Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Super Bowl Sunday

It's time to address the tragedy set to occur on Sunday, as well as how I plan to make the most of it. As some of you may have heard, I won't be in front of my big TV watching the Super Bowl with any of you. No, I'll be in Nashville. For work. On Super Bowl Sunday. Let that sink in for a minute. Your friend Stephanie, the one who thinks that Super Bowl Sunday should be a national holiday, with the Monday after being Super Bowl Sunday (Observed), the one whose three-year-old can recognize teams by their helmets, the one whose formerly-non-football-loving husband just won a fantasy football league, will be celebrating Super Bowl Sunday in a hotel ballroom with a bunch of "Development Professionals." Including my boss, and her boss. (That's actually not so bad- they're my two favorite co-workers. But it sounds dramatic so I thought I'd throw it in there.)

I'm sure you're thinking that this isn't so bad. But that's because you aren't considering the following:

1. It's Chloe's first Super Bowl! Come on! I was there for her first Thanksgiving, her first Christmas, I've already made plans to spend the whole day with her on her first birthday- how can I miss this? In her baby book, there will be no pictures of her in football-related clothing next to Mom and some seven-layer dip. No special Super Bowl memories like her brother has. We'll never forget Connor's first Super Bowl- it featured a certain "wardrobe malfunction" that has changed our lives forever. Hey, speaking of halftime shows. . .

2. Prince! Is performing! At halftime! And he won't have my undivided attention, because I will be busy mingling- nay, networking- with a whole host of "Development Professionals," none of whom will want to see me dance and sing.

I'm relying on Chip to make sure that Chloe understands the experience and to record halftime so that I can watch it repeatedly when I get home. And he's generally pretty reliable, as long as I remind him several times of what I'm relying on him to do. Since he's been hearing about this one for a while, I think I can trust him.

I mentioned that I'll be making the most of this. How? By adding something to my Super Bowl Sunday experience that I am usually unable to do: shopping at the Opry Mills outlet mall. So three of my top ten favorite things will be covered in some form or another: football, Prince, and shopping. It's not ideal, but it'll have to do. So when you're watching the game Sunday, think of me. And maybe call Chip to remind him that it's on. Next year? Party at my house- see you there!

Monday, January 29, 2007

B and E

We've been bad bloggers this week- sorry. The truth is, I was weirded out knowing that someone out there has my laptop, with an Internet Explorer homepage of Now I know they didn't steal my laptop, then run over to Starbucks to enjoy a latte and free WiFi. They erased everything on it and sold it. But since overall I haven't been too crazy and freaked out, I'll allow myself a few quirky actions to make me feel safe and sane. Ignoring the blog was one of them. Not getting home before Chip in the evenings has been another. But I guess the five locks on the back door really help the most.

Other than that, not much new to report. Connor is still turning into a teenager before my eyes, and Chloe just gets cuter every day. Last weekend we got to spend time with Beth, Francie and Delaney- we took lots of cute pictures but that blog post was one that got sacrificed for my peace of mind. This weekend Chloe's BFF Charlie came over, and I'm afraid we didn't take any pictures. Chloe turned into alpha dog with Connor away and a guest her age in the house- any toy Charlie started playing with was immediately confiscated by Chloe. I know it's normal for kids her age, but I really think she learned it from Connor, who does the same thing to her constantly.

So anyway, sorry for the picture/blog post drought. Hopefully we'll get back in the swing of things and actually post something interesting, rather than just a check-in report. I have my fingers crossed that this week will be better than last.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Like a Horse

Chloe's appetite is really something to behold. Although Connor was a better eater as a baby than he is now, he at no time approached food with the delight or intensity that his sister does. Here's a sampling of the culinary delights had by Chloe this weekend, in addition to formula and jarred baby food:

cous cous
blueberry yogurt
apple yogurt
baked apples
steamed baby carrots
baked peaches
Winnie the Pooh shaped pasta with cheddar cheese filling
wheat thins
many bananas
biter biscuits
Sister Schubert's rolls
banana cookies

Connor's weekend can be summed up with a shorter list:

chicken nuggets
french fries
peaches (in light syrup)
chocolate milk
cheese crackers
pepperoni (not on a pizza, just pepperoni)
lather, rinse, repeat

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Stir Crazy II

We made it through that long, constantly-rainy-three-day-weekend alive. These things helped us pass the time:

LOTS of watching these guys on the tube: (hey, it's educational as all gitout!)

And bestbud Max's birthday party:

And lots of pointless photography around the house:

Oh, and also, we took the monkeys to TGI Friday's-- see our review of it here.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Stir Crazy

You know, it's really hard to keep a 3-year-old and a 10-month old occupied for a three-day weekend when the weather is horrible. Outside is a necessity for Connor-- it's the only thing that burns off energy enough to make a full day at home bearable for everyone. I've often thought about putting him on the treadmill, and turning it up really fast-- maybe that would do the trick. Would that make me a bad parent?

Friday, January 12, 2007


I can't believe I made a list of bad parenting decisions without mentioning the thing that made me want to write about it in the first place- chocolate milk! Connor will only drink milk that is chocolate, which I guess is better than no milk at all. (Or so she tells herself.) Then one day we switched to sugar free chocolate mix and suddenly he wouldn't drink any kind of milk. Or he wouldn't, that is, until I started buying cartons of pre-chocolated milk. So every week I buy a carton and silently curse to myself, while shoppers around me point and laugh. Then I go home and convince myself that the milk is what is giving him these huge, bulging biceps.

I had my introductory visit with the doctor this week. Now Chip and I can both cross that item off the resolution list!

So really, we live in a world where the University of Florida has the national champion in basketball and football? That doesn't make sense.

We interviewed people this week for the open position in my department, and decided to offer the job to one of the candidates. So hopefully I will soon be able to focus on only my own job duties- something that hasn't happened since I returned from maternity leave!

The smart, handsome Charlie Palmer will join Chloe in Nursery II this week. Welcome to the CEC, Charlie! Treat my girl right!

Chloe is still my little garbage disposal, eating anything and everything she can get her hands on. This week's new cuisine includes cous cous and steamed carrots. Her brother also branched out, having pepperoni pizza in place of chicken nuggets one night. With chocolate milk.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Day Six

Author's note: This post is a departure from our usual topics. It's mainly just for Shannon, Cullen and Tiffany. So if you don't watch 24, feel free to skip it.

Comments, observations, thoughts and absolutely NO SPOILERS from the first four hours of the new season of 24:

1. I'm totally watching the first four episodes of 24 before they air! The internet rules!
2. Bill Buchanan=Silver Fox
3. This show is clearly science fiction, set waaaaaay in the future- the U.S. has just elected its second black president.
4. I would absolutely vote for a member of the Palmer family for any public office.
5. Hour one features the most badass death ever.
6. Jack's averaging about an outfit an hour. I guess being a producer has perks!
7. New character nickname: PM(M)VM (Poor Man's (Muslim) Vanessa Marcil). Why is this little girl in charge at CTU? I'm gonna enjoy watching Chloe tear her a new one on a regular basis.
8. Catherine!
9. OK, Jack Bauer's headstone will obviously be engraved with the following: "I told you so! Jeez!"
10. Is there any reason that the Biscuit delivered his first line with a massive Southern accent, and then dropped it immediately?
11. OK, Regina King has some weird muscular cleavage thing going on. It would be no big deal if they hadn't picked a shirt that awkwardly emphasizes it. She knows she has to wear that all season, right? (Unless Keifer puts in a good word for her.)
12. But one example of #7: PM(M)VM says, Chloe, you should do blah blah blah. Chloe's retort? "You mean like I'm doing already?" And the Chockleys exchange high-fives.
13. You think our daughter wasn't named at least in part for Chloe O'Brian? Well then, clearly you've never watched 24.
14. OMG not the knee! NOOOOOOOOOOOO!
15. (Left off of Chip's list about me- Does not like for anyone to touch her knee. If someone does, she "puts it back in place" as soon as she beats them away from it.)
16. Harold/Kumar is the whitest person on this show. When he talks, it sounds like a black comedian making fun of how a white person talks.
17. Oh, brother Wayne. Mmmm.
18. Chip and I have been figuring out our survival scenario for if a wounded terrorist is ever holding us hostage in our living room. We think we've got it worked out.
19. I definitely have misgivings about some stereotyping-type stuff that is and is not going on. It's a discussion for after everyone has watched it.
20. Hasn't that guy been in about a million commercials? Isn't he like 15 years younger than Catherine?

Monday, January 08, 2007


Chloe’s CV
1. Four teeth, with two more threatening
2. Crawls fast
3. Pulls to standing. Occasionally lets go.
4. Eats anything she can put in her mouth
5. Drinks through a straw
6. Cute as hell

Parent of the Year

Decisions I made that somehow became habit and now I regret:
1. I serve chicken nuggets at least six dinners a week- literally.
2. I use the TV as a babysitter. Or maybe sometimes as a parent.
3. JuiceJuiceJUICE!
4. I just don’t push handwashing like I should.
5. All the fruit Connor eats comes in light syrup.
6. I send my kids to daycare every day! While that works fine for some people, it's just not good for me. Too bad I didn't know that ahead of time- maybe I would have planned differently!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Couch Potato

Reasons I like TV better than the movies:

You can't develop the same relationship with a character in two hours that you can when you spend 22 weeks a year with them.

TV is already in my monthly budget. Movies are an extra $11 a pop.


If I go see a bad movie, I feel cheated out of time and money. If I watch a bad TV show I don't care, because I didn't leave my house, didn't pay extra, read a magazine while it was on, and at most only lost 44 minutes of my life.

But I don't often watch bad TV, because I know my shows, and even at their worst they are pretty good. Each movie is a crap shoot.

Two words: Veronica Mars.

Once you have kids, two hours alone with your spouse is a big deal. If Chip and I get out of the house for a couple of hours for a date, I want to enjoy his company rather than sitting silently next to him in the dark.

I just like the feel of a remote control in my hands.


I have trouble not talking for two hours. When watching TV, I can pause when I need to say something, and no one misses any of the action. Or throws anything.

The Week That Was

Observations, lessons, and musings from the first week of 2007:

Connor is pretty good at video games
Ringing in the new year with friends and family is totally worth skipping nap time
Sitcoms can make me cry
So can Connor's reaction to a perfect rainbow
Chip thinks I'm the bee's knees
The world is a little better with a Democratic House (and female speaker!)
Chloe will eat anything she can find, including Connor's breakfast and tape
I can handle going to bed later, but nothing short of a house fire can get me out of bed early
I wish Shannon and Carrie lived around the corner
Chip likes Parade better than Sign O' the Times
Andria does not
Jessica Alba- wow

Bonus-my picks for wildcard Saturday:
Cowboys beat the Seahawks and their depleted secondary, LJ runs all over the Colts

Friday, January 05, 2007

Do I know this woman?

Funny that Steph has taken to posting lists on the blog-- it directly relates to this post.

How well do I know my wife? Inspired by the rash of lists like this (thanks Andria and Kristy), I shall swipe the idea and make the list about the person I love most, Stephanie. I stopped at 35, but I wasn't close to being out of ideas.

1. She's compulsive about saying "good night" as the last words spoken before we fall asleep. Sometimes even non-verbal grunts by me as I fall asleep provoke another "good night."
2. Hates tomatoes.
3. Used to hate black olives, mushrooms, and sushi, before I willed a broader palate upon her, now likes said items.
4. Is better at controlling the Tivo than I am.
5. Couldn't cook a lick before about 1998, when we moved in together, and now is a really great cook.
6. Is quite adept at applying makeup in a very tasteful, artistic manner, but is too beautiful to really need it.
7. Has an oufit for every day of the week-- hell, three weeks, wherein all items besides underwear come from Banana Republic.
8. Would keep these outfits, and in fact her entire wardrobe, in a pile on the floor if I weren't in charge of doing laundry.
9. Makes lists all the time for everything (see recent blog posts), sometimes even using spreadsheets.
11. Is exceedingly good at knowing when she's being irrational. She doesn't stop, necessarily, but she's aware of it.
12. Often giggles when she gets into bed at night, for no other reason than she loves going to sleep.
13. Was her high school class's salutatorian.
14. Has read The Color Purple more times than she can count.
15. Doesn't care at all about the cleanliness of her car, especially inside.
16. Thinks about four times faster than the average person. Jokes are sometimes several steps ahead of where my brain is.
17. Talks at that same speed.
18. Would count her brother as one of her best friends, even though she used to mercilessly needle him when they were younger.
19. Knows more about sports than almost anyone I have ever known. And it's never been to impress/bond with males-- it's just because she loves sports.
20. Had her heart set on attending Duke, but didn't because she couldn't afford it.
21. If asked, would say her favorite CDs of all time include 311 - Music, Prince - Sign O' the Times, Ani DiFranco - Not a Pretty Girl, Tori Amos - Little Eartquakes, and Death Cab for Cutie - Transatlantacism.
22. Is married to a guy who would list those same CDs as his favorites. Well, I might substitute Parade for Sign O' the Times.
23. Sometimes cries at commercials.
24. Has a staggering amount of pop culture knowledge at her command.
25. Related to #24, doesn't often lose a game of Trivial Pursuit or Scene It, especially Pop Culture, TV, 80s, or Music editions.
26. Has or does subscribe to Sports Illustrated, NFL Sunday Ticket and ESPN the Magazine.
27. Was once a Sandwich Artist at Subway.
28. Often falls asleep thinking about what she'll do when she wins the lottery, and these things include no longer working a 9-5, and various configurations of giving items or sums to her friends and family.
29. Loves snooping on people with money. I don't know if that's a cause or an effect of that being her occupation.
30. Is a much better writer than she gives herself credit for.
31. Was captain of her high school cheerleading squad, yet clearly managed to transcend that sterotype, both then and now.
32. Is one thesis paper short of a master's in Sociology.
33. Researches and debates nearly every choice she makes as a parent.
34. Taught elementary school for 2 years, was very good at it, but understandably couldn't take it as a permanent career.
35. Would probably be a better lawyer than I am.

Thursday, January 04, 2007


A list of movies that run endlessly on cable and that I can never turn off, quality be damned:

1. You've Got Mail
2. Never Been Kissed
3. The Shawshank Redemption
4. Fools Rush In
5. A Time To Kill/The Client
6. Any Harry Potter movie
7. Steel Magnolias

Tiff, what have I left out?

I Loves the Lists

Since Chip has agreed to write actual interesting content for the blog, it's time for me to focus on my strengths. Presenting. . . the daily list!

Today we'll start with THE list (which is definitely not laminated):
1. Nick Hexum
2. Brad Pitt (Sorry- I can't let go)
3. Taye Diggs
4. Gary Douran
5. Jon Bon Jovi (Old flames take a long time to burn out, my friends.)

Others not quite making the cut today:
Tom Brady, the guy who plays Mohinder on Heroes, Gavin Rossdale, Bill Clinton

Wednesday, January 03, 2007


Ok, I'll listen to Steph about resolving to post more often. I don't make resolutions, usually. I like deciding to do something at some other unceremonious time of year and just doing it. I really don't post enough, and it's for lack of inspiration as much as anything. Who wants to read my rambling when it's not entertaining?

One thing that may give me more inspiration to post is this fancy new Nikon dSLR I got for Christmas. After all, even if I'm not writing something brilliant, pics of our kids are invariably entertaining. I've always cared enough about our photos that it bugs me when they look crappy-- hopefully now they'll look crappy less often.


That's Connor wowing Chloe with his ability to make fart sounds with a toy toilet full of slime. (That's actually the toy's intended purpose.)

And here's Chloe, just having made a similar sound the old-fashioned way:

I kid you not-- both of my kids are capable of clearing a room. All while looking very cute.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Brothers and Sisters (Pump Up the Volume)

One of my favorite things about Christmas is that my brother and his fiancee come to town for a week or more. There is pretty much no one I am more *N sync with than Shannon (yeah, it's a girl's name), and one of the hardest parts of my life is that I only see him a few times a year. Fortunately we are in constant communication so when I do see him, it's like no time has passed since the last visit.

One of my greatest hopes for my children (other than avoiding the asteroid) is that they grow up to be half as close as Shannon and I are. Hopefully my baby brother and I can set a good example for them.

Have a safe trip home to Michigan, Shannon and Carrie! I'm already looking for cheap flights to A2.