Thursday, December 31, 2009


2009 has been a year of major change, transition, loss, sadness,
strength, love and some inner reflection for Rich and me. As I have
adjusted to a life of motherhood without my own Mom, Rich has shown me
just what a friend, father and husband is meant to do: show up.
We're looking forward to saying goodbye to a very tough year and
hoping 2010 is much more peaceful, joyous and filled with occasions to
celebrate. Wishing all of you the same.


Phee Christmas

We stayed with Tom & Elaine Christmas Eve and Christmas Night. You should've seen us trying to wrangle the two little boys for photos in their matching pjs!

Robin and I managed to dress and stuff a turkey all on our own (with a little help from Bruce). We enjoyed some madras early Christmas morning. Tom made Rich a beautiful dartboard which I will photograph as soon as it gets out here. All in all, we relaxed and watched the little ones play. Very nice.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Cunningham Christmas

I touched on Cunningham Christmas in my earlier post with my photo of Bry & Kayle but here are more pics & more details -

- Rainy & cold that day, not much new snow during the day
- Dad made his baked beans, thank God
- Papa bought Kayle 2 beautiful new dresses for Christmas. As you can see, she wore the red one.
- Jasper (pictured) and Faith ran around entertaining everyone. This was after they got into the mud out back, requiring a bath 20 minutes before the guests arrived.
- Bry and Misty cooked the world's biggest ham
- Instead of the traditional gift exchange, we had a rousing White Elephant exchange. Big hits of the night: Uncle Nick choosing the 2 festive, Christmas t-shirts and the ever so popular Kohl's throw blankets that were a hot commodity.

Rich and I ended up leaving just after the gift exchange because Charlie was at his wit's end. During the White Elephant, he was in a good mood, laughing out loud, giving hugs and kisses. By the end of it, he was whining, throwing his paci and kicking. Time to go.

Grandma, Charlie, Kayle and Jasper. Finally, Chaz isn't grabbing Kayle's hair!

Notice my Dad scarfing a dinner roll in the background!

Stevie and Sarah -
Bry and Misty's gorgeous tree - Mr. Jasper - Beautiful Kayle - Kayden - Charlie & Kayden - Renee & Kayle - Uncles, Greg and Nick - Here we go again with hair pulling and face smackin' - Charlie, as Papa was feeding him the yummy ham -

father & daughter

Christmas Day turned out to be much less depressing than I thought. Thankfully Bryan & Misty hosted Christmas at their home. And we had a very fun game of White Elephant to keep everyone distracted.

Somewhere in all the chaos, I took this snapshot. Father and daughter.

O'brien Christmas

On Christmas Eve, we ventured out in the freezing rain and slush to Aunt Dee-Dee's house in Ravenna. And there I managed to take these photos.

Cousin Jaime holding Charlie -
Sisters, Janet & Dee-dee. (That's my Dad snoozing in the background) -

Unkie Stevie and his fave niece -

Uncle Denny, Uncle Frank & Rich -
Charlie has many 2nd (?) cousins. Here's Grandma Barb holding Charlie, Jennifer holding Chase & Dee-Dee holding her grandson Trenton -
Aunt Janet -

Kayle couldn't wait to get home to play with her pocket pet/jungle toy set from Grandma -

Grandma Barb and one of her 3 million great grandbabies -

first snow

Charlie went sledding! He did face plant out of the sled but he survived. All in all, he enjoyed the snow.

More Christmas pictures to be posted over the coming week.

Now, I have to try to unpack, wrangle a 1 year old, and relax. Pretty sure relax will fall off the list!

Charlie & his cousin Aidan on the sled -

The fam -

Actual sledding -

Friday, December 25, 2009

Freezing rain

Yup, that's the weather. Fortunately it's been nice visiting with family. Makes up for the icy business going on here.

One more MI day and we're back to LA. Yay!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Katie had her work cut out for her

This past Friday, Katie and Ryan so kindly babysat Charlie while Rich and I attended his office holiday party up in L.A. She had her work cut out for her! Aside from Charlie refusing to eat chicken (a first) and throwing his food on her floor, the night was fun filled. The two munchkins played together, got into trouble together (see the kitchen cupboard photo) and bathed together! Katie got a glimpse of what it's like to have 2. Yikes!

Thanks, Morads!

Notice that Katie blurred out his bits & pieces
for me! That's true friendship.

Weigh in

Charlie had his 1 year doc appointment today. Here are his stats:

23 lbs, 4 oz (50th percentile)
29.5 in tall (50th percentile)
49 cm head circumference (97th percentile)

He's healthy as a horse and meeting his development milestones. Oh, and he needs 2% milk instead of whole milk. That'll cut down on the puking.

There, all in a day's work. Now onto the packing.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

matching Christmas PJs

Charlie and Giulietta in matching Christmas PJs. You should've seen the chaos that ensued when trying to take their photos. Both our cameras were dead . . . so Katie had to take them with her new iPhone. The kids got up and ran down the hall, smacked each other with Christmas gifts and the grand finale: Giulietta ran into the spare room where I was keeping her big gift to give her this morning. She totally saw it! She ran in, stopped, her mouth wide open. It was too funny. :)

Too cute for words.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

This always happens as I pull into the mall parking lot

Charlie is snoozing. And snoring. And he's so sweet & comfy that I don't want to wake him. So now I'm sitting in the parking lot, typing on my Blackberry and listening to the radio.

This is a common thing.

We're enjoying our California Christmas weekend. It's toasty warm here today. Rich wrapped the 3,684 gifts he bought for Charlie this morning while the baby and I snuggled in bed. And we have NO plans tonight or tomorrow. Just hang out, watch a little "Christmas Vacation", put Chaz down for the night, and enjoy some Christmas cocktails (if we can stay awake that long)!

Ho ho ho!

The Phee's

Friday, December 18, 2009


pink = sleep overs at the Cunninghams
yellow = sleep overs at the Phees

pink + yellow = fair & balanced

Thursday, December 17, 2009

there are good people in the world

Earlier this week, I dropped my wallet out of the back of Charlie's stroller in a dark mall parking lot.

Went home, immediately cancelled all my cards, etc. I was dreading the horrible task of going to the DMV for a new license.

Then, on Wednesday while I was at the doc, this note was left on my door:

See! There are good people in the world. And Katie, this good deed hopefully cancels out the a**hole who had your car towed from that parking lot outside the dentist office!


day in the life of . . .

the Phees. With one of us having the flu, one of us really busy at work, and one of us moving a mile a minute and trying really hard to talk.

In order, those characters are: Marci, Rich, Charlie.

I've had the flu and a sinus infection. I'm down for the count. To feel like this during this time of year just compounds how I'm already feeling this holiday season - which is rather crappy. Oh, and I lost my wallet in the mall parking lot earlier this week. (But some saint of a human being found it and returned it, see other post.) But I'm feeling better today and heading into work tomorrow. I'm hoping to make it to Rich's work holiday party. It will be the first one I've attended in 8 years!

Rich has been insanely busy at work. For which we're grateful, he has a good job and they're keeping him busy. But the timing's a bit off.

And Mr. Charlie. Aside from wanting to either play in the fridge or play with the big stick we use in the slider door (see photos below), he's crawling at a million miles an hour. He walks along things but not yet independently. And he sits down very carefully. It's funny to me how cautiously he puts his butt on the ground. Oh, and the babbling. The loud, babbling. I took him to a Gymboree class on Sunday and he drowned out the other kids. LOUD. Must get the volume from his dad and the amount of talking from me.

Sunday morning is our little family Christmas here. Open gifts, eat french toast, go for a walk on the beach. Maybe have tacos for dinner. Nice and simple and just "us". The way I love it.

We're heading out to MI on a red-eye Monday night arriving early Tuesday morning. As usual, we already have a jam packed schedule. I'm hoping I can just enjoy a few moments of watching Chazzy be dazzled by his first real snowfall.

That's it for now. Hopefully we'll get a few shots up of Charlie in a Santa hat and tearing up wrapping paper Sunday night. Wish us luck on that red-eye Monday night!


day in the life collage

light and joy

This is Bryan & Misty's dog, Jasper, who came into their lives at just the perfect time. He can be a little stinker sometimes but he brings them comfort, especially Misty. And that makes me happy.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

hundreds gather to protest global warming

I couldn't resist! Misty sent this to me this morning. And I thought it was relevant and cute.

Monday, December 14, 2009

older than the White House Christmas Tree

To all our California friends,

My father-in-law sent us photos of their 2009 Christmas tree (see below). Here are the stats:
  • Phee Christmas Tree = 25 years old
  • White House Christmas Tree = 13 years old
  • Phee Christmas Tree = 18 feet tall
  • White House Christmas Tree = 18.5 feet tall

I'd call it a tie this year. Occasionally, the Phee's tree is taller than the White House tree and vice versa. But Tom, you're giving the Obamas a run for their money! Wait, our money! ;)