Saturday, March 27, 2010


My migraines have been kicking into high gear lately so my doc recommended an eye appointment and possible glasses for work & computer use.

She was right. So far, so good. And here they are.

splitting hairs

Today Charlie accompanied Rich to his fancy schmancy men's only hair salon for a much needed hair cut. His mop of red was in dire need of chop chop. He was all over the place at the salon, saying hi and hi-fiving other patrons. I'm sure it's not what they wanted as they enjoyed their "executive" cuts and complimentary beers.

I think the haircut ended up great. Not too short, not to mullet-ish.

Friday, March 26, 2010

wild nights

My, how life changes.

It's 9 pm on a Friday night. Rich just came in to tell me that while I'm redesigning our blog (not a shocking thing for me on a Friday night, once a geek, always a geek), he caught himself doing the following:

  • Wrestling on the floor with a whining 15 month old
  • Pouring a sippy cup of milk instead of wine
  • Humming a church hymn (yeah, that one really shocked me)
For those of you who know Rich, he was a wild child back in the day. As in, he probably should have some aliases. And he'll probably go to bed soon because he has a big day tomorrow. He's taking Charlie for a hair cut. And we all know how taxing a hair cut can be. Whew.

Thank God he still lets his tats fly as he rides that Harley on Sundays on his way to the biker bar. You know, if the Starbucks is too busy.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

adventures of Charlie

Just a quick Charlie update -

  • He's a walker. Still crawls when he feels nervous or wants to get somewhere quickly but when opportunity allows, that boy is on two feet.
  • His top left molar has broken through. That explains the extra whining lately. Brings the dental count to 7.
  • Today he locked me out of the house. I was cleaning the back slider outside while he was inside. (He was licking the inside portion of the window and making faces while I begrudgingly cleaned the outside portion.) All of a sudden he reached up and "click", locked me out. I had to run over to our secret key hiding spot and let myself in. Whew . . .
  • Charlie can officially eat a banana without it being cut into little pieces. Meaning Marina just gives him half a banana and he chomps off the appropriate piece without choking. What a grown man.

That's it for now. Stay tuned.

Happy Birthday Michelle Cremin Peters

Mish -

Happy Happy Happy Happy Happy birthday, friend! I shamelessly stole this photo from your FB but I thought you'd appreciate that thievery. And I love it. It's just so very you. And I just so very love you. We all do.

Seriously, enjoy your day. Enjoy your trip. Relax, celebrate you. We'll be thinking of you today.

Thank you for your friendship and for just being you.

Love love love,
The Phee's

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

things remembered

It was one year ago today that I learned the news of my Mom's lung cancer diagnosis. It was one year ago today that my entire world was rocked off its axis. It was a Tuesday. I was wrapped up in my own concerns of going back to work soon and leaving Charlie with a babysitter. All the while, Mom was having her lungs biopsied and facing much larger fears. She delivered the news to me in her typical straightforward manner. And in my typical straightforward manner, I boarded a plane to Michigan with my 3 month old infant a few hours later. And spent the best 2 weeks of my life with her.

That's not the point of this post. The point of this post - and others to follow - is to remember things or events that she and I shared. They may seem silly but I come across them and stop in my tracks. Because I think of her. I instantly remember what she wore that afternoon in October 2005 when we browsed the home goods aisle at Kmart searching for new kitchen towels and came across these perfect towels -

They seemed as though they were from the seventies. Mom picked them up and felt them, turned them over, held them up. I gushed over them as if they were a brand new car and we tossed them in the cart. She was helping me fill my new house with all the nice things a nice new house should have. And every time I see this dish towel, I think of that moment.

Or the November 2008 evening that she flew into California (at a moment's notice) to take care of me on bed rest and unpacked her suitcase in the spare room. She pulled out gifts for the baby-to-be and this onesie was one of those items. It was whimsical and different and exactly what I would want for the baby. It wasn't like the other goo-goo-ga-ga baby stuff people had given me. And she knew it.

She smiled as she handed it to me and just simply said, "I thought you'd like this. I tried not to buy a bunch of stuff but I just couldn't help myself." Then she put on her favorite sweatsuit, finished unpacking and got busy setting up my nursery . . . and the rest of my life.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

celebrating a belly

In late February, we celebrated the upcoming birth of a good friend and co-worker's baby boy. Debbie Bradshaw threw a gorgeous and fancy-schmancy shower at her home. Here are some photos from the shin dig . . . best wishes, Hannah! Enjoy your maternity leave!

spring is in bloom

Which out here means 3 things:

1. It's actually 80 degrees during the day
2. Mr. Martin Lopez comes for his annual "clean up the disaster of a yard that the Phee's have embarrassingly let go over the past few months"
3. The few living plants we have out back start to bloom

Check it out. And yes, that was our celebratory glass of wine on the brick wall that separates our house from the now vacant neighbor (Katherine's). We like to hang out on that side of the house so we can smell her delicious jasmine which knock us over with loveliness every time we open the back slider.

spring flowers
more spring flowers

I just have to say

that (a) these are the cutest birth announcements I've ever seen and (b) Crystal Ceo - you and John make the cutest babies!


this all started with him painting make-up on the toilet seat

so we decided to get him some brushes and paints.

painting collage

watch out world, he can walk

Apologies for the poor video footage. Our Flip camera is down at Marina's and I'm not too familiar with this video camera. And Charlie didn't feel like cooperating - there's a tiny bit of walking in here but lots of funny antics. And as usual, Cook had to insert her hairy dog butt into nearly every frame.

But for the past two weeks, Charlie has been testing the waters. He would walk a few steps independently then plop down. But all of a sudden Friday night, he decided to traverse the living room. He looked as us like, "What? You've never seem anyone ambulatory before?" As we were wide mouthed-edge of our seats ready to scream and clap. From that point on, he's walking about 50% of the time but resorting to what's easiest, crawling, the other 50%. That's the lazy gene he gets from me. You'll also see some crazy balancing and climbing in this video. Yes he fell. Yes he hit his head. Yes we felt bad but he's ok.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

let there be light

Finally! Rich and I had recessed lighting installed in our very poorly lit living room. For the last 4 1/2 years, we've had these two cheap Ikea lamps lighting the entire room. It was frightening.

Our trusty contractor, Manuel, installed them Tuesday evening. We even sprung for some fancy dimmer switches (after Manuel reminded me that I had a cheap dimmer in the bathroom).

If you're ever in the mood for some ambient lighting, head our way.

~ The Well Lit Phee's (oh, that could mean so many things!)

Happy St. Patty's Day from the Phee's

Laguna Canyon Winery

Spent a lovely Saturday with Gabe Heeres, an old friend of ours from Michigan, in Laguna on Saturday. Thanks, Suzette, for the gorgeous photos!

laguna winery collage

speaking of Ashley

We miss you, Ashley & Jason!

It was almost a year ago that you left sunny SoCal for Michigan. I remember you came to visit in March sometime . . .

I'm posting these new photos of your kids (more that I stole from your Snapfish album) because I can't believe how big they've grown in one year!

I also want to tell you how grateful I am that you live so near Bry & Misty. Your friendship seems to be good for their souls.


Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Michigan snow

Sometimes I miss what snow LOOKS like. (Not what it feels like. But what it looks like.) I shamelessly stole this photo from my cousin, Ashley's, Snapfish album and blogged it here. It's a snowy, gorgeous, typical February day in Michigan. The kind of days I grew up with. 24 birthdays were spent on days that looked like this.

But . . . did I remind all of you that it's March 16th and 82 degrees here? It's glaringly sunny and warm and the palm trees have the neon green glow about them. And I get slightly sunburned now as I drive home and the sun hits me through my sun roof when I'm driving home.

I guess I'm a little torn. Or just a little lucky.

just thinking of Kayle May

found this photo from October.

Friday, March 12, 2010

and for the record

I hate recycling.
So there.

I'm about to offend Prius owners - apologies in advance

I'm so sick of Rich's V8 old-man "thinks he's a gangster" Lexus going through enough gas to power a 3rd world nation.
I was nagging him via email today and encouraged him once again to get a Prius.
His response:
"No Prius – I have a penis. The two don't mix."
Nice. This is coming from the man who is ready to divorce me if I don't recycle the the yogurt container from breakfast. Look who's hurting the environment now, buddy!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


HE DID IT! No, not walking. Used a FORK! As Charlie was eating Katie's delicious chocolate/banana pancakes (thank you Katie) this a.m., he successfully speared his food and brought it to his mouth.

I'm so proud!

Monday, March 8, 2010

news alert from my husband

So Rich sends me a CNN news alert regarding International Women’s Day. Seemed harmless, the subject line was: “The world marks International Women's Day on Monday, an annual celebration that highlights their economic, political and social achievements.”

The body of the email, however, showed his true colors:

Festivities include getting naked and running through the streets!!! Participants are also highly encouraged to serve beer & wine to their husbands topless!!

Let’s all celebrate this glorious day!!

Aren’t I the luckiest woman?

Friday, March 5, 2010


camera shy

I’ve been attempting to photograph Charlie’s 6 magnificent teeth for days now. Every time I get close to his mouth, he blocks me.


hand, foot, mouth update

Charlie is back to his normal, mischievous self. He feels 100% better. No more whining, Tylenol, fevers or lack of eating. Everyone is feeling good in the Phee house!

We're lucky. I had received many Facebook posts from friends and family warning me that this illness could last up to 3 weeks. Which scared the hell out of me. Almost as much as his rash did -

so serious

This photo was taken last night as Charlie was waiting for his dinner. He doesn’t mess around when it comes to his food.



Thursday, March 4, 2010

Brace yourself

Mom's driving!


Happy Fifteen Month Birthday, Charlie!

In the past month, you’ve improved your cruising skills. You’re upright more than you’re crawling but you still don’t want to walk all on your own. But there was that one night 2 weeks ago that you walked all by yourself from the den closet to the futon. I’ll savor that memory until you’re ready to go it on your own. Which will be soon, I’m sure. You’re sleeping the night through in your crib, thank God. You’re going to mass with us and you’re playing independently which much less whining.

You’ve weighed in at 25 lbs, 1 oz. You’re wearing size 18 months clothes and you still hate to be changed in or out of those clothes. You scream like a banshee whenever we change you . . . and you kick your feet so hard on the changing table, I’m certain you’re going to bust through it. Your normal bed time is inching closer to 8:30, which is better for you. Because you wake up the happiest little boy in the world. You crawl around, eating your graham cracker, dumping milk out of your sippy cup and terrorizing Cook. You think it’s funny to watch Daddy shave and you’re always trying to climb into the shower. You’ll actually dip one toe over the edge of the shower and as soon as I say “Nooooooo, Charlie” you squeal and high-tail it out of the bathroom.

You’ve also discovered a love of music. As soon as you hear the beat, you start rocking out. You’ll drop your toys, your paci, the electrical cord you’re trying to pull out of the wall, and start bopping away. Marina (your ever-lovin’ babysitter) claims you do the same thing at her house, too. It makes us happy that you seem to find joy in so many things. Because Rich and I are the same way, baby. And it’s one of our wishes for you.

So Happy Birthday, bubbylicious. Continue to find joy.


Mom and Pop

Photo of Charlie on his 3 month birthday, 1 year ago today:

Monday, March 1, 2010

jinxed it

When I posted earlier that Charlie seemed to be feeling better, I jinxed it. Of course.
The night has spiraled downward. He's cranky and tired and won't eat and seems beyond miserable. I believe every single person who Facebooked me to tell me this was a painful illness for children. It seems like it must be.
My heart's breaking. But we've given him more Motrin, a bath, his favorite monkey PJs and a warm bottle. He's sleeping now and probably will until about 1 am - when I'm just hitting my deep REM.
The exhausted parents

swagger wagon

OMG, I'm in love with this commercial. It reminds Rich and I of some friends of ours, who shall remain nameless in case they don't think it's a funny commercial. But we do - we laughed our asses off last night!

Prozac for dogs?

I'm absolutely convinced that Cook is depressed. She's taken second fiddle since Charlie has entered our lives and she just seems . . . sad. And lately, her hair is falling out in big clumps. Bigger than any other past winter. I feel like she mostly mopes around unless she's playing with Chazzy. She and that kid get along famously, no troubles there. But outside of the 3 ring circus that is Cook and Charlie, she just doesn't seem like herself.

Rich thinks I'm overreacting and that she just needs a good grooming. But look at this photo. C'mon!

update on Charlie's Hand, Foot and Mouth

Thanks for all the well wishes, everyone . . . We had no idea it could be such a painful illness for babies, yikes!

Charlie's feeling much better after his long nap. He woke up, ate half of a normal lunch (for him anyway) and now is crawling around and giggling. He does get tired and lays his head down to take these little snoozers right here on the floor but he seems to be feeling better. I think the copious amounts of Motrin, Tylenol and Mama-lovin' are helping, too.

And for my Dad, who thinks Charlie has Hoof & Mouth disease, here's a link to the actual illness: