Holiday Fun: Getting the tree
Sunday, November 30, 2008
I think I mentioned that we got our tree yesterday. Since we're a sedan-only fam now, we opted to get a pre-cut one up the street, rather than head out of the suburbs to a tree-farm.
Here is the photo evidence of this trip. Benjamin and Andrew ran around like crazy people, while I picked the perfect tree:
And now, up closer...
And, the rumor is...
And, because my second glass of pinot noir is leading to some nostalgia...
Getting our first tree as a family of three in 2006.
~Courtney posted at 8:26:28 PM
Sunday, November 30, 2008
I am SO over NaBloPoMo. There wasn't a single day where I was dying for something to post about (except today, oddly enough), but going back and looking at the posts I did make, made me feel a little sad, and pretty lame. Neither of which I thought I was.
On a fun note, if I gained any new readers this month, I'd love for you to post a comment an de-lurkify yourself. Comments are welcome from the regulars, as well.
Congratulations to everyone who made it through the month with (at least) 30 posts.
This one makes #43 for me. And I think 2008 marks my NaBloPoMo finale.
~Courtney posted at 4:01:00 PM
Why I love Christmas...
Saturday, November 29, 2008
We had music on. The tree is up, and is as tall as it can be in our new home, and the lights are up. Benjamin demanded his Christmas-tree-snowman pajamas, and we danced with our jingle bells and Benjamin played the pots and pan lids.
This is seriously the best.
Although, full disclosure, I did get hit in the head with a Calphalon lid...
(Good old PhotoBooth to catch it on "film")
~Courtney posted at 8:23:27 PM
I love Target. But...
Saturday, November 29, 2008
But, the wandering around and enjoying all of the wonderfulness that Target has to offer is immediately ruined when you get a bum-cart, and you don't realize it until you're too far in the store to go back and exchange it for a (hopefully) less squeaky one.
~Courtney posted at 5:42:47 PM
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Since, if nothing else, this month's blogging has demonstrated that I likely have WAY too much time on my hands, I thought it might be a good nearly finale to post about the most recent time-waster I found...a virtual makeover on Sephora's website.
I am a makeup junkie, although, not quite as much as some of my friends, and while I am pretty natural looking most of the time, I love the opportunities I get to wander through Sephora and a) browse, and b) sometimes buy all of the fun, and more funky makeup.
So, my virtual makeover was perfect. I got to choose from four looks.
Which do you like best?
Make your own at Sephora's Mistletoe Makeover
~Courtney posted at 2:49:41 PM
Benjamin's first race!
Friday, November 28, 2008
Em and I were out and about this morning, and found out that there was a kid's race happening that morning. It was for charity, so I called Andrew and begged him to get Benjamin ready and meet us there, so he could run in it.
He got there in plenty of time, and we pinned on his number. He and his Aunt Emily played for awhile and Andrew rushed home to get my mom and be back in time for the race.
Benjamin seemed to have a blast. And it was insanely adorable. I am so proud of him, and love that he already has an interest in fitness, even at two.
Then we saw an airplane. Benjamin and my mom went down to check it out.
We all got jingle bells before the parade started. Fun!
And then we saw these freaky things at the parade, and called it a wrap.
~Courtney posted at 2:29:55 PM
And I am still thankful...
Thursday, November 27, 2008
I am thankful for a lot this year, as 2008 has been one of the best years of my life.
I am thankful for our new home, and the amazing work we've been able to do on it in the months since April.
I am thankful for my family. And their health.
I am thankful that I filled my nearly empty gas tank for $26.16 yesterday.
I am thankful for my friends. Both old and new. And the support that they are always so willing and able to provide.
I am thankful for running. It's a break from my real-life where I can not only do something good for myself, but also clear my mind.
I am thankful for FaceBook. Seriously. Reconnecting with old friends has been fantastic!
I am thankful for delicious, healthy food, and great wine.
I am thankful for Andrew and Benjamin. Andrew provides above and beyond our needs (and my frivolousness), and by doing so, allows for me to stay at home with Benjamin for now. Benjamin changes daily, and I love watching the little person he's becoming.
I am thankful for the meal that's cooking, and my family who made the horrifically long trek from NY to be here with us.
I am thankful I beat Andrew at our 10K today. It was only fair, since he left me in his dust at the beginning. :) Kidding.
I hope that everyone has a fantastic Thanksgiving, with health, happiness, and good company.
~Courtney posted at 12:43:28 PM
Martha Stewart? Bring it!
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Okay, not even close to Martha Stewart, but here are some of my projects, including the not-finished table with the finished magazine basket, as well as the entry bench, with the same basket, this time used to house hats, gloves, snow pants in case it snows.
Oh, and the squirrels. Yeah, they are a tad freakier than I had intended them to be, but after the steps to find that out, there was NO way that I wasn't finishing the project. Thanks to Andrew for his assistance.
My mom, Emily and grandmother are en route, and we can't wait! They should be here in about an hour.
Happy Turkey Eve!
~Courtney posted at 6:33:37 PM
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
I love my new running tights. Love them. When I balk at the cost of getting a capri pair in the spring, remind me of this post, and how much I love the ones I have...
PS. I know they are totally ugly. It's the functionality that I love.
~Courtney posted at 10:50:19 PM
How can I punish him when...
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
How can I punish him when I can't even keep a straight face?
The consequence for being a stinker when it's naptime is to lose our snuggly rocking, singing, and reading time, and instead, to go straight to bed.
As Benjamin was busy running up and down the hall, I told him I'd give him until "five" to get on my lap, or else he was going straight to bed with no books.
So, he blasted off all right. Straight to bed. He's now grumpily reading his color book to himself. And I had to bite my tongue to keep from cracking up!
~Courtney posted at 1:00:24 PM
Some photographic evidence...
Monday, November 24, 2008
Of my table swiping, crafting freak-showness.
Baskets with one coat. They've since had their second.
Table to the right is one of the "free" tables. It's not done, but it's out of the family room for the holidays...
(Yes, those are Twilight books, and that is a glass of red wine in the couch-sitting stemless Reidel. Thanks, S...)
Here is the biggest table, still in its original form. It'll be sanded and stained black, too.
It's in the basement for now. Looks a lot like the Carolina table from Pottery Barn Kids right behind it, eh? Yeah, that's what I said!
And cutie patootie. Wearing my new Uggs. Trying to look fierce in his footie pjs.
~Courtney posted at 10:06:24 PM
My newest obsession...
Monday, November 24, 2008
My newest obsession is spray paint.
I've got a handful of little projects that just need to get done, and really, nothing kicks me in the butt quite like having people visit. So, anyhow, with my Thanksgiving visitors less than 48 hours away, I figured I'd deal with the catastrophe known as our entry-way.
The front door (also the one we use full-time) dumps you right into our living room. We have a little bench, but that's where we dump purses, bags, etc. Shoes slide underneath.
There is a coat closet right behind the bench, but that space has been horribly mis-used since we moved in.
No longer. I put some already-owned shelves in there to serve as shoe-cubbies, and to maximize the vertical space. I cleaned out under the bench (which, I actually do every other day or so, because the shoes = dust"). I was missing a place to put our winter accessories, and came across an old, wooden/wicker Ikea basket that I had (two of) from a million years ago.
So, back to that spray paint. They didn't match at ALL. So, now they are black. And they do match. I ran out to Home Depot, spent $4, and 15 minutes. Um, how can you beat that?
So, now I am hooked. It might be the fumes talking, but I seriously just walked around the house looking for things to paint.
In other (not-so-interesting) news, my T-day grocery shopping is complete, my house is guest-ready and nearly spotless, and my kiddo is tucked away in bed.
Ahhhh....and now to relax.
~Courtney posted at 8:33:11 PM
And back to that time wasting...
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Part 2...country style:
~Courtney posted at 7:17:58 PM
It's about time...
Sunday, November 23, 2008
I was totally bummed, back in October, that I didn't finish my half-marathon in under 2 hours.
A lot of it had to do with the fact that I barely trained the month prior because of my ridiculous foot and our vacation, and some of it had to do with the heat, but I really thought I would be able to pull it off.
I didn't, and was fine with that. Today, I went out for a nice 10.13 mile run. It was chilly, but not too much so, and I am psyched to say that based on my times during the run, had I pushed through another 2.97 miles, I would have finished in 1:59. Or, maybe even a few seconds less, since I was really rocking the last few miles.
Anyhow, this holds little relevance to anything, but it made me happy. Andrew is out enjoying the sunny day on his long run, and then we're going to work on a couple of projects around here before the Sunday blues start to set in.
~Courtney posted at 3:32:16 PM
Because wasting time is one of my finest skills...
Saturday, November 22, 2008
It's that time again! I was catching up on some friend's blogs, and noticed that my favorite family of six had made their annual elf-yourself video, so, of course, I had to rush and do ours, too.
When I clicked to get the code to embed in the site, the Jib Jab site made an error and gave me code for a similar, Valentine-themed video that involved a not-so-sexy-man dancing around in very little clothes. Shocked, I was, but thrilled that a refresh, and my hard work was not lost.
~Courtney posted at 7:32:20 PM
Another cold, lazy day
Saturday, November 22, 2008
With a 2nd weekend in a row with little on the agenda, we took full advantage and stayed in for the bulk of another chilly day.
However, all good things (in this case, cozy pajamas) must come to an end, and since there were only a handful of diapers left, a Target trip was inevitable.
Per usual, I was unable to escape the store without being $85 dollars poorer, but checked a bunch of random things off of the list.
We had dinner at a Mexican restaurant where Benjamin ate ketchup off of some French fries. He was, otherwise, well behaved, and Andrew and I ordered margaritas the size of our heads. Awesome. Always awesome.
We are definitely in for the night, and between you and me, I think it's time to jump back into some pajamas!
~Courtney posted at 6:23:10 PM
Jamma, Jamma, Jamma, Jamma, P! J!
Friday, November 21, 2008
Benjamin and I had PJ day today.
That's right. We didn't do a DARN thing all day. It was blustery, and chilly, and we both have the sniffles.
I thought I might go insane, and was hungry for lunch at 10:30 am (hello, eating for the heck of it?), but I am pleased to say that I remain in yoga pants and a comfy sweater, and Benjamin is still in pajamas. Although, his are clean after a nice, long bath.
What a fantastic way to start a chilly weekend!
Oh, and happy 2nd birthday to our blog! I can't believe that we've kept this up for 2 years, and have close to 500 posts! It's so much fun to see what we had going on at this time a year or two ago!
~Courtney posted at 7:43:14 PM
And today the little stinker...
Thursday, November 20, 2008
He's done it once before, but I caught it MUCH sooner than this.
We had Gymboree this morning, and then headed to the outlets to hit up the Under Armour and Nike stores to find Andrew some cold-weather running gear (he's envious of my headlamp, I think...).
I popped into Gap to see if they had any good deals on kid's holiday-themed t-shirts (they didn't, in case you were wondering), and got an odd sense of paranoia. They were selling things from last year's high-in-demand "Crazy Stripe" line. Of course, the hat Benjamin had on today was also from that line. I bought it last year and he boycotted every hat except the silly raccoon hat, so I was thrilled that he wore it, as it was my favorite.
Well, he'd taken it off, and it was hanging from my stroller. Paranoid, I was worried they would think I had taken it.
We exit the store. Security didn't come after me. Phew.
Um, they SHOULD have. About 20 minutes, and 3 stores later, I notice that Benjamin is holding a 5-pack of size 2-3 (right size!) girls' socks in blue, green, pink, purple, and white.
Flustered, I ran back into the Gap (which was past the mechanical bull (not the bar-style ones...more of the type you put $.50 in...) that I'd successfully (twice!)convinced Benjamin NOT to ride), and told the woman that my son had grabbed them when we were browsing.
There was no scene. And she thanked me.
Benjamin melted down over "mah purpa and nink socks!"
Probably needless to say, we headed home for a nap after that.
~Courtney posted at 5:04:23 PM
I'm bringing sexy back...
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Not to swipe the words of the very wise, and very handsome, Justin Timberlake, and especially because sexy is the LAST word I'd use to describe this, but for some reason, I am getting quite the kick out of my latest running gear: the head-lamp.
I went into REI a few weeks ago because I knew they had a full wall of them. I went in with the objective to get the most appropriate one for my needs (running on a paved trail at night), but spending as little money as possible. They started around $20, and went way over $100.
The nice mountainy guy pointed me in the direction of a $34 head-lamp...SCORE.
And it's been collecting dust in my running drawer ever since.
Two weeks in a row I was too tired by the time Andrew got home, and the next week I was psyched to go, but the rain was coming down a tad too hard.
So, yeah. Tonight I finally made it to running group for the Wednesday night run.
Andrew snapped a couple of pictures before I went out. Just to show y'all HOW devoted I am.
~Courtney posted at 9:39:31 PM
Something that cracked me up...
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
The running group that I try to participate with on a semi-regular basis has a "Success Stories" page on their website.
If you are in need of a giggle, click here.
If you are seriously training to qualify for the Boston Marathon, don't read it. Kidding. It's pretty funny.
~Courtney posted at 4:22:21 PM
And we're sick...
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
In between Bed, Bath and Beyond, and Home Depot on Sunday, we decided to hit up play-gym at Gymboree...
We had fun:
And now Benjamin is sick. The nose. The croaky voice. The throwing up.
Yes, all of the above. And then some.
~Courtney posted at 9:07:05 PM
All dressed up. With someplace to go!
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Usually, I am more likely to be saying all dressed up with nowhere to go. And by nowhere, I mean Gymboree, the choo choo at the mall, etc.
But today, I had somewhere to be. When I was getting Andrew signed up for the Run Geek Run 5 mile race he did a couple of weeks ago, I noticed that the title sponsor was the Northern Virginia Technology Council. Interested, I followed the links, and ended up on the Women in Technology site, and more specifically, for an upcoming event on "The Intersection of Marketing and Technology."
So, I checked with Andrew, and he was able to clear his calendar and stay home with Benjamin, so I signed up.
In typical Courtney-fashion, I made plans, but then started dreading them as they approached (I am known to do this with just about everything I do, and usually end up having a great time...). But, I got up and ready anyhow, blew the dust off of a cute pair of black pumps, and was dressed and ready to be out the door before 9.
The seminar was fantastic. The panelists were so bright, and the topics were perfectly relevant for the things I am working on for (my very part time) work. We're literally in the process of updating the website with a new look, and richer content, adding tracking programs, linking with our CRM software, and most importantly, creating 2-way conversations with the people we are hoping to attract to the site.
I go through bursts where I think I'd really like to go back to work full time, and then other times when I really want to just stay at home with Benjamin for now.
Since my current reality lies somewhere in the middle, and I love it that way, I look forward to being able to go out and take advantage of classes and resources that are available in the area.
Now, off to type up some notes while they are still fresh in my head!
~Courtney posted at 2:59:29 PM
Why my errands will only happen in the evenings
Monday, November 17, 2008
Me: Benjamin, we need to run some errands. Let's go get dressed!
B: Ooooh, mall?
Me: No, we're going to a farm stand, and then to Paper Source.
B: Ride choo-choo?
Me: No, there isn't a choo choo at the farm.
B: Yes. Choo choo tractor.
Me: No, that's a different farm.
B: Oh. Ride choo choo train? Eat cookie?
Me: We're not going to the mall.
B: Ride choo choo train? Eat cookie? Ride horsie? Eat pizza? Eat ice cream cone?
Me: Why don't you color, and I'll shop when your daddy gets home.
B: No choo choo?
Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
~Courtney posted at 9:25:41 AM
Maybe Bed, Bath, & Beyond, I don't know, I don't know if we'll have enough time.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Bonus points for knowing the movie...
Anyhow, that was our weekend. Lots of errands. Totally boring, in fact. But awesome because it was totally laid back.
Also awesome, I ran nearly 9 miles with consistent 9 minute miles, so that made my afternoon.
Andrew's mom was in town yesterday for a funeral, and spent the evening, dinner, and the night with us last night. We stayed up far too late talking politics, and catching up on the family. She was thrilled that Benjamin took a really late nap, so he stayed up until nine.
And that's really it.
~Courtney posted at 6:33:57 PM
Saturday, November 15, 2008
My house is sparkling clean, the laundry is ALL done except the clothes we're wearing, dinner is all prepped and ready to be cooked, the dishwasher is running, pumpkin muffins are cooling, the Thanksgiving turkeys are bought and in the fridge, and Andrew is mopping the floors.
We've been running 100 miles per hour since July, and for the first time, have no real plans this weekend.
I am feeling so relaxed, and possibly, ready to tackle some of the next home improvement projects on the list, including the 4th bedroom, the guest bathroom, and the office.
Or, what I really love...decorating for the holidays!
~Courtney posted at 2:48:03 PM
Friday, November 14, 2008
While we have no substantial plans (other than a lot of running for me), I am SO happy the weekend is here.
This week has been one to forget about, and more dramatic than an episode of Gossip Girl.
Minus the fashion, which makes it WAY less fun than Gossip Girl.
So, in an attempt to focus on the really good things that happened in this otherwise horrific week, I am going to try and think of the highlights:
I am sure there are a lot of other things, but those are the few that are coming to me right now, and I am covered in stickers, so I need to deal with that.
- Not losing my cool when the tailor at Nordstrom told me that she didn't think I should shorten my new jeans, and that I should just buy another pair to tuck into boots. Sure. And you can be there when Andrew gets the bank statement. I think not.
- The dinner we just had out at the pub up the street from us. Um diet? What? Oh yeah. Tomorrow. By the way, if any of my readers are restaurant owners...put toys in the dining room. We ALWAYS choose this place over most others because Benjamin is thrilled to be there. Bonus points for Thomas the Tank trains...
- Our friend JD's 2nd birthay party this morning. And meeting new moms in the 'hood.
- Getting a book-exchange-not-a-chain-letter, and having the book and my six letters sent within 24 hours of receiving it. (I bet a bunch (6, to be exact)of you are dreading checking your mail early next week). Thanks, Fran and Greta!
- Cupcakes from aforementioned birthday party!
- Lots of running. And more to come this weekend.
- Despite a short nap, Benjamin woke up and wanted to rock with me. For nearly 30 minutes. Ahhhh.
- Andrew played hookey this afternoon and came hom at 4.
- Gap Friends & Family sale.
- Painting the one table that I sanded last weekend. Only the first coat, so it needs another, and then distressing (staining plan has been abandoned; please don't ask).
Benjamin's short nap today means bedtime is VERY close. We're starting the wind-down routine momentarily. And then I plan to drink some white wine. Out of a big, red wine glass...because it's been that kind of week.
~Courtney posted at 6:26:37 PM
and the calm after the storm...
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Songs have been sung. Books have been read. And the only conversation heard in Benjamin's nursery is whispered:
"I love you, Benjamin"
Whispered back, "I love you, mommy."
~Courtney posted at 8:14:25 PM
Is he bi-polar? Nah, just two.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
I've had a rough few mom-days. Like, really rough. My sweet, cuddly, loving little boy has turned into a part-time devil spawn.
I know that's horrible to say, but I have wanted to run away on more than one occasion this week. And, not a day has passed without tears (mine and his).
I know I've been spoiled with the whole (lack of) tantrum thing thus far, but I think he's making up for it with the ridiculousness that is his behavior lately.
Some highlights today include
- Freaking out in Andrew's office because he wanted to "HELP DADDY WORK" when it was lunchtime.
- Freaking out, NOT because he didn't get to ride on the train at the mall ("conductor" was going on dinner-break), but because he saw the haircutting place and I wouldn't let him get his haircut. (Huh? He hates haircuts...)
- Whining. NON stop.
- Meltdown over me not letting him bring the wine corkscrew that he swiped from the silverware drawer into the mall. Because he wanted to share his (never purchased due to prior behavior) cookie with it.
- Not getting a 2nd ride on the carousel...he wanted to ride the horse, even though he chose the spinning tea-cup over a horse.
- My favorite, at the mall, was him being ticked at me because I wouldn't buy him a "dwink" after he refused the piece of pizza he had because he was "vewy hungwee," and opted out of the sippy of water I had brought with me, even though he was "firstee."
After the mall, I debated about whether or not to drop him off at home with Andrew, and then run my last errand, which happened to be at Toys R' Us to get a gift for a friend.
I was already there. It was a right turn in and out. I knew I wouldn't want to drive back out, with rush-hour traffic to go and get it...
Yeah, I took him into Toys R Us. DC rush hour has NOTHING on spending time in TRU with Benjamin. What the hell was I thinking?
He ran around. He screamed. He cried. He flailed. He drove a fire truck. He wore a helmet while driving a tractor. He "cooked" in a pink kitchen. He screamed some more.
FINALLY, I convinced him to come with me (by picking him up and essentially throwing his writhing body over my shoulder), and now we are settled at home where his tantrums are more contained, and much less embarrassing.
The highlight of Toys R Us was when I screeched "Oh MAH GAWD Benjamin!" and this 6 or 7 year old boy turned around, because, of course, his name was Benjamin and he thought I was yelling at him. Winner of the year...right here!
So, I already feel better after typing out this gripe. I know I am not the only mom out there dealing with the "terrible twos," and honestly, I truly do feel blessed to have a healthy, normally kind, cuddly, smart son.
But, that baby fever I was having last week. Yeah, it's LONG gone!
If you want the pictorial story of my afternoon...
~Courtney posted at 6:25:01 PM
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Benjamin and I, feeling a tad couped up this morning, decided to hit up a mid-morning Rocknoceros concert at Jammin' Java.
He started to come out of his shell pretty quickly, and even danced with a pretty, little blond girl who was about his age. I think he mostly liked the apple applique on her dress, though. And she would spin "round and round and round and round" with him. Because I wouldn't.
When we left, he had the tantrum of the century that left me flustered and stressed out. Things went down-hill when we got home, and I opted for a nap when he went down for his.
Which means I still have to run and shred. And have NO motivation whatsoever.
Oh, and while I was upstairs (for less than three minutes) getting ready to go out this morning, debauchery was taking place downstairs. Benjamin took toilet paper and then ran around the house, with it still on the roller in the bathroom. My entire downstairs was covered with TP. Awesome.
It's early bedtime (for all) here tonight, so I need to join the boys for (now up to eight) night-time stories...
~Courtney posted at 7:11:23 PM
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
I was just telling Benjamin about Thanksgiving, what it's about, and how we're going to celebrate (hopefully with some guests, and a 10K in the morning before the cooking begins).
I asked him what he was thankful for. He looked at me cross-eyed, so I prompted answers.
Me: Are you thankful for mommy?
B: Hmmmm. Yes.
Me: What else are you thankful for?
B: Daddy. Jump jump* jacks. Hmmm. And books. Run run* shoes. AND orange juice.
Not a shabby list, in my humble opinion!
*Oh, and in case you didn't figure it out, any word that ends in -ing gets the first syllable repeated.
~Courtney posted at 10:07:11 AM
It was a Monday
Monday, November 10, 2008
Today was definitely a Monday. It took us a long time to get moving this morning, and still managed to be late for the story time I had promised Benjamin we'd attend.
We bundled up and walked up there. I had a birthday present to mail out, so I planned to swing past the little UPS/mail store, but alas, they are closed on Mondays, so I decided to extend our walk, and venture over to the actual post office.
They do NOT design those with moms and jog strollers in mind, which is all I am going to say about that experience.
Oh, and when did they stop having pens available? Pain the butt.
Since we were already on "that side of town," I figured we might as well keep walking, and get some things from the grocery store.
As we walked past the tanning place I've been paying for, but not going to (I know, I know), I decided to pop in and cancel my membership. They are NOT nice to you when you cancel. Oh, and another non-stroller friendly place, which unlike the post-office, makes sense to me.
We grabbed a quick lunch out and ended up clocking 3.25 miles on our walk. Benjamin was WIPED out, but insisted upon reading each of his books we'd picked at the library, in addition to his collection of SEVEN pre-nap/bedtime must reads.
I was supposed to go out for dinner with some new people, but for a number of reasons I won't get into, changed my mind at the last minute.
Instead I went and spent 90 minutes in an Indian jewelry and bridal shop, waiting to get my eyebrows threaded. Yes. You read that right.
The boys spent most of the time I was gone outside. We are totally hoping that Benjamin sleeps in later than 6:30 tomorrow. With a short nap, and all that fresh air, we remain optimistic.
So, my something new was SUPPOSED to be going out to dinner with women I've only met through a message board for the area, but I wussed out.
I might work on my table, instead. Or, more likely, watch Gossip Girl with a good glass of wine.
~Courtney posted at 7:24:43 PM
Another fine weekend day
Sunday, November 09, 2008
We spent a good chunk of the day outside again today, which was great.
We woke up shortly after seven, which is the latest we've (collectively, that is...Andrew has let me sleep in a couple of times this past week) slept since the end of Daylight Savings Time last week. Ready to get a jump-start on the day, I got dressed and headed toward Home Depot.
Did you know they don't open until 8 am?
I do, now.
We eventually got our Home Depot and Target shopping done, and headed home, where Andrew and Benjamin raked the leaves in the backyard while I took the power sander to one of the small tables.
That was HARD work. I need to go in and manually finish some corners, but other than that, it's ready to be stained. I think I'll do that one night, inside, with a glass of wine and some television.
We all helped rake the front yard (for the 100th time, it seems) and then Benjamin and Andrew walked up to the playground to run around for awhile.
Andrew made one of his awesome pizzas (seriously, if you come to visit, request he make a pizza, they are fantastic!) for lunch.
Benjamin went down for a nap, and I went for a nice, quick 6.4 mile run. It felt great, and other than a weird bunch in my sock that was annoying me, I could have run for another hour.
When I got back, Andrew changed and logged a few miles, too. Benjamin woke up right as I was about to do Level 2 Day 4 of the 30-Day Shred, so he came down and helped me with "plank jacks," and sat on my back while I did push-ups.
That is a shockingly fantastic workout.
I was planning to go to the mall to return a pair of jeans that I had ordered from Nordstrom's website, but I just don't see myself motivating quickly enough to do so. Plus, I think we have some rain in the forecast for this week, so we'll head there on a less-nice day.
I hope that everyone is having a fantastic weekend. I am already suffering from the Sunday blues a bit, so I need to get off of the computer and find something to do!
~Courtney posted at 4:19:06 PM
When it's 70 and sunny in November...
Saturday, November 08, 2008
You go to the Mall!
The National Mall, that is.
We were desperately trying to find something fun to do this morning when we decided to just go into DC for the day.
Even though I go into the city about once a week for the zoo, or to meet up with friends, I never really think of it when we want something random to do as a family. Which is totally ridiculous, because there are SO many fun things to do, most of which are free or inexpensive.
So, today, we took the Metro to the Smithsonian stop, and walked along the Mall for awhile.
Benjamin immediately spotted a carousel, and started yelling "ride horsie? Please!" Being the easily-won-over parents that we are, we were happy to oblige. I stayed back with the stroller, and Andrew paid the $5 for the two of them to get on. Um, yeah, $5.
So, we both had a giggle when Benjamin picked a stationary, round bench.
As we walked a bit further, we saw TONS of tents. Which were actually Tents of Hope. They were pretty impressive, and took up a huge section of the Mall.
Afterward, we spotted a McD's and got Benjamin his sure-to-be-eaten- chicken nuggets. We kept walking for a better dining option for us.
We found one. A "sports tavern" with outdoor seating and the worst service EVER. And so-so food.
But, they did have lots of condiments for Benjamin to put on his nuggets.
After a decent lunch, we headed over to the National Air and Space Museum. Benjamin LOVED it there. He went through a bunch of the exhibits, oohing and ahhing the entire time. He really had a blast. He was getting tired, so next time, I think we'll head straight there so he can explore a bit more. It was my new thing for the day, because I had never been before.
Here are the boys re-joining me and the stroller after a tour of an airplane. He walked right into the plexiglass in an attempt to "flush the tee tee" in the airplane's bathroom. Hilarious.
Checking out some other cool things:
And of course he wandered straight into the gift shop. He had a VERY hard time choosing between a blue airplane and a space ship, but eventually ended up with the plane.
We had a great afternoon, but tomorrow I think we'll be staying closer to home, and raking the leaves.
~Courtney posted at 4:37:45 PM
And back to less seriousness
Friday, November 07, 2008
Benjamin and I took the Metro into DC this morning to visit the Building Zone (at the National Building Museum) and visit with our friend JD, and his mom.
On the Metro ride home, Benjamin and I were discussing our playdate, and our lunch out, and I asked him if he had fun playing with his friend.
He responded "Yes, mommy."
I then asked him if JD was his friend. To which he responded, "Oh no, no JD, JD's mommy mah friend."
I think it's because JD's mom doesn't try to take the trucks from him.
Despite what Benjamin says, he's STILL talking about trucks and JD, and we always look forward to our get-togethers with them!
~Courtney posted at 7:28:46 PM
And on a slightly more serious note...
Friday, November 07, 2008
I received this email from my sister yesterday:
Our class is sponsoring a Bone Marrow Drive for the National Marrow Donor Registry on November 17th. We are trying to recruit volunteers to either come in for the tissue typing here or to do it through the mail.
Basically, you would have a swab taken of your cheek which determines your tissue type and you would be entered into the marrow registry so that people in need of bone marrow transplants can search the registry for a match. There is normally a $52 charge for the tissue typing, but we have a pharmaceutical company that is sponsoring anyone that we can get to sign up.
If you were ever selected as a match for someone in need of a transplant (approximately 10% chance in your life) then any medical expenses will be covered by the insurance company of the individual receiving the transplant.
I am emailing you all because if you would be interested in receiving the at home kit in the mail, I simply need your name and address and all information will be sent to you free of charge.
Please let me know if you are interested and I can get you any more information.
Andrew and I were discussing it last night, and both felt a fair amount of anxiety over taking the test, and putting ourselves into the registry. I emailed Emily to tell her that, and she quickly responded that she understood our anxiety, and there was no pressure to do it, but on the small chance that we could help save a child with leukemia and with the small chance that you'd ever be called, you can always say no if it's not an option for you.
So, I guess we're going to do it.
I am not 100%, but want to be. If that makes sense. I don't think it's a huge secret that I have an enormous case of Irish-Catholic guilt.
And I am not Catholic, and only part-Irish.
So, no pressure, but if you were interested in taking the test at no charge to you, please contact me, and I'll get your information to Emily.
Also, you can get more information here.
~Courtney posted at 5:31:11 PM
Whoops, sorry about that, boys.
Thursday, November 06, 2008
So, to set the scene for what I am about to tell you, you should know that I tend to get my workouts in while Benjamin is taking his afternoon nap, especially now that it gets dark well before Andrew gets home, thus the mid-afternoon shower. You should also know that we're waiting for UPS to come and pick up a package that is currently wrapped in a Target bag, due to inclement weather.
So, about 20 minutes ago, I was getting dressed after my shower (where, funnily enough, was thinking how I had nothing of interest to write about today), when I heard a voice outside. I quickly ran to the window to make sure that the UPS man realized that the Target bag was actually the package he needed to pick up, and without thinking, pulled the curtain of my bedroom aside enough just to peep out, and try to look down.
I still heard the voices, so I opened it a bit more to realize that there was NO UPS man, but rather, 2 young Jehovah's Witness men coming to spread the word of their Savior. And I was topless. And there they stood, mouths agape.
Not entirely topless, but a nude-colored bra is all that I was wearing from the waist up. Well, a nude-colored bra, and beet red cheeks.
I snapped the curtain closed, and ran to the other side of the room to put a shirt on, realizing that I've probably traumatized these boys, but at least they'd leave me alone.
Um, bzzzzzz. Wrong. I hear the door-knocker about 5 minutes later. I can't see out the peep-hole, nor can I see out the two little windows of our door unless I jump up, or get a chair, because they are too high, but I knew it was them.
I don't think I could have handled trying to have a conversation with them, because there is no way I could have done so without busting out in laughter.
On a totally unrelated note, if you were needing to stock up on anything at Sephora, today is the first day of the Friends and Family Sale, where you get 20% off of your entire purchase using the code FF2008. I just placed an order of a few things I've been needing to replenish, and while I didn't need a confirmation to remind me of how much I liked the store, the compliment about my looks after they charged my credit card was pretty nice:
I wish more online retailers called me gorgeous...
And on that note, I think I hear the UPS man.
~Courtney posted at 3:55:08 PM
A whole lot of boring today.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Benjamin woke up at 4:40 am. Yes, you read that right.
Andrew and I stayed up too late watching the election coverage.
We're tired today.
But, holding true to my commitment to try something new, we ventured out to a teddy-bear themed story-hour at one of the branches of the Fairfax County Library.
There were some really annoying people there, both toddlers and moms, but once B got comfortable with the children's librarian who was running the show, he loosened up and had some fun.
Naptime was early this afternoon, although, far too short. It fell in that range where it was just too much, but not quite enough sleep (for me). I blew off running group tonight, but made a new recipe that my friend T posted on her website this weekend.
Andrew and I both loved it, but I have not been all that successful in convincing Benjamin that the Lebanese chicken patty is actually a cookie, because it remains in his bowl. Oh well.
I plan to head to bed VERY early tonight, and will sleep with my fingers crossed that he sleeps until at LEAST 6.
Sorry for such a boring update. I can't be insanely adventurous on far too little sleep, apparently.
~Courtney posted at 6:52:12 PM
Just call me garbage picker.
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Benjamin and I were walking up the street to go and cast our votes (today he's over Charlie Brown, and voted for Dora), and there were 3 wooden tables, 2 end-sized, and one coffee-table-sized, with "free" signs on them.
Yep, you've got it. My new thing today is that I took free loot from a neighbor's driveway.
They are in great shape, and I've been on the lookout for an inexpensive unfinished piece to practice my espresso-staining technique. These aren't unfinished, but since I've failed to return my mother's power sander each of the times I've driven up to NY, I see it as an AWESOME opportunity to work on my skills.
So, the funniest part of this is not that I have someone else's trash in my living room right now, but that I called Andrew, at work, fifteen miles away, to come and help me get them home. In the Passat. Of course, only the end tables (barely) fit, so we put Benjamin into the car seat, and I drove the car home while Andrew wheeled the table down the hill on Benjamin's running stroller. I can't believe I didn't get a picture of the yuppie man in the black cashmere sweater wheeling a table on a jog stroller...
3 wooden tables: $0
Borrowed power sander: $0
Espresso stain: $20
A husband who puts up with my lunatic-behavior: Priceless
And, worst case scenario, they go out on the street with a free sign, right?
~Courtney posted at 10:26:50 AM
Reason #4612 that I love Amazon
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
I JUST wrestled with those plastic coated, metal twist ties on Benjamin's new "electric gee-tar" this morning.
~Courtney posted at 10:09:31 AM
Haircuts, train rides and stickers!
Monday, November 03, 2008
Since Benjamin's "bangs" were about to be in his eyes, I declared this morning "let's go to Cartoon Cuts and spend $21 on a haircut for Benjamin" morning.
Because he's not much of a fan of the haircut, the $21 haircut turned into the $32 haircut once you include the cookie, the train ride, the carousel ride, and the happy meal. We hit up the mall's play area for a LONG time. That place makes me want a drink, but almost always reminds me of the mom I do NOT want to be.
Our new things today included not crying during the haircut (neither of us), allowing the stylist to use the clippers on him, and riding both the train AND the carousel. What can I say? I am a sucker. Oh, and I feel like the ditzy character Cher in Clueless, but I did break in my new Charles David boots today, too. So, I guess that’s new.
We popped into BabyGap to get a gift for a friend, and Benjamin was able to choose a “vote for” sticker. He chose “Charlie Brown for President, 2008.” It was super cute, but I think we lost it in the Nordstrom children’s shoe department while looking at the fish. Benjamin kept saying “VOTE for Charlie Brown” and pointing to his sticker. To everyone he saw. They must have thought we were crazy.
He took a fantastically long nap, and now we’re just hanging out, waiting for the banana bread to finish baking (with pecans!), and for Andrew to get home. I must be ill, because I spent Benjamin’s entire nap cleaning and folding/putting away laundry. I think that the house looks the nicest it ever has, and that is a fantastic feeling!
~Courtney posted at 5:31:27 PM
Monday, November 03, 2008
I just wanted to let you know that the English muffin, the one that I told you to eat before you could have an orange lollipop this morning, was NOT in fact in "da belly" like you told me earlier, and was actually in the living room TV stand that serves as your toy box. But, I think you know that.
Just remember, you can't use that trick anymore. I've figured it out.
Hopefully that orange lollipop was worth it!
~Courtney posted at 2:38:06 PM
We live for the weekends!
Sunday, November 02, 2008
So, in case you had any curiosity about how we spent the remainder of our Sunday-freaking-family-funday, here it is...
We went out for an early lunch at Jimmy's Old Town Tavern. Which, per usual, rocked. Jimmy, who has never NOT been there when we've gone, is from Buffalo, New York, so the menu consists of some WNY faves, including the ever-famous Buffalo wings, special mustards, and the Beef on Weck sandwich, which Andrew got today.
They have a toy box filled with germ-ridden toys that Benjamin LOVES to play with. We wipe ourselves down with anti-bacterial wipes afterward, but take the risk, since it's one of the few places we can actually sit and enjoy our meals.
The Buffalo Bills were playing today, so (another something new) we shared our table with another family who was there to cheer on the Bills. I don't know that we would have gotten a seat if we'd gotten there much later.
I also, immediately, removed my Red Sox hat upon entering, for fear of not getting served some lunch.
When we got home, we jumped in the leaves for awhile. Well, actually, I jumped once, and just hung out there for about 45 minutes. I will definitely need to be vacuuming my entire house tomorrow to try and pick up the leaves that fell out of jackets, pants, shirts, etc.
Since we've been camera happy this weekend...here are a couple of shots of our afternoon. Immediately following the fresh air, we all took a 2.5+ hour nap. Yahoo for naps!
Throwing gang signs? Nooooo...just jumping in the leaves!
You like my hat, dad?
The cutest stinker in the world!
We're a tad messed up from the time change here, but Benjamin just went to bed, and was VERY sleepy. We just had this conversation:
Me: Who is the cutest baby in the world? Is mommy the cutest baby in the world?
Me: Is Daddy the cutest baby in the world?
Me: Who IS the cutest baby in the world?
B: BENJAMIN. YESSSSSS.
So, there you have it. Happy Sunday
~Courtney posted at 8:30:19 PM
Something new before 10 am
Sunday, November 02, 2008
We just got home from an early morning trip into DC so Andrew could run in the first annual Run Geek! Run 8K. Although it was a brisk morning, we all had a blast. The newness is not an early Sunday morning race, but rather the first time I was there as a cheerleader, and not the runner.
Andrew did an awesome job, and without training at ALL, managed to run it a minute faster than my best five mile time, ever. Figures. I am only moderately bitter.
As the race was starting, I was feeling pretty sad about being on the cheering side of the race, rather than the running side, but once it got started, I realized I was equally, if not more so, content to be playing (petite-sized) football with Benjamin.
We got some fun pictures, including a nice family shot, and some with the Washington Memorial in the background. We walked back to the car with a detour past the Lincoln Memorial, and are now home, and trying to figure out what to do with the remainder of the day.
~Courtney posted at 10:27:08 AM
NaBloPoMo, day 1
Saturday, November 01, 2008
Feeling a tad anxious about the commitment to not only blog daily for the next thirty days, but to also do something new, or at least out of the norm, I think I am starting off with a bang.
Not new at all, Benjamin joined us in bed at an early hour, which is some of my favorite moments of the day. I must still be catching up from lost sleep last weekend, because I ended up going back to bed for a couple more hours, and then napped from about 2:30 - 5:10. Wonder if it's too late to find a babysitter and go out on the town?
Kidding. I think.
One new, or at least not in the norm, thing that we did today, was to enjoy the sunny, 70 degree weather while we dined on lunch from a new place, The Yum Yum Cafe in Reston Town Center.
We drove past it accidentally, as it's one of the businesses that is tucked out of the main flow of car and foot traffic.
We'll definitely be back. I also figured out where the 2nd fountain there is located (Benjamin is basically OBSESSED with the big one), and it's actually a "splash park" style fountain, which I think he'll thoroughly enjoy next summer. He tried to take his shirt off and enjoy it today, but a few potato chips from Andrew's lunch convinced him to run around the park, instead.
The boys got ice cream cones, and then we walked for awhile, realizing that we weren't crazy, and there were an insane number of canine companions out and about.
Walking a tad further down the street, I remembered that this was the adopt-a-dog weekend, and the tents were there with different organizations who were trying to get people to adopt pets. It seemed like a lot of people were, and as a non-pet person, I can even see why! I was drawn to short, white fluffy dogs, and shockingly, a Great Dane.
Andrew reminded me that my feelings of want involving bringing that Great Dane home in the quickly crowded backseat of my sedan was probably NOT in our best interests right now. Glad he's the sane, level headed one around here.
So, no pets for us now.
As I am sure everyone knows, last night was Halloween. Benjamin hesitantly wore his overpriced dinosaur costume, and even with his beat up nose, looked adorable. He mostly rode around in the wagon checking out the decorations in the neighborhood. Or, on our front step, where he "trick or treated" with our candy bowl. He got upset when other kids came and picked candy from the bowl, so we moved the party inside.
The weather last night was cool, but perfect for hanging outside and watching our little neighborhood kids out and about. We survived, trick-free (that I know of), and Andrew has already removed all of the candy from our house (read, my sight!).
Here is my little dinosaur:
Andrew was a photo-taking maniac pre-costume time, and snapped this cute one of Benjamin and I:
So, I remain optimistic that NaBloPoMo 2008 will be a fun challenge for me. I've been in a bit of a homebody-stage, so, I know it will do all of us some good to get out and try some new adventures!
~Courtney posted at 5:56:19 PM