A long month
Friday, November 30, 2007
I can't believe that it's only been 30 days since we left for our trip to Spokane...there is nothing like committing to posting something EVERY day to really draw a month out.
However, it's been a good exercise in many ways. First, I enjoy writing, but don't really go out of my way to do it all that often. Second, I've had a roller-coaster of a month with life, which sometimes makes it very difficult to come up with fodder to write about. As in, talking about how I feel about some things is just a tad inappropriate for a family website. But, when that's the only thing weighing on my mind, coming up with something to write proved to be a challenge. Third, I lead a pretty low-key life. Sometimes the "mom-ness" of my day-to-day routine is a bit dry, and quite frankly, I don't expect to win any loyal readers by posting about the trials and tribulations of diaper rash, ear infections, and temper tantrums.
Anyhow, I did it. I feel good about it as a whole project, even though I don't feel so good about some of the pieces of the entirety.
Don't be surprised if I take a little break, though.
~Courtney posted at 7:43:33 PM
Happy Birthday Tal!
Friday, November 30, 2007
Today is our friend Tal's 9th birthday! He got some early birthday presents, won a raffle at his church and saved up his allowance money to buy himself a Nintendo Wii. He knows more about it than Andrew and I, and we've had ours for about 8 months!
I swiped his Halloween picture from his mom's website:
We've known Tal since he was 5 years old, and it's been so much fun to watch him grow up into such a sweet, caring & helpful boy. We miss you very much, and hope to see you very soon! Have a wonderful birthday, Tal!
Andrew, Courtney & Benjamin
~Courtney posted at 2:04:25 PM
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Today was a good day. Holly and Elise came for a visit earlier...the kids ran around like fools for awhile, which was fantastic to watch. It also made me realize that I need to shake my funk that I am in, and start making a bigger effort to get out of the house every day. I have to say that I am a bit annoyed that Mike, Holly & Elise live so close (for now) and that we went more than a month without seeing them. No more of that.
The four of us went out for lunch. Our restaurant search parameters included close, toddler-friendly, and salads on the menu (for the dieting mamas). Applebees was the sole criteria-meeting restaurant, so fine dining it was. :)
Our kids were angels, and it was one of the easiest restaurant meals I've had with Benjamin.
Benjamin napped after lunch, and then Steph and Jonathan came over for some playtime. Benjamin got a double-dose of friend-time today. He was having a blast. Again, reminded of how sluggish I've been lately. I will take him to Gymboree tomorrow. I will take him to Gymboree tomorrow. Seriously.
Andrew was VERY late getting home from work, as they are prepping for some very important business development meetings. Unfortunately, it only left me about 2 seconds to change my clothes and get out of the door for my hair appointment. My stylist rocked the highlights and low-lights, and I am loving my new, "festive" color. Okay, you can barely see the red low-lights, but I see them, and love them. I also took an inch or so off of my hair, which isn't really a big deal, but it feels a lot shorter. The high school girl next to me cut off her hair for Locks of Love. I'd love to do that, but lack the patience to let my hair get long enough to cut off 10 inches. Maybe someday.
The hair took three full hours, but a glass of wine was waiting for me when I got home. I plan to finish it, and hit the hay. Today was busy, but really, really nice.
~Courtney posted at 10:53:30 PM
Don't cry over spilled eggs.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Also don't leave them within reach of a toddler...
~Courtney posted at 3:03:09 PM
Christmas Tree, Overalls & Physical Therapy
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
I was a bit nervous about how Benjamin would be around the Christmas tree. He's so into the things around him, and really just can't control himself when he sees something that looks fun (or, YUM, as he says to everything he likes the looks of). I figured I'd ease into decorating it, and maybe he would lose interest by the time the ornaments were on.
Well, that was a silly idea. Also silly was not realizing exactly how high he can reach. However, after two full days, we only have one ornament casualty...not horrible.
Here is the tree, all nine feet of it.
I absolutely love it. Even with no ornaments on the bottom third. We only have about 5 non-breakable ornaments, but Benjamin has removed them all, and spread them around the house. I thought about getting some others, but really, there is no point. They'll be in the toy box within an hour.
I finally got some pictures of Benjamin sporting the conductor overalls. I love, love, love how cute he is in these!
He's also sporting a new 'do, too. For the first time ever, he didn't scream and cry during his haircut. He just sat on my lap and hung out until it was over. I was impressed.
In other news, I started physical therapy this afternoon. I remain optimistic that my knee & hamstring are going to get better in record time, and I'll be back on the road again in no time. Thank GOODNESS for great health insurance...that's all I have to say about that. I really liked the PT, and the exercises she sent me home with are totally doable. I go back on Friday, and will continue to go 2x a week until I am better.
That's about it from here; a very random update, but it's all I've got.
~Courtney posted at 4:08:51 PM
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Benjamin used to be the world's worst sleeper. Like the worst. At about 6 months, he started napping better. Well, he started napping. At around 8 months, he went from getting up 5+ times a night, down to just one or two times. That was a major accomplishment for us, because life got much more enjoyable.
While he STILL doesn't sleep through the night all that often, and he always wakes well before the sun, we don't have much room for complaint. He takes two, solid naps most days, but allows for some flexibility if we need it, and bounces right back to his normal schedule. This is particularly helpful for our road trips, traveling, etc.
Today, for the first time in I don't know how long, Benjamin opted out of naps. Not out of one of them, but both of them. He was miserable. I was miserable. I am pretty sure that it's teething related, but am beyond nervous about our upcoming night's sleep.
I was hoping to post about our Christmas tree, as I spent a long time decorating it yesterday, but that post will have to be at another time. We are just sitting down to watch Waitress . I've been looking forward to this coming on DVD for awhile, and it just showed up in the mailbox today!
~Courtney posted at 7:29:00 PM
Monday, November 26, 2007
One of my favorite things about life with Benjamin right now is watching how he interacts with his environment. Sometimes it's not as happy and nice as a parent would hope for, but I figure that has to be normal for a 15 month old, active, little boy. Right?
Most of the time, however, Benjamin is as sweet as can be. He's really taken a liking to his toys lately. I mean, he's always enjoyed having them around, but for the first time, um, ever, they entertain him in a way I can see him using his creativity.
This morning, after breakfast, he was moving back and forth between his Little People sets and his Melissa & Doug wooden dinosaur puzzle. It's a very rare thing for toys from different sets to be played with at the same time, and keeping with that trend, the dinosaurs had their conversation on his table, while the farm animals, train station people, and little people dinosaurs all hung out on the carpet.
I was able to sit back on the couch and just observe. There was a LOT of moo'ing. However, that's the only animal sound he really has down. The people and animals were all talking to each other, and seeming to enjoy the company of each other. I think a Little People Dinosaur and a sheep came to the farm and attacked the rest of the people. There was a lot of screaming, and what sounded like panic, and then, this:
Once everybody was piled into the silo, Benjamin shifted his attention over to the wooden dinosaurs. Like the Little People, they chatted, munched on some pretend dino-treats, and then attacked each other. They growled. And then made suicide jumps off the edge of the table. They are still on the floor, 12 hours later.
I love that his imagination is so colorful, bright, and energetic, albeit slightly violent. Even more so, I love that he gets lost in his own little world, and is having the time of his life!
~Courtney posted at 7:44:56 PM
Where is my filter?
Sunday, November 25, 2007
For the most part, I tend to be very non-confrontational. I just don’t like how I feel when I am obnoxious. However, the past week has presented me with a few scenarios where I just couldn’t bite my tongue.
The first scene took place last week, on one of those 65+ degree afternoons in suburban Maryland. I had loaded Benjamin into the jogging stroller, and we were heading off to the playground to enjoy the unseasonable weather and sunshine. I live in a surprisingly quiet neighborhood, and know most of my neighbors on, at least, a waving basis. An unfamiliar car buzzed past. The driver slammed on her brakes, opened her window, and threw out an empty package of cigarettes and some other piece of garbage. I don’t know what came over me, but I shouted out “Hey, you dropped something! Pick it up!”
As soon as I yelled that, I was freaking out because she looked like she was about to throw her 2-door Scion into reverse and run us over. Instead, she yelled out a word I won’t repeat, and flipped me off. Merry freaking Thanksgiving Eve to you, too. Jerk. Litter-er.
The next incident was on Thanksgiving morning. It was about 8 AM, and we were en route to the Turkey Chase Race at Camp Letts, in Edgewater, MD. There were very few cars on the road, and we were on a divided highway that was about to stop being divided, and only one-lane in each direction. As the road narrowed, this Volvo station wagon came zipping along the right side of my car. My guess would be that she was about an inch or two away from hitting me. I slammed on my brakes, and laid on the horn; for what felt like 10 seconds, although, it was likely more like two.
The funniest part is that I knew that she had to be going to the same place that I was. I mean, it’s a GOOD thing you cut in front of me, because you are going to get there all of twelve seconds sooner than I will. But, whatever.
So, I spent the last 6 or 7 minutes of that drive wondering what I could say to her. I thought about some comment about how it’s a good thing she’s in the safest car on the highway, because her driving is atrocious. I thought about saying something along the lines of being thankful that she got there so much sooner, because it would have really made my day for her to hit the car carrying my son. I had a bunch of possibilities, and I rehearsed them all in my head. I finalized one, and said it over and over during the last mile on the dirt-road.
Of course we were led to a parking area, and parked right next to each other. As I was taking my deep breath to blurt out my witty, but not-seemingly-over-rehearsed line, she apologized. Darn it all. She wasn’t supposed to do that. Her excuse was that she was following the van which was legitimately in front of me, and didn’t know where she was going.
Pretty lame, since EVERYBODY driving in the middle of nowhere at 8 am on Thanksgiving morning was obviously going to the same place. But, I was tongue-tied. I just said something about being careful, as she nearly hit me. LAME.
The third incident of recent days happened the day after Thanksgiving, when we went to a tree farm to get our Christmas tree. One of the guys working there took us over to a board, where he showed us all of the different types of trees they had, and where to go to cut them down. He also pointed to another type of firs which were brought in from North Carolina. They were, obviously, already cut. It was cold. They were pretty. There were RIGHT there…so it was a no-brainer. I had about zero-interest in cutting down a tree myself. There were 3 different signs stating “all pines, $35; all firs, $50.” The guy who had showed us around also said (at least 3 times) that all firs were $50.
So, we quickly picked our fir and Andrew and his brother dragged it over to where they were shaking it out and wrapping it up. I took Benjamin inside to look at the decorations and pay for my fir. Andrew comes running in a moment later with a ticket to give to the cashier, with the price clearly marked: $90. Um, it’s a fir. It’s $50, right?
I asked the woman, and she told me those firs were not included in the $50 firs, but I was more than welcome to go cut my own. Sure, woman. I am limping. It’s 38 degrees outside. I have a toddler with me. I’d love to go and cut down a stinking tree.
I told her that their signage was not clearly marked, and their farm representatives were not really disclosing that the firs that they were pushing are actually nearly two times as much. She played dumb. I made a point to tell her that most people wouldn’t be as nice as I am, so they’d probably want to adjust their signage before the weekend-rush. She brushed me off and said something rude. So, I, in my passive-aggressive annoyance say to Benjamin (in front of lady) “I hope you like your tree; we can’t afford to buy you any presents to put underneath it this year.”
I know it was SO wrong, but they had no interest in correcting the problem. I mean, I paid the $90…you would think she would have knocked off $10 for the discrepancy. I guess they don’t really care about/count on repeat customers. Ugh.
Anyhow, I don’t know what came over me. I’ve been more vocal and honest in the last week than I’ve probably been in a decade. I think the diet might be going to my brain. If that’s the case, I think all of the great food, wine, and desserts have added a little fat back on me…so maybe I’ll be nicer through the remainder of the holidays.
~Courtney posted at 7:29:54 PM
Saturday, November 24, 2007
I don't have much to say. Last night was not a good night (rowdy house guests...it wasn't pretty), so all you get is this photo for today.
I call it "Mom, don't you remember how I reacted to that mascot at the baseball game in August? Seriously."
Or, click here for a slightly larger view.
~Courtney posted at 3:40:12 PM
We are THOSE people
Friday, November 23, 2007
Benjamin's nap schedule was quite messed up yesterday. More like naps were non-existent. Which, of course, meant that bedtime was at a very early hour.
When Benjamin is asleep before 6 PM, he wakes up for the day around 4:49 AM. Yes, AM. Ugh. Andrew got up with him, but I was unable to get relaxed, so again I joined them downstairs shortly before 6.
We tried a movie. We tried books. We tried breakfast. Nothing was amusing him, and it was FAR too early for his first nap, so I suggested sneaking off to Target. We needed a (not so) crucial things (sugar free red bull, wreath hanger, white strips, etc.), so we packed ourselves up and headed out.
I am not quite sure what part of me thought that it would be a fun/easy/enjoyable trip. To be 100% honest, I really thought that the crowds of Black Friday are a fib and people don't actually get up at 3-something in the morning to shop at "insert store name here" for a great bargain on "insert piece of home theatre necessity here."
Wow. I was wrong. Very, very wrong.
It was a zoo (I know, you're all saying "Um, DUH Courtney). Andrew and I (bravely) divided and conquered the few items on our list, bravely weaving our way from one end of the store to the other.
So, maybe I knew it'd be bad. Maybe I was hopeful that it'd not be so crowded, but nothing anybody told me would have prepared me for how RUDE people were to each other. I was disgusted at how grown people were behaving over stuff.
But, there is nothing that rings in the holiday season quite like good-old-American consumerism. So, we did wait in the line. We also ended up buying a new toy for Benjamin because he was being so well-behaved, but getting quite bored by the end. His behavior was doubly impressive, because the example being set by most of the other people was not conducive to, what I consider to be, holiday cheer.
Once we got out of there, we vowed to stay away from the stores and malls for this weekend. We will stick to that vow.
May this find you unscathed from any Black Friday shopping attempts. I think that I'll do my holiday shopping online.
~Courtney posted at 7:50:10 PM
Obligatory thankful post
Thursday, November 22, 2007
In the spirit of the holiday, and to "replace" my earlier post of grumpiness, I've decided to do the thankful post, which of course, will be plastered on most blogs today.
- I am thankful for my family. Immediate and beyond.
- I am thankful for Andrew and Benjamin, who are family, but deserve a special shout-out.
- I am thankful for my great group of friends; even though we've all grown in so many different directions with life, it's always effortless when we're together. You all know who you are!
- I am thankful that I burned about 700 calories running earlier today. And thankful that I can eat them all back, guilt free.
- I am thankful for Benjamin's sweet little voice. It's squeaky with just a bit of random gruffness. It makes me smile all day long.
- I am thankful that I weigh 30 lbs less than I did in August. Superficial, I know...but there isn't a day that passes where I am not thankful for it!
- I am thankful for the generous budget Andrew set for me to get new clothes that fit!
- I am thankful for the dinner we're going to have in a couple of hours.
- I am thankful for running. Even though I am going to be on a slight hiatus for a few weeks. BIG bummer. I am thankful for it not being a bigger deal, but have NO thanks for the break I need to take.
- I am thankful that I haven't appeared to lose readers after having posted for 22 consecutive days. That was a fear of mine!
- I am thankful when people leave comments. Especially if you tell me what you're thankful about!
- I am thankful for about eleventy billion other things, but am drawing a blank.
- Lastly, at least for this post, I am thankful for the days when you can have a glass of wine in the early afternoon.
Please have a safe, and fantastic holiday. If you're in our heat wave, enjoy it. I can't believe that I overheated on my run today!
And please, comment on all (well, some) of what you have to be thankful about!
~Courtney posted at 1:50:05 PM
Thursday, November 22, 2007
I hope that you all have a great holiday! I am too busy basting the bird and icing my knee to write much...so, enjoy your turkey day!
~Courtney posted at 12:14:08 PM
Credit where credit is due...
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Okay, so after having called and emailed my mom to get some Turkey Day prep advice, I realized that the cookbook is merely a crutch...my mom's willingness to keep her cell phone near from mid-day on TurkeydayEve until after dinner is served tomorrow is truly my life-saver.
Two years ago, she created a document that listed the dishes, the timing for prep, as well as some extra important information (how many estimated minutes per pound of turkey, etc.).
The first year, I followed the document, word for word, minute for minute. However, I spent much of the day chatting with my friend on instant messenger, and dealing with some work-emails (not included on the document, by the way). The last-minute (well, 30 minutes of) craziness began, dinner was suddenly ready to be served, and I was unshowered and wearing sweatpants. Not a big deal, because it was just Andrew and I. But, it was pretty lame that I never managed to take a shower.
So, for 2006, the document was updated with appropriate places where a shower could fit in. I was worried about dealing with my colicky baby and preparing the entire meal (again, just for Andrew and I), but things worked themselves out, and I got my shower in, and got dressed in "real" clothes, which was impressive for me, because I lived in yoga pants for the first four months after Benjamin was born. However, I had wet hair.
The goal this year is to not only cook dinner & shower, but also dry my hair. I am thankful for my mom's evolving Turkey Day Prep document. Very much so. I'll let you know how it goes.
~Courtney posted at 6:49:34 PM
Happy Anniversary andrewandcourtney.com
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Today marks the 1 year anniversary of our site. Fun!
~Courtney posted at 9:54:49 AM
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
A few years back, I was sitting at the kitchen counter at my mom's house, grossed out by everything needed to be done in the early stages of preparing a Thanksgiving meal. I mean, let's face it, cleaning out the bird is not the most glamourous of jobs, right? But, even as I sat there gagging about gizzards, I knew that I wanted to be able to do it myself down the road. You never know when you'll need to make a turkey.
So, for Christmas that same year, my mom bought me this cook book.
The one I have is an older edition (this one was just released!), with a much uglier front cover, but I imagine it's mostly the same book.
Anyhow, this year marks the 3rd year that I am making Thanksgiving dinner. Both times, it's only been for Andrew and myself (well, Benjamin was there last year, but not an active participant), but this year, we'll have quite a few more people.
I usually forget about Thanksgiving 101 until the day before Thanksgiving, but am entirely reliant on it once I get the process started. I am usually pretty good at remembering the things I need to pick up at the store, and do so in the days/weeks prior to the big feast, so it's not a huge deal that I don't dust it off until Wednesday afternoon.
So, I did you NO service whatsoever by posting this far too late to get it delivered on time to prepare your Thanksgiving meal, but you should order a copy to have for next year, anyhow. Oh, or you could pick up a copy at Williams-Sonoma. My mom did. I know, because she left the price tag on the back.
Happy Thanksgiving Eve. I hope you are on your way to being with the friends and family who make you the most thankful for all that you have!
~Courtney posted at 9:50:06 AM
Best online shopping experience...
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Give your money to this store.
I ordered a pair of shoes for Benjamin at 8 PM last night, and with their free, one-day shipping I had them in my hands by 7:45 tonight. That's insane.
I wish more companies would work a little harder to get orders out...I cannot WAIT to get Benjamin's Christmas sweater that I ordered during the Gap's Friends and Family discount days last week.
Anyhow, today was pretty exhausting, so I really have nothing to add about the experience. Just that it was good. And if they don't fit, it won't cost me anything to return them, either.
Where do you love to online shop? As if I need to do more of it...
~Courtney posted at 8:12:23 PM
Up to no good...
Monday, November 19, 2007
He is definitely cooking up some kind of badness in this picture!
~Courtney posted at 9:05:17 PM
Monday, November 19, 2007
I just got home from the orthopedist's office, and it's looking good for the future of my running. He said I can start running slowly again (no speed, no hills), and combine that with ice, Advil, and some physical therapy.
Of COURSE my insurance company's informational website is down right now, so I have no clue how much (if any) PT they will cover.
So, while I thought I would be able to spend the next 2 months working on speed and hills to make my flat 1/2 marathon a little faster, it's more likely that I am going to be starting from the mid-point on the training calendar.
It's better than not running at all. Now I just have to decide if I run on Thursday or not. I KNOW me, and I KNOW I won't make myself jog it slowly. I am far too competitive. Decisions.
~Courtney posted at 5:55:55 PM
Sunday, November 18, 2007
If you tend to waste a lot of time on the computer, and would like said time on the information superhighway to have some meaning, I highly encourage that you visit Free Rice.
It's the perfect blend of guilt-free time wasting, SAT words, and altruism. For every multiple choice vocabulary word you correctly guess, the sponsors (there are many!) donate 10 grains of rice, through the United Nations, in attempts to end world hunger.
While I have much room for improvement, I think I may have fed a small country last night.
~Courtney posted at 9:26:26 AM
Welcome, Emma Grace!
Saturday, November 17, 2007
One of my best, and oldest friends in the world just gave birth to a beautiful baby girl (yesterday, I imagine), Emma Grace!
We've just seen one cell-phone picture, but she's definitely a keeper!
Congratulations Anna and Theron! We are SO happy for you guys, and can't wait to meet Miss Emma!
~Courtney posted at 3:10:27 PM
Friday, November 16, 2007
I love business cards. I love having my own. I love getting them from other people. Love it. I even have "mom cards" with my contact information on them; they've come in handy multiple times on the playground.
I especially love business cards that make me laugh. (The images are small, but I think you should be able to click on them to make them big enough...let me know if you can't see them; because they are funny!)
In both cases, they were printed by Vista Print, which is a website that lets you create nearly-free business cards (I think you just pay for shipping). Even if the cost was nothing, you'd think people would make an EFFORT to proofread! Perhaps not.
The top card was given to me by the man installing our cable when we first moved in. He was shadowing someone, and learning the trade of setting up high-speed-internet connections; but if you ask me, I think that was just a ploy to get in front of people he'd otherwise never cross paths with, and network. Once he found out I worked in marketing, he was ALL about all of the help I could provide him for his business that he was starting up. I've kept this card around for awhile, because every time I bump into it, I get a major case of the giggles. Between the misspellings and grammatical inaccuracies, it is one of the funniest things I've ever seen. Sad...I recognize that; but true.
The second card is less funny, but the random usage of punctuation is pretty, um, interesting. This was just left on the doorstep a couple of months ago, despite our neighborhood's no-solicitation rules. I've held onto this one, less for its humor, and more because I am hoping that Andrew will cave one of these days, and let me interview some cleaning people.
TGIF. Counting the minutes until Andrew gets home from work for the weekend!
~Courtney posted at 3:27:54 PM
Fun Thanksgiving Plans!
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Stephanie and I just decided to merge our Thanksgiving plans into one party! They have a fantastically huge house, which is perfect for hosting a big dinner, so while I am still planning to do a lot of the cooking, we'll all be heading over there to celebrate all that we have to be thankful about!
I am super excited! Andrew's sister, brother, and his brother's friend are all joining us, as well. A bunch of us are planning to run in a turkey chase run sponsored by a local YMCA...so that'll be a fun way to start the day!
~Courtney posted at 2:59:44 PM
Benjamin loves rap
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Benjamin, who has figured out how to turn the TV (teeeevveeeee) on and off when he feels like it, has also figured out how to change the channels. He tends to put it on the MTV rap station, and then goes on to dance to the music. Fabulous.
Today was long. Andrew got home late. My knee still hurts a little bit, which means no running yet. All of that added up equals a grumpy Courtney.
~Courtney posted at 6:35:18 PM
It's hip to yell SQUARE!
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Since we were awake hours before the sun this morning, naptime happened early enough for us to attend the Story Hour (more like 15 minutes) at Pottery Barn Kids.
Benjamin LOVES going there, watching the kids, and playing with all of the toys that they have. Since they are totally cool with the toddlers messing everything up, I am happy to let him play away.
He was beyond hilarious this morning. There was one book about shapes, and the woman reading would ask the kids if they knew what the shape was. All of the bigger kids would yell out "circle!" or "square!" or "pizza!" The pizza was the triangle page, in case you didn't catch that.
Anyhow, Benjamin got really excited about yelling out shape-names. Like, REALLY excited. So, anytime the woman asked what a shape was, Benjamin yelled "SQUARE!" in his loudest voice imaginable. He had all of the grown-ups chuckling. Which, of course, just egged him on more.
The reader asked the kids to raise their hands to answer her questions, so Benjamin spent much of that book, as well as the second, which was about hippos, not shapes, with his hand up in the air, yelling "SQUARE! Square! Square!"
It made my morning.
Here is my little smartie-pants, looking quite studious, prior to learning the word square:
Hmmm...all that learnin' made me hungry...which should I eat first?
Mom? Is there high fructose corn syrup in this yogurt?
~Courtney posted at 2:36:35 PM
I've been tagged (again)!
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
My friend Amy has decided for meme-revenge, and has tagged me with a great poll, via her 9 year old daughter, The Cheer Chick.
- Favorite Color: Pink
- Favorite Animal: Giraffe
- Favorite Song: Sugar Magnolia, I think. I have about eleventy billion "favorite songs"
- Favorite Book: Too many to name, but this week, it's Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see? Well, it's Benjamin's favorite, but I love hearing him repeat the words from it!
- Favorite Movie: Love Actually...it's gearing up for Christmas, and it's my favorite movie to watch while wrapping presents!
- Favorite Number: 8 & 12. It's a tie.
- Favorite Day of the Week: Saturday. Or Friday.
- Pets? How many? None for us, although Benjamin would love both a cat and a dog; but until he's old enough to ask...not gonna happen.
I think all my blog friends are tagged-out this week, so if you wanted to respond to the tag, post in the comments. :)
~Courtney posted at 6:34:39 AM
Monday, November 12, 2007
So, the official time clock said that I finished in 43:10, but according to their results (clicks as people ran through, ripping off their number) said it was 43:22, Boo.
I came in 134 (out of 435 total) in the race, and 14th (out of 66) in my division.
Not too shabby. Woot! Too bad I am sitting here, icing my dumb knee as I type this...I guess I overdid it a bit last week.
~Courtney posted at 8:44:19 PM
Monday, November 12, 2007
I cannot WAIT to start decorating for Christmas. I've committed to waiting until after Thanksgiving, but we will be finding our tree, and pulling out the holiday decor the weekend after Thanksgiving.
I've been burning a holiday candle during the days when I am at home.
Can. Not. Wait.
~Courtney posted at 2:33:20 PM
Sunday, November 11, 2007
We're home from my 5 mile race at the Maryland Zoo this morning...the Zoo Zoom. I saw exactly ZERO zoo animals, but a TON of squirrels. So be it.
However, the reasoning might be my lightening fast speed (ha). I finished the 5 mile race in 43:10, which was nearly 2 minutes faster than what I thought my fastest possible time would be. Yay for sub-9-minute-miles!
Andrew and Benjamin were waiting for me at the finish line; and had spent the brisk morning playing on some bales of hay, likely left over from their halloween events.
It was a fun, fast run, and had a lot of hills. WHY does it feel like I am always running uphill? Here are some of the pics, post-race:
Here we are, immediately following the race:
A little fun with acorns and leaves:
Post race snacks included chocolate donuts (Benjamin), beer (Andrew), and Don Pablos chips and salsa. Yum:
Benjamin wanted me to post this picture, because he wanted to show his grandparents his updated Christmas list...All he wants, apparently, is a golf cart he can call his own. It was a battle to get him away from this one!
~Courtney posted at 11:29:08 AM
Two and a high chair, please...
Saturday, November 10, 2007
We just got back from the most fantastic brunch/morning out. First of all, I need to disclose that Andrew got up with Benjamin once in the night, AND let me sleep in this morning. I woke up long enough to sleepily feed Benjamin and put him down for his morning nap...and then climb back into bed. It was fantastic, especially since I made myself go to bed VERY early last night.
Anyhow, we went to Mimi's Cafe for brunch. This place is special to us, because we used to meet the Bond family there, quite regularly, when we lived in Florida. We always had a big table, and enjoyed a yummy breakfast, usually before heading off to the mall for a movie, or over to their house for pool-fun and hanging out. We were thrilled when we found out we had two MC's close to us in Colorado, and disappointed when we learned there were none in Maryland.
But, one opened in Columbia a couple of weeks ago. YAY.
So, we go out to eat quite a bit. At least once or twice a week. Usually, it's dinner. Benjamin is really good, but usually is done and ready to move on with his life far before we are.
Today was different. We were probably there for close to an hour and a half, and had the best time. Benjamin sat in his high chair and munched on an orange, a couple of saltines and some cheerios. We thought, for sure, that he'd be stuffed by the time his pancakes came out. Oh no. He ate both of his pancakes, some blueberries, some banana, some melon (two kinds), and a bite or two of pineapple.
He laughed like crazy, flirted with people at nearby tables, and made us SO thankful that we weren't the parents of the toddler at the table behind us. Not that we don't have that coming...but today, Benjamin was an angel.
Here's the angel:
Well, this was a lot of rambling, but I am just so happy about our fantastic morning!
Enjoy the rest of your Saturday!
~Courtney posted at 2:36:44 PM
A few things you never cared you never knew
Friday, November 09, 2007
So, I've seen these memes on other blogs, and always wished that someone would tag me. Well, Fran did last night, so I owe you all 7 Random and/or Weird Facts about me. I am having a hard time with this.
Here are the rules:
- Link to the person who tagged you, and post the rules on your blog.
- Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself
- Tag 7 random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs
- Let each person know that they've been tagged by leaving a comment in their blog
I actually am having a hard time coming up with these, so they are really unimpressive
- My left leg is significantly longer than my right leg. It's a pain in the, um, hip.
- I shattered my 2 front teeth when I was 8 years old.
- My skis "live" in the Ritz Carlton residences in Boston.
- I almost didn't graduate from college in time because I was missing one physical education credit.
- I was a member of three academic honor societies in college. I can only remember the name of one of them now.
- I am running in a 5 mile race at the Baltimore zoo this weekend.
- I get tipsy from one glass of wine these days. REALLY tipsy if that glass was consumed on an airplane.
I am tagging Stephanie, Tal, Lisa, Leah, Amy, Liz, and Amanda.
~Courtney posted at 7:02:44 AM
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Benjamin napped through our scheduled Gymboree (also known as "germboree" among my circle of mom-friends) class today. I was thrilled...until I realized that I'll just have to do a makeup class or lose out on the insane chunk of change that the aforementioned missed class cost us.
I resisted Gymboree, Kindermusik, Rolly Pollies, et al for an entire year. I often thought it would be good for both of us to have a scheduled outing, but I could never bring myself to do it in Colorado.
This summer, we had the pool, and the park, and some friends, and lots of traveling on the calendar, so we were set there.
But after a whirlwind summer, life started to slow down, and I realized that Benjamin had very little interaction with other children. A few friends had their children enrolled in Gymboree, so we decided to join as well.
I loathe the classes. Like, rather-poke-my-eyes-out loathe them. While everyone there is nice enough, it seems like a lot of the moms felt the need to totally give up on themselves once they had a child. I am a big fan of getting up in the morning, exercising, bathing, and then getting dressed for the day. I do the same with Benjamin. I like that we're ready to go anywhere at any point during the day. One mom told me that she always feels so sloppy now that she's a mom (She always looks sloppy, for what it's worth), and wondered how I always managed to look so "put together." I asked her what she does for herself, and I just got a blank stare in response. I don't know how put together I am, but I can promise you that I won't be wearing sweatpants and my husband's old shirt out and about. Of course, I sent my message with a bit more compassion than that.
Benjamin, however, absolutely loves being at Gymboree. He doesn't really enjoy the actual class all that much; and instead goes off and plays, climbs, slides and rolls. I think the teacher is a bit annoyed that I don't go above and beyond to encourage him to push the air log (for balance...even though he's been walking for months now), or bounce on the teeter-totter (he has some control issues...gets them from his mom).
Another issue I have is the germs. Less of the germs on the stuff, and more of the coughing, OBVIOUSLY sick kids. I KNOW kids are going to be exposed to things, but please, for the love of all things holy, don't bring your kid to gymboree if he/she is sick. It's not rocket science. I get it...the kid is sick, you've been home for 4 straight days. You are bored out of your mind. I do. I totally get it. But just don't do it. Benjamin's little friend Jonathan has been knocked out with a cold for nearly 2 weeks. All because some selfish mom brought her kid there to play.
One of the part-time teachers was there with her child a few weeks ago, and he was hacking up a lung, and she said "Oh honey, where did that cough come from?? You sound like you are sick." Turns to me and says "he's not sick." Um, the kid has full-on bronchitis lady, and that is NOT the first time he coughed, because I heard him hacking as you pulled him out of your minivan.
Next, it's insanely expensive. I know that it's a business, but the $70 a month it costs to go to Gymboree really gets to me. My gym membership with childcare and unlimited classes is only $40 a month! I mean, it's basically $18 for 30 minutes of hell. They do hold a couple of "open gym" times throughout the week, and I do my best to get to those as much as possible. Those are great, because they don't have the structure that the classes have. Or the cheesy singing.
Now, don't get me wrong. I am a total goofball with Benjamin. All of the time. In stores. At the park. In the car. But, there is something about a room full of newish moms bouncing their kids around singing "we bounce we bounce we bounce, we're bouncing at gymboree..." that really drives me bonkers.
Lastly, I don't know that I agree with the way the ages are broken up. Right now, or at least the last time we went a couple of weeks ago, Benjamin was the only person in his class who was walking. To me, it kind of defeats my cost-justification of "he'll really thrive around the older kids," when he IS the older kid. He's close to moving up to the next level, but the teacher was indirectly trying to dissuade me from moving him up early, because of his lack-of-participation in the group activities in level 3. I am SO sorry my kid doesn't want to be carried around on a giant parachute.
But, like I said before, Benjamin LOVES it there. When it's obvious that he is having the time of his life, it all becomes a bit more palatable. So, for now, we will remain members of the Gymboree family; although, you won't catch me there in sweatpants anytime soon.
~Courtney posted at 3:07:41 PM
Back to normal life
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Benjamin adapted back to life on the east coast seamlessly...I am still in shock at the lack of transition his body needed.
Benjamin has really been thriving the last couple of days. He's started signing "more," which he uses when he wants us to read "Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What do you see?," as well as when he wants more food. He doesn't do it for any other book. Whatever.
He is really starting to talk a lot. He's added tee-vee (Oh so proud. Not.), book, shoes and turtle (again) to his vocabulary.
This morning, Andrew went to get him out of bed, and he'd figured out how to turn the light switch on. It was also on when I got him from his morning nap, so we might need to get creative there.
Stephanie and Jonathan came over to play for a little while this morning. We hadn't seen them in a couple of weeks, and it was great to see how far along J's walking has come since his birthday party! In other exciting news with them, Stephanie just found out she's pregnant!! So, congratulations to their entire family!
Here are the boys playing at the music table:
Also, here are a couple of shots from our chilly visit to the playground yesterday afternoon. We didn't stay long because I was freezing...Benjamin seems to enjoy the brisk weather, and is totally unaffected by it. Although, he didn't go very far on the playground...so he couldn't have been THAT comfortable.
Mom, I am NOT going home right now...
~Courtney posted at 2:30:37 PM
A Snickers, Snapple & an iPod.
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
We were a bit rushed through the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport yesterday, but I did notice the craziest vending machines that I'd ever seen. The first one had Jessica Simpson’s picture on the side, and I quickly realized it was selling the Proactiv skincare line. The next, about 100 yards away, was selling iPods and accessories.
Apparently lots of people know, because they aren’t that new, but I am a bit behind in the happenings of airports these days. So there you have it.
I think I’d have a very hard time spending that much money at a kiosk like that.
~Courtney posted at 8:09:56 AM
No place like home
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
We've safely made it home from Washington. Based on the lack of naps today, it might be easy to get Benjamin back on the east coast schedule...fingers crossed!
~Courtney posted at 5:37:55 PM
Taking advantage of a sitter
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
A's mom stayed in tonight so that A and I could hit up the movies. She did the same last night so we could eat a fancy dinner out.
We give two (well, four) thumbs up to this movie .
Also, since we TiVo/DVR everything we watch on TV, we never see commercials for upcoming movies anymore. I can't wait to see this one.
Not like we have a regular sitter or anything, but are there any other good ones out right now that you've seen lately?
~Courtney posted at 12:49:13 AM
Family Fun, cookies, and bare feet in November
Monday, November 05, 2007
Yesterday, we were able to spend some time in the afternoon with Andrew's grandparents. We had a lovely visit, and Benjamin learned some new things:
Andrew's youngest cousin on that side of the family was there visiting as well, and she kept him busy, and thankfully, helped him wear off some of the sugar-high.
- Graham Crackers are not real cookies, even though I have been telling him so for months
- Real cookies have chocolate
- Chocolate cookies are WAY better than graham crackers
- Grandparents are allowed to break rules about healthy diets
- Chocolate cookies are best washed down with sips of root beer
My favorite boys hanging out in the backyard.
Andrew, his grandparents, & Benjamin. Getting all four of them to look at the camera didn't work out. This was also the beginning of Benjamin's sugar-crash/meltdown.
Not from yesterday, but a random one pulled off of my MIL's camera:
Peace out, homeslice.
~Courtney posted at 12:14:18 PM
Sunday, November 04, 2007
I have had my eyes on this pair of jeans for a few months now, but refused to buy them until I hit a certain weight.
Well, that weight goal was met and exceeded, and we happened to be wandering around Nordstrom, and now they are mine. All mine. AND, I got them in a smaller size than I figured I'd need. Which just rocks.
~Courtney posted at 2:36:31 PM
Running, & Other Rambling Saturday Thoughts on Life
Saturday, November 03, 2007
I've randomly posted a bit about my recent increases in running. I've loved running for years, and back in my non-mom, non-wife days, managed to make a lot of time for it every day. While I lived in Boston, I used to get up every morning, well before the sun, and bang out 6-7 miles on the treadmill at the gym. I would always be at my desk, ready to work by 7:30, feeling great, energized and focused for the day.
While I've always considered myself to be a relatively fit, balanced and happy person, even when I wasn't subscribing to the most health-concious lifestyle, I somehow lost that feeling of confidence and focus. Between working long hours, getting married, getting pregnant, moving across the country (twice) and having another human being who is entirely dependent upon me, I lost much of the confidence and balance that used to come so easily to me.
I also defined myself, very much so, through my career. While I never was a high-powered executive, nor did I bring in tons of money, I had a job that I was good at. Not even good, but great at. I knew my industry inside and out, adored my colleagues who put in the same (if not more) long hours than I did, and I took immense pride in the results of those long hours. My company was like a second family to me, and in many ways, still is.
While I don't have a doubt that choosing to stay home with Benjamin was the best decision for our family, the immediate (I worked until 11 PM the night before his scheduled birth) change in my role definitely caused a significant amount of personal angst over the last year or so. For awhile, I thought I could juggle it all (working at home while Benjamin played with a nanny), but that was just not realistic at all, which at the time, I read as a failure.
Anyhow, back to the running...Much of my lack of confidence in my choices, irrational insecurities as a mom & wife, and lack of self have all seemed to (mostly) disappear over the past couple of months.
Having added in this running time that is entirely for me has really changed me, and how I view my life. Sometimes I find myself lost in my thoughts. Sometimes I find myself huffing and puffing up a hill that seemed SO much smaller in my car. Some days I am so into it, that I decide to set a personal record, or to just run an extra 2, 3 or even 6 miles. Other times, on off-days, I am just trying to get through the run. But even on the off-days, I finish the run feeling strong, confident, and proud.
Overall, I have not only managed to lose 25 pounds since August (which resulted in shopping trips which are ALWAYS good when you are buying skinny clothes!), I've managed to become a better mom, a better wife, and a better person in general. I hope this satisfaction and pride in what I am capable of accomplishing never goes away.
~Courtney posted at 12:43:13 PM
We love the new ears!
Friday, November 02, 2007
2 take-offs, 2 landings, 5.5 total hours of flying, and a layover right at bedtime...not one tear shed!
Absolutely amazing. This was the first trip we've been on since Benjamin entered mobile-toddlerhood. With each trip we've taken (and there have been a lot!), I have had an insane amount of anxiety with the anticipation of flying with him. As with each of the other flights we've taken, he's met and exceeded any expectations I could have had for him and his on-flight behavior.
He didn't sleep as much as I figured he would, but he was so content watching Baby Einstein World Animals video (over, and over, and over again) that I didn't really mind.
Anyhow, here's hoping he adjusts to the time-change easily enough!
~Courtney posted at 11:51:46 AM
NaBloPoMo begins...and boots.
Thursday, November 01, 2007
So, I've committed to doing NaBloPoMo this year for a few reasons...
First, I thoroughly enjoyed looking out for a daily update from my friends who participated last year. Secondly, I've met a bunch of new blogger "friends" and added a nice chunk of new sites to my list of weekly-reads. Last, I've had a bunch of random, but semi-interesting things to talk about. In fact, everytime I've gone to post one, I thought "I should file that away for NaBloPoMo." Well, I did "file" it away, and can't remember a damn thing. I suppose if it was something post-worthy, it'll come back to me. Maybe.
On a totally unrelated note, my favorite mom-of-boys who gets bombarded with my parenting-a-boy-inquiries on a weekly basis will be of little-to-no help on my next question, solely because her children have never needed boots.
What kind of winter shoes/boots do I get for Benjamin? We're going somewhere cold very soon, and I don't have anything beyond his sneakers and crocs for shoes.
I don't imagine that he'll be doing much playing in the snow this winter. Also, his walking is good, but I do not want to get anything that will make it too difficult to navigate the local playground. Thoughts?
Wow. I will probably LOSE readers after NaBloPoMo...I am pretty boring!
~Courtney posted at 7:58:55 AM