Saturday, June 30, 2007

The Week in Review

Chloe? Weighs 28 pounds.

While watching one or the other of my summer reality competitions, I saw a commercial for a show called "Singing Bee." This sounded really stupid until I realized it was a competition about remembering song lyrics. This is how I will win my fortune! I know the words to every pop song ever played on the radio. Feel free to challenge me. If this show has teams, I'm grabbing Heather and signing up. If not, don't tell her about this- I don't want that kind of competition. I hope the prizes are big.

Our house has a for sale sign in the yard! I had a dream last night that my across-the-street and next-door neighbors also but their houses on the market, but for way cheaper than ours. Let the anxiety begin!

Our house is super-clean (see above item) and last night when I came home I realized that I couldn't live in a permanently super-clean house. It just isn't right, and doesn't seem like home to me. Chip, however, thinks this is paradise.

Chloe got her first haircut, just a little trim around the front to keep it out of her eyes. She was really good, only crying for a second when we first got there. I don't have pictures of it though, because I made a conscious decision not to take the camera. I'm sure it goes without saying that both parents and the camera were present for Connor's first haircut. That's why we put pictures of Chloe on Connor's birthday post- it seemed only right that he get the shaft for once, since it's usually her.

This week I realized that despite my best efforts, Connor really enjoys listening to age-appropriate music. He still likes to dance around to our 311 video, but he really does like to listen to Noggin Radio on the computer, and sing along to things like Farmer in the Dell in the car. From now on I will try to respect that.

Mike Conley, Jr.!

Monday, June 25, 2007

More Scenes from the 4th Birthday Party


This weekend my baby turned four. When I entered the world of parenthood, I thought of four as just another age younger than 13, which was the point I figured I'd need to start worrying. I was wrong- four is so grown up! Full of backtalk, peer pressure, fledgling independence and toy envy. But it's also full of hugs and kisses, pre-nap thumb-sucking and a secret dependence on Mommy's undivided attention. Not a day is dull, but they are all treasured.

We celebrated on Saturday by having friends and family over for a party. This was our first party with his peers (last year I was still in new baby la-la-land and couldn't pull it together) and I didn't know what to expect. It all went pretty smoothly, but somehow I still ended up exhausted.

The kids did some swimming:

They made their own ice cream sundaes:

And Connor opened way too many awesome presents:

On Sunday Connor enjoyed his "real" birthday by eating all the MnMs he could manage and playing outside until we all collapsed. It was a great weekend- thanks to everyone who came by to offer a present to Connor or moral support to his mother.

Happy birthday baby!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

So You Think You Can. . .

Today is (soon-to-be-legally) Aunt Carrie's birthday. We have loved Carrie for a long time, back when Cullen was trying hard to get her digits and she was just my friend and co-worker rather than the love of my brother's life. Then came my wedding day, when Carrie caught the bouquet and Shannon caught the garter, and the rest, as they say, is history.

In honor of her birthday we pay tribute to one of her favorite TV shows. It also happens to be one of Connor's favorites, and has inspired him to contemplate a future in the world of dance. I can't decide if this is more or less dangerous than his previous career aspirations of football player, racecar driver, and Spiderman.

Have a great birthday! We can't wait to see you in a couple of weeks. We love you!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Way back in the days when Billy Bob and Angelina were a couple (way to trade up, Angie!), rumors swirled that his newly gaunt physique was a result of an eating disorder combined with general weirdness. Apparently, he only ate orange foods. At the time, my childless self could not imagine such a diet. What's orange besides oranges and carrots? (Then I thought, Seriously, what else? This diet seems to be working!) I remember bringing this up with various people, questioning how a person could live off of only orange foods, then nodding my head knowingly when he ended up in the hospital.

Then I had Connor. And everything he eats is orange. I fix him a plate filled with some combination of chicken nuggets, oranges, peaches, cheddar cheese, macaroni and cheese, cheese puffs, Cheez-its, fish sticks, or the occasional carrot, and I mourn the lack of color. Sometimes I sneak in a non-orange food for variety, but the bland beige of apples, french fries or pineapples just blends in and reflects the orangeness surrounding it. Occasionally I've garnished the plate with a sprig of something from the herb garden (a reflection of my days in the restaurant biz) but that has been met with everything from derision to hysteria. So I continue to serve him orange foods, in the hopes that some food is better than none. Worst case scenario? He ends up in the hospital. Best case? He ends up married to Angelina Jolie. Keep your fingers crossed.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Rock n Romp 6

Steph has recapped her aborted Rock n Rock experience below, but Chloe and I stuck around for a great time. Warble was just about the most unusual Memphis-based band I've ever seen-- in a good way-- and Giant Bear was really great too. Thanks to Wendy and Kalki for hosting in their beautifully landscaped backyard. The weather was great, and the kids seemed to have a good time as usual. Onto the pics:
Warble's drummer rocking the polyester:

The rest of Warble:

Lots of rockers and rompers:

Giant Bear:

The cutest Chockley:

For more pics from the Rock n Romp, check the Chockley Flickr here or just click on that little Flickr app over on the right hand side of this page.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Rock n Retch

I went to bed Friday night excited about the weekend that lay ahead. On Saturday afternoon there was a Rock n Romp, (at Kalki and Wendy's) where I would get to watch Connor run around with his best friend Max, dance with Chloe, and laze about on a blanket sharing a beer with my friends. After that, I was going to spend the evening with a friend I hadn't seen in about a year and a half. Sunday involved the words "boat" and "swimming" as well as some of my favorite people. Throw in a little work around the house, the NBA Finals and the series finale of the Sopranos, and I was looking at another great break from the daily grind.

What really happened? To begin with, Connor had trouble waking up from his nap Saturday, and didn't seem too excited about the RnR. When we got there he played a bit, but soon I realized he was mainly just sitting in a corner with his best friend's parents with a dazed look on his way-too-red face. I asked him what was up. "I'm tired. I don't really feel good." I asked if he wanted to leave, and he hopped up and made a beeline for the exit, mumbling a weak "Yes" over his shoulder. We managed to make it home before the barfing began, but ugh. My fun-filled afternoon was spent scrubbing the carpet and envying Chip and Chloe's outdoor revelry. I had to call my (childless) friend and fill her in, as I knew she'd want to make alternate sleeping arrangements. I was still able to go to dinner with her, but our extended evening of catching up did not happen.

I had heard this stomach bug passed quickly, and Connor's fever was gone by bedtime, so I awoke Sunday full of hope that I might salvage some of the weekend. Long story short, Connor spent most of the day in bed and my only outing was to the grocery store. At least we were able to get a lot of random touch-up painting done around the house, and fortunately by 5:00 Connor was ready to play a little bit outside and enjoy a backyard pizza picnic.

Another childless friend, one with a passion for her career and a limited number of sick days, said, "Well at least this happened on the weekend." I felt just the opposite, but it was too depressing to explain it to her. The weekends mean everything to me, especially as a working parent- I have so much trouble getting anything done on a weeknight outside of work, cooking dinner and getting the kids in bed! I save too much of my living for the weekend. Although it usually works out, weekends like this definitely reveal the flaws in my system. I hate to sound like a broken record, but I hope that someday soon I'll spend less time in the car and more time enjoying my family and friends, rather than just getting by until the 5:00 whistle blows on Friday.

Until then, here's hoping Tony Soprano can salvage what's left of my Sunday.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Dude Getting Serious About Photography

During Stacey's interview of me, she asked a pretty interesting question: "Why is it that when dudes get fancy cameras or 'get serious' about photography, they always take close-up pictures of flowers?"

I still don't have a good answer for that. I can only say that close-ups (macro shots, to use the five-dollar word) look cool. Flowers and bugs just happen to look especially cool close-up. As opposed to, say, toes, or chocolate cake.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Home Alone

Chloe had a big weekend, alone with her parents and no big brother.

She told us lots of fascinating stories that no one but Chloe could understand.

(She does have two words that mean something: "oof oof" for dog and "meemo" for more.)

She stayed in shape with some yoga.

She honked her nose.

And no weekend is complete without a party at the Alleys' house.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Bye Bye, Blue

Our realtor told us that blue is the worst color for selling your house. Wonder why? I really have nothing against blue houses, but apparently the house-buying public does. The house was in desperate need of a nice slather of paint, so we picked a more neutral color.