Tuesday, September 29, 2009

5'8" Without... 6'1" With...

Before I had Cannon everyone would say 'wear your heels now, you won't wear them after he's born'.  They were wrong.  Granted, I don't wear them to the park or to swim lessons or to the grocery store.  But I still wear them.

Proof (please ignored the corporate carpet background):




Fabulous heels. 

There is little that makes me feel better than a wonderful pair of shoes (although when I left Cannon at school today, watching him walk in, greet his friends and run to his teacher to say hi made me feel pretty wonderful!).  So today, with fall in the air, I pulled out houndstooth on top and red snake skin on the bottom.

Call it flare, call it sass, call it a little bit of attitude.  These shoes are the Best part today.

Monday, September 28, 2009

A Monday Pick Me Up


The Best part?  What's not to love? chocolate... snaggly toofers... and a smile from ear to ear.
Makes my Monday, hope it at least brings a smile to yours.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Michael Phelps, I am not.

I did it.  This weekend I got back in the water.



For the better part of a decade when I was growing up I swam.  I was a swimmer.  In fact, when I turned 16 the license plate on my 1988 Isuzu Trooper said "SWMR" (yes, very cool, I know).  I'd get up at 5, go to practice, go to school, and go back to practice.  I constantly smelled like chlorine and sometimes my hair even turned green.  I was ok.  I wasn't great, never won any big championships (my Dad and brother are amazing swimmers) but I loved it and I worked pretty hard. 

When I transfered to DePauw halfway through my freshman year of college I joined the swim team.  That was short lived.  Very short lived.  I decided I enjoyed drinking and partying much more than swimming for four hours a day.  So 10 years ago I quit.  I did not miss it for one single second, until like a month ago.

So I'm gym shopping and testing a local gym with a pool.  I got a new suit (swimming laps in my tankini is not an option), some goggles and a cap.  I emailed my old coach, asked him for advice on how to get started again and yesterday I did it. I swam laps.  And what's better... I loved it.  I went back this morning and swam some more.  It feels really good. 

I forgot what a great workout it is.  For some reason when I'm swimming I forget that I'm working out.  Maybe it's cause I'm not sweating or maybe I'm concentrating too hard on how far I've gone or what intervals I should try and swim on.  Whatever the reason, it was great.

So, here's to swimming, to swimmers, and to rediscovering an old passion.

The Best part?  After 6 of us somehow consumed 9 bottles of wine last night... a morning workout was a must.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Fool Me Twice --- Basement Update

I'm sure you've been waiting with bated breath.  Here's the latest on basement-gate 2009.

We got three bids to finish what's left to be done.  It's some drywalling, installing bathroom fixtures, pouring some concrete, trim work.  It's like 15% of the project left to complete.  The estimates are between 4 and 5K.  Gasp.

One of the bids is from a guy I know through work.  He's a magistrate in a rural KY county just south of us and I trust him.  He's been calling me with stories for a few years now and I called him to ask about our former contractor when he took off (former contractor is from rural KY too... everyone knows everyone).  Joe, the new guy, owns a concrete and construction company and offered to help.  He's not the lowest but we chose the lowest the first time around and look where we are now... 6 weeks into a 2 week project and would pay just about anything for it to be done.  So, he's coming by this weekend with a formal estimate and to meet Dan and set everything in stone.  He'll hopefully start on Monday and in a week and a half we'll have a finished basement.

Originally we were going to paint it ourselves.  Not anymore.  We are too busy and are so desperate to have it finished that paying someone to paint is well worth every dollar.

I filed my claim in small claims court yesterday.  I know it sounds like it's not worth the effort but it's about principle for me.  You don't just get to quit.  You make a commitment and you keep it.  You bid the job too low, not our fault but it's our problem.  So, in true Judge Judy styles I will be in court in November, standing up for what I think is right.  Done and done.

The Best part?  I don't want to jinx it.  So... the best part is that it's Friday and we have a great weekend ahead! :)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Two by two...

There will be no camels.

Tucker (the dog) decided two nights ago to eat the head off of the Little People Noah's Ark boy camel.

This morning, I saw the head again.  At 5:30.  On our floor.  Enough said.

The Best part?  These things always happen when Dan's out of town.  Awesome.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Food for Thought

So, I have a new subscription to Cooking Light Magazine that I love.  The recipes sound amazing and aren't too complicated.  Granted, they're not your average "throw a frozen chicken breast in a bag with some marinade and grill" 'recipes' but they sound doable. 

Now that I'm going to be home three days a week instead of two I have got to get motivated to plan menus and meals for the week.  Not only does it save the stress at dinner time but it will save some money too.  What happens now is the aforementioned grilled chicken and a veggie.  Booorrrring....

So, why am I boring you with this?  Well, I'd love some new, family friendly, delicious recipes.  AND I feel like if I commit myself on the blog, I have to follow through. 

Or, I could always just copy whatever The 4 Benhams are having!

The Best part?  Yummy new recipes... and new motivation to get organized.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Bitch Please....

Pardon the profanity.

This weekend I had 24 hours of ZERO responsibility and it was magnificent (please note this is NOT what prompted the update to "Planner"). 

The short of the weekend is vis a vis, the following (Friends reference... something I'm considering doing more often): 5 friends, a few pedicures, some shopping, several indulgences, 7 bars, two cab rides, wine, martinis, champagne, vodka, one minor fall, and a million laughs.... oh and did I mention ZERO responsibility? The short is not nearly as entertaining as the long.



I am a sorority girl.  This suprises some people, mostly people who don't really know me like co-workers and colleagues.  I loved everything about being in a sorority.  My alma mater is greek, like really greek.  It's like being from St. Louis and asking where someone went to high school (if you're from STL... I went to MICDS) instead of college.  When you meet someone who went or goes to DePauw the first question is 'what house were/ are you in?'.  No one cares what your major was, where you lived freshman year or what your favorite hot spot in Greencastle is (toss up between East College Lawn, La Chareada, and 911 East Washington).  

In January of 2000, myself along with 30 more or less strangers, ran to a two story brick house with porch swings, shaded by massive oak trees.  On the lawn and in the street and spilling onto Sigma Chi's front porch were 100 other women who would become our 'sisters'.  And some of those sisters would become our best friends.




So this weekend, five of those best friends got really drunk.  Well, ok, all but one (she's pregnant).  We laughed, told stories new and old, and it felt like home.  We are all in different places in life and you would never know it.  It is so refreshing and wonderful to immediately fall back into our friendship no matter how long it's been.







So, we celebrated Nat's baby news and then acted like we were still in college.  We hit 7 bars in Columbus... a piano bar... a martini bar... a nightclub type bar (hated it)... a hole in the wall bar... they all really run together.  And of course ended the night with greasy food and a beer( I never drink beer... and I remember thinking to myself 'liquor before beer...ok, I'll be fine').



A blast.  It was a blast.



The Best part?  Miraculously, no hangover today. :)  

Planner -- Updated!

Didn't take long.

I'm back to not leaving things to chance and seeing what happens. No pregnancies for the Best part this year. :)

You can now return to your regularly scheduled programming.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Contagious...

Happy Thursday!


The Best part? Nothing like the laughter of a child to remind you not to take life too seriously.

Feels like home...

There is nothing like old friends.  They feel like home.

I truly believe I have some of the greatest friends in the world.  They have stuck by me in times when I really think no one should have (in hind sight of course).  They're the kind of friends who know you better than you know yourself.  They know how you will react to just about anything and they love you just the same.

This weekend I get to see those friends!  Sans husband and baby I'm headed north for girl time and I need it.  I want to laugh until we cry.  I want to drink a little too much and eat good food. 

And so... in honor of good friends... and the times we've shared in the past... enjoy... :)

The Best part? The weekend is only a day away!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Shame on you....

I wish this wasn't the case (and trust me, I love being right most of the time) but I was right.


The contractor emailed this morning to say he was out of money and couldn't finish our job.


Here's his email:
I can't tell you how sorry I am about your project is not being completed today. I totally missed the mark on this one by pricing it without any profit at all in it. It's my responsibility and it's totally my fault. My guys won't work for me until I pay them, there's simply no money in this job to do that now. I have a responsibility to you and your wife to cause and effect the completion of your project, by either hiring another contractor to finish it, and pay them out of my own pocket or to go do three jobs myself so I can make enough money to complete yours. We don't even have enough money for gas to get there. I'll get it sorted and get back to you, I'm sorry, more than you'll ever know, and I'm sorry about this piece of crap phone that I'm about to throw out the window.


And my response:

It's unfortunate that it's come to this but we all need to move on.

Dan forwarded me your email. We have spoken and here is the resolution we propose:
We would like the materials you said you had purchased for our project ($350 worth)... the drywall, the lumber, the cabinet and anything else you told us you bought that was in transit when the truck 'broke down'. If in fact those materials were never purchased, as you said they were, we would like cash or a money order in the amount of $350.
At this point we want to cut our losses and have our basement finished. It sounds like you won't be able to get it done in any reasonable amount of time and we wanted the basement finished two weeks ago. We aren't interested in you doing the work becuase we have lost our trust in you. We will be hiring someone else by the end of the week.
Please respond to both of us and let us know whether we can expect money or materials. Also, if you are going to deliver materials I have changed the garage code so you will need to call me before you come to bring them.
Mark, in the future, I hope you are honest with your customers. It is obvious to us that you had no intentions of returning to the house once you said goodbye to Dan on Monday. I don't know many people who can look a man in the eye and tell him you'll be back, knowing full well you have no intentions of returing. That says a lot about your character and your business practices. I hope you know that.
In the meantime, I have looked into action in small claims court. We will file a claim for the money in the event that you don't respond with your plan to repay us by the end of the week.

So, onward and upward.  I wish there was a lesson learned here though.  We checked references, didn't pay in full.  Not much more you can do.  I guess we should be less trusting and better judges of character. 

Off to hire someone else and get the damn basement finished!

The Best part?  Someday... someday... we will have a playroom for Cannon... come hell or highwater... we will have an effing playroom.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Fool me once...

It has been a long time since I have been as angry as I am today, as I am right now.  I am sure my blood pressure is through the roof and I know that a lecture from my mom about wasted energy won't help. 

Before we decided who to hire to finish the basement, we checked references, we had extensive conversations with the selected contractor and we did our homework.  We are not clueless, we know that it's a business that attracts some less than 'hard working' and 'ethical' people.

Our basement is 85% complete and the contractor is gone.

Yesterday he showed up (to his chegrin, Dan was home) worked for an hour then said one of the guys trucks broke down and he had to go get them.  He would be back.  He did not come back.  All of his tools are gone.  The tools wouldn't be a major issue if there wasn't still a little bit of drywalling left to do.  Clearly, when you take home the tools required to drywall,  you don't intend to finish the job.  In an email late last evening he explained that in fact the guys truck didn't break down, rather they were in an accdient.  Which is it?  Liar.

Now, this seems harsh but please keep in mind this is week four of a two week job.  We have been nothing but accomodating.  Aside from a small ass chewing last week for not being able to finish in time to have the carpet laid, we have been nice.  The first week he started a day late because his dog was sick.  During the third week they took a 'sick day'.  They have not worked for longer than 6 hours with an hour lunch during the entire project.

I am done.

He has not returned any calls or emails today.  He took $350 for materials yesterday that have not been delivered to our house.  I went so far as to change the garage code last night and left a note so that he would have to call to get it.  That way, I would know what time he arrived if he did show up.  No calls.

I am angry.  I am furious that we trusted him.  I am enfuriated that the project is not finished and someone in their peabrain thinks it's ok to just walk away.  It is about principle at this point.  We are fortunately not out much money (if any) and have minimal work left to do.  But again, it is principle. 

He will live to regret the day he decided to bail on us.  In fact, he will rue the day he met me by the time I'm finished with him.

The Best part?  At least we're not out much money... thank goodness.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Planner


I am a planner. I schedule things obnoxiously early and I like to know what's going on and when. To a fault. My mom laughs at me (even though I'm 99% sure I got the planning gene from her) when I ask what their plans are for Christmas in July. My friends who aren't quite as anal retentive (no hyphen) roll their eyes when I pull out my physical planner or work to schedule things weeks or months in advance. I think having a baby has honed my planning skills and now it's become an obsession.
Cannon is now one. It's the time everyone starts asking (and we start pondering) when we'll have another baby.
My brother and I are 4 1/2 years apart. While we have a good relationship now, we have never (and still aren't) been in the same place in life. I was in high school, he was in elementary school. I was in college, he was in high school. He was in college, I was maried and pregnant. He's one of my favorite people in the world but not someone I have a 'call him to chat' relationship with. Now, maybe that's because we are so far apart or maybe, it's because he's a boy. Is there a perfect age separation between kids?
Cannon was planned. It happened faster than we ever thought it would but he was planned. The plan was to start trying in December and he was born in September--do the math. We know how many people struggle to conceive so we know how fortunate we are that it happened so fast.

So, as we think about baby number two, I'm considering not 'planning' it. Just not 'preventing' it.


This goes against just about everything I stand for as an obsessive planner. Everything.


The plan before now was to try and space our kids about 2 years apart. So, around Christmas, we would think about trying again. I'm not crazy about being pregnant during the holidays.


We're going on vacation and as I've mentioned before, I'm fond of the sauce. Judge me, do it. Anyway, spacing the kids two years apart would mean trying again around Christmas and being 9 months pregnant in August, again. This summer that would have been cake, last summer I had ankles the same circumference as my thighs.


I have a lot of friends who had no trouble conceiving baby number one but it took a while on number two. So, who knows. The 'plan' would be shot if it took a while to concieve anyway. There's no way to know. This is one of the few references I will ever make in a blog about a 'higher being' so brace yourself. I know that the conception of our second miracle is out of our hands. There is no way that something as amazing as the conception, development, and birth of a child just happens, so I know better than to think that it's our call when we get pregnant.


I'm rambling now.


Here's what I know.


I know that I am ready to be pregnant again. Not like I want to be pregnant but I am ready to be pregnant again. It took a good 11 months for me to feel this way. It's not that it was a miserable experience, I had a relatively easy pregnancy. I just missed my body, being mine. I know that we want to have another child. I know that the adventure and fun would only be doubled. So, the question is, do we leave it to fate or wait?
Leaving it to fate would require me to loosen up, a lot. Maybe I'll see how long this 'leaving it to fate' feeling lasts. See if it's permanent or just a fluke 'our baby isn't a baby anymore, let's have another one' feeling. Or maybe, we'll just see what happens!


Thoughts??


The Best part? Whenever it happens... it will be the right time.

On to year 2...

Whew. We did it. We survived two weekends of family, two birthday parties, and two celebrations of our little boy. Now, onto year 2.

The official birthday party was wonderful. A few cases of beer, some pork butt, a case of wine, and a couple big cakes helped make it a total success. I know the kids had fun and I'm pretty sure the 'grown-ups' did too! :)

I still can't believe we have a one year old. I'm starting to feel like it's time to make him a big brother. More on that later.

Here are some pictures from the party (my talented friend Erin took some of them, http://www.erinmoore-photography.com/).

























The Best part? We're finished with bottles. We're finished with formula. We're onto new adventures, new challenges, and new memories. Happy Birthday sweet sweet Cannon. We love you more than you could ever know.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Can't Believe it's been 8 Years...

Please don't let the brevity of this post take away from the importance. Eight years ago today I had been living in New York City for 7 days. My internship at the TODAY Show was brand new to me and so was the city. Eight years ago today I watched the second tower fall from the middle of 5th Avenue. Eight years ago today I sat on the steps of St. Patrick's Cathedral and prayed. Eight years ago today I grew up, a lot.

For weeks I walked by signs posted on telephone poles by people looking for their loved ones. For weeks and even months I walked by St. Patricks only to meet a funeral procession.

I will never forget September 11th or the days and weeks and months that followed. I will never forget the smell in the air that night even on the Upper East Side. I will never forget the images I saw that day. I will never forget what I learned about the human spirit and the courage that lies within true heroes.

I count myself lucky that I was there when... I watched the most magnificent city come together in a way no one could imagine. I watched our country pick itself up by the boot straps and move forward. I was there when.

Now, eight years later, a lot has changed. I am... we are so lucky. I hope someday to pass the lessons I learned about life and the strength of people's character, and patriotism onto our children.

The Best part? I would not take it back. I would not ask to be anywhere but New York City on September 11, 2001.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A day in the life... of a ONE year old!

I decided against a sappy, sentimental first birthday post and opted for just a few pictures instead.



I will just say that I can not believe that Cannon is one. A year ago today we were still in shock that this miracle had arrived, we were parents, and we were more in love than ever before.



It is truly a miracle. One year ago was both the hardest and most wonderful day of my life. We became a family.



So, onto the ONE year old's day. He was greeted by both Dan and I and a rousing rendition of "happy birthday". Fortunately for him, he has no idea that we can't sing yet so he enjoyed this early morning serenade.


A breakfast of a banana (of course) and a waffle followed.


He absolutely LOVES his new wagon so we took a quick spin around the block this morning and even watched the big kids get on the bus (can't even go there yet... wow, if I can't make it through happy birthday without crying how will I handle school?!?!).




After fighting off his morning nap (I am scared he's giving it up...) we got dressed for school (what we call daycare) and headed out. He absolutely loves it there and they love him. It is a perfect fit. He's transitioning into the pre-toddler room from the infant room and so he spent half of his day with the 'big' kids and the rest with the babies.

While at school, Mama went here. A 3 o'clock massage in honor of the work I did a year ago to bring Cannon into our lives (courtesy of my amazing husband... here's hoping the tradition continues!).


A dinner of grilled cheese and a nectarine (he is a fruit feign, loves it!) and then some playing and bathtime. Pretty sure that marks an excellent first birthday!




Everyone always says, "hold onto this time, it goes so fast." Everyone is right. It feels like yesterday that we brought him home. It is absolutely the fastest year of our lives and also the most wonderful. Every day is a new adventure and there is nothing I don't like about being a mom. I love every second. He is our most wonderful accomplisment and the greatest learning experience for our friendship, marriage and love. Happy birthday Cannon!
The Best part? Year 2 starts tomorrow with new adventures! Big birthday party coming up this weekend!



Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Weekend in Review...

They came. They left.

I am absolutely exhausted.

Most people I know probably don't consider four hours at work on a Sunday night (before a holiday) a break but this is a break. A major break. For the last four days I have done nothing but cook, clean, cook for, clean up after, and entertain. I am done. Done. Done. Done.

Here's the rundown. My inlaws (MIL, FIL, and SIL) drove into town on Friday from PA. Saturday we took the duck tour which was actually very entertaining. It's an open air old WWII vehicle that drives on the road and 'swims' in the river all the while some very entertaining burnouts gave us facts and figures about the Queen City. You never take a tour of your home city so we enjoyed it, plus it was a gorgeous day to be on the river (even though the Ohio is disgusting).





Last night we celebrated Cannon's first birthday. I did not make it through Happy Birthday. I cried, pretty hard actually. In an effort to not smear my makeup before I anchor tonight, I will not go into details but I promise many sappy posts this week (yay!).





Today was pretty low key. Just had dinner at a local Italian dive (where they filmed part of the movie Rain Man) and now, I'm at work. A much needed respite.



The guests leave tomorrow (whew) and the weekend has been relatively drama free. The inlaws and I have a sordid past and their trips in are always extremely stressful for me. I will leave you with a little tidbit. We invited them for Thanksgiving hoping we could also celebrate Christmas with them over the Thanksgiving holiday (cause we'll be in FL for Christmas) and my MIL's repsonse was "Hmph". Probably not a noise you recognize unless you think about what your reaction would be if your friend told you the color of mortar on the bricks of their house was charcoal, not gray. Or if someone told you that the sun will rise at 7:32 tomorrow and not 7:31. So.... anyway...

The Best part? I have the week off and our little boy turns 1 on Tuesday!!!