egg, cheese, and sundried tomato strata, strawberry and spinach salad, roasted potatoes, and a berry pavlova. We prepped a bunch of it Saturday after putting Peter to bed, then hit the sack to start the day early on Sunday.


Sunday we had Peter's 9-month portrait session in the morning with Sarah. Sarah met us at our house, then we made our plan for portraits. The weather was not cooperating, we'd been putting this off for weeks and weeks, and finally just said "eff it we're doing it". I'm glad we did. I mean don't get me wrong, the weather was cold and overcast and ready to rain, but because of that we headed to KU campus and took pictures in some of the buildings. Ninety-nine percent of my readers would never realize the location of the shots (nor care that much really) but I'm kinda happy about it, I love that campus and it's sweet to have pics of the Doots chilling in my old haunts.

A link will be posted as soon as they are up on her blog, promise.

Bucket head.

As mentioned, Grandma and Grandpa Mueller came over for a visit on Sunday, got here just as the portrait session ended. We had a great time! They brought Peter an Easter Basket of Goodness, and Peter was absolutely thrilled with the contents in the following order: The Card! The Tissue Paper! And finally, The Basket Itself! (which he proceeded to later play with for a good hour, just the basket and a spoon my friends). I, on the other hand, adored the larger-sized Trumpette Johnny socks! The awesome Argyle-sock Wolf doll! And the sweet stuffed bunny!

Sometimes I wonder how Peter and I are even related, like seriously.

Please try to not think about why my child has no pants on, but instead focus on the totally awesome back of his monster shirt.

I should also mention that the Muellers were kind enough to help us relocate our swing set to our yard, compliments of our thoughtful neighbors Gary and Julia. Seriously, people-with-children: if you don't already have a swing set of your own, maybe send out a few feelers in your neighborhood before buying a new set. Our neighbors were kind enough to come over and offer their set, but I have friends who also got nice sets from neighbors on the cheap just by putting the word out there that they needed one. Nemmie Tip of the Day.

Doots playing Hide and Seek.

So that's about it, right now I'm doing laundry and enjoying a beverage and getting ready to tuck in for the night (watch some Criminal Minds reruns in bed with the volume jacked up and Closed Captioning on). Have a good week! We shall see you again soon :)

25 March 2010

Things I Love Thursday

Sick. Again. Or still, or something. At any rate: head is pounding, ears are hurting, and I can barely hear. Yay, head colds. So! Here you go, enjoy. Written entirely while hopped (down?) on cold medication.

23 Breeze
Okay THIS HOUSE is beautiful. The exterior colors really get me, too. I’m not usually one for the modern living (more of a Frank Lloyd Wright Prairie Home kind of gal), but this house is just so pretty pretty pretty and bright with a great mix of modern and beachy and oh! It just screams 'California'. Now: if I only lived in LA and was independently wealthy.

Boon Grass Drying Rack
Now: not only do we have a drying rack that works perfectly fine and is compact (and we have no need to replace it), but also I am far from in the market to be buying such a thing anyway, with a kid soon moving to The Cup (eep!). With that being said, I saw this pretty little thing on another blog and just had to post about it, because seriously! Adorable! And probably works rather well to be honest, no spots-only-made-to-hold-certain-sized-items, compact. Um, ADORABLE. So, soon-to-be-mommies: I think you need this.

50 Bags
Like any other lady I keep several fun little party bags around. When comes to my everyday purse, I’m a little more monogamous - I only get a new one every couple of years, and I make sure to invest in a nice replica. The bag I have now is an “inspired” Balenciaga motorcycle. Before that I had a wannabe Luella Bartley Gisele. My diaper bag, too, is a fun little Birken knock-off. So, you see? No Coach for me, thank you. Not my style. No Kate Spade, no Juicy, no brandy-brand-logo-ish bags. And that goes for those fake Vuittons, too.

Anyhoo, my point: I need a new bag, really should have replaced my current one like a year ago, but I never found much inspiration anywhere. So I head out the door every day with a well loved but still tired-old-thing of a handbag. Enter: the LA Times “50” column. A few weeks ago they did 50 Classic Bags, and I must say this article has totally inspired me to finally get off my duff and buy a new handbag (well, and the fact that the handles on my current bag have seen better days). Look at all those classic beauties! Maybe something similar to the YSL Muse, or a Prada tote, or the Chloe Bay…

Crockpot Chicken and Dumplings
Okay, so I used a random photo and I don't have this posted anywhere, so here you go: In a crockpot, dump in 2 cans cream o' chicken, 1 can chicken broth, 1 chopped onion, celery salt and poultry seasoning to your liking (S&P too), 2 Tbsp. butter. Mix. Then stir in a bag of your favorite frozen veggie mix (still frozen!). Submerge 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts into the mixture (can also still be frozen!). Turn on Low and let 'er go for 6-8 hours.

After that, take out the chicken and shred, then dump back in. Add cornstarch if you want it a little thicker.

Take a can of biscuits, and tear biscuits into pieces and toss into the crockpot. Push them down to submerge a bit, then pop the lid back on and let it go on high for 1-2 hours.

YUM. And! Not only a nice mindless thing to make when you don't have the energy to cook, but also very very nice indeed when you have a yucky cold. Bless you for sharing that recipe, drewie dear.

Okay dudes, I'm out. My cozy warm bed and on-demand episodes of How I Met Your Mother await.

21 March 2010

Weekend Update 03.21.10

Definitely his father's son: here's Peter happily chowing on a lime.

Oh, misery. It's been a week of the stuff around here. Well okay that's a little dramatic, let's say a week of "meh, I'm over it". We all got sick, really good and sick this time (all fevers and chest colds and heads so stuffed full of snot that we thought our brains would explode). KU did what we've been worried all year that they would do - they gave away a game, and so we are out of the tournament early. C'est la vie. And a storm came in on Saturday, dropping the temperature about 50 degrees in less than 8 hours and dumping a good 4-5 inches of snow on top of things. Between these three things (well, two of them anyway) - Peter's 9-month portraits got pushed back yet another week. So, yeah. There's the "meh" part of our week.

We've been eating lots of oranges around here, getting our Vitamin C.

Now on to the fun stuff, yes? Kept busy this week - worked, I volunteered at our local JBF sale. I got to shop a day early thanks to my volunteering, and got a few good deals. A few pairs Gymboree jeans on the cheap, a bunch more PJs for this summer, and more shoes and shirts. I also found him a Little Tikes push-n-ride coupe. We've already taken it for a few spins around the neighborhood, the neighbors wave at Peter as he goes past. He knows what he's doing, that's for sure: grips the wheel, fiddles with the horn, whips the wheel back and forth quickly. Uh, I swear this is not a reflection of my driving skillz.


I also got a Gap Friends and Family e-mail. For some reason I decided to actually print it out this time, and I'm glad I did: massive sales at our BabyGap, people, and that coupon applies to sales. Score. I went twice this weekend with my coupon and got Peter lots of good stuff to wear next fall/winter, for super-duper cheap. While there I got a coupon book for 40% off of single items every Wednesday in April, so I think it's high time Mommy went shopping for herself for once.

Snow snow snow out the window-dow. See that pile on our roof??

This week was the Compost Sale in town, you get as much as your heart desires for free if you haul it yourself. Scott got about 6 huge tubs of compost for our gardening/container pots this year, just in time too (about 6 hours before that snow storm blew in). And I cannot wait to get started on our yard this year, my friends. He's also signed up for some gardening and fruit tree seminars next week. We wanted to get a fruit tree to plant for Peter last year, but it was too late in the season to get in the ground in the summer. Hopefully we can get that done this spring.

The babe is doing well. This is the week where I officially saw the toddler coming out. All this time, I've been worried about him growing up too fast, and I must say when they start those non-baby habits it makes you stop and just stare. This time it is Real - the baby, he is leaving me.

For one, his coordination has really taken a leap this week. He still pulls around on furniture, he's unsteady on his own feet. I don't see walking for awhile. But: with his fingers, his hands, his wrist, he's a pro. He has great range of motion, it's fun to sit and watch him play with his toys and watch the ways he can easily flip and turn and manipulate things. Playin on his work bench, methodically pulling out "nails" and turning screws. He's figured out the turning-handle on the wash-stand in the kitchen, no matter how I try to rig it he gets right in there to poke around. Soon we'll have to baby-proof the oven knobs and doorknobs.

This weekend his new obsession was picking up a toy off the top of a tower without knocking anything over...

He also chatters. A lot. We seem to have some messy, sloppy words going on. He moans for his "muuuuuuhhhhhh-mmmuuuuuuuhhhh" when he's done napping or needs to be held, hands flapping desperately and eyes pleading for me to pick him up. He can say "buh-buh" for his bottle, although he uses it randomly (correctly, pointing at the bottle and saying it, but still randomly). Sometimes we get a "juh" when he wants juice at dinnertime. All other things are a haphazard jumble of "bow bow bow!" noises and yelps and baby babble. He's so incredibly chatty though, it amazes me. Only at home or daycare I should add; he's a quiet babe around other people. Our shy boy.

Out of dozens, this is the best picture of us in our Sconnie gear.

And he's possibly found his "security blanket". When Peter was born, we were blessed with several handmade quilts and knit blankets. About 20 of them, in fact. So we've been rotating them faithfully, keeping a blanket in his crib, another on the changing table, and a third in the car. Make sure they all get their love time. While sick this week, Peter took a liking to the Winnie the Pooh fleece quilt Muzzy made. He wanted to be wrapped in it while snuggled into my lap and after naps. He held it, sucking on the corners absentmindedly, when he was alone playing on the floor. And it had to be in his crib when he went to sleep. He's not fully attached yet, sometimes whining for it and sometimes completely ignoring the thing. So we shall see if it sticks, or another becomes his favorite as he gets older.

I think that about covers things? Next week is going to be busy-busy, with 2 sets of visitors coming over, and seminars, and getting our swing set brought over and set up in the yard (!!), and Peter's 9-month portraits to boot... And book club, and work-out dates, and Peter's 9 month wellness appointment, and yeah. I probably should get off of here and get to bed, rest up for that week ahead.

Toodles, my sweets. See you next week.

20 March 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookies, Pioneer-style

It's time for me to make a confession. We've all heard of the Pioneer Woman. She of the Famous Website. I love the way she writes. Her photos are breathtakingly beautiful. She has a Recipes section full to the brim, a cookbook out, and a movie deal for the rights to her adorable tale of how she fell in love with her husband. I think she is just cute as a button, and love wandering over to her site regularly to take everything in.

That being said.

I have been less than impressed with her recipes. There, I've said it. Everyone I know raves about her hot crash potatoes and, while good, they aren't mind-blowingly awesome (nor are they very original, sorry). I didn't want to give up on her that quickly, so I tried a muffin recipe once. Also a bit on the generic side, kind of a downer. But I love her! I figured it had to just be me and my weird random choices.

So I tried one of her casseroles, one of many new recipes I made and froze while pregnant (my nesting was not cleaning, nor hoarding, but instead baking and cooking; our large deep freezer and kitchen freezer were both stuffed full of frozen delights of every kind). That casserole, while it smelled fantastic in the oven, was bland and a little mushy and made me want to cry. I wanted to love her recipes, darn it. But at that point, I decided maybe I needed a break from the Pioneer Woman.

We got a late-season snowstorm in these parts, the Pioneer Woman got a taste of it as well. As is now our family tradition, Snow Days = Chocolate Chip Cookies, and I try a different recipe every time. Hence the 50 different chocolate-chip cookie variations posted on this darn blog...

Anyway, I decided to give The Lady one more try. I hadn't given any of her baked goods a shot yet, maybe that's where she really shines.

Well, you will be happy to hear that indeed: her chocolate chip cookie recipe is very, very good. She highlights the chocolate in 2 ways: a bit of instant coffee granules in the dough to make that chocolate flavor nice and deep, and a liberal amount of salt to make it sing. Perfect: these cookies are crispy and chewy and chocolate to the core, even though they don't have a massive amount of chocolate in them. YUM.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
(ever so slightly modified from The Pioneer Baker)

1/2 c. shortening
1/2 c. butter, softened
1 c. firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 c. white sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 1/4 c. + 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. (heaping) instant coffee granules
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 c. semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 F.

In a bowl, stir together butter, shortening, brown sugar, and white sugar until combined. Add eggs and vanilla and stir together.

In a separate bowl, stir together flour, instant coffee, baking soda, and salt. Add to wet ingredients in batches, stirring gently after each addition. Stir in chocolate chips.

Drop balls of dough on a cookie sheet and bake for 11 to 13 minutes. Remove from cookie sheet and eat warm.

18 March 2010

Things I Love Thursday

I am ill, boo. This is approximately the 817th time this year I’ve caught something from that germ carrier I call my child. But do not fret, my pets – that will not keep me from my weekly verbal diarrhea known as the Things I Love Thursday. I’m keeping it to one bright, shining item to discuss.

March Madness.

It has been such a blah March for us in Lawrence this year – winter still lingers, I’m still sometimes scraping the car windows in the morning and still always bundling the baby in blankets before heading out to put him in the car, and oh hey guess what - there is RECORD SNOW FORECAST FOR SATURDAY. I kid not. No matter, though – that bitter, wintery weather may remain but I still feel happy and content and all-around ready to face the (seemingly perma-frozen) world in the morning now. Because ladies and gentlemen, March Madness has arrived.

Oh, March. I love filling out brackets, and buying a special tournament outfit, and entering office pools, oh but let me tell you – March is a magical time to be a Lawrence resident. The town lives and breathes college basketball year-round, so as you can imagine, March Madness here is the equivalent of a holiday season.

Paulo is... ah... celebrating the holiday.

Everyone is in high spirits, everyone gets dressed up (in our KU Blues) and people put out their flags and decorate their homes with all manner of KU paraphernalia. There is a certain camaraderie among us “townies”, everyone has a gleam in their eye and a smile to give when you pass on the street. At work, everyone talks only of basketball. Everyone. We have all studied our brackets and opposing teams until we have every bit of minutia memorized, and believe me you don’t want to be the least informed one in these conversations. Downtown is decorated and bustling. People discuss where the best watch parties/spots are this year, and share their special game-day recipes, and we all break out our superstitions and traditions.

Oh, but the superstitions. Some will only watch the game in a certain place, a certain spot, sitting in a special position. Or they carry their penciled-in bracket around with them at all times, as stained and beer-soaked as it may become. They don’t wash their tourney shirts, or maybe wear the same pair of undergarments for every game. Some visit Naismith’s grave before the tourney starts, or maybe Allen Fieldhouse, to pay their pre-tourney respects. They do their dances and their special routines and in the end, we all hope beyond hope that what we are doing helps.

That is a post-tourney-game keg stand, by the way. On Mass St. to boot. KU fans are serious people.

In the end, yes – it’s just a sports event. But then again maybe it isn’t, it’s also part of an identity and one of those cool little unique things that make me so happy that we decided to settle here.

Doots game face.

So: Happy March Madness, everyone! And a hearty Rock Chalk and best wishes to our boys in the tourney this year.

PS: I wrote this early in the evening but did not hit "post" until the game was pretty much won. Because I am superstitious like that.

14 March 2010

Weekly Update 03.14.10


Okay if you could see me now, you would literally see me cracking my knuckles at the computer desk and then typing furiously, because: I thought it was like 11pm, only it's actually midnight. Thanks a lot, Daylight Savings. Jeez. So I am trying to get this thing done and posted at record speed (Vimeo video upload, please keep up).

So. Hi.

The weather this week, it sadly went back to cold. And dreary/rainy/blah. Seriously, the whole week was like this. Total suck. We were going to have Peter's 9 month pictures done with Sarah this week but rescheduled it for next weekend. Everybody cross your fingers that the sun at least comes out (that's all I ask for really).

Otherwise? It's been a week of catch-up, to be honest. I caught up on errands and things during the week. The weekend is where we really shined: the short, teeny burst of warm weather last weekend gave us the itch to start our spring cleaning. We deep-cleaned the house this weekend, scrubbing floors and giving a good wipe-down all the way into the dark corners of our home. I literally scoured every surface of the bathroom that I could reach. Next weekend hopefully we can clean the windows thoroughly. Then to start on the outside - weather permitting.

Also: I finished sewing projects, most importantly: finished curtains for the basement office. Scott also installed the curtain rods in the basement and got a few new pictures up on the wall, so all it needs is a good cleaning and I may share a few pictures of our re-do...

We finally, finally took our lame selves over to the Fieldhouse to check out the Booth Hall of Athletics museum - that thing was finished, oh, four years ago or so? At any rate, we finally took it all in. Very cool, by the way! We only spent about an hour there because we had to get Doots back home for a nap, but we got a good viewing and really enjoyed it. Also: the boys got their gear for the tourney this year at the Fieldhouse Gift Shop. This is our tradition: every year when March Madness rolls around, we get a new lucky shirt. I have yet to find mine, but will get it before Thursday, so no worries my pets. We also need to get out to visit Naismith sometime this week...

Nikki and Rick came up for a quick visit on Sunday. We had some yummy-yummy Esquina for lunch and then hit downtown for a little shopping. Nikki got new running shoes at her favorite shoe store, and Peter got a new book (a sushi board book, sweet) at The Toy Store. As usual, never enough time to catch up, so a quick hug and a promise to see Nikki around Easter.

Can I just say quickly that I looooove March? Love it. For one reason only: March Madness. The 'Hawks won the Big XII tournament handily, now it's on the Big Dance. I am hoping beyond hope that we win it all again this year. Fingers crossed everybody! Will bring an update next weekend, hopefully a positive one.

Oh, yeah! The child. He's doing well, as always - our sweet little man. He hit that fantastic "40 in, 40 out" milestone today, he's been livin' on the outside as long as he was percolating away in my tummy (did you know he was born on his due date? Only 5% of babies are born on their due date, you know. True story). Anyhoo: a montage I like to affectionately refer to as clips-somewhat-glued-together-haphazardly-to-create-a-video can be seen below (in a time crunch, OMG KEEP THAT IN MIND). Er, enjoy.

The Week in the Life of The Little Guy from Emily Mueller on Vimeo.

11 March 2010

Things I Love Thursday

Bedazzler Sculpture
Terrible name for a beautiful sculpture. This sapling structure was built up on campus last year, right outside of Spooner Hall. It is made of silver maple saplings twined around a dying tree. It’s also temporary, expected disintegrate of its own accord after a few years of Kansas weather. A pity, because I adore that thing - it looks like something out of Where The Wild Things Are. Will have to get some shots of it myself before it is gone.

DIY Paper Chandelier
I made Peter’s baby mobile myself; it was a lot of hand-sewing and balancing out on branches to get it right. I still love it, but if I knew about this little paper DIY project, I probably would have done it instead (well, except obviously with birds). For one, much more compact. And done with paper, which would be easier to work with. And the look is so airy and bright and modern, and oh! I love it.

Mad Men Barbie Dolls
You know that you’ve officially Made It when they make dolls in your likeness. Mad Men Barbies!

Grilled Cheese with Onion Jam and Escarole
Scott got a giant hunk of taleggio to go on our cheese tray this past weekend, and we still have a lot left. I plan to use the leftovers to give this recipe a shot – a nice vegetarian addition to our menu and seriously, but how good does that sound? Cannot wait to give it a shot.

You didn’t hear a lot about Alexander McQueen’s passing, and that kind of surprised me given the fact that he is one of the better known designers in this day and age. A lot of his work was Out There and Fantastical, and I’d be lying if I said he was one of my favorite designers (I’m more of a Chloe gal). However, there was no denying that the man was immensely talented. His final line is beautifully detailed and precise. RIP, Mr. McQueen. You will be greatly missed in the fashion industry.

08 March 2010

Weekly Update 03.07.10

So I think the big news of the week is that it finally, blessedly, warmed up. Friday made it to 60 degrees, the first time we had seen such a balmy temperature since Thanksgiving-ish. We took full advantage: Scott, Peter, and I went to South Park to hit the swings and playground area. Only, every other parent in a 2-mile radius apparently had the same thought, because the place was PACKED. No bother, Peter had a good time cruising around the area and checking out all the other little kids. We fit in a wee bit of swinging too. Then we walked Mass St. a few times, just enjoying the weather before heading back to the house for the evening. No pictures, as Scott picked me up right after work to head to the park, so no time to stop at home for the camera. He does earn bonus points, though, because he actually thought of bringing it for me, just forgot in the rush to get the baby ready to get out the door. Completely understandable, that.

Saturday we did cleaning and took care of running errands early, in preparation of an afternoon taking in the Allen Fieldhouse museum – that thing was finished FOREVER ago, but we just never seem to make it up there. We finally decided that hey – this weekend is The Weekend that we make it out that way. It’s less than a mile from our house, I mean really; kinda pathetic that we haven’t been there yet. Only. We were going to head there Saturday afternoon, which just also happened to be when the Border War game was being played… Listen, a KU fan cannot miss the freaking Border War. So we stayed in and watched the game. There is always next weekend for the museum. Or so we are telling ourselves at this point.
Doots might have been a bit disappointed we didn't go.

I also met friends to see Shutter Island on Saturday afternoon. I liked it. It’s Scorses’s homage to the Film Noir genre, and he stayed incredibly close to the novel which is always a bonus. The only complaints I’ve read about the film mention that the storyline seems contrived, or that the “twist” can be guessed early on; however I think those critics may be missing the point. It’s all about the art and the acting in this film, and both are great. Nemmie approved! Go see it.

Sunday we met up with Grandma and Grandpa Kemmeter and Paulo in KC, to check out the Auto Show. With all the excitement of the day Peter didn’t get any naps, which would usually spell disaster but only meant he wasn’t quite as happy-chirpy as usual, just kinda quiet, and restless after a few hours in his stroller. Um, I’ll take it. After the Auto Show we had brunch at The Classic Cup, which was yummy as always.

Sunday night we watched the Oscars. As is our usual tradition, Scott and I celebrated by doing our own ballots and enjoying a cheese tray (and wine!) while we watched. I won our Oscars pool for the first time in many, many many years – I would like to just say that also, not coincidentally, this year I picked the actual long-projected winners, rather than going with my favs. Sad that the Oscars are that predictable these days. It is still fun to watch for the dresses and glamour and who-knows-what-might-happen, like that red-headed lady who looked like she pulled a Kanye during the Best Documentary Short speech. But otherwise – I must admit that the Golden Globes are much preferred in my mind, it’s less stodgy and everyone is enjoying champagne at their tables and (usually) there is no MC so the show doesn’t drag on and on and on. Not to mention there are some actual surprises as to who wins what award.

I should probably admit that this weekend I also started planning Peter’s birthday party. He hit the 9-month milestone on Sunday, which reminded me that I have a party to plan. I’m covering for a coworker at the office (she’s out on maternity leave) and have several deadlines in May/June, not to mention work travel, so I am not exactly going to have the time to research invites and decorations and cake makers when it gets closer. I’m just getting a head start (that’s my excuse for it anyway). I’ve already started on some of the stuff. Um, yeah. In preparation for a busy coming months. You know. Not that I’m insanely Type A about party planning or anything (honestly, I was a closet-obsessive when it came to planning our wedding, for example I agonized over choosing the ribbon for the programs for days…).

Did I mention our boy is 9 months old? Yes. And he has a signature move already – the finger point has evolved to a good-bye gesture. You get your own personal PointPointPoint! then he moves it to what we lovingly call “revving the motorcycle”, this bizarre wrist-twisting with a closed fist. And a look of complete and total concentration on his face. Is he waving good-bye? Or threatening you with violence? It is a sight to behold, to be sure.

I swear she's not trying to kill him, she's actually trying to pull it out of his mouth....

01 March 2010

On Pointing, Furniture Walking, and Really Bad Hair.

The boy child, he deserves an update. I haven't done one in awhile. He's growing. So big. Yes, I know you're shocked, but he's growing, it's true. Every day I about fall over because of some weird new little thing he does. Like stand up like a little grown man, hands clapsed together politely and a look of total "so tell me about your day" on his face. All that's missing is a Ralph Lauren turtleneck cashmere sweater and nice glass of merlot grasped in those hands. Well, and about 25 years or so. But I can see it!


Um, in this shot he's all his weird, weird mother.

Nice face!

Where was I again? Ah yes, the Doots. Bee-bop. Robot. In true fashion, he has a bajillion nicknames, and he turns to look when he hears any of them. That's my boy.

Peter points at things now. He points at mom and dad when asked (or not asked), at toys and the television and oven and wall and basically anything that gets in his way. Totally no discrimination. He just points and points and POINTPOINTPOINT! Go back through the last few posts and you'll see what I mean. It's at the point (POINT!) of being a wee bit unnerving.

He is independent, very much about exploring all of a sudden. One night he very strangely moved more than a foot away from me, then continued to do so, a foot at a time, stopping and sitting and turning to look at me at every new foot of space. After that, it was all over. I turn my head for just a moment to finish whatever I'm doing at that moment, and he's slipped away to find something new and exciting. Under the bed, in the corner of the living room near the window, scaling the buffet at the far end of the dining room.

There he goes, no holding him back any longer. He pulls things off shelves and he stares googly-eyed at the Outside World from windows and he tastes and feels and throws and does all sorts of experiments in our house. Time to baby-proof, for real this time, it's well overdue.

His hair. Can we discuss his hair? He finally started growing some, no more Homer Simpson-esque hairdos for this little man. The problem, though, is that while it filled in a bit, from there on out it has grown in wild tufts. All soft and downy baby hair, so it sticks out in random patches. It's hysterical but man. Those are some harsh cowlicks, my poor boy.

He loves his gear toys. And toy cars and trucks, such a boy. Also he's not content to play with any of these toys on the floor, but instead places them at the highest points he can reach on the coffee table, the tv stand, the ottoman and chairs. Then he laps the room, standing and holding on, rambling from table to stand to ottoman to chair, slowly but surely he gets around in a standing position. Somewhat. I think standing and walking may be a bit of a ways off for us.

He's a pig, we all know that. Observe the chocolate bunny massacre below. He also has no regard for the method in which he eats, and he's extra-drooly with these new teeth, so if you forget the bib you should expect to soak his clothing in Oxy-Clean afterwards. He's an absolute mess. In fact, pictures after this one are semi-nude thanks to the dirty shirt problem.

He's all about the reading lately. Not you reading to him, though (although he has a soft spot for The Very Hungry Caterpillar, every time we read it he is just enthralled and looks up at me and screams. And yeah. We pretty much read that one several times a day). Anyhoo. He would rather pretend he's reading on his own, so he regularly pulls out our magazines and gives them a good reading. Then page-ripping. Whatever, in his mind it's all the same.

Did I mention the pointing? Because it's like, everywhere. EVERYWHERE ALL THE TIME.

Also picture does not represent this point, but! So yesterday, I was folding clothes in the bedroom and Peter was zooming (aka pulling around on furniture) like a madman. Scott called me on my cell - he was running errands and had a question - and on a whim, I put Peter on the phone. I rarely do this, basically because my dear boy never realizes what in the hell is going on anyway, so why bother. But! This time was different! He smiled, and cooed, and his eyes got huge and he stared at the phone and pulled it to his chest and smiled and oh, wow. So I get Scott off the phone, and bend down to ask Peter if he talked to Da-Da (like, duh stupid question) and he looks at me, clear-eyed and smiling and says, "Da-Da! Da-Da!" while waving the phone.

And then, he never did it again. Not when prompted, or told, 'DA DA DA DA' all the live long day, or shoved in his father's face, just nothing. So it was actually Officially Nothing. But for a split second it was a giant something of nothing! That I, personally, will never forget. So there.

He loves to walk. Walk walk walk! Well, not actually walk, more like walks-with-toy-handicap. That's okay, I'll wait for the walking. I enjoy crawling and creeping on tippy-toes and sometimes even standing.

Oh yes, just one last thing - and his feet are pretty much way too big for his 0-12-month-size Johnny socks. That doesn't matter, I squeeze his fat feet in them anyway.

So there you go. And update. And about a thousand things that say: girl, he's barely a baby. Well on his way to toddlerhood. Be prepared. Get the gates up. Be ready to retire the burp rags. Start researching potty chairs.

And yet, and yet. And yet.

So much still my baby, thank goodness.

For at least a few more months, anyway.