Friday, December 31

2010 (with links and pictures!)

It was a good, good year.  If you've got some spare time or are looking for something to distract you from your life, here's like 30 links to posts from the past year.


January
Finley became skilled at standing and I made one of the better decisions of my life... I joined Twitter.  It's REAL fun and I think you should join too.




February
I donated a zillion ounces of milk to a hospital in North Carolina and we got snowed in for a very long time.  Also, Finley did some very grown up things like texting and pretending to drink beer.




March
I ran a half marathon and Finley was cute.  It was a slow month.




April
We went to South Carolina, Finley was baptized and I threw an AMAZING cowboy birthday party.




May
This was a big month!  I didn't qualify for the Boston Marathon, I met the Pioneer Woman and Sol took me to see a LOST tribute band for my birthday.




June
I cut my hair.  Really short.  Finley learned to walk.  And Finley was still cute.




July
Sol and I celebrated 5 years of marriage with a trip to Philly. Finley and I went to Boston and ate at Giacomo's. And Finley was... well, cute.




August
We went to the Caymans and Vic and I went to Blogher.  Both were awesome.



September
We picked some peaches and Finley got new shoes.



October
Another big month: we went to Ohio, the Fire Department saved me from a renegade smoke alarm,  picked pumpkins and I told the world about baby #2.  Also, Finley and Sol were cute for Halloween.



November
We found out baby #2 is a boy and Finley was cute.




December
We went to Vegas, we ran pretty far and it was Christmas.



We're excited for what 2011 has in store--we can only imagine we will be significantly busier.

Thursday, December 30

Christmas in Indiana

All bloggers know that if you don't blog about it, it didn't really happen.  We just got back from our trip to visit Sol's family for Christmas, and I don't want to forget a bit of it.  Highlights:

Bowling.  I am a terrible bowler and my husband is an awesome bowler.  The dude in the lane next to us told us that Finley was so cute that he would trade two of his daughters for him--including the one he likes.  Also he had a bald head and a rat tail.  And he was an AWESOME bowler.


Louisville Slugger Museum.  This was so fun--it was so cool to see how the bats are made!  Sol got to swing Mickey Mantle's bat (and he had to wear special white gloves to not kill the bat).



Finley loved "hitting" the ball off the tee with the complimentary little bat we got on the tour.  (The back of the head shot is to show the progress we are making with his hair.  It gets pretty cute when the curls get combed out and don't become a mullety rats nest.)


Kentucky Derby Museum.  I read a LOT of horse racing books back on my middle school years, so I really loved getting to see Churchill Downs.



We went on a tour of the track (Finley insisted on walking the whole time) and learned a lot about racing.  Finley (and Sol) really loved racing the pretend thoroughbreds!


Blogs.  All three of Sol's sisters are bloggers now (and two are tweeters!)--one already was, one is just getting started, and one doesn't want a blog at all.  TOO BAD, MAYA.


Christmas.  The best part of Christmas is forcing your child to clean.  Just kidding.  The kid loves brooms.



Here's the whole fam after church.  I'm wearing pajama pants because I'm pregnant and my nice pants hurt.  Sorry.



Finley got tons of goodies and got loved on much by family.  It was so nice to have many hands to keep him busy and out of trouble!



It was a relaxing, lovely break!

(Also, I redid the header of the blog.  In case you care about those things, you should go look.)

Sunday, December 26

Christmas Spirit

Finley has been sufficiently spoiled--I'm not sure how we are going to get all his toys home.



Do you love the sock monkey Christmas pajamas as much as I do?

And Copper--amidst his terrible distress and anxiety about life in general--joined in the Christmas spirit by wearing festive bells.  I think it's because he misses Belle.



Can't you see how much he loves them?

Friday, December 24

Tuesday, December 21

Parthenon Reginald

Victoria had a dream that we picked out a terrible name for Finley's little brother, but all she remembered is that the initials were PR.  (She also could have been dreaming about what I am going to do at the next marathon I run...)  I suggested that the name might have been Parthenon Reginald, and she thought that might be right.  Sol and I had toyed with referring to the little guy as Alfredo, but Parthenon Reginald is pulling ahead.

The most helpful person (so far) in naming the baby is an 8th grade girl at my school--meet Tanika.  (That's not her real name, but it will work.)  Tanika isn't my student, but we know each other.  I consistently yell at her in the hall and have to stop her from giving other students shots of Tabasco sauce at her locker.  She's a tall, gangly girl who thinks she is really tough.  She is loud.  She likes to make a scene.  She's the closest girl we have to the kids I taught in Boston.  (Which means I secretly love her.)

(I wanted to take a sneaky picture of her in the hall... which turned out terrible.  A few minutes later she came in my room, and said "WHY YOU TAKIN' PICTURES?" And I said, "Hey! Go stand by the calculators."  I'm not sure I'm allowed to post kids here, so you can imagine under that smiley face is her smiley face.)


I'm not sure why she is so excited about my baby.  She knows I'm not fond of her (again, most of our interactions involve me yelling at her).  A few weeks ago in the hall, Tanika yelled: "MRS. SCOTT! DO YOU KNOW THE SEX OF THE BABY?"  And I said, "It's a boy, Tanika.  Go to class and stop yelling."  She freaked out.  I don't know why.

Last week, Tanika yelled: "MRS. SCOTT! HAVE YOU PICKED OUT A BABY NAME YET?" Me: "No Tanika, we're still working on it.  Inside voice, please."  "I'M GONNA MAKE YOU A LIST OF BABY NAMES."  "Great Tanika, I'm looking forward to it."

On Friday, she rushed up to me to give me the list.  THE LIST.  The list that became the highlight of my week.  I have not seen such a thorough listing of baby names--even though some of them aren't quite our style.



She informed me that she made a lot of the names up (example: Aliyzay) and that her brother helped her with some of the categories (example: Girl Magnet).  Here are her suggestions...


Creative spelling aside, this list makes me SMILE.  And laugh.  There are so many things--I like that "Chuck" is a cute name.  Cute is not the first thing I think of for the name Chuck--unless we're talking Chuck Bass.  And I like "Eirrik" and "Eirrikson."  Guesses on pronounciation?



And why exactly is "Blue" the name of a girl magnet? Hmm?  And what makes "ZeCameron" a good name for a first born?  Will it work for my second born?  I also like that "Cameron" without a prefix made the list as well.

What do you think?  Any names that jump out at you?  Any you think I should add?  I think I need a few more suggestions.

Monday, December 20

20 Months

Finley is 20 months old tomorrow.  And strangely, I think he might be 20 times cuter than when he was borned.

I feel like he is changing and growing so much lately.  His pants are finally getting too short!

He's getting to be better at articulating what he needs and is whining a little less when he wants something.  Probably because most of the time, what he wants is "up please!"  He says more, all done, daddy, mama and lots and lots of other gibberish.  He'll proudly tell you his favorite color is yellow and likes the letters E and I (thanks to Old McDonald and Miss Amy teaching him his letters.)  His hugs are adorable.  Sometimes he'll give you one without you even asking--even if it mostly involves him leaning on you.  It's still very sweet.



He is a wild man!  He likes to run full speed into you and climb all over stuff. We took him to play in the Chick-fil-a Play Placem and he finally got brave enough to go down the slide--and then went down it at least 10 times.  It was a little nerve wracking and scary to watch my little little boy climb up so high and go down the very steep slide.  Sometimes he came down headfirst, sometimes on his belly, but always giggling.  There were LOTS of very big kids climbing around, and he seemed oblivious to them.  At the risk of getting mushy, it was hard to let him go play somewhere that I wasn't able to help him if he needed me--pregnant ladies don't cllimb real well.  Sadly, he never needed me.  He was too happy to run around in the various parts of the Play Place without me.  Please stop getting bigger, thank you very much.



We're working on being nice and gentle--I'm not sure how little boys learn how to hit and pull ears and take toys.  Copper is going to have bald spots soon because Finley likes to pull his hair so much.  Luckily, Copper is pretty tolerant--it's mostly just amounted to some growling.

We had another appointment for his foot this week and they said it looked pretty good.  They rotated his shoe a little further out to help his muscles and tendons balance out a little.  We'll be back in four months for them to monitor his progress a little more.

Happy getting older, buddy.

Friday, December 17

Eating in Vegas

I normally don't post pictures of meals that I eat when I go out to restuarants, but that slowly became the theme of our weekend in Vegas.  It's hard to enjoy meals out with a squirmy kid--so we ate LOTS of meals out.

We started with lunch at The Buffet at the Wynn.  Sol always says, it may be a buffet, but it's up to you to make it a bargain.  And we made it a bargain.  Our dessert selections alone were enough to justify the price of the meal.  Here's the before and after... we may not have finished them all, but that's because we got at least 12.  One of the perks of being pregnant is escaping judgmental looks about my food consumption.



Dinner was at the very interesting NASCAR Awards Banquet.  Steak and lobster followed by two desserts we didn't really like.  Just this one strange picture of the table, due to cave-like lighting conditions.



Saturday's breakfast at the Wynn was delicious--I had lobster eggs benedict with asparagus and mushrooms and little bits of heaven sprinkled on it.  It was so good.  Sol had a bacon avocado omelette; he ate none of it because his stomach was still processing everything from the night before.



Lunch was at my pal Jessi's favorite place, Firefly.  We had a few small plates and they were all great.  Tuna, steak and mushrooms and some parmesan fries.  The highlight was the Lemon Berry tarts for dessert--and copious amounts of Diet Coke.



Dinner was at Postrio--a Wolfgang Puck restaurant recommended by Hillary.  The atmosphere was the best part--it looked like we were sitting in the middle of a square in Italy.  You can see the sky reflected in the dessert spoons!  Sol had some spaghetti and meatballs and I had a lobster sandwich.  The raspberry souffle for dessert was our favorite part.   Oh, and the crusty crusty bread.



What a fun trip.  It was so great to have a little time just with each other and eat lots of delicious food.  Mmm.

Tuesday, December 14

Free Hugs from Finley

Everyday when Sol comes home from work, he asks Finley for a hug.  I always thought this was funny--Finley doesn't give hugs.  Sol just grabs him and holds him tight.  The other day I asked Finley to give his little pal Calvin a hug--and he did!  Kind of.  He walked over to Calvin and shrugged his shoulders, like someone was holding him tight.  We thought this was hilarious.  We've spent the last few days asking him for hugs and he's responded by shrugging his shoulders or by leaning on us.

I realized we have limited time with this type of hugs--just today he put his arm around Calvin when he hugged him.  I managed to get this video of him hugging tonight.  I had to shoot it on my phone because he's obsessed with our actual video camera and won't do anything but whine when we get it out.

Video highlights include: him modeling a hug, grinding some fresh pepper, hugging Copper and telling Copper "I love you." And some giggling. Unfortunately the Golden Globes were already announced, otherwise he'd be a shoo-in for leading man in a drama.

Monday, December 13

Christmas Plagues

This weekend was the Annual Christmas Cookie decorating party, hosted by my pal Carrie.  Last year, she was 8 months pregnant, and looked approximately the same is I do this year--5 months pregnant.  This does not bode well for the next 4 months...


(high school friend reunion!)


And then Megan's husband Dane (who occasionally reads the blog) fell asleep.  Cory and Sol wasted no time posing with him.  He mumbled something about not putting the picture on the blog.  Fat chance.



In the invitation, Carrie mentioned that there would be a prize for the best depiction of the biblical plauges in cookie form--and Megan and I took this very seriously.  (I would like to take a minute and welcome Megan to the blog.  She is one of my very best friends but doesn't read the blog--something about being a busy doctor?  But her phone is now set up with Google Reader, so I'm optimistic she's reading this in an elevator between delivering babies.  HI MEG!  And to my other friends who used to blog but stopped, Meg is now subscribed to you, so you should give her something to read.)

(The Doctors Barrett)

So here are our plagues!  Apparently there were 10 plagues on poor Egypt, but we combined a few because there are only so many ways of nibbling a cookie into an insect shape.  I'm not sure why God found it necessary to send three separate plagues of flies, gnats and locusts, but who am I to question his ways?



I am torn between posting what each plague is, or leaving it to the biblically savvy readers to guess.  I'm leaning toward letting people guess... so first person to name all 10 plagues correctly, gets one of the plagues mailed to them.  Go!

Wednesday, December 8

Las Vegas Marathon

It just so happened that the Las Vegas Rock and Roll Marathon was the Sunday of our big Vegas adventure.  And I love me some marathons.  Seriously, I can't tear myself away.  I walked around all day Saturday being very jealous of the runners with their bags from the Expo, and of the people waiting to go eat their big pasta dinners.

Sol is training for the Walt Disney World Marathon in January and needed to run 17 miles this weekend--what better way to do it than with thousands of other runners down the strip?  The weather was perfect for running and the course was the flattest I've seen.  I've never been to a Rock and Roll marathon and it was pretty cool.  There was lots of music and Elvis impersonators and bars giving our beer.  Silly.

Here's Sol, from our room with the course behind him.  It was early.  Isn't he handsome?


My plan was to run 7 or 8 miles and then stop... but I couldn't.  I mean, the finish line was just so close and all I could think was: "If I finish, I get a MEDAL."  (Say that in your best Kevin from the Office voice.)  So I went ahead and ran 13.1 miles.  And got a medal.  And then I took an ice bath (I'm fully clothed in there.)  Sol did not take an ice bath.  He was a major wimp. 



For the only time I can ever remember, I ran without a watch.  I don't know my splits, I just ran at a pace that was comfortable.  I think my finish time was somewhere around 2:17, which is great for a 21 week pregnant lady who decided to run the race halfway through.  I love marathons.  The end.

Sunday, December 5

Week 19-21

New developments...  Sciatica.  My belly button preparing to pop out by becoming diagonal.  People noticing that I'm pregnant.  A girl looking at my belly in an elevator and saying: "How sweet!"  Using pregnancy as an excuse to eat whatever I want.  Being stuck in between maternity and regular clothes--everything falls off our cuts of circulation to my legs.



These pictures are really hard to take.  I'm not sure why they consistently turn out terrible.  Or why I can never remember to take them.  Hence missing week 19.  Increase in belly size due to large baby and yummy Thanksgiving.

Saturday, December 4

Vegas: Part 1

After a slightly harrowing trip over the Rockies (severe turbulence, drinks flying, people crying) we made it to Vegas.



I don't normally blog while on vacation, but my husband is taking a much needed nap, so I'm sitting by a wall of windows, 34 floors up in the Wynn writing about the excitement that has happened so far.

So when Sol told me that we were going to the NASCAR Banquet in Vegas, my only thought was, "Hey!  Free meal!"  After googling it on the way to our hotel, I realized it was the Oscars of the NASCAR world. Performances by Cirque du Soleil, Rascal Flatts, Martina McBride, Colbie Callait and Frank Caliendo.  Tuxes and evening gowns were the standard attire--we were only a little underdressed.  Here we are taking our picture of the red carpet.  Hilarious.  They had "complimentary professional high res" pictures available... turns out they were taken by the same camera I had, with the built in flash.  I could have taken a better picture.  Grr.


The banquet was fairly glamorous. Lots of very skinny girls in pretty dresses, and NASCAR folk. I literally bumped into Jeff Gordon--I had to ask the people I was with who the dude who looked like Tom Cruise was.  And then Sol peed next to him in the bathroom.  We got to chat with Tony Stewart for a bit and he told me he liked my dress.  SCORE.  I also randomly saw tiny Susan Lucci speedwalking through the casino.



The interesting thing about NASCAR is how sponsored it is.  In no other sport are advertisements for the sponsors so blatantly displayed.  Every single one of the top 10 drivers listed every single one of their sponsors in their speeches.  Boo-riiiiing.  Another interesting thing about the awards--it was strange because everyone already knew who won.  It was Jimmie Johnson.  He has won the past 5 years which is (apparently) unprecedented.  At other awards banquets there is some sort of anticipation because the winners aren't announced until you get there--this made the event drag on a little because the winner was the dude who won all the races.  The past five years.  Also the dessert was terrible and my dress stabbed me in multiple places.

Other than some EXTREME marathon envy (the Las Vegas Rock and Roll Marathon is tomorrow and I want to run so very badly), we're having a great time.  We have some delicious meals planned and are enjoying our little break from our normal lives.  And we also miss our mulleted Finley.  And thanks for the hair advice on the last post.  I like his curls, sorry.

Friday, December 3

Merry Christmas, Finley

Hey, guess where I am right now.

Nope, not school.  I'm up in the air, in an airplane.  Sol and I have a big weekend planned-we're flying to VEGAS.  And get this--we are going to the NASCAR banquet.  No joke.  I've got my maternity overalls all ready to go.  Just kidding.  I found a cute cocktail dress that fits over my belly, so that is what I am wearing.  Stay tuned.

We're leaving Finley here--it's a long flight and we have sweet friends here taking care of him.  Victoria and Amy are shuttling Finley back and forth.  I can't imagine leaving him with people he knows better or who love him more, but I still get teared up thinking about not seeing him until Monday after school.  That's a long long time.

Because we are suckers for our sweet boy, we gave him his Christmas present tonight.  We wanted him to have fun while we were gone--and he doesn't understand Christmas anyways.  What's the point in making him wait?  It's just cruel.



He loves it.  He loves his little kitchen.



We're writing a book on parenting--the first chapter is about letting your kids crawl on countertops.



Also he is wearing his Christmas pajamas.  My spiritual gift is waiting.

Wednesday, December 1

Did you know I LOVE Kristen Bell?

Because I do.

I love her because she is tiny and funny.

Because she is Veronica Mars (apparently you can watch episodes online for free!)

And she is engaged to Dax Shepard who is SO great on "Parenthood".

And because if you donated $30 to Charity Water for her 30th birthday, she sends you a personalized thank you picture.



But really, she's Veronica Mars.  SHE'S AWESOME.  I'm trying to think of the people I have forced to watch this splendid show, and who in turned loved it, and the number is more than I can count.  That's because I can only count to 5.
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