DUUUUUUUUUUUDE. I have so much to tell you guys.

My BIG OLE brain has been so scattered (and slightly sleep-deprived) lately. (Example: I have six posts in draft form and just started this one from scratch.) I can't FOCUS to say the least.

So, let's just talk about some HAPPENINGS.

One: Nate had his first day of preschool last week. I bought him this:
It was (admittedly) way too expensive but ITS HIS FIRST BACKPACK and there were robots and, well, resistance was futile.

Two: We are moving Nate to a twin bed in his room. So I bought his these:
I know you all are SHOCKED.

To say it's going TERRIBLY would be an understatement! There are serious sleep disruptions and little to no napping! It's dreamy! When I tell you that his sleep is disrupted I mean this: He went to bed last night at 10:30 after an hour of popping out/putting in. Every excuse in the book was given - "I need water. I need milk. I watch TV. I need new diaper. I need read book. I need Mommy's bed." Then I (or Karl) will leave the room and thirty seconds later: thwack of feet on floor. Pitter Patter. Pitter Patter. Door open. "Mommy? Why Nate out of bed?" (Yes, that is what HE says. It would be HILARIOUS if it weren't my child. Okay, it's still pretty hilarious.) Anyway, then he rises (for the day) at 5:45 in the AM. His normal rising time is 6:30 so you'd think 5:45 wouldn't be terrible but IT IS!

I think part of it is my fault. We've kind of have a chaotic environment going on.

Exhibit A:

There was a lot of "You're going to have to sleep in your crib if you don't stay in bed" talk which was NOT working. So, we took the plunge and just got rid of the crib. I think we were just holding on to that crib for ourselves. We are offering one option for sleeping and a clean, calm room. Surely that will do it, right? HA.

No, really, I'm sure it will calm down (ish) in the next couple of weeks. I alternate between laughing about it and wanting to cry into my tenth coffee cup of the day.


the grand finale: she sticks the landing

Ok, well today is, officially, anniversary day! Thank you all for bearing with the wedding pictures and stories this week. This final photo is of The First Dance. I have to say that I semi-regret that we didn't dance to my original selection (Stickshifts and Safetybelts by Cake). Instead, we moved to some Norah Jones ballad-ey type song. Which is beautiful music. But, um, I still kind of wish Cake had been The Song. Ah, well, DETAILS. They make no difference; the end result remains the same! We are headed to dinner shortly to celebrate.


have your cake and eat it too.

This will be Post #4 in my 5 Days of Wedding Pics to celebrate our 5 year anniversary (which is TOMORROW!).

I think it's important to note I'm against most traditional cake toppers. Like AGAINST. I feel strongly about this subject. Ahem:

So, we (I) decided to make our (my) own. My original concept was to have Karl and my photo/cutout on the top of the cake and all of our bridesmaid and groomspeople (in photo cutout) hanging out randomly on the other levels of the cake in various entertaining poses. HOWEVER, the cake wasn't big enough and the photos were all different sizes. Not to mention it takes FOREVER to cut out background on images and mount them on illustrator board (which is also not easy to cut.) So I scaled back my dream of a cake full of friends and decided Karl and I would have a photoshoot of ourselves in the most obvious "cake topper" poses. (To be honest, our good friend Audra did most of the work!)

And, TADA, this was born (created?):

After the wedding, we hung up these toppers on the fridge door until one day our DEAR DARLING DOG Roxy decided to lick the tinsiest of tinsy remaining frosting from the bottom and tore them to shreds. Oops.


bated breath? is that the correct expression?

I know you've all been waiting with bated breath for Day 3 of my 5 day for 5 years wedding/anniversary posts. RIGHT?!?! Of course.
I thought it would be fun to share the bridesmaids getups. Why yes we did all wear the same dress, thank you for noticing. I've talked to all six of these girls within the last week.


black and white

In case you missed it yesterday, I am posting a picture every weekday (5 days) in celebration of our 5 year anniversary this Friday!

I'm not normally a fan of black and white, but I've always loved this image. (Again, image courtesy of our photographer, Alisha Clark.)

Meet Kelly and Joe, our flower girl and ring bearer. When Kelly started down the aisle and realized that she had the whole crowd's attention, she stopped and started Ms. America waving to her adoring fans.

The realization:
And the waving:
Little show stealer! How was I to follow that? Doing his duty, Joe went back for her after a few minutes of waving and they held hands the rest of the way down. I was adamant about NO VIDEO at our wedding but I sometimes wish I had this moment on the movie film.


anniversary week of pictures

Since this Friday marks Karl and my 5 (yep FIVE) year wedding anniversary, I'm going to post 5 (yep 5) wedding pics this week... One for MTWThF.

So, here's Monday's pic:
And, why yes we did get married outside in August, thank you for asking. This one's from our photographer, Alisha.



We're on the verge of change (next week) but right now (at this very moment while I type this) it feels like we're stuck in the house. Mostly because Nate has croup again and is just getting past the contagious part so we are stuck in the house watching Dora and Diego (kill me now) and trying not to out-whine one another (I'm mature like that.).

In the past few days, we've had a trip to Urgent Care and the pediatrician office, which, let me assure you, NATE LOVES and is not AT ALL traumatized by. She (the pedi) gave us a referral to an ENT since he's had The Croup twice in the last 6 months. (And his only other doctor-related illnesses were respiratory as well.) She said the ENT appointment is more of a precaution and she doesn't expect them to find anything and he will probably outgrow this, but she wants to make sure there are no blockages in his little ears, nose, or throat and that his airways are not in any way obstructed. ITS FINE, right? RIGHT.

ANYWAY you don't want to hear about all that. The point is we are stuck at home this week and weekend (and Karl will be out of town all weekend so CALL ME IF YOU ARE CLOSE BY SO I DON'T GO CRAZY!), but next week.... oh... next week I'm already feeling the apprehension (and, admittedly, the excitement) because change is in the air.

Next week (barring further illnesses or ailments) Nate goes to school two days a week and I go to work two days a week. (At my old workhome. I'm covering for a girl on my former ad team for 12 weeks while she has a baby and maternity leave of her own.) After more than a year of retirement, I'm pretty pumped and I love that it's a familiar place with some familiar faces.) Nate is going to school through the same program he did Mother's Day Out so I'm feeling comfortable with that.

Now to scour my closet. Do I even own suitable work attire anymore?

In parting, I leave you with this creepy Diego getup (Maybe I can wear this my first day back?):


(Photo Source.)


Yesterday, we got in the car and I asked Nate: "Where do you want to go?"

He said: "Paradise Falls, Mommy."
Uh... clearly we've been watching too much TV in this weather. Posts like this make me feel a little less guilty. 17 days of 100 plus temps and counting...I think for the first time ever I might be ready for fall.

things that are wrong

THIS: Our friend @meliss_a was in town from LA this Wednesday. We used to have regular girlie friend nights on Wednesdays (in order to watch America's Next Top Model and drink beer and eat pizza whilst yelling at the modeling contestants to EAT A HAMBURGER ALREADY!). Lately, well, ANTM hasn't been on and this little thing called Life got in our way. So, with Melissa in town, we decided to GATHER. I sent out an email that said 'let's do it up old school' and made a joke about bringing a cheese-related product. We all took this statement LITERALLY:
I present THE MENU:

Cheese pizza, Little Caesars (1), Italian Cheese Bread, Little Caesars (2), Cheese Dip and Salsa, Mexico Chiquito (1), Pimento Cheese Dip, Taziki's (1), Bacon Cheese Dip, Kat's kitchen (1), Shells and Cheese, Katie's Kitchen (1), oh, and CHEEZITS for good measure!

Oh, and, clearly we complimented this fine cuisine with some booze of the beer and stinky gringo variety.

We. Are. Classy.

(I promise sometimes we do plan amazing events.)

(Just not on Wednesdays.)

After dinner, we clearly gathered in the kitchen (cause that's how you do) and spent some chatting about work and play and friends and family (cause that's how you do).
Don't worry. The party favors were little cellophane sacks all tied up with ribbon, cute little cheese-flavored laxatives within.

I think we need to REINSTATE.

Maybe with less cheese.


archival issues: I LOVE DETAILS

So, as most of you know, I'm not so much a traditional scrapbooker kind of girl. Sometimes I wish I were but I haven't the passion for it. Instead, I'm obsessed with archiving our lives in a different sort of way. Like, you know, ONLINE.

I also have a five year journal where you write a snippet from your day everyday. I wrote a post about my calendar obsession and this five year journal here.

I love the blogging. LOVE IT. Clearly. Attend parties around it.

But, sometimes, I think the day to day gets lost. Even on twitter. Which I also love dearly. (But which I often censor myself.) Like sometimes I don't actually NEED to share with you that Karl and I got into a fight about macaroni and cheese or that I took a package to the post office or did a FOUR HOUR DEEP CLEAN (Who are we kidding? That never happens! Nap time is for blogging and reading books, right?! And a four hour nap? That's just bonkers.). Plus, let's face it, not everything about my life and, more specifically, the people in it is shared on this blog.

But, I think, sometimes the little details are the ones I might like to remember later when Nate's childhood seems a blur and I can't remember who was over at the house sharing a bottle of wine on Friday nights and when I'VE FALLEN AND I CANT GET UP. So that's why I love my little 5 year journal.

I'm currently in a state of conflict about it b/c I found (OKAY FINE Karl found) this site, ohlife, and it appeals to EVERY BONE IN MY BODY. Basically, it sends you an email every night and you reply with a few short sentences about what you did that day. Then, it's archived and with every daily email you receive, it sends you a note about one of your archived posts.

It's free and I want to do it real bad, but I'm afraid I'll give up on my little journal guy and I, believe it or not, do actually like using pen and paper occasionally! What do you think? Would you use it? Is it TOO MUCH? Either way, I thought it was worth THE SHARE.


Nate-isms: Volume 4,006

Nate has been TONS OF FUN this summer. He's definitely at a challenging age and nothing is more challenging than teaching your child, well, EVERYTHING.

Let me share with you a little bit about this child of mine. His hair. It's BLONDE. People always ask where it came from. Karl and I were both blonde-ish as babes but THIS? People pay for this, yes?

It's straight as a pin and impossible to cut. Plus, Nate REALLY hates haircuts. I want to enjoy the blonde as long as possible so I'm not too worried about keeping it short.

Nate has been into sharing his food with his toys and the characters in his books. Here he is feeding Buzz, Woody, Jessie and the 'horsie neigggggghh' (Sarge?) some of his peach.

Annnnnnd eating it himself. I love how IT LOOKS PAINFUL.
We told him last night that "Food goes in your belly" so he promptly lifted up his shirt and began smashing chicken fingers into his belly button. LITERAL. (I love how that little mind works!)

We've been spending a lot of time in various pools to beat the heat. Even in the water, I get worried about being outside too long. WE ARE IN A HEATWAVE folks and it ain't pretty! But we do manage to get in lots of pool time. We have a little pool in our backyard too - it looks like THIS:And by this, I mean REAL CLASSY LIKE! I initially gave Karl a lot of flack for purchasing it but it's been great this summer! It has chemicals and a vacuum (you know about Karl and his vacuums right? THIS POOL IS CLEAN!). If you've ever owned a baby/blowup pool for more than a few uses, you know those things get pretty nasty. This, my friends, does not. The water comes up to about Nate's chest so he can walk in it comfortably. We bought him a boat (read: small water raft with sides and handles) and he jumps around in that or we play FORT by flipping it over and getting beneath it. FORT is my favorite game ever. There's something special about giggling under an inflatable flotation device with your child. It just feels like summer and childhood and happiness. Kisses, bubble blowing in the water, singing.... those FORT moments might be my summer favorites!

With the heat, we've also let him watch a little more TV than usual (it really is too hot to play outside for an extended period of time). We introduced him (cautiously) to Dora. His first impressions were "NO WATCH YOGURT NO WATCH YOGURT." This was confusing until we realized that the yogurt we occasionally buy Nate was, in fact, emblazoned with smiling Dora faces. (Branding!) We've also been watching the movie Up. I thought he might be scared but he kind of loves all the dogs and balloons.

We are on DAY THREE of paci-freedom! He was only using his pacifier at night and nap time and we were strict that it was only for those times. We told Nate "babas (what he calls them) are for babies" and he hasn't asked for it since! He went down for naps and nighttime without it and without a problem. I thought this was going to be a HUGE issue and I've been putting it off, but sometimes he surprises me. We went to celebrate with ice cream after his first day Baba Free. And, finally, we are holding on to that afternoon nap with all our might. And by we I mean me. He's been skipping days here and there already or taking a nap from like 5 p.m. to 6 and then going to bed at 8. One day we went to the Little Gym for an hour, the grocery store, the post office and the pool for an hour. That's enough activity to exhaust me! But that day? Nada on the shut eye. I'm enforcing quiet time anyway on those days. Sigh. ITS FINE. MOST TWO YEAR OLD DROP NAPS COMPLETELY, right?

Anyway, thanks for reading! He is a handful and a joy and, as always, so much harder and easier than I ever thought it would be.

let's regroup

SHHHHHHHH... I'm currently cozied up at THE LIBRARY! ALONE!!! I left Nate with a sitter for the day. I don't do this often, (mainly b/c I feel an excessive amount of irrational guilt about paying someone to do my job during the work week when I don't have a money-making gig at that time) but, seriously, I NEED TODAY. He's out of school until September. Karl started a new job... that comes with longer hours and LOTS and LOTS of new job stress. And, mostly, I just needed some time to myself so I made it happen.

It's good for him and it's good for me. I left him with Ms. Julie, who is one of his first daycare teachers from way back when. They had this bond that was crazy amazing from the first moment they met. I reconnected with Julie recently at a babyshower she hosted and she had a sweet little picture of my baby on her fridge - she missed him too and who am I to deny them time together? ;)

They haven't seen each other in about a year and I SWEAR TO GOD YA'LL when she got there today Nate (who is VERY stranger danger) went right up to her and GAVE HER A HUG. And then he grabbed her hand and they went to play. It was bizarre and, also, absolutely amazing. I may have teared up about it a little when I got in the car to drive away. (And by a little I mean I bawled my eyes out. I TOLD YOU I NEED A DAY!)

After the library, I am going to get my eyebrows waxed, drop off some dry cleaning and go to the post office...and I don't think you understand how LUXURIOUS that feels.


a tale of four pools and other happenings

You know how sometimes you have those weeks that get away from you and you think, hmmmm, WHAT THE HELL have I been doing all week? And it feels like you have been doing absolutely NOTHING but, in reality, there has been quite a bit going on.

Like so...

(See how I did that?)

Like Monday, when Nate and I were reunited from my Girl's Trip Weekend, and I discovered the JOY of painting the house with a paintbrush and a bowl of water. It kept him occupied for nearly an hour which is A LONG TIME in toddler time.
Or Tuesday when we had our girls INAUGURAL Supper Club, complete with place cards and basil martinis and corn bread and farmer's market yum yums.
After Supper Club, we wished our friend Blake many happy goodbyes. He is leaving for his 30 month Peace Corps assignment in Namibia (wikipedia link).
Additionally on Tuesday, Karl accepted a NEW JOB as a Developer for a new company. We're both semi-pumped about it.
This picture of Karl has nothing to do with his new job but I thought you might have forgotten what he looks like. HOORAY KARL! In typical Karl fashion, a couple weeks ago, he decided to look for a job, opened the computer to MONSTER of all places (who actually finds a job through Monster.com?), applied and had four subsequent interviews in the next four/five days. THINGS ALWAYS WORK OUT LIKE THAT FOR HIM. (Jealous. Plus, well, he is super employable). Truly, we are thankful and grateful for this new opportunity and interested to see what happens next! Additionally, he will still be involved with 84boxes on the side.

(Tuesday was a big day!)

Wednesday we went shopping for one of these:
which is SCARY. (Frame only is what I'm interested in from this shot.) I see some sleepless nights in my future.

Also I had lunch with a few of my favorite Little Rock blogger ladies. We spent two hours sharing, eating, laughing and being rowdy at the fancypants Capital Bar Hotel & Grill. It was divine. I ate this:which was, in fact, worth every calorie.

Between Thursday and Sunday (today) we have visited NO LESS THAN FOUR POOLS. We also had one trip to the Zoo which bordered on CRAZY due to the heat. Don't you hate those people that look totally unsweaty and put together despite the temperature? Yea, ME TO BECAUSE I LOOK LIKE THIS:
which, to say the least, is ROUGH. And maybe like I just ran a marathon instead of spending three hours at the Zoo.

Heat index today was banoodles - like 115. I love the heat and I can't help but admire my sunkissed arms and back every time I pass a mirror...though, unfortunately, that is the only part of me that is tan b/c most of our pool trips look something like this: (insert interchangeable parent where Karl is standing). More gratuitous Nate pictures to follow! Hopefully, this week will be just as full of LOVE & LIGHT! (Oh, why yes that is a RHONJ reference to wrap up the post!)