my head is sideways

I can NOT forget to mention that Karl hit a milestone birthday this weekend. 3-0 people. THIRTY. Thirty seems like an amazing age to me right now and, if the first day of Karl's 30th is an indicator, we should be in for a smooth ride. Ish. Smooth. Ish. Cause, you know, we still believe we are 25 sometimes. (18?)

On Saturday evening we had a celebration at the house (I made the Pioneer Woman's lasagna. ALWAYS a crowd pleaser...well, amongst the meat eaters of our crew anyway. HOT BREAKFAST SAUSAGE anyone?!!) for our inlaws and some close friends and then more friends came by for drinks and desert. Sadly, I didn't photograph much. (New goal: USE BIG EXPENSIVE CAMERA for The Blogging.)

I made these brownies too (from a box yo. don't judge. i don't like dessert.)
I put one candle for every decade. And we let Nate help blow out the "hot fire hurt you" candles.
On Sunday (actual birthday day!) we took a jaunt (how jaunty!) across the Big Dam Bridge. We left our other dog Roxy at home. It's JUST Arlo is so much more MELLOW. We hit up the Pizza Cafe for lunch where Nate read us the menu:
We all came home and napped and, when Nate woke up he asked for "strawberry ice cream" (which, i should mention, he has NEVER had before but was quite specific about) so we obliged since it was "daddy's birthday" and a treat. And, maybe, quite possibly dinner for all of us. Hmmmm these photos all look eerily similar! DAMN YOU iPhone. I will carry a camera again!

Anyway, we had a great (albeit calm and boring) weekend for his birthday!


kindness of strangers

It's no secret that Nate and I spend a lot of time together. Some days it's just me and him, telling each other all our secrets and hopes and dreams. It's probably why he talks so much. I am most definitely that super-annoying mom at the grocery store that is all "those apples are red and right next to them are the green apples and on the other side are the oranges and the plums and what aisle do you think the toilet paper is in and do you think we need anything in the cheese section (the answer to that is always: yes) and i like red cars do you like red cars." The no punctuation there was, in fact, deliberate my friends. (I'm hoping you got that.) We are a run-on sentence. Daily.

Some days, certain strangers enter the mix. If you know me at all, you know THE QUIET was one of the hardest things to adjust to when it came to staying at home with Naterpants. I'm not always so good at THE QUIET. I didn't necessarily grow up with THE QUIET. Excluding the first three years of my life, I've always shared a room with either my sister, a roommate or a husband. Add a large # of cousins and neighbors and (later) teammates and roommates and sorority sisters and you have very little ALONE time in this girl's life. I like it that way. I like having people around. It makes me happy. So, sometimes when it's just the two of us and strangers stop to say hello, we talk to them too. (How very Southern of me, yes?)

Usually they are of the nice variety (expect for that strange and sweaty man who I let borrow my cell phone and who then instructed me to tell "joyce" that he was going to be running late for the "meeting" if she called back.).

Here are a few sweet chance encounters in the last two weeks:

1. Nate and I were at the Park (Merriweather Park for all you Little Rockians - it's redone!) (Additional aside: WHY ARE THE PARKS ALWAYS EMPTY!?? WHERE ARE THE PEOPLE?!!?) running around on the empty baseball diamond/field. We were pretending to play catch/bat but didn't have a ball (bad mommy?). An older couple (the man told me he was 74) were playing tennis at the court nearby (see why he told me he was 74? Cause he was BRAGGING. About the tennis. As well he should.) and they walked down to see if Nate would like a tennis ball to play with. We talked to them for a few minutes and Nate was most appreciative of the tennis ball. It was a lovely little connection.

2. I know you are all going to be SHOCKED by this but I was in The Little Caesars near our house (it's not shocking at all because I am frequently in there b/c I am a horribly unhealthy person addicted to Hot and Ready Pizza.) Anyway, we were picking up pizza and going to meet friends and the pizza was neither Hot nor Ready. They apologized and made a big deal of bringing Nate some cookies and quarters for the Bouncy Ball Machine thingey while we waited. I know it sounds silly and it's not such a big deal, but little things like that tug at my heart strings and make me remember that people CAN BE nice when they choose to do so.

3. And, finally, on our way into Arkansas Children's Hospital for Nate's ENT appointment last week, we were stopped by some members of the UCA football team on their way out the door. After much high-fiving amongst Nate and the players, one of them offered Nate a foamy-hand Bear Claw with a bunch of signatures on it (see picture). I wish I would have thought to ask the player who handed it to me his name, because it was such a sweet moment AND that little piece of purple foam was an immense help after Nate projectiled his lunch all over the walls! YUM!

Anyway, the point of my post is this: It's out there... this whole Kindness of Strangers thing...it exists. We just need to go slow enough to find it, yes? What positive STRANGER DANGER incidents have happened to you lately? (I also had some babychild Sonic carhop hit on me the other day, and, while this may not seem like Kindness to you, made me real giggley. HA.)


Nate-isms: volume 4,625

We had a recent visit to the ENT on the recommendation of our pediatrician. (Because Nate has had croup twice in the last six months.) I was hesitant to take him and I am sad that I did. I'm not going to say a lot about the whole appointment BUT there was a scope involved (through the nose) and projectile-exorcist style vomiting (from the mouth, on the wall). It only took a cotton-candy flavored sucker to make Nate feel better but me? Well, I'm still recovering! I MAY have put on Thomas the Train and locked myself in the bathroom for a few minutes when we got back home. Best news is: everything is fine.

So, what do you guys want to know about Nater-pants?

He is going to school two days a week and seems to be adjusting well. They are learning A LOT about writing letters. Like so: (ABC iPhone app... Nate did the, um, writing.) I'm thinking GENIUS CHILD, yes?
He says the most entertaining things and I love them all. Most of them start with "Nate do it" or his current favorite phrase is "I NEED to do it." I try to let him do it as much as possible. He's usually the kid with marker on his legs or ice cream in his hair or cuts and scrapes on his knees and elbows because he NEEDED to do it. And I let him. I am not yet sure if this is a good or a bad thing. (Because then when I NEED him to do something, like, say not run into THE STREET he has plans of his own.)

Though I will say, it is AMAZING how much I can tell his coordination is improving (even in the last two weeks) - he can run faster, further, jump off higher objects (as nate says: "no not scary mommy").

He is into trains. And cars. And other things with "big wheels." I don't know... boys and trains... I guess they just go together?

He gives bear hugs - which include him running up to you, throwing his arms around you and say "GRRRRRRRRRRAWWWW" (or whatever sound a bear makes.)

We go to the park quite a bit to run the bases. MUST. BURN. TODDLER. ENERGY.

He says phrases like "Mommy hold you" when he needs me and uses phrase like "muffie cakes" to describe blueberry muffins. He likes to whisper when you whisper and shout when you shout.

Last week he wedged himself behind the back couch cushion and said (with force) "I CLOSE THE DOOR" and then he grabbed my camera cord and put it on his chest and said (again, with force) "I PUT THE SEATBELT ON."

When his former teacher Ms. Julie comes over, he now takes her hand and leads her into his room where he slams the door and says "Bye Bye Mommy." (Though this morning he did come back out to give me a kiss.)

He's still shy. (Both Karl and I were apparently shy as The Children.) When greeting an adult he doesn't know he hides behind my (or Karl's) legs and says "Mommy. Daddy. Mommy. Daddy." until he feels comfortable. This can be exasperating because, you know, we like to do normal things, like, you know see people, but I'm trying not to push him right now.

He loves playing with the neighbor girls, Amy and Savannah and Lily. They occasionally cart him around like a little doll and force him to play ring around the rosy. (Until they are bored with him and find their scooters.)

Things are changing a little bit with the new (and the two) jobs. It's going to be a little stressful while I finish up the maternity leave coverage and start the new job. It all feels a little SPINNY right now.

What else do you wants to know!?!


these are professional counting props

Last week I had this many (paid) jobs:
This week I have this many jobs:
Next week I will have this many jobs:
Full details to follow.

It's crazy how life can change in two days, yes?


nate wasn't feeling well last weekend

He actually fell asleep in a restaurant! GASP. What did we do? We ate SUPER SLOW and with no corralling and/or spilling of beverages. It was amazing. Poor buddy. He had a bit of a rough week.

This week I started back to work (the part to the time - love it!). It was (being honest here) nice to be in the office. With The Grownups. I had forgotten how many acronyms there are in the working world (or at least my working world). As I've mentioned, I am filling in for a former team member while she is on maternity leave. Even though it's been over a year, I can't express to you how creepy it was to login in and, after - oh - about 10 seconds, remember how to do just about everything (technically speaking).

F3, /am, O, F7. Took me about 5 seconds to remember that "shortcut" in our ad tracking system. My fingers just KNEW. Sometimes I can't remember what I had for breakfast mere hours before, but, apparently, I can recall with clarity certain processes I was sure I wouldn't (want to) remember!


the proof is in the... um... bruising


Wait... you can see it right?


i've got a brand new pair of rollerskates

18 queued posts and several photo collages and I've deleted them all to bring you THIS BREAKING NEWS:

My friend Kristen and I decided that we wanted to try roller derby some time ago. Like, um, maybe a couple years ago? But like all Big Dreams (er, drunken conversations), we never did anything about it.


Until now.

We decided to at least SEE if we even COULD skate. When is the last time you've been on roller skates? 12? 13? We headed to the rink tonight for "cheap-skate" night (hahahahaha). (Additionally, check out the local skate rink website to make your EYES BLEED.) Before we could even step foot (skate?! ha.) on the rink (is it called a rink? circle? parquet flooring?) some small tall punk child (skating backwards and superfast ON THE SIDELINES collided into me and we crashed and both fell and he stomped on my bare foot with his ENORMOUS 13 year old boy feet/skates.) I'm not going to lie; it hurt. And I thought that my skating adventure might be over before it even started. SAD FACE. I would never get to live out my dream of earning a name like Tyra Spanks and/or Honey Bee-yotch. Thankfully, Kristen is a nurse so she inspected my foot and deemed it suitable for skating (read: not broken).

So we skated.

And, um, well, we need practice.

And lots of it.

And, um, I think I'm going to be REAL SORE TOMORROW.

In so many places.

Immediately after taking my skates off (relieving pressure), my foot started throbbing so I hobbled home to ice it up and take the edge off with some beer and think about my derby name.

After consulting some friends (erm, read: Twiiter)... the NOMINEES ARE:

a. Killer Kat-a-Pillar
b. The Kat-astrophe. sorta like The Situation, but more awesome. (Thank you Ryan!)

c. kat von devious. (Thank you Melissa!)
d. um, your idea in the comment section?

What about YOU? What's your derby name?


la petite roche

Hey friends! Welcome if you are stopping by from Blog Trotting, a virtual tour of, um, THE WORLD. (Dun dun dun... insert evil laughter.) (And since I enjoy all things virtual I CLEARLY adore the concept of this site and am excited to tell you some FUN FACTS about myself and my city.)

1. These are my people:
That is me and the husband, we are Karl and Kat, which you have probably figured out since that is the name of our blog and I, um, assume you can read. Those are our dogs Roxy and Arlo that we totally love less now that we have a child. (STOP JINGLING YOUR COLLAR; YOU WILL WAKE THE BABY!), but were much easier to corral into this family photo shoot than our toddler, Nate. Please note the death clutch around Nate's waist.

2. I used to work in advertising (and am about to again!). After Nate was born, I went back to work for about 8 months before tearing my hair out from client requests to make their ads look blue like the color of the sky RIGHT NOW.

We love our city! My husband grew up here and I have lived here in Little Rock for almost 7 years. My first impressions were not so favorable (If you've ever moved TO the south, you feel the outsider vibe for a long time. Even if you are from the Midwest.).

But, now, I love it and for so many reasons! I see no less than 3 people I know everywhere I go.

Who couldn't love a place that has pedestrian bridges with views like this in the middle of the city?Image from our Run Like Robot Virtual 5K

Seriously, the "Natural State" is the most gorgeous place I have ever lived and I try to appreciate views like these on a daily basis. Check it:

To combat all the lovely calories burned from all the gorgeous outdoor scenery/activities, Little Rock must introduce many, many meals with CHEESE DIP. I fully support this.
There are even DOCUMENTARIES about this stuff, friends.

I'm still getting used to saying hey y'all and ye haw. You know you are a TRUE Arkansan when you can insert y'all THREE TIMES into one sentence like so: "Y'all better say y'alls prayers, y'all here me now?" (Say it out loud. It's real fun.)