Sunday, September 25, 2011

pantless Sunday

Don't worry, it's only Charlie who is spending the day without pants.

We've had a hectic week and are still displaced from various rooms of our house. (Read: handyman Manuel is coming back Monday. Sloooowwww progress.)

Enjoy these couple of videos of Charlie spending his weekend - pantless.

Or view the itsy bitsy spider video here.

Or view the helping Daddy video here.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


The painting of Charlie's room and the baby's room has official started today.


more painting

Next step: closet organizers, new closet doors and some minor bathroom renovations. We are in official nesting mode.

Monday, September 19, 2011

a touch of sun

My friend Katie turned me on to I Heart Faces photo challenges . . . and today is my first entry.

Today's theme was a "touch of sun". I combed through my photos looking for a shot with amazing lens flare or great back light.

I can't find it. But I did find this photo from May of Charlie sitting on the couch during the brightest part of the day, sunlight streaming through the window behind him.

And I love it.

a touch of sun

why I love Rich's iPhone

While I'm the camera nut in the family with a gigantic Canon DSLR, Rich is a photog all his own with his iPhone.

Sometimes he sends these photos to me via SMS -

Rich iPhone collage 3

Sometimes I get to pour over them as I upload them to Flickr for him.

Rich iPhone collage 2

Regardless of how they come to me, I love them.

Rich iPhone collage 1

I like how Rich takes snapshots of his life and I like that I get to share them. Most of these photos were taken by Rich, on his iPhone 4, and run through Instagram.

I'll try to post these more often so you can see what Rich sees . . . considering this blog is usually just my point of view.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

prep work

This weekend was full of prep work for us.

Our trusty handyman / contractor is starting work Wednesday on the house. There is a list of things being worked on, painted, reconfigured to make room for baby girl. Even though we are hiring the work done (we're not really do-it-yourself folk), there was plenty of work to be done.

Purge closets, buy and choose paint, list items to sell, and make some major organization decisions.

Anyone need a futon with the mattress? We sure don't.

futon_for sale_09172011_2011 (38)

As Rich and I milled around the house, stacking this and moving that, Charlie watched Wall-E.

As you can tell, he's not very involved in the prep work.

lazy Saturday night_Charlie_09172011_2011 (2)

The bowl of goldfish crackers and his bare belly hanging out are truly rare things around here. I mean it, usually he is in properly fitting pajamas and eating organic fruit served out of fine china. Yeah, right. 

Today he helped Rich spread fertilizer. I don't know why he insists on wearing his helmet for these types of chores. Maybe it's because I was the safety monitor on the bus? Apple doesn't fall far . . .


Because this child is nearly 3, because he threw his helmet down on the sidewalk and was told he couldn't ride in his toys and because it was about half past "this dude needs to eat", this happened -

Sunday_Charlie_09182011_2011 (1)

By the time 9:00 rolled around tonight, the my big belly was wearing me down. So I ended up on the couch, eating crackers, in a similar state as Charlie last night. Don't worry, no photos of me. We have a busy week ahead of us.

The Phees

Sunday, September 11, 2011

where I was

10 years ago today. 

I was in the living room of the apartment I shared with Crystal in Auburn Hills, Michigan. I was on a conference call with some IBM guys, who were in the tall Chrysler building just a few miles from my apartment. 

I had the call on mute, enjoying a mug of coffee with the news running quietly in the background - my usual protocol for long conference calls taken at home. 

And that's when all hell broke loose. The usual programming was interrupted, the footage of the plane hitting the building playing over and over again. I froze. I felt numb. I stared in disbelief. 

Finally, I told the IBM guys to please turn the TV on in their conference room. They did. The call ended promptly as they prepared to evacuate. The shock was turning to fear, in that conference room and in my living room. 

Rich was 3000 miles away, getting ready to hit an L.A. freeway for his long commute into Glendale. We were engaged, we spoke every day, I missed him like crazy. I tried calling his cell phone over and over but the circuits were busy. 

My Mom & Dad and brothers were across the state, in my hometown of Muskegon. My Mom called, asked me what was going on in Detroit, using a quiet and calm voice. But I knew she was as panicked about me being out of her physical reach as I was about Rich traveling across what I thought was surely a target. 

Crystal was in downtown Detroit, in the GM building, shooting an early morning commercial with a client. This is when it all became very real. Crystal was, and is, the person closest in my life, my heart. I couldn't get a hold of her, I knew she was in a potentially dangerous area, and all I wanted was for her to be next to me on the couch. Most of all, I was scared. And it would just feel better if she were there. 

Eventually, Rich and I connected, he was safe. My Mom and I spoke a thousand times that day, sometimes just quietly staying on the phone as we both watched the footage. Crystal made her way home. We spent the entire afternoon and the whole night watching the footage, talking about the world changing, crying. 

I don't remember everything I felt that day but I remember feeling this . . . 

  • Gratitude I've never felt before for the people in my life, their safety, their love
  • Certainty that the world was not ending but changing 
  • Fearful of what was going to happen to our country, the economy, my friends and family

Ten years later, I'm amazed at the resilience of this nation and everyone around me. And still very grateful for all that I have. 

a tale of thunderstorms & crock pots

Early yesterday morning, thunder clapped so loud that the walls shook. And Charlie looked as though the world was ending.

Rich and I reminded ourselves that he hasn't really experienced thunder and lightning in his short 2 and half years. It's a rare event in Southern California. So Rich ran outside and invited Charlie out to get a closer look, to hear the hard rain on our patio covering, to touch one of the hail balls. But this is what happened in the door way.

  where'd that thunder come from?

Both Charlie and Cook were looking around for some sort of thundering, flashing monster. Eventually he moved past his fear and helped catch rain drops so he could water his little herb garden.

  playing in the rain_September_09102011_2011 (6)

 All of us stayed out back, in our pajamas, watching the rain fall harder than it has all year.

 playing in the rain_September_09102011_2011 (23)

playing in the rain_September_09102011_2011 (2)

There's something about a rainy day that kicks our butts into gear around here. Charlie took a bath, the laundry marathon started, and Rich decided it was a "pot roast in the crock pot" sort of day. Rich snipped some of the rosemary that's growing in Chazzy's herb garden, prepping it for the chuck roast we dug out of the bowels of our freezer.

 Saturday cooking with Pops_September_09102011_2011

He also invited Charlie to help him prep the meal. This was the first time we've really let Charlie sit on the counter and help with the cooking. So naturally, he put his serious face on.

 Saturday cooking with Pops_September_09102011_2011 (17)

Little man stirred ingredients and poured broth into the crock pot, all without a single spill.

 Saturday cooking with Pops_September_09102011_2011 (13)

Saturday cooking with Pops_September_09102011_2011 (35)

Eventually, I got the "Mama, stop with the camera" face.

 Saturday cooking with Pops_September_09102011_2011 (24)

So the camera retired to its usual spot on the kitchen bar and our lovely rainy day continued.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

good morning, sunshine

I savor our weekend mornings. There are rituals that Rich and I had long before we had Charlie that we easily moved him into. Rich rises early, usually before 7. He puts the coffee on, enjoys a quiet house, unloads the dishwasher, gets the TV fired up. By 8, Charlie and I are up. I'm usually 20 minutes or so ahead of Charlie, trudging out to the living room, glad the coffee is ready. Charlie then calls from his room "I'm awake! I had fun sleeping in my bed last night!" Even if this means he slept with us until 4 am and was carried into his own bed. He thinks he had a major bedtime breakthrough. (There aren't any of those going on around here. We are closeted co-sleepers. There, I confessed. Feels good.)

We all cram onto the couch, music videos on the TV. Eventually, Charlie wants to play with some sort of "i" device, the iPad being his favorite. But Rich's phone will do in a pinch.


 Even Cook is all stretched out.

  all stretched out

 Charlie begins campaigning to drink our coffee. And makes this cute little shape with his lips . . . so we can't say no.


Yup, confession #2 in this post. Charlie takes sips of our coffee. And he's not picky, he'll take it black or with cream & sugar. This is why everyone should invest in coffee. mug

Eventually, the restlessness starts. Charlie starts showing us all of his injuries. His "bands" (band-aids) as they call him. I spend a fortune on character-based band-aids. And we stick them on him, even when there is no evidence of a boo boo.


Rich decides it's time for a shower. I'm ready to eat something or get going . . . wherever the weekend takes us.