Thursday, December 27, 2007

You Will be Under My Spell...

video

Cayton received a fairy princess costume from Aunt Erin and Uncle Dray.  She immediately put it on and she even knew just what to do with her magic wand.  I apologize in advance for the narration.  Please don't let the nasal-y voice over take away from the action...

Cayton Loves Christmas

Here are a few pictures from Christmas Extravaganza 2007. I don't have any from the Doerr side of the family since I was pretty much done with the whole Christmas thing by then, but I will try and snap a few this afternoon of the cousins together.

Cayton and Nanny trying to decorate the tree

Cayton and Uncle Dray showing off her spiffy new PJs

Cayton the Fairy Princess

Cayton is ready to head out into the country with her standard issue camo hat

The three (almost four) of us!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A Few Questions Ma'am

Has anyone else noticed that checking out at a store in the mall is getting increasingly more personal and time consuming? I used to run and hide when I would go to the store with my mom and they'd ask her something like, "What is your address, zip code, SSN, etc?" and she would look them in the eye and with her blood chilling Mom voice say, "Can I just pay for this stuff please?" The girl behind the counter would flush red and mention that they have to ask this stuff and Mama would say, "Well, that's fine but I don't have to answer. Now, do you want my money?" Of course, she's actually my hero for not taking a bunch of crap from the mall checker girl, but I'd usually still be hiding due to my fear of conflict. Well, no more!

Recently, I went to the mall on a mission to buy a dress to wear to Blake's office Christmas party. I didn't expect to find anything, but amazingly, I popped into the maternity (yeah, not sexy) store and found the perfect dress on the rack at the FRONT of the store. Wow. Anyway, the hot pink strapless dress was the perfect size (read that - tarp like)and it was cheap. I have to let everyone know that it was marked down to $16.99. Seriously...

Well, being the only person in the check out line, I assumed (incorrectly) that I could check out quickly and be on my way. Whatever. Well, I took the cornea searing tarp/dress up to the counter and the painfully young looking girl started to ring me up. First question: "What is your phone number?" This is usually an easy answer but I always give the wrong number. Well, I must have given Motherhood Maternity the right number at one time because my stock wrong number was not pulling up my record (why they have to have a record on customers is beyond me and frankly a little irritating). So, next question: "What is your address?" I've mentioned my unwillingness to enter into conflict, so I went along and gave my address. I mean, who knows? When they sell my info, I'm sure that I will be ecstatic to receive every baby related mailer in the universe.

At this point, I think about 5 minutes had elapsed and we hadn't gotten to the scanning of the card. I'd lost patience because I was so hungry that my legs were beginning to shake and I could only think about Auntie Anne's pretzel sticks. Store chick looked at me and and asked my due date. I was getting irritated. All I wanted to do was buy the damn dress and I felt like this transaction was turning into a police interrogation. Again, I answered the question and tried to smile but I think it was maybe more of a grimace at that point. She finally rang up the sale and told me all about how she had just marked the dress down and didn't I have great timing. Yeah, great timing.

So, about this time, the computer Internet connection jammed up and I started to think that using a credit card for this purchase was a bad idea. While we were waiting for the credit card scanner to run, store chick decided to finish up the CIA dossier that she'd been building on me and asked if I'd like to enroll in the Motherhood Maternity 529 plan card (I'm sure MM gets great return on investment). I declined on the grounds that I already had one with an actual financial institution. I declined two free magazine subscriptions and I also declined further info on cord blood storage. Then, the final straw. Standing there with what was, at that point, a fairly good sized check out line, store chick looked up from her cash register/big brother device and asked, "Are you going to nurse?" WTF???

That was it. I instantaneously became my mother. That's all it took. It was like the Big Bang. All the irritation of the last, oh, I don't know, twenty minutes had taken its toll. I gave her my meanest look and heaved and sighed and said something scathing like, "I don't know, yes, I guess. Why?"

Given that level of venom, she immediately finished me up and sent me on my way.

After I got my pretzel sticks and made it back to the car, I called Mama and told her all about my experience. She felt really bad for me and was extra incensed on my behalf. I feel sorry for the store clerks that she may encounter between now and Christmas...

Sunday, November 25, 2007

This is How He Does It

This is a conversation that took place in our house last week. We were talking about divorce, not about getting one, just in general.

"God, I think that would be so awful. I just couldn't imagine dealing with everything that would entail," I said.

"Yeah, after 16 years I finally figured out one woman, I wouldn't want to start all over".

"Oh really. When exactly did you get me figured out?"

"Well," said Blake, with not a little hint of "smart ass" in his voice,"you have to admit, I'm coping!"

There you have it folks. The secret to a happy marriage: coping skills. Could be it's the secret to a marriage to me...

But, after I put the verbal smack down on Blake, I thought about what he'd said and I think I extracted a bit of truth out of his words. I'm pretty sure that in any relationship, romantic or otherwise, there are times where you have to hunker down and persevere if you want the relationship to endure.

So, you all be sure to look out for the Blake and Charla "how-to" marriage book coming to a store near you.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Happy Halloween

Here are a few shots from Cayton's trick or treat fun. She was quite a candy gathering pro. I wasn't sure if she would understand the procedure, but she had it totally under control. She would head right up to the front door of any house and say "trick or treat!" Then, she would hold up her pumpkin and wait for the goodies. Of course, since she's militantly polite, she would yell "Thank you!" as loudly as possible. Then, she would wait for a "You're welcome". If she didn't hear it, she would repeat "Thank you" until she did. For the record, "You bet" is not an appropriate response to "Thank you" as far as my baby girl is concerned. Either you pony up with a "You're welcome", or you're going to answer to this 3 foot tall etiquette nazi.


With Daddy at HallowZOOeen

A Cowgirl and her Horse

Check out the Spiffy Outfit

Cowgirl is Tired!!!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Mama Done Lost Her Mind

Here are a few pictures of Cayton in her new Christmas dress. I totally went nuts and bought her a dress from Wooden Soldier. My reasoning was that since she will only allow me to dress her for a short time and given that she will only be little once, I could splurge for a seriously cute dress. I'm not sure that justifies what I paid for this dress, but it's so cute that I really don't care.





Monday, October 15, 2007

Temper Tantrums Run in the Family

Seriously, Terrible Twos? That's the best description? I think something like Torturous Twos or You'll Want to Drug Yourself Enough to Skip the Twos or even Please Dear God Strike Me Deaf Until 2010 Twos. I subscribe to the "Strike me Deaf" thing because I think I could cope if I could not hear, "Mama, Mama, Mama, AHHHH!!".

Cayton has been testing me AND asserting her independence all at once. I'm pretty good with standing my ground, but the independence thing is really eating my lunch. It's not that I'm all sad because she's growing up and doing her own thing. Oh no, if only. No, the problem for me is that she wants to do everything herself and she has NO skills. While she can put together a jigsaw puzzle, sing about 100 songs start to finish and in tune, count to 15 (in English) and 10 (in Spanish), knows her seasons, and is pretty good with a fork and spoon, girl cannot put her pants on right. Nine times out of ten, the shoes go on the wrong foot and sleeves are an instant tantrum. If she'd just chill and let me take care of the morning routine it would take about 45 seconds start to finish. But, Cayton's method for dressing and grooming takes about 30 minutes not including temper tantrums (hers and mine).

Brief reenactment, our house 7:30 am:

"Blake, Blake, Blake, Blake, Blake, Blake..." This is me trying to wake Blake up so that he will go upstairs and get Cayton out of bed. He has no hearing in the morning and gets really pissed if I yell, so I do a pretty good impression of the teacher from Ferris Beuller. He finally rolls over and says, "huh?" as if he has no idea why I'd be trying to wake him up.

Ten seconds later, the monitor erupts as Cayton surmises that Daddy is here to wake her up and she can therefore throw a pretty good fit. They stalk downstairs, Cayton asleep on Blake's shoulder along with Edward the giant bunny rabbit and the green blankie.

First step is to get Cayton to sit on the Big potty. This is where independence starts to ruin the morning. She is the only one allowed to put the potty seat in place and then she has to scale the potty to actually sit on it. I think she'd rather fall off and crack her head than have either one of us help her.

She takes a bath and then it really starts, The Battle Royal of Putting on Clothes. This is absolutely my least favorite part of the day. If I weren't pregnant, I'd use one of my flying anxiety Xanax pills to get through this, no doubt. I start to put her pull up on her, nope she has to do it. But, her process starts with her rolling around on our bed, then looking to see which characters are on her diaper, then she puts the pull up on backwards, I tell her so, she pulls it off, starts to put it on again (backwards), I step in because I can't stand it, then screaming.

Since I outweigh her by a few pounds, I usually strong arm her and get the drawers on her. She is terribly offended, not to mention startled by my iron strength and she takes a moment to really roll out the "you hurt me AND my feelings, you are a terrible Mama" routine. This involves some ginormous tears and a lip pucker that could possibly go into the Guiness Book of Records for the distance that she can stick her lip out.

Then, Good God Almighty, it's jeans time. I hand her the jeans and the process is pretty much like the pull up but obviously the leg holes are longer. So, she puts them on and manages to get both legs in the same hole. So, we start over and of course I am not allowed to help no matter what. So, you can imagine how tough it is to stand back because it's pure mental torture to watch someone with unrefined motor skills trying to do something that you could do in about 1 second. You stand there watching, your own hands going through the motions, giving advice and you might as well just walk off. But what do I do? I tell her she put her jeans on wrong, she pulls them off, puts both legs in the same hole again, I step in to help because my OCD is too much, and then screaming. This time, it's both of us screaming and I think Blake has run off.

After jeans, it's shirt time and that goes a bit better because somewhat like the pull up, I use the strong arm technique and it works this time because it goes over her head and she can't put up much of a fight. By the time she can really start in on me, the shirt is on. As for hair and shoes, I've long since called Uncle on that and I just run a quick comb through the hair and let her take care of the shoes. If she's OK with wearing her shoes on the wrong feet, then so am I. Who am I to judge?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

He Thinks it's End Times and the Curse of the Fajitas

My dad has been able to rely on a few truths in life. Among them, the fact that his oldest daughter, his beloved first born cares not a fig for sports. Actually, I'm all for playing them, but I do not follow any teams and would rather take a beating than spend an afternoon watching a sporting event on TV. But, now he's questioning the universe and stockpiling supplies in order to survive whatever disaster is on its way.

Last Saturday, we all sat in my living room and watched OU beat Texas. I wasn't forced, they didn't beg, I just sat down with my parents and watched the game. Really, I got into it. We even taught Cayton to throw her hands up and yell, "Touchdown!" Daddy was pretty excited really, but I suspect a little surprised. Then, I busted out some college football facts and it was maybe too much. He and Blake left at halftime to go to Home Depot and didn't return until well into the fourth quarter.

Monday night, I tuned into Monday night football and that is something I've NEVER done. Then, following that insane game, it was ME that called him at 11:30 to discuss. I can confidently say that he was not expecting a call from me regarding the Cowboys, Romo's FIVE picks and TO's skillet hands. I imagine Daddy didn't get much sleep that night due to paranoia about missing the rapture or something.

But then, he should now by now that his girls are capable of just about anything.

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I am officially done with fajitas. Specifically, I am never going to eat fajitas at the Leons' house ever again. Now, before Phillip passes out thinking that I'm disparaging his cooking, let me clear that up. I have never, ever tasted fajitas as good as the ones that he makes. They are delicious and he cooks up fresh tortillas that really take an otherwise standard meal to another level.

But seriously, I have eaten my last delicious, mouth watering fajita. Let me 'splain. The last time we had fajitas at the Leon house, their oldest son Jonas had a run in with a chair and lost. Big time. He knocked out his front tooth. Luckily it was a baby tooth, but you just don't need that kind of drama when you're trying to eat.

The second time we ate fajitas at the Leons' house (which was Sunday), the curse got us again. We got home and went to our bedroom to get Cayton ready for bed. I tossed her onto my bed and stepped into the closet to get her a diaper. So, in the space of about 1 second, I heard a "thump" and then crazy screaming. I ran back out of the closet and saw Cayton lying on the floor and blood. Is there anything worse to see than your crying child and blood?

I picked my baby up and looked her over to see if she'd knocked her teeth out. For some reason, that is a serious fear of mine. Anyway, the teeth were fine but she'd bitten two holes in her bottom lip and she had a nice carpet burn stripe from her lip to the tip of her chin. How she managed to fall off the bed and skid across the rug, I do not know. But the poor baby was really hurt. I have to give her props though, she was tough. I know that she recovered a lot more quickly than I did.

So, my totally logical conclusion is that I am never eating fajitas at the Leons' house again. Of course, if he wants to make them at my house, then it will probably be fine.

Monday, September 17, 2007

This is the LAST Time...

For those of you that don't know, Blake and I are expecting Doerr baby number two. Actually, I'm doing all of the expecting and Blake's just looking sympathetic. Which is good considering that the new baby obviously hates my guts and is taking his/her revenge on them (the guts). I have been sick for about three weeks and I am SO done with this. I keep waiting for the yuck to let up, but I'm so upset about the nausea that I swear I have psychosomatic nausea. I may have to go back to therapy in order to get rid of my anticipatory anxiety. Anyway, I've laid down the law. This is the last natural born baby Doerr for me. Any future children will have to come from Cambodia or whatever country is in vogue then.

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Cayton, as if sensing that I'm not doing well, has been extra cute. Such is the nature of these manipulative little beasts. Anyway, I caught a few good shots of her trying her Halloween costume. I also happened to catch her working over the beater from the stand mixer after I made cream cheese frosting.




Sunday, August 26, 2007

I Just Love Ol' Rockinsas...

video

This video needs some context, I know. Several years ago, Blake and I went to a performance of Big River. If I remember correctly, it was the stage version of Huckleberry Finn. Anyway, there was a short scene in the show where a tall, lanky guys comes out in a plaid suit. The suit was way too short, so he had highwaters. That was pretty funny, but then the guy started dancing as if he were a puppet on strings. While he was dancing, he was singing, "Arkansas, Arkansas, I just love ol' Arkansas". It was so funny that the only thing we remember about that show was that 30 second vignette. Anyway...

Cayton found this straw hat at her Meme's house and was obsessed with it for an entire weekend. She loved it so much that she felt we all needed to try it on. When Blake put it on, he started singing the Arkansas song and he did this whole swinging elbows dance with it. Cayton loved it. So, this is the video of her trying to do the same thing. Of course, to her Arkansas sounds a lot like Rockinsas. But then, she was rockin' the hat.

Side Note: You'll notice that she is wearing two dresses. That kid has style. Yeah, that's what we call it.

What Happens When Toddlers Dress Themselves...





This was Cayton's attempt to dress herself this weekend. Commendable effort, to be sure. But, I think for the time being I will be choosing her outfits when we plan to leave the house. You'll notice that she has her shoes on the wrong feet. She just doesn't believe me that there is a right shoe and a left shoe.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Short Term Mental Vacation...

I have been a bit "off" the last couple of days and I'm starting to think that it's time for a mental vacation. Given my choice, I would prefer a vacation that would change my actual physical location. But, in a pinch, changing my mental location will work.

To this end, I have tried to find ways to take a break from my routine to spend some time alone. I've started going on walks around the neighborhood with my vicious Sophie and that has been great. I borrow Blake's iPod, find the 2 or 3 artists that we both like and walk my way to a clearer, more focused mind. For some reason, the half hour that I spend exploring my own mind tends to give me a much more positive outlook. For a few minutes at least, anything seems possible. The music, most usually something upbeat, quickens my step and the endorphins stick with me for a surprisingly long time afterward.

Sadly though, it seems lately that my mental vacations have ocurred spontaneously while I am at work. I find myself staring at a wall or thinking about what I'll do when the workday is over. My mental self seems to check out the minute I park the car (which is kind of dangerous given the out of control construction downtown).

Hopefully, summer blues that I seem to get every year will let up soon. Until then, if I seem weird, I'm just taking some STMV time.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Frick!

I don't have many vices. I am pretty clean living except for an occasional night out and a bottle of wine. I'm an accountant, so I pay my taxes and I do have a neatness compulsion. So, pretty tame really. That is, except for one thing. No matter how I try, I cannot give up the spicy words. I just can't. I have given up all hope of ever kicking the habit. I've even hit rock bottom and it just doesn't seem to matter.

Rock bottom, you say? Yes, and as usual, I blame it on Blake. First off, the episode of which I speak happened to occur at Babies R Us. Already, you can see that this is going to be bad. Secondly, I was wearing flip flops. I know that this particular type of footwear is not to be worn in the presence of my husband. However, I continue to ignore that fact. As I started to take a step out of the door, he stomped on the back of my shoe with an unusual amount of force. I guess he was really ready to get out of there. Well, it hurt. It f$#%ing hurt. It also made me really angry. So, my immediate reaction was -in a not soft voice - "f--king A!" Yeah, I scandalized a few new parents in the Babies R Us vestibule. Ear muffs!

Besides the fact that I dropped the F Bomb at a baby store, I had to use possibly the stupidest, most nonsensical F Bomb word combo. What does that even mean? Oh well, my point here is that no matter what I do, these words are in my heart and usually on the tip of my tongue. It's a sad state of affairs.

My sister said that sometimes a spicy word is just what you need. The situation is such that no other word or combination of words can really convey the emotion in quite the same way. So, in effect, it's emotional shorthand. No need to elaborate, no need to add anything. Everyone, sometimes even people that don't speak the same language, understands.

So, I don't know if I'm OK with this particular bad habit. But, as I get older I am learning that some fights are just not worth it. Most of my self-improvement effort is tied up in not weighing 300 pounds, so I don't have a lot left to resist some foul language now and again. So, f--k it.

Friday, July 13, 2007

If Ever I Become a Criminal...

...this is the kind that I would be. The one change I would make though is that I would not ever hold a gun to someone's child and I probably wouldn't hug everyone until after several glasses of wine. Other than that, I could easily slip into a life of crime if it involved swiping wine and cheese. Oh yes I could.

Another news story I found particularly amusing is here. The title of the article on Slate's home page was "What it Feels Like to Be Gored By a Bull". Seriously, could you resist clicking on that? I couldn't and it took me to the story that I've linked to. Now, the story itself was pretty great with stats about deaths and injuries due to gorings since the start of the tradition of the running of the bulls celebration in Pamplona. But, of particular interest is the stat regarding gorings in las partes honorables.

Before you assume that I enjoy a good racking (sp?) story, this isn't America's Funniest Home Videos. No, the part that was interesting was the term las partes honorables. I don't think I need to go into how brilliant this obvious bit of irony really is, but really I do love the Spanish language and culture.

I think I need to dive back into some of my Gabriel Garcia Marquez stash after reading that story (I am sorry to have left out the accent marks in the above name, but I don't know how to get them in there with Blogger).

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I took Cayton to her swimming lesson last night and I think I learned something about my best girl. She's always been a pretty easy going kid and I've not really had to deal with a lot of irrationality from her. But, last night was really the icing on the cake.

Let me set this up... She hasn't had a lesson in over a year, so she was a bit hesitant at first. She didn't want to walk into the water so I had to carry her. Once she was in the water, she was stuck to me like fly paper. I had to pry her off of my neck (careful not to pry off my top along with her), and pull her through the water a couple of times before she got comfortable. But, I could tell that she wasn't totally happy.

The thing that impressed me though, was the fact that she didn't cry. Instead, I noticed that she had a sort of "hunker down and get through it" look on her face. She paid attention to the lessons and exercises, did what she had to do and then looked at me, "time to go?".

I think for her it was bit like riding a roller coaster. You dread it all through the line, get into the car with butterflies in your stomach, scream like hell through the whole thing, and then sigh with relief when it's over. But, as you step off the car, you realize that you had a blast and that you must, must get in line and do it all over again.

She ended the evening with a smile on her face and so did I. She was excited about getting home to Daddy and supper and I was happy to think that she might just have an inner strength and determination that will serve her well in the future (or at least in the pool).

Monday, July 09, 2007

For Me, She Can Stifle the Urge...

As I mentioned a few posts ago, I am trying oh so hard to lose a couple (or 5 or 10) pounds. These attempts usually involve lots of exercise and time at the gym, and this time is no different. But, I'm already tired of the same old thing so Sunday night, I decided to go for a walk. As with most of my ideas, there was something wrong. This time, it was that I was going for a walk at about 8:30. Being a bit skittish about walking in the near dark and the obvious likelyhood of being kidnapped and all, I decided to take Sophie - my most fierce looking pet.

Of course, fierce in this case is relative. But, she is a pit bull mix, so she's a lot more menacing looking than Harvey the fluff ball. So, I had the dog, the iPod (which I stole from Blake who is still quite under the spell of his iPhone so he didn't notice), and a watch so that I could make sure that I didn't exercise one minute longer than I had to.

About 30 seconds into Fix You (which, by the way, just kills me), Sophie spotted the first of about 30 woodland creatures that was apparently trying to commit suicide. First, it was a single brown bunny. Sophie's ears perked up, she threw her considerable low slung weight against the leash and off we went. Now, my girl Sophie usually has a beatific look of sweet stupidity on her face, but at this point, it was all murderous intent. Not one to bark, she peeled her lips back and flashed her not unimpressive teeth at the poor little rabbit.

Thanks to the fact that I regularly tote around a 25 pound two year old, my guns (OK, somewhat toned arms) were strong enough to hold her back, but just. She stopped throwing herself against the leash and she turned to look at me. I think in that instant I saw a flash of disdain, maybe a bit of irritation at my squeamishness in the face of something so ordinary for her. I can't be sure, but I think she was judging me just a little.

So, the walk resumed and about two seconds after the first bunny encounter, I noticed Sophie perking up again. Since I have famously terrible eyesight, it took me a couple of seconds to see that there were THREE bunnies just sitting in the grass alongside the road. Expecting Sophie to throw herself against the leash, I braced for the pull, but this time something strange happened. I saw her dig in with her front paws, but then noticed that she just glanced at me, flipped her head forward and pranced on as if she hadn't seen three delicious bunny steaks just waiting for her.

This went on for the rest of the walk. She would notice a bunny or a cat, prepare to go after it, pause and then decide to pass it by. We walked for a total of about thirty minutes and I would estimate that she turned down at least ten bunnies, 3 cats and maybe two yippy little dog/rat thingys. Plus, given that she can snag birds out of the air, maybe a couple of those too. I can only conclude that Soph had decided to spare me the gore that she so obviously craved. I can't tell you how I appreciated that concession on her part. Starting now, I will no longer think of Sophie as a quietly stupid dog. She's a stone cold killer and she is just humoring me, for now...


Sophie sees all with her evil eye...


Thursday, June 28, 2007

Stealing Blog Ideas...

This week has been kind of slow for blog content. I promise, I really do try and pay attention to things so that I write about them, but seriously, this has been a big nothing week. Mostly, the day to day has passed me by because I've been pretty stressed. When I get like that, I'm pretty useless and the past few days have been no exception.

I seem to get myself into some strange situations at work because I am pretty much up for anything when it comes to assignments. If it's something besides prepping tax returns, I'll volunteer for it. Well, as you can imagine, sometimes being so amenable to new experiences can get me in trouble. My lastest adventure was as an "expert witness". Yes, I am now an official expert witness.

In retrospect, I think that I can say it was an overall positive experience. However, having never been involved in a trial, I have to admit that I was so nervous I could barely see straight. I guess I felt that if I didn't do well on the stand that I would look like such an idiot, so there was a lot of self imposed pressure. The reality is that as a CPA, the stuff that I have to testify about is so dry and boring, most of the court was about to drift off to sleep by the time I was finished (me included). I just wanted it to be over so that I could stop torturing everyone. Maybe that was the tactic...
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Anyway, I mentioned that I was stealing blog ideas. Someone I used to know in what seems like another life started up a blog recently and posed a question about ranking your top five cities. At first, I thought that this would be a really easy topic, but damn if it didn't start me thinking, and thinking... At first, I listed five cities quickly. Then, as I read my list, I started to think that I sounded a little pretentious. It wasn't as if I didn't love the cities that I'd listed, but I was afraid that I would come off as someone that wanted to show that I'd traveled a bit. Oh, look at me, I've been here and here and here.

Then, I thought about how I was really overthinking the question. The idea was essentially to list five cities that mean something to you. When you boil it down to that, it gets a little easier (at least for me). So, here goes. My top favorite cities with explanations (and in no particular order):

1. Paris - I spent about four ridiculously amazing nights here with Blake and our friends Jessica and Phillip. The food was so delicious that nothing since has come close. The wine flowed with abandon and the streets were brimming with possibilites. I doubt that I will ever feel that free again and I savor the memories. Plus, you have to love a city wherein a waiter busts a plate on your head. It's just too wonderful and glorious.





2. Inverness, Scotland - It isn't so much the city that got to me but the highlands surrounding it. Not to knock the city, it was wonderful. Blake and I skipped the meal that had been planned for us and we found a little restaurant and ate alone. Then, we wondered into the square and joined a group of pipers. It was great and cemented my love of the Scottish culture and the Highlands in particular. I can't say enough about the beauty of that place. It I ever go missing, look for me here (or don't).

3. Stockholm - If you've ever been to this gorgeous city, you really don't need much of an explanation from me. But, it is such a beautiful place that your brain almost doesn't believe what your eyes are seeing. I think also this place will always hold a special place in my heart because it was the first international destination for the Doerr family of three. Yes, Catie got her first passport stamp in Sweden.



4. San Francisco/Seattle/New York - This is a three way tie. All of these cities are a bit iconic, so you can probably imagine why I love them. But, I think the main point here is that in a country that continues to lose it's regional flavor, these cities seem to stand out with their individual flair. As for San Fran, how could you not love it? Seattle is so pretty, no matter what time of year you visit. New York... Ah, New York. Teresa Kroh and I hit the city in July of 2006 and I must say that we blazed a path right through. We managed to tear that city up in about three days. All I can say is that it lives up to the hype. It really does...





5. Montreal/Quebec City - These two cities tie because they are so impressive and so close. Montreal is so like a European city in that it has great little cafes and a beautiful Old Town. Plus, an additional factor in its favor is the lack of jet lag. Quebec City is the oldest walled city in North America and I loved it at first sight. We stayed at the Chateau Frontenac which is situated on the city walls. Wow. By being situated on the city walls, it overlooked the St. Lawerance river. Amazing view. Really though, the meaning for me here was that our trip to these two cities was the last trip that Blake and I took as a twosome. I can hardly remember now what being a "twosome" felt like but I bet it was kind of boring with all of the free time stuff...

So, thanks Wick for supplying some content for my blog entry. I hope you don't mind me borrowing, but it was such a compelling idea that I just couldn't let it go.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Touring Downtown T-Town

Saturday I needed to get out and do something. Since I'm (surprisingly) still committed to exploring Oklahoma, I thought I'd start out with something easy. I happened to notice on the public announcements board at Petty's that a local architecture group was sponsoring a tour of downtown tulsa apartments and condos. I've wanted to checkout these places for a while since everytime I look at my yard I long to live some place surrounded by concrete. Also, though I hate to admit it, I'd welcome a reason to evict certain feline inhabitants of my household. Anyway...

Jessica and I started the tour at the Philtower Lofts and I have to say that I was really impressed. Since I work just a few buildings down, I was aware of these apartments and have been curious about them for a long time. The first one we saw was just gorgeous. The apartment had a rooftop patio overlooking Boston Avenue and another patio off the master that had an east facing view. The kitchen was complete with high end finishes and the decor was contemporary. Jessica and I loved it and I was imagining myself living there anxiety ridden about Cayton falling over the railing on the patio. Yeah, great place, not really right for me...for now.

The next stop was the Tribune Lofts. They were pretty cool, but I think they would have been more impressive if the cabinetry and countertops were a little more "urban". I just don't think ceramic tile countertops really play into my concept of loft living. That is, unless they were going for a "urban meets country" thing, which I doubt. The second unit was a two bedroom apartment and I have to say that the concrete countertops made a lot more sense. But again, the all white walls, white cabinets and the white appliances were too much for me. I guess I spent too many years in OU dorms to be able to deal with so much white. I guess it's a little too much "near death experience" for me.

After the Tribune, we headed north toward the heart of Brady District. This place is NOT hopping on a Sunday afternoon. Well, there were a few Goth kids hanging out in front of Cain's which was were we ended up because of the crappy map that we were provided for finding The Boston Apartments. According to the map, the apartments should have been at Main and 244. So, we figured they had to be close to Cain's, which would have been a pretty good landmark. HA! After trudging all the way down there in the soupy humidity that is common on an Oklahoma June afternoon, we realized the map was very, very wrong. It was at this point that we noticed the address was 21 1/2 BRADY. Even though I maintain that the map was wrong, this should have been a big clue.

Despite our poor reading comprehension skills, we made it to the Boston Apartments and it was worth the trek. The owner had created a beautiful little bohemian retreat (OK, at least it's what I think of as Bohemian. I am really not sure I actually know what that means). It appeared that she had combined two units and so it was quite large. Jess and I were pretty much in love with it, but there was one huge drawback. Window units... Maybe if I hadn't just walked a mile out of my way and maybe if I hadn't had sweat pouring off of me, I wouldn't have been so turned off by the lack of central heat and air. But, amazingly, I toured the whole place in about a minute and a half, tore ass down the stairs and back to my car. I blasted the air for a few minutes and only then could I appreciate how really pretty the place had been.

The next stop was the Village at Central Park. Now, this place looks really cool. The condos are brownstones and it really does look like a Tulsa version of a neighborhood of brownstones. I was excited when these started to go up and I've been dying to get over there and give them the ol' eyeball. Again, Jess and I were totally winging it and ended up touring a couple of places that weren't on the tour but were open houses put on by realtors. Oh well, it was fun anyway. The first two places we checked out were being shown by a realtor and they were totally empty. Note to self: leave some furniture in your house if you are ever trying to sell it. A big empty apartment is just not all that appealing. But, they were a nice size and the layouts were pretty cool.

We eventually made it to the unit that was actually on the tour. Wow, that is all I can say. Wow. The owners went all out on this one. It was straight out of one of those decorating magazines that feature houses that look better than your house ever will. Seriously, I could have licked the floors they were so yummy. I had a serious case of house envy and I'm not even lying. Jessica and I could barely contain our excitement. We raced all over the house and I was making mental notes all over the place. By the time we left, I had a list of projects for Blake.

The final stop was a big Old Tulsa house at about 16th and Denver. I can't say enough about how beyond the beyond beautiful this house was. It was the kind of house that you wanted to grow up in when you were a kid. The walls were solid, strong and gave off a sense of welcome and security. It was the house that you'd want to have family Christmases in and where you'd want to gather in the kitchen and bake and swap stories. Frankly, I was drawn in by this house and it was by far the cosiest of all of the places that we stopped. I think it had the most soul. I took this tour slowly and savored all of the details in every room. This was one place that felt lived in and I didn't get the feeling that any of it had been staged. Well, that is except for the large number of abstract nude paintings on the wall. That was really a different touch. But, I figured that maybe they weren't a permanent fixture since most of them had a price tag and the artists name on the wall next to them. Check out my house and buy some nekkid paintings! Now that's the way to conduct a house tour...

(By the way, these are the opinions of the author and, really, what do I know? No need to send me any hate mail if you own or built any of these places and don't like what I said.)

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Grocery Stores Suck, Flor is the Shizzz

Open letter to all grocery stores:

As a consumer, I would like to write to you regarding the sheer torture that a trip to one of your establishments is for me, a mom. Let me explain. I took a trip to buy a few groceries that would enable me to make supper. I didn't need much, just some fruit and bread. It was going to be a simple little outing on the way home from work. Since I was on the way home from work, I stopped to pick up my two year old. I admit, this may have been my first miscalculation, but I really had no choice as I was pretty much her only opportunity for a ride home as her dad was on his way to a concert to see Wol- (never mind, too embarassing).

Anyway, we arrived at the store to find racks up on shiny racks stuffed and overflowing with small items that could only be described as kid magnets. There were rows of fluffy handmade bread, jars of jams and jellies, neatly stacked pyramids of fruit just waiting to topple over. WTF? Yes, this looks nice, but are you just trying to booby trap parents with little kids?

Further, let me just say (a certain small well known Tulsa store should listen up) aisles that are narrower than the arm span of an average size woman are a real pain in the ass. This is especially true when the buggies (or shopping carts for people not from a small town) are GINORMOUS.

Also, I would like to say that often when I go to the grocery store, I am not there for fun. I am there to buy the stuff on my list and make a hasty (and increasingly expensive) exit. So, would it be too much to ask you to reliably stock basic f%^&ing staple items so that I don't have to go to (God Forbid) more than one of your locations in the same day??? Yes, that question warranted three question marks...

To sum up, I would like to see the following changes:

1. Breakable items would be moved to an area out of reach of toddlers

2. Fruit should be put into bins, not stacked to resemble the Eiffel Tower. This is just an unnecessary hazzard and it actually makes ME want to kick it to pieces.

3. Aisles should be at least 8 feet wide so that if a customer stops to peruse the selection it won't cause buggy traffic congestion.

4. Please send the angry teenage stock boy to check supplies so that I can grab a jar of tahini and go. I mean, what kind of store doesn't have a basic staple of middle eastern cuisine??

Thanks for your consideration beotches,

CCD
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Ok, so we needed a rug for the bedroom now that the hardwood floors are in. I've been obsessed with finding a way to install some Flor carpet tiles because they are SO cool. Finally, the opportunity presented itself and I took it.

Check out these pics of my super cool new rug. It's made up of six different tiles, all with unique textures. I am totally in love.


Runner in the hall


Rug in the bedroom - closeup


Additional view of my new rug

If you want to check out all the options available with these awesome carpet tiles, go to http://www.flor.com/. It's really a cool idea for people with kids or pets since you can just pick up a tile and run it under tap water to clean it. When it's dry, you just stick it back down. Awesome.


Sunday, June 10, 2007

On Almost Losing a Finger and Sophie's Killing Spree Continues






Recently, I decided that the Doerr family should focus on sampling the recreation opportunities in Oklahoma. Part of my motivation comes from wanting to see more of my home state and the other was the need to find something to do close to home. I've always found it annoying when people say that Oklahoma has nothing to offer and then when asked, they admit that they've not been to any of the state parks, museums or other offerings. I didn't want to be that person, so I've been making some effort in this area. As they say, no good deed goes unpunished.

I had never even heard of Oxley Nature Park, but it's in Mohawk Park near the zoo. From the website, I learned that there are walking trails, lakes, wildlife and more (!) So, I told Blake about our weekend plans. He was OK with going, though the forecasted heat didn't make him happy. Cayton was noncommittal but given that she pretty much has to do what I say made me confident that she would go.

When we arrived at the Oxley Nature Park Visitor's Center, we headed in to get our trail map. One of the volunteers asked us if we had bug spray and added that using it would be HIGHLY recommended. So, Blake took Cayton outside and started spraying her down with whatever spray Oxley provided. I grabbed a trail map and joined them out on the deck to get sprayed as well. Cayton was covered pretty good by the time I got out there, but we decided that we should use the bug spray wipes to get her face covered. It's funny how when you review an event in your head, you can often pinpoint the second that everything went to hell. This was such a moment.

I innocently reached into Cayton's diaper bag to grab the bug spray wipes. As it was a new cannister of wipes, I had to push the first wipe through the hole in the lid. Good God Almighty Cutter, but do you have to use weapons grade plastic in your wipes lids??? I found the first wipe, pushed it through the hole in lid with my left pointer finger and found that my finger was stuck. If you've ever seen one of those lids, you'll remember that they have little triangles that clasp the wipe. Well, apparently Cutter feels that these little triangles should be honed to deadly little spikes to avoid losing a wipe. Never mind that my finger was caught in a bug wipe chastity belt thingy.

It took me a minute to realize that I was in trouble. I stood there staring at my finger, every available option running through my head in the space of a couple of seconds.

"Blake, Oh my God, my finger is stuck and I can't get this thing off!"

"What, what's wrong?" Blake adopted a look of concern, but I know he really just summoned every bit of strength to keep from rolling around laughing at me.

"Why did you stick your finger in there?"

"Oh, just for shits and giggles I guess. Can you please just help me get this off of my finger!!????" At this point, my attitude started to dissolve into hysteria. Every attempt to remove the lid was extremely painful and those little triangles were digging into my fingertip. I kept talking but it made less and less sense. It crossed my mind that I would probably break pretty quickly if I were ever tortured for state secrets.

I think I was almost at the point of jumping up and down and tears had started to gather in the corners of my eyes. It was a do or die/lose a finger moment. So, I looked at my poor purple finger tip and took a deep breath. I bent my finger so as to put the pressure on my finger nail and just pulled. It slid a bit painfully off of my finger. The relief was palpable, for me at least. I think Blake pointed out at that I probably shouldn't have pushed my finger so far through the hole and then he laughed his ass off. I hate him.

After I gathered myself following the bug wipe incident, we headed out to discover Oxley. We were surprised to find that the park was extensive and that the trails were groomed and well marked. We had the map out and headed toward one of the lakes. About 5 minutes into the walk, Cayton looked at me and said, "Me carrot", or something like that. This is her request for me to carry her. It seems that whenever Cayton is faced with the prospect of walking more than a few feet, it becomes my job to wag her around. She insists that only Mommy can carry her. It's tiring, but at least I'm beginning to develop some nice arms.

I think the other big miscalculation that I made was taking the family to the woods after a month of rain. If you think the bugs and mosquitoes in your yard are bad, you've not been to the woods in late spring. I can honestly say that I've never seem mosquitoes swarm; now I have. There were so many bugs flying around that they were actually crashing into us. About an hour in, we surrendered. It was great, but wiping bug juice off of my arms and legs really started to dampen my spirits.


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Sophie is one of the sweetest dogs I've ever known. She's really right up there with my childhood dog, Thumper. She just lives to get our attention and she is in heaven if you pet her. Truly, it's her favorite thing in the world.

Like many serial killers, Sophie does not display any homicidal tendencies. She looks sweet, she loves to play with Cayton and she mostly just sleeps and eats. However, it is now undeniable that she has declared jihad on birds and more recently, possums.

Blake has become the coroner at our house. When we get a report of a dead body, I call him to the kitchen and send him out into the backyard to clean up the crime scene. He's really getting pissed off about this new household duty. However, he has developed a process to dispose of the carcasses. He covers a dustpan with a plastic grocery bag, grabs a big trashbag and he has gloves. That's how often this has happened. He actually has a process.

It is sometimes hard to believe that Sophie has such a mean streak, but I've actually seen her attack a bird. She sits on the deck, looking innocent and bored. Then, when a bird swoops too low, she leaps straight up in the air and grabs the bird in her powerful bull dog jaws. It's really gruesome, not to mention a little sad. But she seems powerless to resist the temptation. She does nothing with the animals that she kills. She just leaves them in a heap on the deck for us to find. She shows no remorse. I guess that's typical of a sociopath.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Naked Jogging and Saying Goodbye

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There really is an explanation for this picture. The problem is, it may take a minute to fully do the story justice. We had pasta for dinner and that is absolutely, without a doubt, Cayton's favorite meal. It doesn't even matter what kind of pasta dish you serve, you'd just better have a ton of it, because she will go "to the pain" as Blake likes to say. Well, the natural result of going to the pain is either a tummy ache or .... Yes, sitting right at the dinner table, Cayton recycled her dinner. It rolled out of her otherwise sweet little mouth, down her shirt and all over the floor. Dinner was officially over.

I grabbed her up (my post baby gross out threshold is REALLY high at this point) and stripped her clothes off of her and set her down on the ground. As I was washing out the regurg', I heard I familiar ripping sound.

"Diaper's gone, " Blake says while still sitting at the table gnawing on something. His disaster reflexes are a bit slower than mine. Anyway, Cayton ends up running around the kitchen in nothing but a smile and some tennis shoes. Luckily, the camera was handy and I caught it. These pictures (there a few more, hahahaha) are going in the vault with the Leon boy's tea party pics. I imagine I can inflict lots of trauma on the kids in a few years' time.
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So, I mentioned in my title that I am saying goodbye. Well, I am and it's a heartwrenching moment for me. I am officially bidding farewell to my loose eating habits. I stepped on the scale today. It's really embarrassing when other people at the gym walk in on an otherwise normal looking person standing on the scale in a bra and shorts crying (you girls know that you NEVER weigh fully clothed). It's just not pretty...

The problem is that I am obsessed and completely head over heels for food. I wake up in the morning and think, "How is Cayton and what am I going to eat?" I manage to at least shower and dress before I beeline to the kitchen to get some cereal or a granola bar. When that's done, I instantly think about lunch. No sooner do I make it through lunch that I start thinking about supper. It's relentless! How is a diet supposed to work when I so obviously am a food addict?

Hopefully, I will lose about eight pounds on this diet. I just want to get back to my "comfort" weight. That is the weight that I consider easy to maintain. I have no desire to lose a ton of weight just to gain it all back when I return to normal eating habits. There is no way that I will stick to a Hollywood style diet where I eat nothing but lettuce and breath mints. Like I said above, I really love food. Besides Blake and Cayton, it's my other great love.

So, if I seem depressed for the next couple of days, it's just the sorrow of having to say goodbye (for a while) to eating with abandon. Damn, this is going to be hard. I don't think cheese and wine are on my new diet...

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

And He Just Lives to Sabotage Me...

I guess you come to a point in marriage when you've pretty much said it all, seen it all etc. Your reason for living at that point becomes finding new and more exciting ways to drive your spouse crazy. Now, before I start, let me say that I do this to Blake all the time. Just see the post about setting booby traps. The fact that he's not bouncing off the well cushioned walls of a rubber room at this point is really a testament to the strength of his character. Or, I guess it could be proof of the lack of a better option...

Anyway, I think I mentioned that I hate my digital camera. Well, things have not improved in spite of purchasing a card reader. I thought I had it all worked out and that should have been a sign that I would have been better off actually stomping my camera and taking a drawing class. It might be less stressful to memorialize big moments in my life in watercolor or charcoal. Well, the minute I triumphantly burst into the kitchen with Amazon box, Blake was there to tear down the moment. I opened the box and showed him the card reader. I was proud of myself for having purchased some tech equipment and he said, "It won't work".

I admit that I took a minute to consider my options at that point. The only weapons in sight were a plastic baby spoon and a sippy cup. I don't think McGyver could have even done anything with that. So, in the interest of fair play, I let him explain.

"Rememer how I dropped the computer and broke the network card off in the (whatever the entry point is called)? Well, it's not fixed so this isn't going to work"

What I wanted to say: Good God Almighty!!! All I want is to upload some frikackin' pictures and it's one thing after another!!! Argh!!!!!

What I actually said: "Oh, OK. I guess I'll keep it since you'll get another computer soon"

Actually, I think this post should have focused more on my increasingly dramatic reactions to minor inconveniences but I like to think that Blake is plotting against me. Like America, I do better if I have an enemy to blame for my misfortunes. Plus, it takes up some free time thinking of ways to get even.

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Speaking of getting even, I set another unintentional booby trap this weekend. I packed a bag full of ingredients so that I could make guacamole for a cookout on Sunday. I planned on making it "on-site" since I'd run out of time at home. I put everything, including my knife, in a grocery bag. I had actually put the knife in an oven mitt so that it wouldn't just by lying in the bottom of the bag.

Wouldn't you know it? Nosy ol' Blake starts going through the bag and rearranging things and, according to him, nearly cut his finger off. First off, I think the old "mind your own business" credo applies here and I DID put an oven mitt on the knife. How could he have missed that?

Honestly, you'd think he'd have developed a healthy paranoia by now in order to avoid some of these problems.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Recent Projects

As promised, I am including some pictures of more recent stitching projects. The first one is a sampler that I did for family friends that just moved into a new home. I wasn't sure when I started just how it would come out, but I really love the primitive look of it. I think this may be the first of many samplers that I will work on. I just love the primitive, colonial look. I also like the frame that I picked out since it looks old.


This one is a cute little project that I worked on last fall. I really wanted to finish it for Christmas, but I just didn't make it. I finally got through it sometime in January since we had so much snow/cooped-up-in-the-house time.




The snowmen were pretty easy since the fabric was a big count. That was actually a good thing, though I'm quickly becoming a bit of a fabric snob. Occasionally it is good to work on soemthing easier because I don't have to strain my poor eyes. Plus, the easier projects tend to come together more quickly and it feels great to actually finish something in less than 3 or 4 months...

Hopefully I will finish up some projects in the next few weeks so that I can show off a bit since I have nothing to be proud of in the quality of my photography.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Why I Hate my Digital Camera...

Reason #1: I can never, and I really mean never, find my frickin' USB cable when I need to upload pictures.

Reason #2: I actually have to have a USB cable to upload my pictures. When I actually do have the damn thing at hand, I feel a bit like I did when I had to use my cassette player to load programs onto my Tandy. The difference of course is that the Tandy was cutting edge for the time and the USB cable seems a bit ridiculous. If there is an alternative, please let me know. I very nearly stomped my camera to bits after looking all over the house for my cable. It is a bit of displaced fury for sure, but it's either stomp the camera or abuse poor Blake. Given that he can fight back, I would surely choose to stomp the poo out of the camera and then just tell him that I lost it and need another one. Sadly, it would be believable...

The reason that I'm so irritated is that I was going to share with you my silly little hobby. I've been into it now for about three years and thankfully my skills have improved a bit since I started out. Drumroll....

I have been doing needlework and I have totally dorked out over it. I started off by stitching up a baby gift for my friend Cindy. At the time, I couldn't think of a good gift and she'd received so much nice stuff by the time my lazy bee-hind got around to doing something for her. So, I got a tip from a coworker about a great needlework shop here in Tulsa and headed over to pick up some supplies.

That project turned out really well, so I kept at it and really found that I enjoyed the craft for a number of reasons. One, it requires a certain level of patience. I don't think I need to elaborate here too much, but I would say that my general self improvement is coming along nicely. Anyway... Two, I've found that in order to stick with needlework, you have to come to appreciate creating the work and avoid focusing on finishing the piece. When I started with this, all I could think about was the final product and how long it would take to finish something. But, as I moved on to more challenging projects, I found that just putting a few stitches in was very satisfying.

I'm including a couple of pictures of my most challenging work to date. This was a baby gift for my friend Jenny's baby girl Caroline who was born in April of 20o6. It was a race to finish this one in time because I grossly underestimated the time it would take to finish it. I kid you not, this one had about ten different shades of beige. I thought I would go completely blind. In the end though, I think that it was worth the work but seriously, I finished the night before I flew out to Seattle to see her and new baby. Whew!


Blurry Photo of the Finished Piece




Detail of Baby in Moses Basket

I wish I had better pictures, because there are some pretty nice little birds on the sides of the basket. The thing that made this project even tougher is that it is stitched on 32 count fabric (I'm pretty sure that is right). This means that there are 32 threads per inch so the holes in the fabric are teeny. Anyway, because they are so tiny, you generally stitch over two holes so that the picture ends up being an appropriate size. However, in order to make the baby in the basket appear as delicate as possible, the face and hands are stitched over one thread. I don't know if you follow, but it was practically impossible for me to stitch the face and hands because my eyes are terrible AND I'm not terribly dextrous. So, much cussing ensued...

Again, this hobby is really teaching me some patience.

Hopefully I will find my USB cable and will be able to upload some images from more recent projects. If not, I will probably smash much of the computer equipment in my house. Stitching has done nothing for my anger issues.




Saturday, May 12, 2007

Officially in the 'Holm














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We did indeed make it to Stockholm in good shape and with fairly good attitudes. Cayton was basically an angel on the trip over. We only had one run in with a whiny, nordic sweater wearing crybaby who was actually about 35 years old. And I was worried about Cayton! Apparently the guy expected to be able to put his friggin' chair in my lap and not have to deal with me (or Cayton) occasionally hitting his chair. I was so sorry to have disturbed His Majesty. I was not aware that a member of the Swedish Royal Family would be aboard the same Continental tin can/plane that we were. Oh well, I guess you can't expect perfect behavior out of everyone...

After gathering our stuff at the airport and passing through a pretty easy Customs process, we were on our way to the city. The airport was about 20 miles outside the city, so it was a pretty good taxi ride. Cayton was so tired that she obsessively asked for "More Milk!". However, when we gave her the milk she shoved it away and said, "No milk!". I guess you can't expect a two year old to be rational after an eight hour plane ride.

We taxied straight to Josh's hotel since we figured that our hotel wouldn't be ready. He has a pretty sweet set up there with the concierge lounge on his floor. After a little breakfast and freshening up, we were ready to explore the city. By explore, I mean we taxied over to our hotel, took showers, and then crashed for a nap. It was a bit of a rookie mistake, but all in all in turned out well. We were able to stay up later that night for drinks with Josh, Lindsey and Mike. We partied Euro style - we drank and talked while Cayton slept in her stroller. I wish American lawmakers could see the wisdom in allowing babies in bars...

I think after all of the things we saw and all of the new experiences we had, the best part of the trip was just hanging out with our friends. The city was absolutely beautiful and it provided a unique backdrop to the time that we spent talking and catching up. It was a bit like old times, but with a strange new language swirling around us. I probably need a week or two to let the memories form completely in my mind and I will write about them. But, my immediate impression is that good times with good friends can make even an epic journey seem manageable.

Friday, May 04, 2007

...and miles to go before I sleep

It's 4:00 Newark time and we're about to start leg two of our trip to Stockholm. So far, it's been an uneventful trip with Cayton really performing extremely well on the plane from Tulsa to Newark. I have to really give her credit since the plane was really small and everyone on the plane seemed really grumpy.

Anyway, the next leg will test our mettle as parents I'm sure. The total flight time is 8 hours and we'll probably feel every minute of it. But, one advantage we have is my brillance as a travel planner. I suggested we purchase a day pass to the President's Club and it worked out amazingly. We camped out in the Family Room and Cayton and I took a long nap. Then, we took advantage of the showers and we were all refreshed and ready to take on the hop across the pond.

I look forward to sharing details of this undoubtedly "exciting" flight...

More to come-

Monday, April 30, 2007

Benadryl Out, Xanax In


OK, so I mentioned earlier that Benadryl might be a good way to get Cayton to Sweden without annoying everyone on the flight over. Well, based on the results of our clinical trial, Benadryl is NOT the way to go, for Cayton at least. Here are the results of our highly scientific drug trials.


8:00 Administered Benadryl to test subject. Awaited results with utmost confidence.


8:30 Observed that test subject did not appear to be affected in any way.


9:00 Test subject appears to in fact be more energetic. Perhaps dosage was not correct.


9:05 Check dosage instructions and find to my dismay that is was correct.


9:15 Test subject is loudly protesting attempts to put her to bed


9:30 Test subject accepts offer of "Blankie & Teddy Bear". She may be ready for bed. The stuff is working!


9:35 Wait, she's going to bed about the same time as usual and with drugs. Stuff may not be working...


3:30 am Test subject is loudly yelling, "Mama!". Monitor amplifies the noise and jolts us out of bed.


3:35 Test subject joins us in our bed and sleeps soudly for an hour until she wakes up, climbs onto my stomach and falls asleep. Needless to say, Mama is NOT happy.


5:30 Test subject is again loudly yelling, "Mama, Daddy".


5:35 Daddy says sleepily, "No benadryl on the plane!" To which I grumble something best not related here. I guess this is what we get for experimenting on our kid. She showed that, as usual, she had other plans...


So, as far as I can tell, this highly touted baby "tranq" is not an option for us. I'm really upset about this as I assumed that it would help us keep the kid on a good sleep schedule and reduce her jet lag. Oh well, I guess we'll survive. I just hope that Stockholm is ready for Caytonius!


Monday, April 23, 2007

Party Like a Two Year Old

Cayton actually turned two a couple of weeks ago, but we didn't have the party until last Saturday because tax season unfortuneately trumps birthday celebrations. I am sure that Cayton will use this against me one day, but for now it's all the same to her.

We had such a great time with all of our friends and family there with us. I have to say, Cayton made quite a nice little haul of cash and prizes. Everyone was so generous and she was thrilled with all of her new books, puzzles and stuffed animals.

Check out some of the cute pics I caught from the party. There were a lot more, but you get the idea.





Evil genius that I am, I was sure to capture lots of pics of Cayton and the Leon boys having a tea party. I will be printing these photos and storing them in a super secret off site location so that I can bring them out in a few years and possibly publish them in the boys' Senior year books. Oh, the fun I'm going to have!!

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Oh, I need to thank Jake for linking to my blog and I also need to give him acknowledgement. My profile pic and the pic of Jessica and me were taken by Jake. You can check out his photography at www.pbase.com/jakepratt. Take the time to eyeball his work. It's great. You can check out his blog using the link provided.