Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Life has been busy. Work, weddings for friends, Charlie not feeling well, me not feeling well, house stuff. You know, life. But here are a few pics and blurbs to hold you over.

The best sound on earth (turn your volume way up):

or view the video here

My shirtless, filthy dirty little boy (who still kind of smells after a long bath with every scented thing I can find):
  baby, it's hot outside

 85 degree weather and us, with colds: It's really, really hot here. Ironically, Chazzy and I both have colds.

Yesterday, Charlie "got sick" (I'll spare you the details) at school 3 times, one more time in Katie's car on the way there. 

It's so hot outside that we're hanging out inside with the frigid AC. Charlie's activity of choice (it's tied closely with his love of the iPad): My boy woke up this morning with the urge to paint.

Took photos at a friend's wedding in Catalina: Poppe Wedding_082011_0474 edit

 I'm sure as the nesting activities pick up around here, there will be more photos and blogging. And, my camera comes back from Samy's tomorrow all clean & fresh. Hopefully my photo mojo will return.

The Phees

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

project 365 update

A photo a day for a year.

I'm going to do the best I can.

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Or view the slideshow here.

wandering through the neighborhood

I really enjoy rambling walks around the neighborhood with Charlie. He walks, stops, investigates, asks questions, trespasses. It's the perfect pace for my slow and pregnant gait.

He finds sticks and makes concerned faces over his newfound treasure.

He climbs over small fences and poses by perfect strangers' shrubbery. Notice how he's watching for the cops. Or, at least the homeowners.
the cops are after me

And sometimes, I catch him in an unguarded moment of nothingness. He's just smiling, relaxed and not trying to ham it up.
mama's boy

2 years + 8 months + 19 days old. Each day moves faster and faster.

Salt to the Lake

I travel for work. It's not a big secret if you follow my Facebook or Instagram.

What's notable about my work travel is that I (a) visit some interesting cities (Sioux Falls, Wilmington) and (b) stay in nice hotels.

This is a second trip to Salt Lake City. I really like this town (which may surprise you). It's clean, the people are friendly and there is some swanky-ness going on.

Case in point: my hotel.

Damn, this place makes me feel cool as soon as I walk in. And the customer service is top notch.

The view is nice. Mountains, desert-type landscape mixed in with a very clean urbanscape.

And the funniest part of this trip so far (and usually a little exercise I go through whenever I plug in at the hotel): the wireless connection names.
wireless fun

Maybe when I'm feeling up to crawling through my own Flickr account, I'll put together an iPhone photo montage of my travels over the last year and a half.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Picasso with ADD

Last weekend, Chazzy joined the Morad girls for some frame painting.

Gigi sat still, carefully painting her frame. Presley rolled around in the plastic and ate the paint.

My little Picasso . . . well, after running around the kitchen, he finally sat down, quickly blotted some paint on the frame and was ready to move on to the Cars movie toys waiting in the living room.

But I managed some shots.





Friday, August 12, 2011

goggles and girly-ness

My brother, Steve and his girlfriend, Sarah, gave Chazzy a Black & Decker tool kit for kids this past Christmas.

His favorite piece of the kit: the goggles.

goggle guy

He's been wearing them around the house as he goes about his business.

goggle guy

We'll look into the living room and he's sitting on the couch, watching his movie, rocking the goggles.

goggle guy

And in totally opposite news, I received a big ol' box of girly girl clothes from my sis-in-law, Robin. I don't have a space carved out for baby girl just yet so they are stacked on my dresser.

clothes for baby A

Happy Friday everyone!


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

love me tender

A couple of weekends ago, the Morad family invited us to a Raymond Michael (only the best Elvis impersonator in all of SoCal) concert at a nearby park.

Raymond Michael Elvis Concert_07302011 (11)

We made a last minute decision, as usual, to attend. Grabbed Charlie, some cash for the hot dogs, and bolted for the park. Katie has followed Raymond since she was a little girl so she had gone early in the morning to secure VIP seating.

Raymond Michael Elvis Concert_07302011 (10)

Charlie enjoyed the music, being outdoors, playing with his friend Gigi.
Raymond Michael Elvis Concert_07302011 (4)

And loving on his Katie. He loves his Katie like crazy. Like a pair of blue suede shoes.
Raymond Michael Elvis Concert_07302011 (2)

Every time Raymond walked by us, crooning some warm and fuzzy Elvis tune . . .
Raymond Michael Elvis Concert_07302011 (1)

. . . his face looked like this.
Raymond Michael Elvis Concert_07302011 (3)

All photos taken by Katie Morad.

little joys

I've been attempting to take my own advice, reminding myself that Charlie needs to be top of my list when I'm home.

So I grab my camera and soak up little moments like these.

a day in the life

When he's in full couch potato mode (it's rare that he sits still), playing with his "phone". It's really an old scratched up iPod Touch from eBay but he can think what he thinks.
a day in the life

His stinky, chubby little feet. (This one's for you, Greg.)
a day in the life

And the mornings. I love the mornings. The hours between 4 pm and 7 pm are tough for me emotionally and physically. They always have been emotionally, they are my witching hours. Physically, just this pregnancy. But early in the morning, when Rich and I have had our mug of coffee and life is starting all over, sign me up.

Oh, and this sleeping face in my bed.
a day in the life

Rich wakes him up with the "Hey lazybones, it's time to get up." And the smooching commences.
a day in the life

Much like me, Charlie likes the mornings, too. All smiles.
a day in the life

I'm not going to show you photos of what happens later in the day. The moments when Charlie is refusing to stop throwing toys or when he empties his crap-filled Pull-up onto his floor. Nah, I'll leave those to your imagination.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

what I learned at BlogHer

This past weekend, I attended a large (read: 3500 women) conference in San Diego centered around the power of blogging. Topics ranged from content development, how to monetize your blog and even cyber bullying.

I took a bit of ribbing from friends, family and coworkers for attending the event. It shouldn't be a surprise, really, considering I've been blogging since 2007 and a computer nerd since 1983. My primary objective in the conference was to gain some learnings for my industry and company. My secondary objective was to decide how far I want to take my blog.

The content of my blog boils down to answering one of 2 questions:

1. How am I doing? How's my family? What's going on lately? (The kind of questions that your friends and family ask you from time to time.)
- or -
2. How can you share your story to influence or inspire others? What can you teach others?

My blog usually answers #1, rarely #2. Not that I'm incapable of answering #2, I know that I can. But I won't share the down and dirty, nitty gritty of my life that I believe I must to get to #2. It would compromise my career and the professional self that I have spent many years refining. Sharing on that level would have impacts on my marriage and my family. Not that everything shared has to be negative or private, but I would want to take it deeper than I do now.

And I won't.

The audience of my blog is me. (And the friends and family to follow along for updates on our life here in California.) But this blog is my ". . . chance to edit our story, to keep the best stuff on top, bury the rest, decide how we'll be remembered by others."* A written history of our life as a family, my experiences in motherhood, some beautiful photos.

This doesn't mean I won't work on my design or do the occasional product reviews and giveaways, but that is really second fiddle to what I'm trying to do here.

Unless something shifts dramatically in my life or my focus on building my career in the corporate world, the blog will stay vanilla with a hint of funny.

For those of you who follow, I hope you continue to enjoy it.


BlogHer '11 Collage

* Paul Shoebridge & Michael Simons of The Goggles
Welcome to Pine Point

Monday, August 8, 2011

cleaning your kid and his toilet accessories . . . all at once

For the last week or so, Charlie spends much of his bath floating in the tub, with just his face peeking out.

bath time

And yes, that is his potty training seat floating next to his head. I multitask when I clean.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

reminding myself

"The work will wait while you show the child a rainbow, but the rainbow won't wait while you do the work."
"Patricia Clifford." Gledhill Enterprises, 2011.
Wed Aug 3 13:12:05 2011.

I don't do much "day job" work when I'm home. Fortunately, I'm able to disconnect from my day job when I get home. But I have trouble disconnecting from house work, wife work, friend work, daughter work, sister work, "I'm exhausted and need to take care of me" work when I'm with Charlie.

Father's Day 2011

I tend to prioritize something like finishing the dishes over sitting on the floor to play with his Buzz Lightyear.


Or getting dinner on the table instead of dancing around the living room to Foster the People.

chazzy and his booboo

I can be short with him when he's whiny and clearly needs me but I'm tired from a day's work or my pregnancy.

He is growing up in front of my eyes, or sometimes, behind my back as I tend to other things.

first day of preschool

I understand it's a balance. That my house can't fall apart and all of my other relationships suffer because I'm busy doing Play Doh.  And there are times when I do play, dance, listen and comfort. But lately, the balance has felt off. A little more to the "I need to get this stuff done" and less of the "Yes, show Mommy how you can jump off the couch like a superhero". And this imbalance probably has a lot to do with Charlie's behavior lately.

So I'm reminding myself. To let the pendulum swing the other way for a while. To let my other work wait while I help Charlie dump sand all over the back patio.

Charlie's Year 1 Book

Finally. Charlie's Year 1 Book is done. Now I need to get started on his Year 2 *and* be proactive by tagging some favorites from his current 3rd year of life.

Take a look at the book . . . or click here to view it.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

I don't wanna

There is so much going on with Charlie, both exciting and frustrating, that I want to get it all down. So I can look back and remember what my boy was going through at 2 years and (almost) 8 months old.

my future's so bright

Charlie's language and speaking skills have skyrocketed since we enrolled in him 2 day-a-week preschool this past March. He tells us very clearly what he wants, doesn't want and sometimes how he feels. Some common phrases from Chazzy are "I don't wanna", "I like-a the _______", "I go see Katie now".

He's just starting to grasp the concept of time. He will try to negotiate out of bedtime by saying "I go to bed tomorrow". And he'll tell us about something that happened earlier, like fishing on Papa Dickie's boat. (Something that happened a month ago.)

He navigates the steps and the furniture like an expert. He doesn't fall much anymore when he walks or runs. And he is paddling around that pool like a fish.

Still not completely potty trained. We took the pressure off ourselves and Charlie . . . letting nature take its course. And it has. For the last few days, he has told us that he has to go on the potty, and does. No wet pull-ups. All of this without M&Ms or stickers or crying and begging from me.

There is a side of Charlie, though, that is defiant and sometimes a little aggressive. He is trying to push boundaries and when he gets really frustrated (which lately is easily), he throws his toys or occasionally swats at us. It's been a challenge for Rich and I. To keep our cool, to step back and approach each of these situations as teaching situations. We're not always succeeding at this but damn, we're trying.

I really think it's his way of letting us know that the landscape has changed. He needs more (and different) structure, less sugar in his diet, more sleep at night. So we're working on it.

In the mean time, we have more "I'm so glad we're parents" moments than the "I will pay you to handle this one" moments. Those good moments are full of smiles like this.

Charlie, July 24. Up to no good.