Friday, August 29, 2008

Inside the Lunchbox

No part of the kindergarten experience has occupied my thoughts as much as what to put in Connor's lunchbox. I worry about balancing healthy with junky, about finding containers to hold the food so that it's not just a box full of disposable bags, and about just getting it made and out the door (along with an afternoon snack as well!) so that he doesn't starve. My boy is sensitive when his blood sugar is low.

You might recall that Connor has a somewhat limited list of protein sources that agree with his delicate palate. Of those protein sources, only one travels well in a lunchbox- the ubiquitous pb&j. Snowden does not appear to have a no-peanut policy (yet) so I have gleefully packed one of these every day since Connor started kindergarten.

I noticed as the days passed that more and more of his sandwich was remaining uneaten, and then Wednesday the whole thing came home with him. "What's with your lunch?" I wanted to know. He had to confess, "I don't really love that sandwich every day, Mom."

Now we have ourselves quite a dilemma. He won't eat anything else, yet he's tired of the only option he's given himself. You'd think that hunger would drive him to eat a turkey sandwich or something else "new," but considering he has brought a whole sandwich home before we know that's not the case. Yesterday I tried sending some of his hot-from-the-oven faves to school cold- I mean, cold pizza should be a viable option, right? Apparently not, as it was deemed "gross". But frighteningly, he likes cold bacon. I guess that's all bacon bits are, but it still grosses me out. Today I sent half a pb&j, thinking that maybe one lunch was enough of a break to make the meal attractive again. We'll find out soon enough!

In the back of my mind, I think that maybe this is a step forward. Maybe, if he gets tired of eating the same five things over and over, he'll find it in himself to try something new. But maybe I won't hold my breath.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A Madison By Any Other Name

Recently we were hanging out with friends who are expecting for the first time. Talk turned to baby names, and Chip and I both groaned. Naming your kid is the first real test of parenthood, and it’s a tough one. I advised them to tell as few people as possible when they decide on something. People will smile and tell you that Zuma Nesta Rock Rossdale rolls off the tongue like a song when they meet the little tyke for the first time. But those same people will spend twenty minutes explaining to a woman in her 35th week that “Sure, Justin sounds fine, as long as you don’t mind your baby sharing a name with my ex. I mean, I tried to stick with him despite the abuse, but once he got my step-mother pregnant I had to leave him. But I’m sure your Justin won’t be like that at all.”

Everyone has an opinion on what the name should and shouldn’t be, and some of the arguments are legitimate. My brother, Shannon, reacted strongly when we mentioned we were considering Cameron the first time around. “You mean like Cameron Diaz? You’re naming your son after one of Charlie’s Angels? Nice. You might want to consider a manly name, like Bob or Norm.” Chip wanted to name the baby what we actually called it, so it wouldn’t have to fight with teachers and classmates on the first day of school each year, insisting that although his name is Roscoe Enis Chockley, he goes by Duke. You also want to avoid anything too trendy, like this one I’m noticing among the kindergarten set: Hayden. Seriously: The Clone Wars came out in 2002, and all the pregnant geeks said, “HAYDEN!” I’m sure these people kept their naming choices to themselves, or else surely their friends would have given them a lecture about wooden acting and the slow erosion of George Lucas’ legacy. But I say, more power to ’em- they picked a name and stuck with it. Plus I’ve only met two five-year-olds with this name so far- unlike the billions of Connors who entered kindergarten this fall.

We wanted to have a fun, interesting name for each of our kids, but we ended up chickening out both times. I admire my friends and their Genevieves and Delaneys and Zenos. I spent the end of my first pregnancy watching the NBA playoffs and begging Chip to let me pick a name from there. “Stromile is so poetic!” I’d exclaim, until Chip reminded me that it didn’t really go with “Chockley.” He’s right- that last name really tripped us up. I tried to push for Shaquille Oliver Chockley, since Shaquille O. Chockley had a good ring to it. No dice. I tried to incorporate my middle name, Lee, but I couldn’t get Chip to sign off on Brock Lee Chockley. (This is the reason I ignored all of his suggestions the second time around.) Although both of my kids' names were pretty far down the list of popular names the year I was pregnant, they both showed up near the top for the year they were born. Apparently the rest of the pregnant women and I were thinking the same thing- too bad we didn’t consult each other first. I might have gone with Shannon Cullen Chockley after all, if I had gotten the memo that everyone else was using Chloe.

But really, I love my kids’ names because I love my kids, and when I hear “Connor Stephen” and “Chloe Bess” it always makes me smile. (Unless I’m using their full names because they are in trouble, but that’s a different blog post.) That’s why I suggest holding the final decision close to the vest until the baby is born. It’s much easier to love the name Pilot Inspektor Riesgraf Lee when you’ve seen the baby and realized you love the whole package. Ultimately, that’s why a name works- because of the relationship you have with the person behind the name, not because the Commercial Appeal online commenters like it or not.

Our pregnant friends told us some of the names they were arguing over, each pleading their case to get “their” names added to the short list. “I like Madison. . .” one of them started, when Chip and I both cut in, tripping over each other to tell them why Madison was horrible. “She’ll be Madison M. her whole life, so she doesn’t get confused with Madison K. and Madison B.!” Chip argued. I told the story of how one time, Shannon looked at Connor’s class picture and said, “Which one is Madison?” I pointed her out and asked why, if maybe Connor had mentioned her. “I just wanted to know which one was named Madison! I knew there had to be at least one!” Our friends sighed and realized they should have taken my advice, as Chip and I were quick to shoot down a name as long as it was still theoretical. We insisted we were just handing them the facts about Madison, and if they used the name we would still love their baby. They looked suspicious, but continued the discussion anyway. As we moved from girl names to boy names, I made a silent promise to keep anything negative to myself. “So- what do you think about Anakin?”

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Cartoon Wars

We are a one television household. I’m sure this is shocking to most of you, considering what TV junkies we all are, but our logic is solid. For one thing, we can only really afford one. But also, while most people have a second set in the bedroom, we do not. Neither Chip nor I enjoys watching while trying to fall asleep. I think it’s because we take TV too seriously to give it “background noise” status- if it’s on, we’re paying attention. I did have a small set with an antenna in the kitchen for a brief time. We didn’t watch during meals, since our 6:30 family dinner is strictly devoted to trying to get a word in edgewise while the kids giggle, whine, and shriek. Since I only really watched it while I was in the kitchen on NFL Sundays, it didn’t seem worth replacing after the crime spree our home hosted last year.

Things have been fine. When the kids watch a show, Chip and I do our best to use that half hour for something productive. When the kids aren’t around, Chip and I generally watch the same things. No big deal. Or so we thought.

Suddenly, about two weeks ago, someone turned Connor’s internal TV tuner from “Noggin” to “Nickelodeon.” I shouldn’t be surprised that he has finally lost patience with Dora and Diego and moved on to SpongeBob and the rest. In fact, I’ve been a little surprised that the primos had held his attention this long. But I was caught off guard by the swift and absolute nature of this channel change. What are we going to do? (Let’s get this out of the way up front- turning off the TV isn’t an option. Carry on.)

This would be an easy situation to handle if my children were capable of doing anything alone. But they are not. If I put Chloe in front of LazyTown and send Connor off to play, it only takes about five minutes before they are both tugging on my leg as I try to get the dishwasher filled up.
“Come play with me Mooooom!”
“Watch TV, Mommy?”
My response, “Entertain yourselves!” usually ends up with them “helping” me do whatever it is I’m trying to do, because driving me nuts is the ultimate entertainment. That’s just not going to work. If I talk Connor into playing in the same room as Chloe and Sportacus, he generally plays directly in her sight line, just to get her riled up. And so they're back to driving me nuts, and the dishes are still dirty.

For now, the compromise is that I turn something on for a half hour, and whichever kid doesn't like it can play or pout instead- as long as they leave me out of it. I hate denying one of them the pleasure of our TV's company, but until we learn some cartoon tolerance, that's just how it's going to be. For now, at least. I know that one day we'll look back on the days of only one television and laugh at our quaintness. Until then, at least I feel like I still have some control. Not as much as that burglar, but some.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Farmer's Market Dinner at the Chockleys'

Last weekend we went to a Farmer's Market dinner at River Oaks.  It's a series of dinners put on by the best chefs in Memphis, where all of the ingredients are bought at the Memphis Farmer's Market.  We didn't blog about that in detail, but the Squirrel Squad did a good job of it here.

This past weekend, we decided to re-create the experience at home.  We got up bright and early Saturday morning and hit the MFM.  Our menu was partly dictated by what were able to find there.

We spent the whole evening cooking, drinking, eating, and taking pictures.  Well, I did the drinking and eating, and taking pictures part.  I did provide sparkling company for Steph in the kitchen while she worked her magic.

We scored some locally-made fresh goat cheese from Bonnie Blue Farm.  It was just delicious-- much better than any goat cheese I've ever had.  We matched that with a baguette from Cucina Bread and some gold apples from Jones Orchard.  We cheated and added some non-local stuff to this smorgasbord-- prosciutto and some wonderful Pecorino Toscano from Mantia's.  (Thanks for the recommendation, Alyce!)
All of that went really well with the 2005 Chateau Beauregard Pouily-Fuisse we had:
For the next course, we got all non-local again.  This was an iceberg wedge with homemade bleu cheese dressing and pancetta crumbles: 
Finally, we pan-fried the pork cutlets from the newest MFM vendor, Yoder Brothers.  This was matched with pancetta and herbed oil (our garden's herbs).  Sides were green beans sauteed with shallots and butter, along with new potatoes roasted in fresh rosemary, both from... erm, some other MFM vendor.
This went really well with the 2006 Duckhorn Migration Pinot Noir...
It was quite a feast, and my wife is awesome.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Week In Links

Here are some links that were sent my way this week. I hate keeping them all to myself!

Of course I'll lead off with Michael Phelps. Although I enjoyed this elaborate conspiracy theory too.

This news about Chip's number one girl came with the comment "Chip – I think you might actually have a chance at this point."

This Friday Night Lights link was a big hit with the guys, although my girl list is represented here so I liked it too!

The Amethyst Initiative has decided to open the debate on the national drinking age. This has been a hot topic around here, due to the involvement of our college president. They certainly succeeded in opening a debate.

Kristy helped me learn my type.

This movie poster contest looked like a fun diversion, but after the first "C" I quickly failed. I think I got five.

How much would I love a Veronica Mars movie? I so miss Veronica- she is one of my favorite fictional characters of all time!

What else is going on out there? Did you see anything good this week that I should take a look at?

Friday, August 22, 2008


Here we are at the end of the first week of navigating a new school and a new schedule. You'll be happy to know that I haven't seen Connor cry since that first day, although this morning one of his seatmates was in tears as I left. He's a kid Connor likes, so I hope they can console each other. I also got a hug from the girl who sits across from Connor (she likes me because I know her name) and gave the stink eye to the girl who sits next to him, because yesterday she called him a "stupid boy." Although she's probably right- I'm just glad she hasn't mentioned the cooties yet.

Something else exciting was going on this week, but I wanted to make it to Friday before sharing. As you may know, Connor's school starts at 7:30. You may also know that the school is on the same block as my office, and both are at least 20 minutes from our home. With those facts staring me in the face, I decided to man up and officially request a "flexible" schedule. After some negotiation, I have been allowed to come in at 7:30, take a half hour lunch, and leave at 3:30, three days a week, with the other two days following the traditional 8:30-5 schedule. Woohoo!

While the week has been full of changes, it has gotten progressively easier to keep up with them. I think we're all comfortable with our new schedules, and can expect things to go much smoother from here on out. One thing's for sure- the prospect of ending my work week at 3:30 on Friday afternoon sure has taken the sting out of the way the week began. This kindergarten thing might not be so bad after all!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


The first real week of kindergarten has been rough so far, for me and for Connor. As you may know, my boy does not embrace change and is not quick to feel comfortable in a new environment. So while last Monday went alright, Connor had a week between day one and day two to work up a good ball of anxiety about the whole situation. It was no surprise that things went in the crapper this Monday. Connor got to the classroom, put his things into his first-ever locker, then walked past Miss M in her assigned seat on his way to his own. You could see the reality wash over him as he slowly passed her by- they were not going to be sitting next to each other. It was like the teacher had snatched his security blanket right out from under him.

I crouched down next to him at his new seat, and was promptly knocked onto my butt by the force of his hug. As I got back on my feet, he pulled away and I could see that the tears had already started. “It’s going to be fine,” I assured him. “Have a great day!” I kissed him and left him there, tiny and lonely and sad, as the teacher swept in behind me to provide some comfort. As I got to the door, Connor did like he always does and gave me one last, “Bye Mom.” (He does this every time I leave him, even if it’s just at bedtime.) So I turned around for one last wave and saw him just totally splotchy and sobbing at this point. I still had my composure, so I came back in for one last kiss and “I love you” before running out into the hall, plopping myself in a chair next to SAM and Mr. Baby (who were filling out some forms) and doing some sobbing of my own. It’s safe to say that Monday will remain on my list of “Worst Parenting Memories” for quite some time.

In addition to spending most of Monday (and Tuesday) crying off and on, I’ve been struggling to get used to our new schedule too. (It should come as no surprise that Connor inherited his need for a regular routine from me.) We now have to leave the house around 6:50. That changes everything, and it is going to take a while to get used to it. While we are adjusting, I feel that everything is out of control. There are a bunch of little things that need to be attended to in our household, details that I’m supposed to handle, and I just can’t get to them.

Fortunately, I can make a list of things that need to be done and feel like I’m getting a grip on the situation. Connor, who also feels out of control right now, does not have a healthy way to handle that anxiety. Instead of making lists, he is attempting to exert control by doing everything on his own terms. If I ask him to quiet down, he starts yelling. If I say two cookies, he says three. If I hand him his Spiderman pjs, he throws them across the room and grabs a different set. Now I can work with giving him some choices, but at some point this just becomes disrespectful and rude. Since I’m already teetering on the edge this week, you can imagine that things have been tense between us.

In another week or so, we’ll have a handle on things. I’ll remember to iron my clothes before bed, and I’ll find a way to replace my morning Chloe time (or I’ll start waking her up earlier!). Connor will get to know some people in his class, and it won’t all seem new anymore. But that doesn’t make today any easier.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

(Temporary) Tattoo Session

They skipped the wet washcloth and went right to the source.

He carefully removed the backing as she waited with bated breath.

It's so glittery and awesome!

He generously waited until she was inked to go under the needle- er, faucet- himself.

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Weekend in Pictures

We had quite a busy weekend, and like good little Nikon owners, we took pictures of almost all of it.

At Cocktail Hour, we rubbed the birthday boy's head for luck.

Chloe ate a block of parmigiano-reggiano like it was an apple, confirming rumors that she is the love child of Stephanie Chockley and George Costanza.

We obtained visual evidence, even more compelling than the ultrasound, that Gina is pregnant.

We went to the Zoo and spent a long time in the butterfly tent.

We had one last birthday celebration with fellow Leos Tiff and Mark. After opening presents with them and Mom, who graciously kept the kids on a school night, we went to the Farmer's Market dinner held at River Oaks. Yum!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Scenes from Memphis Farmer's Market

Some of these made it into the August issue of Memphis Health and Fitness.

For a sample of what farmer's markets look like in other cities, check out The Farmer's Market Report.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Friday Lists

Things I Need To Do This Weekend, But I Probably Won't, But Maybe If I Put It In Writing I Will
1. Clean my car inside and out. It still has our trip to the beach on it and in it.
2. Use the weedeater.
3. Clean the kids' rooms.
4. Go to the blind tasting of California wines at Salsa.
5. Get Chip to change the lightbulb in the stairwell.

Random Things That Need To Be Mentioned But Don't Warrant A Whole Blog Post
1. I did 47 push-ups in a row on my birthday.
2. I've bought plenty of squirt toys in my day- I'm not pointing fingers. They're fun for a while, but I don't have the patience to keep them Chloe-proof.
3. Yeah, I've been staying up late to watch the Olympics.
4. But I still find time to watch Mad Men. I'm almost done with the first season.

Guestlist I Graciously Sent To Listwork That Was Soundly Rejected, Titled "Things Chip Can’t Believe I Keep In My Purse"
1. Neosporin and Band-Aids
2. Pink umbrella
3. 50 SPF sunscreen
4. Lightning MacQueen
5. Reusable shopping bag
6. Clinique Dramatically Different moisturizer
7. Mosquito repellent
8. Disposable toilet seat covers
9. Separate zippered container full of lipsticks
10. Package of mini note cards/envelopes

Pregnant Women Whose Blogs Make Me Teary-Eyed
1. Gina
2. Hillary
3. Cathy

Possible Endings to the Title of the Previous List
1. . . When I See Their Sweet Ultrasound Pictures
2. . . As I Think About How Pregnancy Is Ruining Their Perky Little Figures
3. . . And Sad That I'm Done Having Babies
4. . . With Joy Over The Fact That I'm Done Having Babies

Thursday, August 14, 2008

More Things

A while back I wrote about Things I've Bought That I Love. Time for another installment, although this time it's not all stuff that I bought. Some of it is stuff I've managed to collect without paying for, which is not to say I charged it but rather that it was given to me. But also, some of it is stuff that I do not at all love, but I felt you needed a heads-up on.

Love It:
Logitech Trackball Mouse: My boss has one of these, and I've always been curious, but recently my amateur carpal tunnel syndrome was threatening to go pro so I thought I should make a change. I love this mouse- it just seems right. And since my hand is on a mouse much of the day, it only makes sense to have the best one I can have. My only complaint- I wish it had a button that automatically takes you "back," like our mouse at home does. But that would be asking for too much.

Waiter Rant: This book, by the author of one of my favorite blogs, is less an examination of the restaurant industry and more an autobiography told in the context of restaurant stories. Two of my favorite things- biography and tales from the front of the house. I will loan it to any of you who wants to read it. In a day or two- I still have 50 pages or so to go.

Hate It:
Bath Squirters: Really I hate all bath toys, because they immediately mildew and gross me out beyond belief. But when I tried to get rid of all of them, Chip laughed at me and called me "Richard" so I dropped it. So now I just regularly run most of them through the dishwasher. However, I did manage to throw away all the squirt toys without too much resistance. The mildew just grows and festers inside of them, and there's no way to clean them out. Then when the kids squirt them a bunch of yuck comes out and floats in the bath water. It's bad enough that Chloe always drinks that water when I'm not looking- I'd rather not know there were flakes of rotten mildew in there along with the rest of her dirt. (shudder) So in summary, don't buy these for your kids or as a gift for someone else's kids. Or at least lie to me and tell me you won't.

Lolonis Ladybug White: I'm a fan of other wines by Lolonis, and I'm impressed with how they do things, using ladybugs to keep pests off their grapes rather than pesticides or herbicides. Lolonis and Bonterra are basically the only two "organic" wineries who put out a decent product. Usually, that is, but not in this case. This particular white blend is not good. It's really unfocused and soft and tastes like something you'd get in a $7 magnum rather than in a $13 bottle. Not worth it. Stick to their Fume Blanc if you want white, or the Ladybug Red or their Zinfandel if you want red- all are reasonably priced and are much tastier than the Ladybug White.

Love and Hate It:
Weezer's new CD: Another self-titled record, this one is referred to as the "Red Album." The first five songs are amazing! I'm generally a fan of Weezer, but they definitely have had their ups and downs over the years. These first few songs are the best thing they've done in a long time. Sadly, the album totally falls apart for the last half. Rivers let the other guys in the band write and sing a song each, and they are rough. I can't decide if he did that because his therapist told him he should be less controlling, or if the guys were bugging him about it and he wanted to let them crash and burn to prove a point. In any case, I imagine I will listen to the first half of this CD repeatedly in the near future, but I might never listen to the last half again.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

None of One

Chloe is at that age when pronouns confuse her and adults laugh at how adorable that is. Her main problem comes when trying to use the word "one." For example, if she picks up her brother's crayon, she might say, "Now I have one!" Then if her Connor generously hands her another crayon, she'll say, "I have two ones!"

But then she might say, "I like the pink one crayon," not understanding that we know "one" refers to "crayon." If Connor then picked up a different crayon, she'd say, "There's another one crayon!"

Of course, if Chloe tried to take that one too, Connor would say, "Now she has all the crayons and I have none crayons!" Only Connor can take a cute grammar mistake and turn it into something negative. He doesn't have anything to worry about, though. He's got a box with 64 one crayons hidden from Chloe up in his room.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

First Day in Pictures

Connor said, "It is way too early!" (Check out the bags under his eyes!)

Connor said, "I'm big now, so we didn't have nap time."

Chloe said, "Kindergarten? Sign me up!"

Monday, August 11, 2008

Day One

This morning, at 7:20, I walked my first born child into Snowden Elementary School and delivered him to a Kindergarten teacher. His dear friend, Miss M, was also in attendance. They sat down across from each other and began to draw what they did during their summer vacation. (I can only assume they both drew a picture of themselves jumping the waves in Dauphin Island.) I could see the conflict behind Connor's eyes as he tried to decide whether he was excited to be at a new school, or nervous as hell to be at a new school. I was prepared for him to fling himself at me, drape his arms around my leg, and beg me to take him home. I could see it in his eyes, right there below the surface. But in an instant, that impulse was squashed. His eyes suddenly gleamed with confidence as he waved, "Bye, Mom!" I took that opportunity to run out the door, as SAM encouraged me. "You can do it, Mom!" With tears in my eyes, I walked to work. It was easy to pull it together, though. I wasn't sad, because Connor wasn't sad.

I picked him up at 2:15 sharp, showed him where to meet his after-school ride (starting next week), and asked about his day. Playing outside on the playground and eating lunch in the cafeteria were his two favorite activities. "Did you get the note I put in your lunch?" I asked. He did. He even had a teacher read it to him, though I know he knows what "I love you" looks like. I complimented his bravery, how he had been so comfortable in that new classroom. "Oh, I cried after you left, Mom," he replied. "I was sad because I missed you." Sigh.

He came home exhausted. After dozing off and on in front of the TV, he pulled himself together to play a while and eat dinner. After dinner, however, he just couldn't take anymore. He spilled some of the Sprite he had been given in honor of his special day. He recovered from that, but minutes later hit Chloe on the arm because she was too close to that Sprite. We didn't think anything of it, consoling Chloe and letting her help with the dishes. Ten minutes later, I found Connor on the couch, sobbing still. "I didn't mean for her to tell on me!" he screamed, full of guilt and burned by her betrayal. His face was pale and splotchy. He had cried that whole time, not because he needed the attention, but because the day had finally caught up with him. I got him to relax, took him for a quick bath, and dumped him in the bed by 7:45. He was glad to be there. He might have enjoyed Kindergarten, but that 7:30 a.m. call time combined with no nap came back to bite him in the butt. I believe he'll fit in fine, play with Miss M, make new friends, and impress his teacher. He'll find his place at Snowden Elementary School. But not until next week. Right now, he just needs his momma and a good eleven hours of sleep. I'm happy to accomodate him, while I still can.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Happy Birthday, Stephanie!

It's my girl's day, y'all. She only gets more beautiful as she gets older. In other words, hey-- it's Steph's birthday, which is a perfect excuse to tell her I love her and put lots of pretty pictures of her up on the blog.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

The Power of the Push-up

After Chloe was born, I took a Pilates class. I loved it, and when it ended I kept three moves with me. One was the basic push-up. I continued doing ten push-ups about three times a week, and I thought I was really doing well “for a girl.” Then I read that a 40-year-old woman should be able to do 16 push-ups. I can’t do that now! Time to step it up. I slowly got to where I was doing 12-14 push-ups two or three times a week. I knew I needed to do more, but I didn’t have the right inspiration. Then, a few months ago, I started to feel the pressure of my upcoming birthday. Thirty-five! I have a friend who wakes up each year on his birthday and does one push-up for each year of age. I got to thinking- could I do 35 push-ups by my 35th birthday?

I spent a couple of weeks trying to up my number, and was consistently doing 15 push-ups every other day. Then the same friend introduced me to the program at The idea is that their interval training program can take you from zero to 100 push-ups in as little as six weeks of training. This kind of program is perfect for me- there are charts, specific numbers, and a definable goal. So I got started.

This isn’t news, since most of you have heard me talk about my push-ups over the last five weeks. But what is noteworthy is how good this has made me feel. I have loved seeing the results of the training- my arms look different, and I regularly do 100 pushups in the course of one workout. There has been something so empowering about doing this program- I highly recommend it to all of you, especially to the women. It’s nice to feel strong physically. It goes a long way towards feeling strong mentally.

Do I think I’ll be able to do 100 consecutive push-ups after another week and a half of this program? Probably not. The program allows for you to repeat weeks in order to get strong enough to do 100, but I’m not sure I need to do that. I just want to complete the program, and then figure out some level of the training to stick to in order to maintain the strength I’ve gained. I’m happy in the knowledge that tomorrow morning, I will easily be able to do 35 push-ups. Not a bad way to begin a new year.

Happy Birthday, Grammy!

Don't be surprised- this happens every year! Happy birthday! We love you!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Family Ramblings

Thoughts while I wonder what you got me for my birthday. . .

The next time you see Chloe, ask her to say "Polly Pocket." Trust me, there is nothing cuter.

The next time you see Connor, don't ask him about starting Kindergarten. He does NOT like starting a new class.

I think that this fall, I'm going to add Life On Mars and Fringe to the season pass list. And possibly re-add Pushing Daisies. Any other suggestions?

On that note, this article from the Onion made me laugh loud enough that a coworker stopped to ask if everything was okay.

Recently, Chloe's great-grandfather said, "Wow- once she gets wound up, she really goes!" I couldn't have said it better myself.

We will not know where Connor is going to school until Friday. I'll let you know as soon as I know.

I'm turning 35 this week, and I feel every year of it. This weekend I went dancing, and my legs are still sore two days later.

I would replace all of the Tyson "chicken" nuggets in my freezer with Quorn "chicken" nuggets if they didn't cost so damn much.

We saw Batman this weekend- it was good, but a little long. There were a lot of drawn out action sequences, and I don't necessarily want my superhero movies to be action movies. All of the performances were great, and there's no question that I want to be Christian Bale's love slave. We were really surprised that so many people have seen a movie that is so dark! It was not an easy summer blockbuster. But it also was much higher quality than your usual summer blockbuster.

I took all these pictures myself.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

That Scary Thing

This morning at breakfast, I read the paper while the kids fiddle-farted around with their Cheerios. Connor noticed the big picture on the front page:

Now, the boy wasn't even trying to make a joke. But what he said nearly made me pee my pants.
"Daddy-- what's THAT scary thing?"

My lip started to quiver, but I asked for clarification before unleashing my howl.

"What thing, Connor?" I held the paper closer so he could show me.

He put his finger directly on John McCain's face and said "THAT scary thing! Is that a monster?"

My laughter was so out of control that Connor actually freaked out and starting crying because he wasn't trying to be funny. But that's a whole different story.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Fashion Models

I think these pictures look like they came out of a fashion spread in a magazine. Chip makes everyone look good! Well, almost.