Tuesday, October 30, 2007

This calls for a celebration

There are some people who make a permanent imprint on your life. And I realized this weekend that it's really important to be there when something special happens in the lives of these people.

My freshman year of college was a rough one. Some people go away to school and live it up the first year, but I had a really tough time. And I literally don't know how I would've made it through that first year without my friend Dawn who lived across the hall from me in the dorms. And then, the poor thing, she proceeded to live with me for the next 2 years until she graduated, and those years were no picnic either, due to other life circumstances. But man, we had some good times. She's one of those people who can make me laugh until I cry, and I have some really fun memories from those years. But then she graduated and moved to the west coast, and we've only been in minimal contact since then. But this weekend, she got married. It was worth driving across the state of Pennsylvania to be there (and if you've ever done that drive...ugh).

The wedding was so nice. To describe it in one word: elegant. An outdoor evening ceremony followed by a formal cocktail hour and a 5 course meal and dancing. Dawn is a Professional Organizer (literally - did you know such a thing existed?), so of course, every minute detail was perfect. She even bought individual favors for each guest, wrapped and labeled with nametags. No joke. It was sincerely a pleasure to attend. (thanks for those who offered advice regarding Brian's attire. He went sans jacket, and although most of the men were wearing suits, I really didn't feel uncomfortable about it. There was one other guy who didn't have a jacket, and when I saw him walk in, I felt better. Besides, once the reception starts, most people take off their jackets anyway...)

There were a couple of other things that made this experience so fun. One, we dropped Katy at my mom's house on the way and stayed at a hotel! By ourselves! Living the high life... Two, we got to spend the evening with one of my other close friends from college, Cathy, and her fiance, Arvind. I hadn't seen them since my own wedding, so it was great to have time to catch up.

Cathy, Dawn, and I...we haven't dressed up like this since the SAA semi-formal

The groom works in television - isn't this a cool groom's cake?

Cathy and Arvind are next - June 2008


Meanwhile, Katy saw lots of grandparents this weekend. In addition to staying at my mom's house, we met my dad for dinner at the dairy farm for his birthday, and Brian and his mom took Katy to the zoo during my last day of work. Here are the highlights...

Katy and Grandpa on the tractor

Katy's first roller coaster

Up close and person with a gorilla

Warning...Katy is interested in everyone's "belly" these days

Monday, October 29, 2007

Flashback to 2 weeks ago

Oh my gosh, I'm so tired.

We got back from our trip and it was SO great. I have lots to report but must get to bed. But...

A couple weeks ago, my forever-long friend Jen came over from my hometown with her husband, her mom, and her 3 kids to meet Katy and I at COSI. And guess what? I forgot my camera. I was SO mad at myself. But, since Jen is such an excellent blogger herself, I'll just use this as an opportunity to send you over to visit her rendition of the day. We had such a blast and it's really special to see our kids playing together after our families grew up playing for hours on end. It's fun to be able to be "mom friends" with someone you played "house" with growing up.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

6 things

Mommy Daisy tagged me for a meme (hey, I actually think this is my first one!), so I'll give it a try. (A meme is like a question or a theme to post about, and then you "tag" other bloggers to do the same thing.) This one asks you to list 6 habits of yours...

1. I have a habit of running about 5-10 minutes late for everything. I think this is my persistent under-estimation of how long it will take me to do something, followed by my desire to cross as many things as possible off my to-do list. For example, I need to be somewhere in 20 minutes, but I'm just sure I have enough time to give Katy a bath before I leave, even though the place is 15 miuntes away.

2. I like to do all the laundry in the house at once. About every 10 days or so, I collect every item in the house that needs to be washed and put it next to the washer in the basement. It then takes me 2 days to do the 5-6 loads, including carrying them back up 3 flights of stairs and putting them away. (Brian helps me with the carrying part, especially when I'm pregnant. A laundry chute would've paid for itself by now). Then I don't have to think about laundry for another week or so. I realize that this may have to change as we add members to the family.

3. I like to shop. A lot. Even if I don't have a penny to my name and there is absolutely nothing that I need, I enjoy the process of wandering aimlessly around the store and looking at all the pretty things - imagining whether or not I would ever have use for them. I consider this a bad habit, however, because I can fall to the temptation to blow the budget on things that I convince myself we need. Especially at Target. It's like the marketing people over there have a picture of me at the end of their long table.

4. I have a bad habit of putting off deciding what we should have for dinner until after 5pm, which then limits our options and ends up in take-out more often than I would like. This is one that I'm really trying to break.

5. I really like chocolate and strawberries. I think chocolate-covered strawberries must be the perfect food. The best I have ever had were from a place in Lexington called Old Kentucky Chocolates. Oh my gosh. So good.

6. We have a few shows that we watch every week, and even tape it if we won't be home. Heros, The Office, and Scrubs (final season, tear). I watched ER religiously for 10 years, but when Carter left, it was the last of the originals, so I gave it up. Plus I can't stay up until 11 anymore.

So I'm supposed to tag 6 people to do this ... so if you are interested, Jen, Pam, Oma, Weed, Erin & Kelsey.

Also, here's Katy's latest skill...

Monday, October 22, 2007

Question about wedding attire

This weekend we're going to a wedding for one of my college roommates in Philadelphia. I know what I am wearing, but I'm wondering what Brian needs to put on. My question: is just a tie enough? Do you think he needs a jacket? Here are the facts:

-The wedding begins at 6:30pm.

-The ceremony, followed by "cocktails, dinner, and dancing", are both at a country club.

-There's no specification about attire on the invitation or wedding website.

-I'm wearing a wine-colored, knee-length dress. It's dressy, but not formal.

-I happen to know from a conversation with the bride that her dress does not have a train. (I don't know if this helps, but it's a fact that relates to the attire at the wedding)

-I think my husband owns one tie, maybe two. He does not own a jacket. This would require a purchase.

-Now that I think about it, he doesn't even really own dress pants. Nice khakis are about as fancy as my hubby gets. Do I need to purchase him a new outfit for this occasion? Your input would be greatly appreciated.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

More football, more friends, more fences

We had another fun-filled weekend with some friends that we don't get to see very often. Dan and his wife Amy were here for grad school back when Brian first started working at OSU, and we got to be friends with them then. They have since moved further into the midwest, and we usually see them once every couple of years for football games. They have 2 young girls, Hannah, 3, and Hailey, who is 16 months (3 weeks younger than Katy). It was such a good time of catching up, and Amy and I had lots of playtime with the 3 kids while the guys went to the game.

Storytime with Mr. Dan gets crowded

Katy and Hailey were good buds

We had a brief stint to the children's museum
This afternoon Brian decided to put the final piece of white paint to the exterior of the house. We have this little mini-deck out the backdoor of our house, and it hasn't ever been painted. We thought it would look nice to match the fence...what do you think?

After... Katy was standing off the side saying "cheeeeeese"
Finally, this is how Katy came into the kitchen this evening while I was cooking dinner...one shoe, Aunt Mel's hat inside-out, and Daddy's blue tooth headset - "hello?"

Friday, October 19, 2007

A Challenge to look forward to...

Recently I discovered that November is NaBloPoMo. You know... National Blog Posting Month? NaBloPoMo has a website, and those who participate promise to post to their blogs every day in November. How exciting! More to read! So I'm thinking about it, and I think I'm up for the challenge. I don't know if I'm going to get all official and register, but how about I just make a promise to all (or both) of my beloved readers that I will attempt to post something every day in November? I'm anticipating life slowing down a bit in November, since I will be done working at the clinic on Fridays AND football season (or at least the crazy part of it) will be coming to a close. Also, maybe this will challenge me to step out of my "what-I-did-this-weekend" posts and venture into more interesting or thought provoking topics. Or at least my posts will be shorter. Like this one.

So check back often in November. And for all my fellow bloggers, is anybody with me? (besides Kelsey, from whom I got the idea.) I'd love to read daily posts for a month!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Football, Fences, and Friends

Even though we get season tickets every year, I usually only attend one or two OSU football games, mostly because of the logistics of childcare, etc. So this weekend was my big game, and I had the sincere privilege of attending with some great friends. Beth and Jason came to the game with us, as well as some old friends from Kentucky: Anne and Mark got married this year on Katy's first birthday, so we weren't able to attend the wedding. We invited them up for the weekend so we could hear all about the wedding and catch up on married life. Good times.

I just love attending Ohio State football games. It's a sea of people wearing red, eating cracker jacks, and cheering passionately for Ohio - what could be better? Plus I love the game. Much of it is beyond my comprehension, but it's so much fun to watch. Even a near blowout like this weekend's Kent State game promises a good time.

This was Anne's first OSU game - we made her wear a face tattoo!

Old UK buddies... Jason, Mark, and Brian

By the 4th quarter, many had cleared...Beth and JT take advantage of the cushioned seat option

Katy showed her Buckeye pride as well

Katy and Oma had fun while we were at the game...

And as if the Buckeye victory and the perfect weather weren't enough, we got home just in time to watch the University of Kentucky play the top-ranked LSU. Now, in a typical season, we don't follow UK football much. They're much more of a basketball school, and they just usually, er, don't do very well. But this year they've been impressing everyone and having a great season. And since we had four UK alumni in our midst, we were really excited to see what would happen. We watched the 2nd half of the game at Damon's, where all the Buckeye fans were rooting for Kentucky, too, since everyone wants to see #1 fall. And did you see that game? It was amazing. Absolutely amazing. And after 3 overtimes, Kentucky won, 43-37. And do you know what that means for the Buckeyes? I have to admit, I didn't think it would happen this year, but we're ranked #1 in the BCS. Let the pressure begin.

After all that excitement on Saturday, Sunday was another big day. Our life group from church came over to our house to put a second coat of stain on our new fence. It was an amazing help to us, and it turned out looking so great. We feel so fortunate to have this group and we just really enjoy Doing Life Together (buzz words at our church). We are blessed.

Last night Brian and I collapsed into bed around 9:30. He slept until 7, I slept until 8, and I was still counting the minutes until nap time today. (During pregnancy, nap time is for Katy and Mommy.) But I will take exhaustion over nausea any day, so I feel great!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Anticipating "New Baby"

When Katy was born, our little neighbor Sam was 22 months old. Apparently his parents had been helping him anticipate Katy's arrival by constantly telling him about the "New Baby" that would be born. So when she finally came, Sam came over and repeated his mantra throughout the visit "New baby, new baby, new baby, new baby, new baby..." After that initial visit, his mom told me that he would sit up on his own couch, look out the window, point at our house, and say, "New baby, new baby, new baby, new baby..." Even as their car pulled down the street, he would point at our house and start...you know the drill.

But the funny part? Six weeks later Sam's baby sister Ella was born. You know what he called her? "Ella, Ella, Ella, Ella." He never once referred to her as "new baby." It was as if that was Katy's name. Capital N, Capital B: New Baby. Now that he's 3, Sam knows Katy's name, too.

Sometimes it's hard for me to imagine what Katy will be like when New Baby is born. That's 6 months away, and she changes so fast...what is a 22 month old like? Of course every kid is different, but when I want a visual image, I just picture little Sam when she was born, repeating his obsession, over and over, "New baby, new baby, new baby..."

Friday, October 05, 2007

1st Comparison

Just like Erin, I look forward to endlessly comparing photos of Katy and her future sibling(s). I figured I might as well start early, like, say, now.

This all started a couple weeks ago. I was 13 weeks pregnant and I began to notice that I was already having trouble buttoning my pants. And these are not my skinny jeans, but the forgiving pants that I had purchased to get me through the first few months (ha) of pregnancy.

Then when I was 14 weeks, still squeezing into my normal clothes, I had two people ask if I was pregnant based on my bulging gut. Oh, man. Surely it can't already be time to get out the maternity clothes.

So I gave in. Got out the maternity clothes. At 14 weeks. When I was pregnant with Katy, I think I started wearing them around 20 weeks, if I remember correctly. So here's the first photo comparison, though I'm sure this has nothing to do with the baby's size, but rather my cravings for McDonald's and the much less frequent puking.

17 weeks with Katy, still wearing regular pants and my anti-nausea bracelet...

15 weeks with #2, maternity pants, no bracelet required...

Thursday, October 04, 2007

New neighbor

Not at all unrelated to the recent break-ins in our neighborhood (Dad, don't freak out), our neighbors just got a new puppy! Eventually he will be a 100 pound American bulldog, but for now, isn't he soooo cute? Katy loves this animal, giving him kisses and repeating her mantra, "doggie, woof woof, doggie, woof woof, doggie, woof woof."

Brian claims not to be a "pet guy," but we know the truth...(yikes, our porch needs painting)

Sam and Ella like the dog, but also enjoy Katy's toys...


In other news, I believe we have conquered the fruit flies. Thanks to all who gave advice. I was beginning to think this would be the end of me, but no, I OWN this kitchen.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

The Job Front

So I mentioned that Brian and I have had some changes at work. It's been really a long time unfolding, but here's the short(ish) version.

Awhile ago, I started thinking about my current job and why I didn't feel very confident at work. Previously I had worked as an occupational therapist in the public school system, and I felt very much at home. I enjoyed the work, felt like I was accomplishing something, and had a passion for what I did. I also got enough feedback to feel like I did an ok job. But when I had Katy, I left that position, because it was not flexible for part time work. A former colleague of mine, Kay, was opening a new business and offered for me to come work with her. Kay is really terrific to work for and with. She is so passionate about the kids, so talented at what she does, and very understanding about life prioritites when you have young kids. She essentially let me work exactly when and how much I wanted. It really has been great. The only problem was that it was a completely different clientele than I was used to, also in a different setting. I worked by myself, so there wasn't much opportunity to learn from those with experience, and the learning curve was very slow since I have only been working 6-8 hours per week. I also started to think that my skills and interests were more in the background work and the details behind OT, not necessarily in the treatment itself. I shared all of this with Kay a few months ago, and she was glad to hear it. She and I came up with a list of things that I could do for her at home that were more business management type of things: billing, managing caseloads, facility management, etc. She asked me to continue seeing clients for awhile until she was able to hire some more people. I agreed, so I have been working a little from home in addition to my Friday caseload.

Meanwhile, Brian has had some changes at his job. After considering a different position at the university, his own department has convinced him that he is very valuable to them, and he is very excited to be staying put in a job that he has loved for years. The biggest change is that he is going to start working 5 days per week (which he has not done since 1999!). This means that I'll be losing my child care for my Friday caseload. Yada yada yada... I spoke with Kay and as of November 1st, I will no longer carry a caseload on Fridays, and I will be working entirely from home!! This arrangement will be flexible and very part time. Just enough to keep my foot in the door professionally and earn a little extra spending money. That means that I'll have one more day each week to spend with this cuteness:

I am so excited to be a full-fledged stay-at-home mom. Since Katy was born this has really been my heart's desire. And the timing on everything has been perfect, from Brian's job changes, to the new pregnancy, to the timing of Kay's needs with the new business. It's all laid itself out really nicely. It's definitely a sacrifice financially to stay home, but we really feel like it's the right decision for our family for now. The only sad part is that Katy doesn't get her Daddy day once a week. We'll just have to meet him for lunch more often.