Monday, August 31, 2009

Rock-n-Romp Season 4, Episode 4

It was a beautiful day for a Rock-n-Romp, this time at one of the best backyards in town-- the Kerrs'. Our attendance sure has come a long way from the 100-or-so people we started with! As usual, we all had a great time, and the music was rockin'.

Slideshow of all the pics here.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Bad Medicine

Actual conversation with my nurse practitioner:

Her: Your bloodwork came back normal, the fluid in your ear is still clear.
Me: Good!
Her: First thing, stop taking Claritin. It's hurting rather than helping. You need Mucinex D, to loosen stuff up.
Me: Good to know.
Her: And I'll get you an antibiotic-
Me: (interrupting) Didn't you just say my bloodwork was normal? Why on earth would you give me an antibiotic?
Her: Pretty much no one leaves here without one. (Notices crazed look in my eye) But, uh, also you've been fighting it with OTC stuff for a week, with no results. If this had just started yesterday, I might not prescribe an antibiotic yet.
Me: But didn't you just tell me I was using the wrong OTC stuff? Shouldn't I just give that a try first, since there's no infection?
Her: Sure. I mean, that's what I'd prefer you do anyway. But I'll give you this prescription just in case.
Me: Sigh.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Saturday Night Dining

Steph and I hadn't had a cook-eat-drink-ourselves-silly night at home alone in a couple of months, so that's how we rolled this past Saturday.

For starters, we had local Cucina baguette bread two ways-- with Gruyere and fig preserves, and with shrimp butter spread.

Let me focus on the second one, because it really knocked my socks off.  Steph got 1-day-outta-the-water gulf shrimp from the Farmer's Market, sauteed them up with some onions, chopped them in the food processor.  Then blended with the butter, a little fresh lemon juice, cayenne, salt and pepper.  Mmmm.

With the apps, we had 2006 Domaine Lucien Boillot & Fils, Les Grands Poisots.  It's an interesting wine-- a White Burgundy not made from Chardonnay.  The grape is actually pinot beurot, which is also known as pinot gris.  Bright and clean tasting, with notes of apple, pear and almond, nice mineral depth on the finish.

The main course was also delicious-- cedar plank-grilled salmon over a bed of lentils and leeks, with dijon- herbed butter.  This is definitely my favorite way to cook salmon, and the herbed butter really brought it all together well.
With the main course we had a 2007 Plungerhead Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel.  Huge, jammy, and lightly sweet.  Lots of cocoa, raspberry, and even a little cedar, echoing the salmon.  Great for the price.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Chockley Dinner Discourse

Chloe:  "Mom, I want my nickname to be dweeb."
Steph:  "Whaa?"
Chloe:  "Yeah, Chloe Bess Chockley Dweeb.  Hahahahaha!"
Chip and Steph:  "Ummmm..."


Steph:  "And I have cinnamon rolls in the oven too!"
Chloe:  "Boom Boom POW!"


Connor:  "I wish we lived in Florida.  And I wish it was Christmas everyday.  Yeah, Christmas and Florida, every day."
Chip:  "But Connor, if it were Christmas every day, it wouldn't be so special.  Part of what makes Christmas special is--"
Connor:  "--that we get PRESENTS!"
Chip:  "--is that it only comes once a year.  If it were every day, it wouldn't be very special."
Connor:  "Well that doesn't make any sense."
Chloe:  "And we lived next door to Michael Jackson!"
Chip and Connor:  "?"
Chloe:  "I wish we lived at (sic) Florida, and it was Christmas everyday, and Michael Jackson lived next door to us."
Connor:  "Yeah, that we be awesome.  But Michael Jackson would have to come back alive."

Monday, August 17, 2009

Tiff and Mark

If you read this blog, you probably know that Tiffany is more like family than friend to us. Though I'm sure we'll be saying this much more artfully in the days to come (Steph and I are both in her wedding in October), we're very happy that she found Mark. They really are a perfect match.

So this past weekend, I did an engagement session for these guys in downtown Memphis. Thanks, Mark & Tiff-- I had a great time!


Friday, August 14, 2009

Random Thoughts from Planet ChockleyBlog

Chip and I are currently watching season four of The Wire, and I have to say that it is probably the best season of a television show that I have ever watched. I urge you all to watch The Wire if you haven't already! In general, I am a big fan of shows with a 13-episode season (like they do on cable, where The Wire originally aired). In fact, after two of my favorite network shows shortened their seasons, I can argue that they got much better. I think network shows are over-reaching with the 22-episode-season.

I recently listened to a podcast that debated the defining movies of the past few decades. And it was easy to pick the quintessential 80s movies, or even agree on movies everyone loved from the 90s, but they struggled with the 00s. Then Chris Connelly posited that the great movie of the Aughts was actually television- that The Sopranos, The Wire, Mad Men, Lost, etc. were what we will remember from this decade in terms of great drama. And I think I agree. I used to spend every weekend at a Malco, now I spend it watching DVDs of TV shows. I'm watching them like cinema, and I'm not missing the movies at all.

As you may know, we finally broke down and got iPhones a couple of weeks ago. Although at first I was reluctant, I now totally believe the hype. Tuesday Connor brought home a homework folder, and it contained lists of the Dolch Sight Words. I was like, The internet is so cool- I can just search for those, print off the list, and make some flashcards for the words he struggles with. Then I thought, There's probably some kind of flashcard app for the iPhone, right? He'd probably enjoy it more if it involved a gadget of some kind. Then I went to the app store, and on a whim I typed in "Dolch Sight Words." And there they were- $0.99 for an app that has the same word list in Connor's homework folder, only he can just touch the word to hear what it is rather than asking me. And he can choose what color he wants the background to be. And he has a valid excuse to "play" with my phone. And I didn't have to put in any effort at all! Totally crazy.

Wednesday night we went to Salsa Mexican Restaurant for dinner. . . and dancing. I reviewed it for Stacey over at Dining With Monkeys, if you're interested.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A Trim

(In defense of our parenting skills, I'd just like to point out here that Chloe dressed herself this day.  Thanks a lot, SAM, for handing down this stylish item of couture to us.)


Monday, August 10, 2009

First Grade, First Day

The morning went okay. Connor woke up and limped into the bathroom (see the spectacular wound pictured below- although the limping is only in order to keep the Band-Aid on), moaning, "I still don't want to go to school!" He didn't freak out, though, and on the way to school we had what I though was an enlightening talk about how he was only facing the unknown for another few minutes, and in a half hour or so everything would be old hat.

I dropped him off, and his new teacher was nice and Wallace was there and we found his seat and Kelton sits across from him and Vivian sits beside him and maybe everything would be okay. I went to buy his writing tablets from the school bookstore, and when I brought them back to the classroom he was still hanging out with his friends and not even crying, so that was good.

I went over to the school at 2:15 to see how his day was and make sure he had enough sense to get on his daycare van. As soon as he saw me, he burst into tears and let me pick him up and CARRY him, right there in front of God and everyone, while whispering, "I want to go home," in his tiniest, shakiest voice. I took him to his daycare group and watched him stand there sniveling for a couple of minutes before announcing, "He's coming with me," and marching him back over to my office.

I had noticed he was carrying the note I put in his lunchbox. Uh oh. "Mom, I carried this around all afternoon. When I read it, it made me think about you and I started missing you and then at recess I had tears in my eyes and kind of whined about you then I cried a little and the rest of the day I just wanted to go home. I said to myself inside my head, 'I wish I could just stay home with Mom all day and just work in workbooks and learn stuff at home!'" And yeah, I cried a little, but I still managed to learn that the day was fine, and he enjoyed seeing his friends, and nothing traumatic or bad happened. He just wanted to be at home with me rather than at a place that wasn't immediately familiar. I understood.

He spent the rest of the afternoon in my office, coloring quietly and even staying put while I had a twenty-minute meeting in another office. And then finally we went home. And we'll do it all again tomorrow, only probably without a note in his lunchbox.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Birthday Girl

Happy Birthday to the most beautiful, funny, intelligent, best mother and wife that I know.  I love you!

What a perfect excuse to put up lots of pretty pics of Steph...


Thursday, August 06, 2009

Happy Birthday Mom!

Happy birthday to the woman who taught me everything I know. We love you!

Monday, August 03, 2009

First Grade

Chloe isn't the only child in the house who takes after me. Connor may not have my hair or my mouth, but he does share many of my less enviable traits like being a know-it-all and compulsive rule following. So he's got that going for him. For today's post, we'll focus on his high levels of anxiety. Fun!

Connor is totally freaked out about starting school next week. I know everyone is anxious before starting something new, but I, like my father before me, took first-day anxiety to a new level. And now it's Connor's turn. Whenever the subject of starting school comes even close to being mentioned in conversation, his eyes flood with tears. At dinner one night last week, Chip and I tried to tackle the topic head-on. We were trying to assure him that even the teacher is scared on the first day, and that soon it will feel comfortable to him, etc. And he just covered his ears and said "STOP TALKING ABOUT IT!" before dissolving into a puddle of tears. And man, do I remember those parental conversations- the ones where Mom wanted to discuss something that I was freaking out about, and I wanted to remain hidden behind my wall of denial. So I dropped the subject- he'll deal with it the way he has to, and get through it in his own way.

Yesterday I wanted him to go with me to pick out school supplies. I thought that maybe picking his own pencils, or a backpack with a cool design, would make him feel better about things. No. As soon as I mentioned a trip to Target for school supplies, he lost his freaking mind and started sobbing and yelling. "NO! NO! I don't want to go! NO!" I mean, this is Target we're talking about! The situation was serious. I tried teasing him about buying a Hanna Montana notebook if he wasn't there to help, and although I got him to laugh I did not get him to come along. When I returned home with an awesome Bakugan backpack, he almost got excited. (He gets his materialism from me as well!) But soon the thought of carrying that thing to Snowden weighed him down. By bedtime, he was in tears again.

Last summer I really struggled along with him, first as we switched to summer camp at Idlewild, and then as we started kindergarten. It was a big transition for both of us, made harder for me because I knew he was genuinely that stressed out. This year I'm doing better, though. Snowden isn't new anymore, and although the teacher and classroom will be an adjustment, I know it's no big deal. He'll be happy with it all in a few weeks- I think this coming week of anticipation will be worse than anything that could actually happen next Monday. If only I could convince Connor of that.