Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter 2011

This was the day that I have been waiting for since having Miles—a REAL excuse to take pictures of him in his cute clothes. Yes, I know that I take a lot of pictures of him. Probably too many. But it was nice to not feel silly about it because doesn’t everyone take pictures on Easter Sunday? The silliest thing is that he didn’t really look any different on this particular Sunday from any other Sunday. (I can’t wait to have a girl to buy a new dress for.)

Ideally we would have taken our pictures before church, but let’s be honest, we were running a little late. I didn’t time the washing of my hair appropriately last week which resulted in having to wash and dry it before church (not typical). This always adds more time to my routine. So…we took our pictures as soon as we got home. And Chris humored me on the location and the prop (doesn’t he look so cute with that chair?).


And then, because I wanted the full effect of his outfit to show, I held his hand to help him stand up. He’s not usually the biggest fan of this, but he stood long enough to get my J. Crew-ish picture. Complete with a dog.


And because we don’t yet have a tri-pod for the camera, here are the pictures with Miles and one parent at a time. (And no, I did not buy a new Easter dress. Sigh.)



This is about when he decided that he would need some lunch if we wanted him to pose and smile any longer. Still cute, though.


And when he was supposed to be napping, he instead decided that he wanted to play in the kitchen with the eggs that the Easter bunny brought for him. And one of them even had cheerios in it. So exciting.


Sunday, April 24, 2011

My new favorite backpack

Day 4 of staycation started out pretty cloudy, but we were determined to go on a “hike” at a nature preserve not too far from the house. In fact, as we were driving there, we got several drops of rain on the windshield, but it cleared up by the time we arrived.

I’m not sure how big the nature preserve actually is, but there are only about 7 miles of trails total. We set out to hike as long as Miles would permit being carried like a backpack.  Luckily, Miles seemed to enjoy being strapped in and being able to look around.


After hanging out on my back for quite some time, Chris and I switched off the burden of carrying the big ole’ baby. And as soon as we did that, this is what happened.


I know it’s hard to tell, but that child went and fell asleep like that. This meant that he didn’t take a legitimate nap at home. But such is life on staycation.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Cow + fish = a pleasant (and metal) surprise

Last month, Miles and I met my friend Tara for lunch at a new restaurant  near the mall. I was excited to try this place because it sounded like a perfect combination for me and Chris to try because it specializes in sushi (for me) and burgers (for Chris). I noticed it also offered milkshakes--a sure bet.

Anyhow I ordered a small Philly roll and a super large salad, and when it came, I immediately started boxing up half of the salad for dinner that night. That is until I found a small surprise hiding under the chicken.  A metal bracket. For a second, I was willing to overlook it because Miles’s good mood wouldn’t last forever, and I knew that waiting for a new salad would take a while.

Fortunately, Tara was horrified and kept me from eating around it. We called the waiter over to show him what I found to which he replied, “Do you want a new salad?”

Ummm…really? In his defense, this place hasn’t been open very long, so maybe he’s new at this whole thing.

Next, the owner came over with a very sullen face and said, “I don’t even know what to say.”

To which Tara replied, “I’m glad you didn’t break your teeth biting into a piece of metal?” I love her!

But he felt terrible about the whole thing and very apologetic. He then explained that the entire lunch would be free, and he gave us each a coupon for free appetizers and gave me a $20 gift card.

Fast forward to last night when Chris and I finally redeemed it. We originally thought we would go see “True Grit” at the cheap theater by our house because our friends offered to watch Miles for us. But after thinking about it, we realized that we sit next to each other watching movies/tv in the dark every night. And since it is our staycation, we figured cashing in our free dinner would be a better idea.

It was so great to go to a restaurant, eat a nice dinner, have a conversation, all without having to shovel cheerios in front of Miles to keep him quiet. There was no metal in my food this time, but I’ll admit it, I thought about carrying one in my purse in an attempt to score another free meal. The dinner was great (filet mignon sushi!) and my company was even better (even though he nearly gagged when I made him try my dinner).

Staycation day 3 was a success (even though Chris spent the whole day working). Such is life.

Discovery Place

On Day 2 of our staycation, we spent the morning at Discovery Place Kids with our good friend Natalie and her daughter, Emerson. It’s kind of like a children’s museum in that it has a lot of interactive things for young kids to do, but without all the boring things to read. This specific place is designed especially for younger kids, including little crawlers.

We got there after morning nap time, which is apparently when everyone else got there, too. It was Spring Break for the Charlotte schools, so it was probably busier than most weekday mornings. As soon as we walked in, there was a sea of empty strollers and diaper bags because it’s much easier to maneuver the crowds without a large stroller to run into people with.

Our first stop was the water table for kids too small to stand at the one on the floor. They have it designed with high chairs built into it so that wee ones can play with toys and water. They have “water aprons” to keep them dry, but as you’ll see later, it didn’t work so well. Why they would include a bucket at the water table, I don’t know. This is when he poured the water directly onto his lap.


After I had enough of the water (both kids probably would have stayed there longer), we took them over to a matted area with a large mirror to indulge his vanity. He immediately set to kissing himself, a favorite past time. And remember, he did not pee himself; it’s from the water table, I promise. Emerson is not nearly as vain as Miles; she seems to prefer to sit in the background staring at all of the other kids.

167 169

When some of the other kids abandoned this little scooter, I snatched it right up. He was far more interested in the antenna than actually riding it. Sometimes I forget that he really isn’t a big boy yet; riding scooters might be a little too advanced for this guy.


And then he did my new favorite thing: he came over to give me a big hug. I swear that he does say “mama” when he comes over to me, but I might be making it up. I hear what I want to hear. He says it all the time, but I can’t decide if he has any idea who or what he is saying it to.


After playing here for a while, we made the rounds to see what else this place has to offer; however, because it was so crowded, I wasn’t able to put Miles down to crawl as much as he would have liked. But I think we will definitely go back when it’s not as busy to truly explore.

And after this, we had lunch at Friendly’s. Don’t ask me why. I wanted a sandwich. It would have been quick and easy with two kids that desperately needed afternoon naps, but Chris would rather die than eat a sandwich that he could make himself at home. The kids did okay, but the food left a lot to be desired.

Chris’s punishment was then to keep both kids awake for the drive home, a job at which he failed. And then both kids ended up taking really short naps once they got home. I know this because we all got together for dinner at our house that night. Luckily, both babies are good natured enough that one would never know just how tired they were.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Chris is on staycation this week, and we are trying our best to do things that we wouldn’t ordinarily do. First on our list on Monday? Miles’s first haircut. We’ve been talking about it for a long time now because his hair was getting so close to his eyes and it seemed that the hair around his ears was really bothering him. BUT…Chris was really concerned that getting his hair cut would officially make him a boy and not a baby. I was putting it off because, well, I do that with a lot of things these days. But Groupon pulled me in last week with a coupon, I mean groupon, to a children’s salon here in town. I figured if they cater to kids, there would be a smaller chance that they mess up.

Our appointment was for 4:00 so that Miles could take a nice afternoon nap, but so that it wasn’t so close to dinner that we entered the witching hour. But, as things often go, we were slightly late. It happens when Miles holds his own bottle.

When we arrived, there was a sign directing us to the front desk (if a sign needs to direct me, it must mean it is not in the front of the store). On my way to the so-called front desk, I noticed that there was an awfully lot of hair on the floor. I get that it’s a hair salon, but shouldn’t they be cleaner because it caters to kids?

Anyhow, the receptionist asked and if we had an appointment, and as I was answering in the affirmative, one of the stylists chimed in with, “Yes, at 4:00. It’s 4:09, but I guess we’ll keep it.”

She never once looked up at me. Just talked to the receptionist as if they were in a back room gossiping about the new clients that dared to be 9 minutes late. You’re telling me that no one is ever late taking their kid to a haircut? And it’s not as if they were super busy. But, it’s their business, not mine. Perhaps as a punishment, we were made to wait for the three other kids to get their hair cut first.

We did this:

First Haircut 001

Waiting for three others worked in our favor because then I didn’t have to interact with the stylist that was so offended by our tardiness. When it was our turn, Miles was strapped into some sort of automobile and immediately got to work driving (and admiring himself in the mirror).

First Haircut 002

We wasn’t quite sure what to make of the apron that was tied around him because it made his hands hard to locate, but other than that, he didn’t seem to care that someone to cutting off his beautiful hair. Especially since the stylist let him chew on a hair clip. I’m sure that I should have been worried about the cleanliness of the clip, but because Miles likes to lick the bottom of people’s shoes, a hair clip isn’t my biggest concern.

And at the end of it all, we had ourselves a fine, young man.

First Haircut 035

And to celebrate, we of course had ice cream (not pictured).

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Swinging on a Sunday

After our afternoon naps today (for me and Miles), we headed over to a local park so that I could prove to Chris that Miles does like the swings. Chris wasn’t with me the first time and never trusts me until he sees it. Oh, Chris of little faith.

I know this picture looks like he doesn’t like it, but this is just him waiting patiently and watching the other kids play.

 April 2011 026

This is how much he likes it:

April 2011 027

We didn’t stay long though, because as it turns out, swinging you kid gets kind of boring after a few minutes. I think we might be bad parents. Scratch that. Just selfish.

Storage ottomans are fun

A little over a month ago, I finally got sick of all of the baby toys on the floor and Miles pulling all of the non-baby toys off of the bookshelf, so I brought back the storage ottoman that we had been using in his room.

Most days, I pull out some favorite toys and put them on the floor for him. He has figured out that there are more toys in the ottoman but hasn’t quite figured out how to get them. Although I did catch his feet dangling off of the floor this morning as he was trying to reach something at the very bottom. So cute.

The other day I was watching Miles’s friend Emerson while her mom was sleeping after a night shift, and I pulled out everything for the two of them to play with. But what did they want? You got it. The big, empty ottoman. So I helped them out a bit.

April 2011 001

Can you believe she is two months younger than Miles?

April 2011 002

They stayed in there for over 15 minutes and didn’t get frustrated until I tried to put their friend Joseph in their with them when he stopped by for lunch. Unfortunately I didn’t get a picture with all three of them in there.

The next day I made a ball pit for Miles with the PVC balls I bought for his birthday party. But he needed some convincing that it was fun, not scary.

April 2011 006

Monday, April 11, 2011

We heart visitors!

We were lucky this weekend to get a visit from my cousin Kathy who needed a break from the hub-ub of DC (in her defense, she did not describe it as a hub-ub). Knowing my cousin like I do, I tried to pick an activity that would fit her desire to get exercise even while on vacation. I know, craziness! She also likes to swim “laps” at Lake Powell. So on Saturday, we all packed into the car, and I mean packed, and drove to Crowder’s Mountain. I sat in the back squished between the dog and the oversized car seat for the drive while Kathy sat up front with her legs cramped due to the same oversized car seat.

But after about an hour in the car (and a stop at McDonalds because any drive longer than 15 minutes requires road food), we got to the start of the trail. And although Chris and I had discussed bringing the carrier for Miles, we ended up only having the jog stroller. I still love the jog stroller, but it didn’t survive the rocky paths, so we ended up not going as far as we wanted when we started out.

But still a glorious little hike.

April 2011 017

I feel like I have a lot of pictures of Miles sitting in the grass, but he’s just so cute!

April 2011 020

And here he is with his new teething toy: pine cones.

April 2011 023

Monday, April 4, 2011


Lest I bore my faithful readers with too many entries about Miles, please allow me to thrill you with a tale of my pets, Scout (the cowardly dog) and Jem (the crazy cat).

Scout loves to be outside, especially when there is some warm sunshine to bask in. Sadly, we do not have a proper backyard for her to enjoy unattended. She’s pretty good about staying near the house, but if there is bird or a stray cat at our neighbor’s house, she takes off. So when she’s driving me crazy, and it’s warm enough outside, I hook her up to her tie-out. She does this:004

Jem, however, jealously sits at the back door.Remember, this cat came to our family as a stray on our front doorstep and has always been an escape artist. Remember the four weeks he has disappeared over the summer?

I noticed a family a few houses up that hooks their cat on a long rope in their backyard, letting the cat just sit in the trees. I thought Jem would enjoy something like this, so I bought another rope to hook to Scout’s tie-out last week and tried it out with Jem’s collar. That didn’t go so well because his first reaction was to run as fast as he could until the collar nearly choked him or came off. Back to Petsmart I went and came home with a harness specially designed for cats. This was after a lovely sales associate told me about a large raptor of some sort that she watched fly away with a live squirrel out her back window.

At first, Jem wasn’t sure what to make of the harness, but he does let me put it on him without scratching. Our last cat would never have allowed such a violation of his civil liberties.


So while the dog was inside, I put Jem outside.


For some reason he stays very close to the ground.

After a few minutes of this, I let Scout back out. I kept telling her to “leave it,” which she did, until I turned my back, at which point, she attacked. But in a friendly way.


I don’t think a bird could stand a chance against those claws, but they don’t deter our dog.

At this point, the dog came back inside in a role-reversal.


This only lasted a few minutes though because somehow Jem managed to do this:


So now he is stuck inside with the other attacker, Miles.


Saturday, April 2, 2011

Miles: 11 months

Hard to believe that this time last year, I was still very much pregnant. Still working. Still feeling my baby kicking inside my belly. Still having lots of back pain. Still totally unprepared for the birth. Still able to sleep in on weekends. Still waiting to be a  mom.

And now I have Miles. A little boy. I can’t quite call him a toddler yet because he has yet to “toddle,” but I can’t quite call him a baby anymore.  But as long as he’s still using his binkie, he will retain some definite baby-ness.


Since the weather has been mostly warmer this month, we have been able to sit outside in the grass on lazy afternoons. The first time he touched the grass, he lifted up his arms and curled up his legs and cried for me to pick him up. He did not enjoy the feeling. So when Chris and I brought him out to eat a picnic lunch with us a few weekends back, the blanket on the ground served as a perfect barrier. He did not want to leave the comfort of the soft cotton quilt. That lasted about a day. Now he finds it fascinating.


He is still very happy with his ability to crawl. And he has gained a lot of speed. I have had to change him several times because he gets to the dog’s water dish before I even realize it’s on the ground. I know most people say that when they have kids, their house gets more and more cluttered, but ours seems to be doing the opposite. Don’t get me wrong; this child has plenty of toys, but we seem to be getting rid of everything else to make room for him to crawl around. It helps to have our house on the market, too. It forces me to show some restraint in the amount of things he has.

He’s right on track with the big milestone of playing “pat-a-cake.” Chris indulges him in the song far more than I do. And we’re supposed to be playing peek-a-book, I guess, but I’ll admit that it’s not high on my daily to-do list. He’s also discovered his inner rhythm in the past few weeks or so. I read somewhere that babies are trying to imitate the feeling or being rocked, but it sure seems like he does this “rocking” as soon as music comes on.

Speaking of music, he has finally decided that he is a fan of the guitar. Chris usually plays to Miles after bath time while I am getting him dressed. He is so fascinated by it, that I have to be careful that he doesn’t fall of the changing table in an attempt to get to Chris.

He is pulling up on things now. And all this has changed, really, is that now I know just how dirty my window sills are. Thanks, Miles. One more thing to clean.

March 2011 029

And lastly, I’m not sure what he is doing in this picture, but I thought it was cute. Enjoy.