Thursday, December 30, 2010

Baby's First Christmas

I let the week get away from me without showing you the awesomeness of a 7.5 month old enjoying her first Christmas.

So much attention! So much to play with! SO HAPPY!

She delighted us with her cliched interest in this box top. She played with it for a half hour or so, banging, chewing, and lauging, paying absolutely no attention to what was inside the box.

Seriously- have you ever seen anything that cute?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

My Year in Books

Book Club
I've always wanted to be in a book club, so this year I gathered the other women I had heard utter that phrase and got one going. I hope the other ladies in the club are as happy with it as I am- it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside to know that I'm going to get to discuss books and life with them once a month!

Connor reads for pleasure
Finally, Connor is starting to see reading as less of a chore. He voraciously read the first Harry Potter book and somehow that changed how he saw all other books. Suddenly they became entertainment to him. One of the best moments I've had recently was when Connor and I curled up together on his bean bag and each read our own books quietly together. Yay for family reading time!

The Master Butcher's Singing Club, by Louise Erdrich
Easily the best book I read this year. Outstanding.
I finally figured out how to successfully incorporated audiobooks into my regular routine. It has allowed me to "read" a lot more than I would have otherwise, and I'm so grateful for that! The only problem I've had is that I've recently been listening to Freedom by Jonathan Franzen, which is really long, and I'm doing it at the time of year when I'm less likely to take long walks or do a lot of jogging, which is when I usually listen to books. So I'm having a hard time getting through the book as quickly as I'd like. Otherwise, audiobooks have been very good to me this year. I get most of them through, if you're interested in giving it a try. They have a pretty cheap introductory offer.

Read in 2010
Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
Wench, Dolen Perkins-Valdez
The Help, Kathryn Stockett
Sh*t My Dad Says, Justin Halpern
The Neon Rain, James Lee Burke
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Stieg Larsson
Dead Until Dark, Charlaine Harris
The Girl Who Played with Fire, Stieg Larsson
Mrs. Darcy and the Blue-Eyed Stranger, Lee Smith
The Color Purple, Alice Walker
Babycakes, Armistead Maupin
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, Stieg Larsson
Black Cherry Blues, James Lee Burke
Cimarron Rose, James Lee Burke
A Stained White Radiance, James Lee Burke
The Girls in the Office, Jack Olsen
Scout, Atticus, and Boo: A Celebration of Fifty Years of To Kill a Mockingbird, Mary McDonagh Murphy
The Way Home, George P. Pelecanos
Juliet, Naked, Nick Hornby
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, Mary Ann Shaffer
In the Electric Mist with Confederate Dead, James Lee Burke
Samaritan, Richard Price
Significant Others, Armistead Maupin
Shoedog, George P. Pelecanos
The Master Butcher's Singing Club, Louise Erdrich
The Elegance of the Hedgehog, Muriel Barbery
Out of Sync, Lance Bass
The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, Alexander McCall Smith
An Education, Nick Hornby

Not read in 2010
The Book of Basketball: The NBA According to The Sports Guy, Bill Simmons
I got this book for Christmas last year and started it then. I'm on page 494 right now, steadily reading a page or two a day. I'll get through it eventually.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

My Year in Television

Here are some things that I was excited about this year.

Finishing The Wire
We were a few years behind, yes. But it was the greatest television show I've ever watched, so no matter what year I finished it in, it deserves a mention.

Mad Men, The Suitcase
I feel like four years of watching Mad Men really paid off in this episode. While watching it, I thought, "People will know this episode by name. It will be in the pantheon of great TV episodes ever." And I still stand by that.

Zach Gilford's performance in Friday Night Lights, The Son
Matt Saracen is one of my favorite characters on one of my favorite shows, and he is played brilliantly by Zach Gilford. This episode was a masterpiece, and it's a shame the Emmys overlooked his performance. I love Zach so much that I have vowed to watch Off the Map this January, despite the fact that it is is "brought to you by the creator of Grey's Anatomy." Man I hate Grey's Anatomy.

Lost was always event television for us. We so badly wanted to watch the premiere episode in HD that we got Mom to come over and take care of Connor for an hour for us, since it aired before we had an HD DVR. Yes, we're geeks, but this show was made for geeks like us! I loved the finale, and feel sorry for people who didn't.

Saying good-bye to Nick Jr.
My kids just don't care about Dora and her peer group anymore, and I couldn't be happier. I am so tired of that genre! Nowadays the real Nickelodeon is the TV destination for my kids, and I'm glad since I find iCarly and her peer group much more palatable than the cartoon set.

Top Chef: All Stars
Top Chef is one of two reality competition shows that I watch, and this all star season has been fantastic so far. It's one of the only shows that keeps me up past my bedtime- I'm too excited to record it and just watch it the next day!

Avatar: The Last Airbender
The whole family watched this series from start to finish this year, and we all loved it. It's not something that would be very enjoyable if you just happened upon an episode and watched it- like Lost, the entire series tells one big story, and it's meant to be watched in order. I recommend that you do. Then skip the movie- it was not good.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Morning

They were happy to see what Santa left for them.

I hope you were too!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Program #2 Featuring Child #2

Note that she's a head taller than most of her classmates. She looks so grown up! My baby!

She loves being on stage, actually. She likes to sing, and she likes the attention. And she certainly did sing. They sang "Children Go Where I Send Thee," and she knew ALL of the words. No sweat.

Pictured here is the "big finish," when the Koala and Penguin classes sang "We Wish You a Merry Christmas," just like they have every year we've been at Idlewild. This was our seventh and final time to be involved with this program. If I think about it too much, I might cry. My babies! They're all grown up!

Friday, December 17, 2010

A Christmas Poop Story

The other morning, Chloe and I had this conversation:

Chloe:  "Daaaaaaaaad!  I'm pewping, and when I'm done, you can come wipe me!"
Me:  <muttering, in the next room> "Oh I can, can I..."
Chloe:  <singsongy> "Daaaaaaaaaad!   Come wiiiiiipe me!"
Me:  "Ok, ok, here I come.  You know Chloe, you're 4 now, and it's about time for you to start taking care of that yourself..."

I arrive to see the usual grab-yer-ankles pose that she assumes, with the brown eye staring at me.  I accidentally look into the pot.

Me:  "JEEEZ, Chloe!  Dang!  That's a MAN poop!"
Chloe:  "I know, lookit that!  I made a big 'C'!  Look!"
Me:  "Wow.  You sure did."
Chloe:  "You know, if this potty was closed, and somebody came in here and opened it, they'd know I did it because it's a C for Chloe!"
Me:  "That's really gross, Chloe."
Chloe:  "Or maybe they'd just think one of the family did it, because C is for Chockley too."

This really happened.  I shit you not.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Catching Up

A few days ago, we were watching a cartoon that featured a pinata. When it was busted and the candy came out, Chloe said, "I wish I was there and I'd eat all that candy up and not share any! Well, unless Cannon G. was there. I'd share with him." Uh oh.


The fun thing about kids is that they get unreasonably excited about things like snow flurries. Until we call Bwana and he shows us that Nashville is blanketed in REAL snow.


Since I last told you about our health, Chloe threw up a bunch, had an ear infection and concerned a doctor with a slight "wheeze." She (and I) missed two days of school last week- it was the sickest I've seen her in a long time! Fortunately, she came out of the weekend in pretty good shape. She, Chip and I all have a lingering cough, but I'd say the main part of the cold has finally moved out of our house. It's been a sickly few weeks over here- even our cat is on antibiotics for a UTI right now!


On Tuesday, I took the day off work in order to attend a production of Peter Pan at Playhouse on the Square with Connor's class. Then that night the whole family (including Grammy) braved a 100-degree school auditorium to watch Connor dance and sing Christmas songs.

Chloe's program is not until next week. She told me that for the big finale, there are a lot of kids on stage, and "some people have to stand in the back." I expressed my concern, assuming she was talking about her own tall self. "Oh no, I'm standing in the front 'cuz I can SING." Amen, sister.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Young Love

Chloe: Cannon G. eats everything! He eats slugs, and worms, and flies!
Me: No way. Have you seen him eat these things?
Chloe: I haven't seen it, but he told me! And also he eats clothes and furniture and EVERYTHING!
Me: Don't believe everything a guy tells you when he's trying to impress you.
Chloe: Cannon G. wants me to be his girlfriend and I don't want to! No matter what he eats.
Me: Sounds like a solid dating philosophy to me.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

I Miss It Already

We had  a lovely weekend. (And I hate to wish my life away, but can we just fast-forward to next weekend? I have a date at Restaurant Iris.)

Connor's first basketball game of the year was a big success. All of his grandparents were there to cheer on the Idlewild. . . Presbyterians, I guess? as their particular brand of street ball stymied the visiting Catholics. Connor had a steal, he fouled someone, and he grabbed an offensive rebound and put it back up for a basket! A fantastic performance that left him glowing the rest of the day.

Saturday afternoon we went downtown for the last Rock-N-Romp of the year. It was also the best RnR of the year! It was recapped here and Chip put lots of pictures on Flickr. After the RnR we watched some of the Memphis Holiday Parade roll down Main. It was fun, if a bit cold. And after the parade, we went to the second of four meals in a row eaten at a restaurant. (I know- I'm a horrible hostess!)

Sunday morning, Chip's parents took the kids to breakfast and on to Target to shop for the kids they "adopted" this Christmas. Like geniuses, they picked a four-year-old girl and a seven-year-old boy! I realized I don't do enough stuff like that with the kids- it took them a while to come around on the idea of buying toys for someone besides themselves.

We finished up with lunch at an Indian buffet (Connor quietly read a book then ate PB&J when we got home) and an afternoon of watching football. The weekend was fun, busy, and relaxing, all at the same time! I can't wait until the next one.