Guest Blog Spot!

Greetings from the North Country! (seriously, we are in the middle of nowhere Wisconsin for a wedding) We did do this last night...Leinenkugel tour! (Do you guys have that down south?!?! Our tour guide claims they are in every state except Alaska. I am skeptical.) However, it is a DELISCIOUS microbrew made here in Chippewa Falls. Anyways, isn't this pretty much exactly what you pictured up North to be?! Because it is. Even our bar was a log cabin last night.

For those who don't know me, I'm Kat's sister Jenny. I wanted to write a post for 3 reasons.

a) Because they are too busy in NY to post and I know everyone is dying to see pictures!! (I'm sure there will be a HUNDRED more after these few that I leak)

b) On this, the week of their anniversary, I thought it would be nice if everyone left their thoughts of love and encouragement for Kat and Karl as a couple (maybe SANS Nate compliments..but then throw in a Nater-Tot compliment at the end. obvs.)

c) just to hack into kat's a/c without her knowing and doing anything I please. mwawawaw.

For anyone who was worried about NY and babies..have no fear. Sort of. The train ride was a success. That Nate completely conked out during. And the hotel was accomodating. Sort of. Check out ghetto crib!!!

And for the finale of all pictures (katie-don't shoot me for hijacking your best blog pic...)


Okay, now that I posted some spoiler pics.......I'll start with the extra special portion of the post!

Kat and Karl- On your fourth anniversary (four years?!?!) When you aren't giving Nate Tommy Boy face (kidding) you guys are super parents. Nate is the luckiest little guy out there because he could not have done any better. Not only that, but you guys are still a fantastic couple..still supportive of each other even in the most stressful times. So congrats on making it this far!! Many more years to come. Now for pretty pic.


the requisite anniversary post

august 27, 2005: why, yes, that is US on the cake, thanks for noticing. happy wedding skinny people!

august 2006: anniversary 1: in St. Louis before a Cards game.

august 2007: anniversary 2: in NYC at a Yankees game! (Last season in the old stadium!)

august 2008: anniversary 3. the year we apparently did not celebrate an anniversary or commemorate the moment with a photo. huh, something must have been distracting that year.

august 2009: year FOUR. well, HELL, someone better remind me to take pictures of me and my husband on OUR anniversary. maybe even without a baby in them! because in the month of august thus far i have shot a few hundred photos and very few even have us in them. huh.
AND, today, on the eve of our anniversary, naterface gave us an EXTRA SPECIAL early present:
the opportunity to look like HORRIBLE parents!

(and the opportunity to say (warning: tommyboy quote) "JESUS WHAT HAPPENED TO YOUR FACE?")

(Not here or here so much. Right here!)

Yea, he got in a fight. With some concrete stairs. I think they won. I promise 1. i was right behind him. 2. the THWUMP was, in fact, sickening. 3. it's not as bad as it looks in this image. 4. he only cried for like 30 seconds. (which was ridiculously weird since he can go a good five minutes if you take the wrong electric cord toy away.)

i am worried to take him out in public - i don't want anyone to call child protective services on me. i mean, kids fall down, right? UGH. say a prayer that it magically goes away overnight.

anyway, happy anniversary!

(also, looking back through these photos indicates that both karl and i are in serious need of a wardrobe update.)


sunday sweets: scerdy cat style

so, my ubercautious child who is the class crier in his gymnastics class (most of the other babies laugh when they do flips, etc; nate generally cries. it's awesome.), anyway, my ubercautious child and i went to a new park today. he straight up took OFF up these stairs and went down the slide all by his lonesome, laughing maniacally the whole way down. huh.

i am too exhausted to post much more. i hope everyone enjoyed the gorgeous weekend.


my last weekend as a deer widow

karl is going down to deer camp this weekend. the camp is in southern arkansas (nashville, home of the nashville scrappers, pronounced nash-vul.) they are going down not to hunt but to clean up camp. because the camp, my friends, has been SOLD. it belongs to family (from mineral springs, pronounced mineral springs, where there is nary a walmart) and they pay dues to hunt every deer season. the past few years have been slim on hunting for k - with work and me and the baby and all, so the news isn't a big shock.

i find it highly entertaining (and slightly repulsive) that k likes to hunt in the first place. there aren't too many terribly geeky IT professionals who dig shooting bambi in the face. (do you aim for the head?) I also find it highly adorable. i know it's ABSOLUTELY ridiculous, but the first time i saw the dryer sheets that smelled like dirt and trees (literally like dirt. you know, so you blend.), i had to smile. i mean that is just funny. plus, when we go to camp together, i get to ride the four wheeler through the woods and climb in deer stands and feel like the country girl i most certainly am not. (there is a cabin with toilets. you know i don't pee anywhere else.)

likes: hunting deer, computer software, designing websites, eating cinnamon toast crunch, playing the Sims3, running marathons, museum hopping in NYC, drinking wild turkey, the $2.99 dark meat meal at KFC
dislikes: health insurance companies, comcast (well, bad customer service in general), meatloaf, watermelon, rude people, unsolicited advice (particularly about childbirth and babyraising - it's super cute.), and america's next top model.

proof that i have been to the deer camp and driven a four wheeler to a deer stand which i then proceeded to load with corn: (this belongs in the category: RIGHT HERE LADIES AND GENTS. STEP RIGHT UP.) also: (PLACES I NEVER THOUGHT I WOULD BE IN MY LIFE.)



I stole this idea from our friend Ella's mommy and wanted to post some current Nate-isms before i forget them.

Nate, at this stage, is somewhat of a solemn, serious little thing...particularly in new situations. he is not one to jump right in and play just yet. he has to get used to his surroundings, watch others, and then deem if it is okay to play or not. Both Karl and I were apparently shy kiddos (ha), so I am guessing we have a bit of a shy guy on our hands. in the comfort of the living room, he is a babbling, laughing mess.

Nate is standing (forever at a time) and taking steps (like 3 or 4 steps). He has been cruising for months and months. He is a cautious little thing who wants to get it right. He was slow to roll, slow to crawl (and he STILL crawls like this; we get comments on it everywhere!), and now a bit slow to walk. we aren't worried; we know he wants to (oh you can see it in his eyes! and he laughs and claps after every step he takes) and that he will TAKE OFF when he is ready. One thing he DOES work on is his vertical climb - so far he can scale all the couches and karl's papabearchair. He is also quite good at stairs. So, yea, that's not TERRIFYING or anything.

Nate does have a decently large vocab. He says dog (and dear god does he LOVES our dogs. our poor, tortured dogs.), duck, na-na (banana; everytime i ask him if wants a snack, he says NANA loud and clear... he doesn't always get one but i think it's cute that he associates snack and banana), mama, dada, ball, hi, um, cracker (weird, right? but pretty clear.), yum (well, num num) and, occasionally, clock (though the jury is still out on that one. we show him a picture of a clock and he makes this weird sound like when you are hocking a loogy (oh, yea, i just referenced hocking. a. loogy. GROSS.) so we think it's clock, but, well, whatever. it is. (he is the smartest boy alive after all.) Also, when you hold up a hand held mirror in front of him and say "Who is that?", he responds with a noise like "Nah." I think he is trying to say Nate, but Karl laughs at me. Nate is also starting to understand commands better - like 'give it to me' or 'put it down' or 'stand up' - still working on the ever-elusive "NO!" (oh, you know he understands it.) He also can point out his head, nose, toes and a few other body parts. He gives hugs and kisses (still open mouthed - working on that.) and will raise his arms up when you say "touchdown!"

Nate does love books (and thanks to his bookworm birthday party has quite the library!) He ADORES his individual letter books - they are nice and simple and come in a nifty little box. He is constantly taking them out and putting them back in (he does this with all his toys - LOVES containers and lids.) and asking us to read them aloud. He also loves BUTTONS. pressing them. kissing them. licking them. remotes and cell phones (yes, he can turn my iPhone on and unlock it) hold the most fascination for him (of course.) I am contemplating redoing his room in a ROBOT theme with BUTTONS TO PRESS everywhere. (I have already found a wall color aptly entitled Space Suit.)

Nate still does not sleep as much as other babies his age. Yes, he sleeps through the night (and I am thankful for that), but napping? HA. He doesn't have an AM nap (unless he falls asleep in the stroller or in the car briefly). I put him down consistently at the same time every afternoon and the VERY MOST i get (if i am very, very lucky) is 2 hours. He goes down for the night anywhere between 7:30 and 8:30 (depending on the nap length) and sleeps through until about 6:30 in the a.m. I remember when we were concerned about his lack of napping at daycare/home and our pedi told us "some kids just don't need as much sleep as others." Yep, that some kid? It's my kid. (And, yes, I am furiously typing this as he naps.) Most days, I don't mind because he is happy and smiley and runs around like he is fueled with SLEEP. Some days, I wouldn't mind him sleeping a bit more so I could, you know, shower and blog (my reader is always full) and read or do whatever. i am sure his pattern will change as he grows, but that is where we are right now.

Let's see. Nate eats everything we put in front of him. His current favs are edamame, MILK, yogurt, cheese, blueberries, watermelon, grapes, carrots (cooked and soft of course.), corn, mushrooms, brocoli, pickles, black beans, oatmeal. (if he is not supposed to have any of those things, please do not tell me. cause he has.) Pretty much he will try everything we put in front of him (even olives - yuck.). He does NOT want you to feed him very often; he much prefers to do it himself. He hates sippys and will only drink out of a straw. He still (shhh) has a night time bottle of milk before bed. I know he is getting too old for it, but it's a time of day we cherish - he is so rarely still in our arms. (for the record, he weighs almost 25 pounds; and is a little over 31 inches tall.) (we think he is tall and skinny like his dad.) He also still takes a paci/binky at bedtime (and when he is sick) (and in emergency situations like, uh, airplanes where screaming children are frowned upon.). But he REALLY has moved past his whiney stage (i credit his budding communication skills!), so he really doesn't miss the paci, so it remains a night time comfort for the time being.

Nate is almost impossible to capture on film. See picture above.


interwebs pictures: he's a real boy


thank you for your comments on my creepshow post - sometimes you just get that VIBE, that feeling where you know something is not right. that was one of those times. thank you for not making me feel silly about it.

and now, i shall post pictures of my child (lotsa drool mcghee) (doesn't he look all enormous and OLD?) all over the interwebs. (and, for the first time ever, hesitate in doing so. THANKS A LOT creep.) but i shall continue the old bloggity as is b/c it is as much a part of my life and a connection to far away friends (known and not) as my real life, close by non-bloggy friends and family.

ADDITIONALLY, karl did book us tickets to NYC for our Anniversary Trip. We are going and Nate is coming with us! Any suggestions as to what to do are welcome - currently we are aiming for a Yankee game, lotsa Central Park time, the Museum of Natural History, maybe the Bronx Zoo, Central Park Conservatory OR Brooklyn Botanical gardens.... we are honestly going to play most of it by ear (as we do). Probably no plays this year! We are taking a train from the airport into the city (bypassing the car seat and cab issue) and are hoping to only bring one suitcase and a stroller! (my current plan is to sling/wear him and stroller him - i have heard carrying strollers up and down the subway stairs can be trying and the stations with elevators are few and far between...so we'll see!) i am a teensy bit excited


so a creepy thing just happened to me

it's cool here (well, it's 87 or so with only like 50% humidity which certainly qualifies as coolER than normal) so nate and i (after playing outside half the morning!) decided to go on an afternoon jog around 1:30 or so. We jog and walk quite a bit (sometimes twice a day; why am i not skinny mini?) around our neighborhood. it's quiet and not too traffic-ey. it's the type of tree-lined, brickhouse city neighborhood where people out walking their dogs or baby strollers generally wave and/or say hi. people (generally) clean up their dog poop. they keep their lawns nice enough. cars passing by generally slow down and drive COMPLETELY on the other side of the street to give runners/walkers enough room.

we started on our walk. my cross country coach in high school taught us NOT to run with music/headphones on...several reasons. 1. (and more important at the time when i was running competitively) it messes with your race concentration. and 2. when you are street running, it can be dangerous to not be aware of what is happening around you. (dangers being cars or people or animals or bikers.) as a general rule, i tend to agree with this. I know a LOT of people run with music or podcasts - my husband included. I'm not saying I wouldn't do it - I have run with headphones; I just prefer to do so on tracks or treadmills where i don't have to worry about traffic. since my neighborhood is so quiet and i don't feel like i am disturbing anyone, I often run with my iPhone set on top of the stroller, listening to Pandora. (pretty quietly so i feel it doesn't distract me; but maybe it did today? because i remember looking down to see who was singing (Jack Johnson) when someone called out 'hey' from behind. i glanced back and initially thought he was also out walking and kind of half waved. then he caught up with me.

him: hey how are you doing?
me: good, how are you?
him: are you married?
me: yes
(nervous giggle - GAWD. why do i giggle?)
him: really? cause you are beautiful. just really beautiful.
(cause beautiful people can not marry?)
me: uh, thanks. (nervous smile; he was starting to creep me out.) we are just getting ready to start our run.
him: oh. how far are you going to run?
me: we usually go about 2 miles or so.
him: so, but you are married? you are so beautiful
SO i just had to stop and see.
(does this mean he stopped his car to see me!?!? i glanced around to see but i couldn't tell. totally creepy.)
me: yep. married.
(looks down at left ring finger, bare except for my ring tan line.)
i don't like to run with my ring.
him: huh.
(awkward silence where we continue walking together. i am waiting for the corner to turn and G-O.)
him: well, do you date?
me: uh. no.
him: ok, well, have a nice day. (turns and walks the other way).

I didn't look to see where he went either. I just started walking faster and in the opposite direction. you know, it's not like this happens to me everyday, but it's not like this is the first occurrence either. (last week i got hit on at the big red fina gas station before happy hour and felt like a million dollars! i had dried my hair for the first time in weeks and put on a real shirt. it was a non-creepy confidence booster.) the thing that creeped me out most about this guy is that I don't know WHERE he came from. he was just BEHIND ME all of a sudden. also, he was so NORMAL looking. he was in khaki shorts, a pink stripped polo, and sandals. he even had a freaking blackberry clipped to his belt in one of those little leather holder thingeys. his hair was cut and his face clean. he wasn't old but not young either. it didn't look like he was part of any lawn or repair crew. (not that those men are creepy; it would at least explain his presence.) he was just THERE. i know i was wearing a tank and shorts but he made me feel like i was in heels and pasties. pushing a stroller. (which he made no mention of and barely glanced at.)

i don't consider myself that paranoid of a person, but it ruined the rest of my run. IN MY OWN NEIGHBORHOOD. every car that passed made my heart beat a little faster. i tried to only run down streets that people were out doing yard work or whatever. one car (full of four men) kind of slowed and then floored it as they passed. i don't think this was related but it scared the shit out of me. ugh. and then i thought maybe i should call the cops. but what would i say: 'this man told me i was pretty?.' and then i thought maybe i am overreacting. maybe he was a nice guy (ha.) he was just trying to be flattering. not a big deal.


i just don't even want to think about it anymore (but had to get it out.) i'm sure i am making a big deal of nothing.

i just hate feeling all VULNERABLE. particularly so close to home. not that i am all hard, but i'm not stupid either. i worked in downtown little rock for five years. The majority of that time I parked in an unsecure lot and walked the 6 or so blocks to my office. i was careful. not once did i ever really feel unsafe. (in fact, i was way more worried b/c drivers in little rock OFTEN have a hard time grasping the concept of a PEDESTRIAN.) when i lived in st. louis, i worked in the middle of downtown. (i worked catering so we came out at weird hours, 2 or 3 in the morning; we were a little more careful to walk together and be aware.) as a general rule, i am more scared of hard core mary kay ladies (the makeup) than i am of bums. i try hard not to live my life with fear, but i know there is plenty of crazy out there.

ugh. ugh. ugh.

i guess there is no moral; just be aware.

if only he knew i wore christmas pants with striped tank tops in the mid-afternoon in august.


cluck cluck buh-cawk

I continue to live in a cloud of germs, but, thus far am safe. i don't know how as i am pretty sure nate has coughed directly INTO my mouth and I for sure woke up with my face smashed into karl's pillow last week. don't french kiss me just yet, but I am hoping for the best, drinking a (f)load of gatorade, and sleeping when i can. poor little nate is feeling better but is sleeping with the humidifier and in his car seat on the floor by our bed. (it's upright; the coughing is not near as bad.) my night goes like this: karl coughs, i punch the pillow and sigh loudly. nate coughs, i sit up straight and make mother hen clucking noises and pat his arm or touch his hair until he settles back down. it's dreamy.

thanks for all your well wishes; we are on the mend. and, once we mend, i need to get AWAY. karl and i have been dreaming about reinstating our annual NYC trip (we usually go for our anniversary around labor day). We really want to take Nate with us (though my parents might kill us if nate goes to a yankees game before a cards game!). Nate has been on several flights, so I am not so worried about that (though he is much more wiggles now). I am not really worried about being in the city; mostly i am worried about cabs. I understand once we are there we can walk or take the subway, but I don't understand how to get from the airport to the hotel. bringing a carseat seems so CUMBERSOME and UN-new york.

And finally, on the blog housekeeping front (that i talk about so often!): I will be updating my blog links list tomorrow (that seems ambitious; maybe within the next few days) and would love to link to you or correct your link in my list. if you haven't updated in, let's say, 60 days: SLASH you are UP FOR DISCUSSION. ok, not really, i will just delete you and shun you in public (no temporary unshuns.) Leave me a comment or email me here.


boosh and double boosh (and not in the good way)

wow. i am not going to wax on and on about my sick child, but, jesusmaryandjoseph, IT IS AWFUL. Nate was running a slight fever Thursday and Friday, seemed fine all day Saturday and then BOOM Saturday night was a sleepless, cough-filled fear fest for everyone! we debated for a long time on Sunday whether or not to take him to after-hours care at our hospital or wait until Monday morning and take him to our clinic. After talking to our pedi, we decided to go ahead and take him in today. (and glad we did!)

those of you that follow me on THE twitter already are aware, but Nate has a double ear infection (infections? one infection in each ear. whatever.) and pneumonia. Ask me how that even happens. I am BEWILDERED. and a little sad. and exhausted on many levels. and glad that i was extra cautious late last week with the playdates. (as in there weren't any!)

the worst part about it is my paranoia about keeping this kid hydrated. every time he is awake i am shoving some liquid or another in his face. pretty much we spent the entire day sleeping in our recliner. (well, Nate slept. i obsessively checked him for fever and/or other signs of illness. that is the worst part. even when he sleeps, i can't. i try!)

so, see i have MUCH sympathy for the sick after all!


uniformity, rambling, and ebay

so for a way back wednesday friday post i give you this:
all these reunions have me remembering the good ole class of 1999!

oh, yea, i know i look hot. (as in hot hot... not like heat hot.) (and, uh, oddly similar. so there's that. maybe by the time i am 40 i will stop being IDed in bars.) (and, possibly start wearing makeup regularly. believe it when you see it, right?) anyway, that girl in the picture? she is my friend laura who, after doing hand poses with soccer balls, i believe resides somewhere in colorado...we lost touch after high school... or maybe sometime during... i can't remember now... and reconnected via facebook and/or some other social networking site. i may not remember exactly how we fell apart, but i DO remember that we laughed a lot together. and ate ice cream on her parents kitchen island (like on top of it.). and felt the hot tar between our toes walking the lines on the streets in the summer (oh suburbia). and listened to the fugees (you know... strumming my pain...). and ran a lot of hills/laps/suicides together on the soccer field.

it's funny how you forget the names and faces and events from high school that you SWORE you would remember vividly FOREVER. honestly, i feel like i remember grade school and college much more clearly than high school. is that weird? does that mean it emotionally scarred me forever and i am trying to block it out? HA. Doubtful.

i guess when i really think about it, i do remember some things. 1. there were no boys. (oh yea i am one of
those all female, catholic, private school kind of girls - whatever that means.) 2. the uniform rules were quite strict. (no pictures of me in my plaid WOOL skirt will be forthcoming.) (but you better believe we rolled them at the waist. i think they were technically supposed to touch the ground while kneeling.) The uniform (and I do support uniforms for schools; that shit was awesome.) blouses (white button down) had to be tucked in and our sweaters (if you decided to wear one) MUST match the tights (if you decided to wear them.) the color options were navy, red, or forest green sweaters (complete with school crest; ordered straight from the uniform store!) I don't believe you were allowed to tie your sweater around your waist (too much attention to the hips; too provocative!). We had to wear socks and brown shoes (only brown) with backs on them. (read: no 1990's original style backless birks like these or these.)

We DID have a summer uniform that we could wear during a certain time period. the summer uniform = super long cuffed khaki shorts (no shoe allowances - socks and brown shoes still required!), blue (insert school crest here of course!) polo shirts, and a brown belt with a red stripe. (Oh you were in trouble if you forgot that belt! The nuns would get mad at you!). I believe we also had gym uniforms - white (crested?) polo shirts and red gym shorts. then i had a soccer uniform and a cross country uniform (both complete with warm ups!) depending on the season.

AND THEN, when you were a senior, you could wear your SENIOR FLEECE (which was basically a class sweatshirt - complete with crest!). Also, during senior year, you had the PRIVILEGE to wear BLACK SHOES. It was terribly exciting. (Any high school friends out there reading? Feel free to correct any gross inaccuracy...that is the thing about memories; they may or may not be based in fact, right?)

i have no idea where this post is going (clue: NO WHERE.) but I found it fun to share. What did you wear to good ole High School?

In other news, a mom right here in the great state of arkansas is auctioning the rights to name her 7th child on EBAY. (eBay? is it like iPhone with the whole lowercase uppercase thing?) As I am writing, it's around $2800. Here is the article with a link to the auction. I am scared for this child on the playground. (I mean whoever is crazy enough to bid has got to give the baby a crazy name, right? Like Echo or Sodapop or Transformer or Dumbeldore OR OR (and I have it!) eBay. (As in, 'this is our son, Ebay Internets Hills'.) Stay classy, Arkansas!


my mommy makes me wear this harness, er, speedo

yowzers it is HOT out there. nate and i are trying to beat the heat with a little $2.99 carport swimming pool action. it is THE place to be this summer.

today, our air conditioning went out (i know, right? it's just not our week!) for a brief period (four hours) this afternoon. since karl is still not feeling quite up to par, we decided to pay for the after-hours man to fix it. i kind of felt all spoilT about it (i mean, really, how much of the world lives sans climate control?), but daaaaaaaaang when it turned on, it felt, uh, kind of amazing.

huh. air conditioning. who knew i would miss you after only four hours?

post titled inspired by THIS.


sniffle sympathy

i have a confession to make. i want to kick the wall. right now. why you might ask? because karl, my dear, darling karl, man that i married, man that delivered my baby, is sick. with a minor sinus infection. and i have little to no sympathy for sick people (that is my confession.) (and by sick i mean minor colds and infections... and this confession does not apply to the old or the young.) (huh. actually i think it JUST applies to my husband. weird.)

The coughing alone is making me twitch. i don't know if ny-quil breaks a fever or how often you should take Advil or any other drug... turn the fan off, put the fan back on... i don't care! kick the blankets off...put the blankets back on. eat or don't eat... whatever you feel like! and then i start to think ridiculous things like WHO gets sick in August? and HOW could you possibly have a fever?!? (Karl is a Frequent Temperature Taker while sick. I get the (tenth of a) degree of difference report hourly.)

then i try to remember the last time i was sick and how much Karl did for me (WITHOUT COMPLAINT i am sure) and for Nate whilst I was recovering. PLUS he doesn't ask for anything while he is sick; he just needs a sympathetic ear and how crappy i am for being annoyed? Seriously. I'm a horrible person. Please don't judge me too harshly.

we are fortunate that none of us get sick very often so i guess i am going to SHUT THE HELL UP NOW before i come off sounding bratty or ungrateful... oh wait...i think i may have a little. i think we all just need some rest and recovery in the hills house!

Plus, I like to shut the door and not come out of the bedroom until I am unsick! Which do you prefer while sick? To be loved on or left alone?!?


10 year Reunion

No Nate pictures this weekend - I will be sure to post some during the week.

This weekend we celebrated Karl's 10 year HS Reunion.

It was fun. ish.

It was more fun to hang out with the people I know and love than to meet the stranger dangers from long ago. i adore meeting new people, but there was a bit of a snottystrange "do i know you?" vibe in the good ole Juanita's party room this past Saturday. Too little food, too much alcohol!

i didn't make it to my 10 year reunion, so i had to live vicariously through this one.