Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Good Thing?

The easy-going temporary gig I have is nearing the end (at the end of the month). Fortunately, I just received word of a job offer, so I will move from one job to the next with no interruption, but it might be a bit of a culture shock for a few different reasons.

In contrast to my current manager, the new manager stressed that they like having the whole team in the office. So - no more working from home :( And this office is located in Ballantyne, the other end of Charlotte, about 30 miles from home.

I'm trying to see the positive in this situation. Being employed of course is good, but maybe this set-up will make me more structured? When I first started this job, before I got comfortable working from home, I would wake up every morning at 5:00 and work out and be super productive. Then when I started working from home more frequently, I started sleeping in more and more... "Well, I don't have to work-out in the morning... I can just do it on my 'lunch break.'" Hmmmmm.... Of course, it helped that back then Killian slept through the night, so it was much easier to wake up at 5:00. This will be interesting...

I Am A Disco Dancer.

Killian's been practicing for the family talent show this Christmas. Here's a sneak peek:

Link To Video On YouTube

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Good (and the Not-So-Good)

Good: Killian is not constipated any more.
Not-So-Good: Killian is NOT constipated any more. Dear God.

Good: Two piles of clothes are getting bigger: Killian's pile of clothes that are too small and Mommy's pile of clothes that are too big.
Not-So-Good: We both have 2 pairs of jeans that fit right now. (I am holding out to Christmas for Killian - I suspect he might be getting some clothes from sweet family members. And I am holding out till I think I am done losing baby weight before I buy new pants. Almost there.)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Bouncy Bouncy

Killian was parachuting and got stuck in the doorway to his bedroom. He thought it was funny. He tries to see the humor in everything.

6 Months Old!

Today Killian had his 6-month check-up. He laughed and giggled the whole time and didn't even so much as whimper when it was time for his shot.

We discussed his development with the doctor and then asked the very important question, "When can he eat Ethiopian food?" The answer: "Now!" ("What do you think babies in Ethiopia eat?") Because Killian has had an array of cereal, veggies and fruit now, it's safe for him to move onto table food (given it is sufficiently mashed up). Even a little spicy is ok. This lead to a nice discussion with his doctor about the Ethiopian restaurants in Charlotte and in DC (where she's from too). I can't wait for Killian to try some injura and shuro wat!

On the way home from the doctor, he was very tired (no nap yet today)... and seemed contemplative. He fell asleep just after I took this photo.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Best of 2009

Little early for an end of year post, but this is probably going to be my last post this year. The next few weeks will be too busy!

2009 was a pretty good year. I would like to highlight a few of my favorite things from 2009. The completely obvious good things will be left out of course (you know, the arrival my first born son). This is a list of the little things that need some recognition.

1. Girl Talk

I actually discovered Girl Talk in 2008 – thanks NPR's "All Things Considered!", but it didn’t really affect my life until 2009 when I started running more (thanks to Dave for the peer pressure!)

What is Girl Talk? It’s the most wonderful mix of “that old school rap with that new school hip.” New and old school hip hop with mixed with various songs from the decades, everything from Roy Orbinson to the Pixies). It reminds me of those commercials for Best of the 70’s cds… they would play the catchy part of some nostalgic song “hoooooOOOLD me closer, tiny dancer!” and then would move into the next song, leaving you with all the warm fuzzies the nostalgic song evokes but cut it off before it gets old. Except “Hold Me Closer” is actually overlaid with Biggie Smalls. It’s magical. And perfect for when you need to keep the energy level high – like running. I require music when I run and I really think Girl Talk is responsible for me bumping up my mileage significantly for the first time ever. I used to enjoy running as a teenager, but don't think I ever went above 5 miles. My record now is 10!

This is all Mike listens to when he runs also, so Girl Talk lyrics are now buried deep in our subconscious and emerge randomly throughout the day. Me when I buckle Killian into his carseat: “Get it right. Get it right, get it tight.” Mike: “Booty Booty droppin’ droppin’ nudie nudie poppin' knockin’” when he walks up and down the stairs, changes Killian’s diaper…anytime really.

When I go for long runs, I actually have to start repeating Girl Talk tracks. I’m afraid I’ll get sick of Girl Talk. I need more! What if they don’t come out with another album soon enough? This has led me to thinking about trying to learn Garage Band or some software to make my own tracks. Maybe that will be a 2010 goal. I need to hear Johnny Cash singing over some DJ Shadow.

2. Word Ace – an iPhone app that is combination Scrabble + Poker, thank you (again!) Dave Johnson! Actually at first I was cursing you for introducing Mike to Word Ace. Before I actually gave it a try, I was annoyed by Mike playing it so much at night and ignoring me, only to ask me every few minutes to google something for him to see if it was actually a word. (Yes, he cheats sometimes.)

But then I tried it, and I became addicted for quite some time. I spent a good portion of the summer sitting around nursing a newborn. With no cable TV in the house, I sometimes rely on my iPhone for entertainment when I am forced to sit still. Word Ace provided countless hours of entertainment for me.

Mike made a physical Word Ace deck and we all enjoyed playing it over Thanksgiving.


3. The Office

Again, I spent a good of amount of time sitting down nursing Killian the latter half of the year. So I went through a lot of Netflix. I decided to see what “The Office” was about. It’s a network show, so I had thought, how funny could it be? Wow, I was wrong. It always left me satisfied and smiling…

4. “That’s what she said!”

5. New Friends! Ok, this is a big one, so it really shouldn’t be lumped into the same category as an iPhone app and a TV show, but I did want to acknowledge it! Mike & I finally met a group of people in Charlotte we think are cool enough to hang out with ;) You know who you are :)

6. Technology in general, I think deserves a shout-out. I’ve been appreciative and impressed with a few things this year:

  • Wireless Internet: its general abundance and ease of use (compared to just a few years ago). My office complex has it everywhere now, so I’m able to move from say my cubicle to the “wellness room” and keep on working uninterrupted. Same goes for at home. When I used to work from home not too long ago, I would have to plug into a LAN line and be confined to one room. Now it’s pretty standard all laptops have wifi built in and I take advantage of moving freely from room to room when I’m at home.

  • iPhone: When I was in high school, the idea of just an iPod (let alone the iPhone) would have BLOWN MY MIND. When I met Mike, I was still making mix tapes. I find so many apps incredibly useful (RunKeeper), but mostly I’m impressed with the photo and video quality. When I graduated college in 2003, for a graduation present I bought myself my first camera. It was somewhat decent - with 2 megapixels. Yep. That was nice back then. Now my freaking camera phone has more megapixels. That’s awesome.

    Also, integration. Love how you can easily upload photos from your phone to flickr, video on your phone to youtube…. User-friendly interfaces make me happy.

    And Apple is not even paying me to say these things!

  • Baby Gadgets: Found so many things helpful. High on the list: breast pump technology– efficient, compact, and affordable these days. And so many accessories that make life with a newborn easier: swaddling technology, video monitor, ear thermometer, etc. Really don’t know how our moms survived without them! And especially my poor mom – the morning sickness wonder drug Zofran was not on the market until she was pregnant with her last child. There’s no way I’d ever even consider getting pregnant again if it wasn’t for Zofran. Hooray for modern medicine.

7. Mike’s New Status as "Cooking Mama": For some reason, Mike is trying to keep me fat. Every time I would come home from running, he’d be baking cookies, banana bread, sweet potato tarts…. WTF! My mind says no, but my mouth says yes… (Oh, didn’t think anyone was still reading at this point.)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A Good Thing

Mike's ability to whip up a meal in under 30 minutes with ingredients from our freezer: chicken fried rice.

Monday, December 7, 2009

3 Good Things

Gratitude is a good thing. I try to focus on the positive and appreciate the small pleasures and values that can be found in every day life. Sometimes it's all about the little things. So I'd like to start a "Three Good Things" series, which I've seen on other blogs that I'm a fan of. I know I won't write them every day, but the point is to try to think of at least 3 good things every day for which you are grateful.

1. Killian was in a great mood when I got home with him from day care. He laughed hysterically when I asked him if he would say that "mommy had a plethora of milk?" I'm not sure if it was the word plethora or if it was my 3 Amigos accent. But he laughed hysterically at everything I said for the next 15 minutes, which put me in the most fantastic mood ever.

2. My contracting company took me out to another nice lunch today. I never can finish restaurant servings and I love it when they take the food back to box it up and then accidentally throw it out. Then I get a brand new meal! So today I enjoyed 1 and a half yummy salmon salads.

3. John is coming home from the hospital tomorrow. Subtext: good health of family and friends.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Don't Mind If I Do!

Kids sure grow up fast. Killian just demonstrated he doesn't need his mom's help for everything. Lately Killian has been sleeping with me because he's waking up hungry a few times a night and it just makes it easier to have him close to me. Last night I was surprised to wake up to Killian nursing. He apparently has learned how to just help himself!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Resemblance?

The hair and eye color may be different, but that sparkle in the eye is the same.