Friday, October 9, 2009


So, my dear friend Laura Jackson Roberts came over to my house today and worked miracles. She took all these fantastic photos with a very huge Nikon. In addition to the subject matter being pretty adorable, I think Laura takes a pretty good picture. Thanks so much friend!! Thanks for coming over for lunch, too! I had a great time with you and Andy.

The one below might be my favorite. I love his expression.

Her camera magically made my house look clean and nice.

That's Andy, Laura's 3-year old, who is also adorable.

He looks like he's up to no good.

Check out my 7 teeth!

Where did you get those blue eyes, boy?

Aw, I love him. Thanks again for the pictures, Laura!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

My little man.

He's making some serious progress. He can pull himself up to standing at the coffee table and at the ottoman. Most days now when we get him out of bed he is standing in his crib. He's also starting to crawl like a champion. It also appears as if he is trying to stand from a crawling position. It's like he is crawling and then he tries to push straight up on all fours. Not quite there yet.

Some cute little things.

This video could be a lot shorter, but I don't have any way of editing it!

He has his 9-month doctor's appointment tomorrow. I can't wait to see how much he weighs.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

30 things I love about my husband on his 30th birthday.

1. First and foremost, he is the most incredible father to our son. I could not have dreamed up a better father for my child.

2. The first night we met, he approached me after my shift as a waitress at the Alpha. It was late at night, I had on no makeup, and I probably smelled like restaurant kitchen and he still wanted my number.

3. He asked me to dance to a slow song playing on iTunes right before we had our first kiss. (swoon)…. FYI, the song was “I was just thinking” by Teitur.

4. Our first Valentines Day together, he sent both me AND my mother flowers.

5. On October 9, 2005, after ten months of dating, he took me on a walk to a gazebo filled with flowers and asked me to dance again. He got down on one knee and presented me with the most beautiful diamond ring I had ever seen in my life.

6. Earlier that day, he asked my mother’s permission to propose to me.

7. On our wedding day, December 16, 2006, exactly two years after our first date, he had a full arm cast and didn’t complain about it except to say that he needed help buttoning his tux pants.

8. He got that broken arm two weeks before our wedding while playing basketball with kids at a children’s home.

9. He has shared many of his firsts with me, a couple of which include his first live NFL game, his first time on a plane and his first time seeing the ocean. (And he was spoiled, because the first time he saw the ocean, we were in the Caribbean, and now the Atlantic or Pacific will never be as exciting!)

10. Whenever I feel ugly, he tells me that I’m beautiful.

11. When we first moved in together the summer of 2005, I told him that if I was going to spend time in the kitchen preparing a meal for us, he was going to spend time in the kitchen after the meal doing dishes. After almost five years, he still does the dishes every night.

12. When I work on the weekends and have to sleep through the day, when I get home in the mornings, he always makes the bed for me.

13. When I was pregnant, he rubbed my feet whenever I asked him to.

14. The first couple of months after Owen was born, Clint got up in the middle of the night with me for every feeding and diaper change.

15. I haven’t changed the cats’ litter box in years, because he has taken on that glorious task.

16. I recently finished reading “The Road” by Cormac McCarthy. I had Clint start it as soon as I was finished, and he read the whole book in less than three days, only reading in the evenings. He loved the book for the same reason I did, because he imagined the boy in the story as our son, and he had to finish the book as quickly as possible to make sure that the boy survived. (Side note – excellent book by the way).

17. He looks the other way when I buy another pair of shoes.

18. On our first date, we were sitting on my couch in my dorm room watching Vanilla Sky, and he was examining my big red watch (that my Aunt Karen gave me for a birthday one year, I loved that watch) and he kind of sighed/laughed and said, “You’re cool.” I knew I had him then.

19. He is committed to everything he does. His family. His job. His Pittsburgh Steelers.

20. After too many years, we are involved in a church together, which has been more rewarding and fulfilling than I imagined it would. We love everyone at our church and have made some fantastic friends through it. (Especially my play date ladies!) With my new schedule, unfortunately I don’t get to go as often as I would like, but Clint takes Owen almost every Sunday, and that makes me very happy.

21. Whether he likes it or not, everything I cook for him, he eats. He tells me that he likes everything, but fortunately for him I can tell when he’s lying so I know not to cook that again. The best is when I cook something that he loves.

22. He always knows when I need a new bottle of water.

23. When it was just the two of us, we could sit and watch movies or a television marathon all day and not be bored. Adding Owen to the mix complicated that a little bit. Owen does get bored.

24. He always takes the trash out.

25. He lets me sit on the computer and read all my celebrity gossip websites, even though we both know it is a total waste of time.

26. He isn’t jealous of my slight obsession with Edward Cullen.

27. When we go to Dave and Busters, he always gives me extra tokens off of his game card.

28. He wears polar bear pajama pants.

29. He always lets me steal one (or three) of his french fries.

30. I love him because of the way he loves me.

Happy Birthday Hugga Bugga! I love you for these 30 reasons and for 30 thousand others.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

It's been a long time.

So, the most exciting thing, is that Clint is back to work. He was called back on September 1st and has been working a few weeks now. I'm so relieved. The only downside is that our insurance ran out on August 31, and instead of just continuing once he got called back to work, he had to open a new plan that will not be active until October 1. So we don't have insurance this month, and Owen has been battling a little cold. I'm praying that it doesn't turn into a big cold. We only have 9 more days until we are insured again!

And the kid is 8 months old! I can't believe he's 8 months old. I have given up on taking pictures with the bear, because he will barely sit still long enough to take a picture. I manage to get him every once in a while. Some big milestones this past couple of months include standing (with support), he rolls over extremely well, he can get up all fours and scoot around (not exactly crawling yet, but very close), he makes a lot more noise, he says dada, mama, hi and sometimes he says no. He is very close to pulling himself up in his crib and against the coffee table. He also apparently loves fruit. If I have an apple or nectarine or something, he will actually pull himself up my body to get to the fruit. If I set it down beside or behind me, he will crane his neck around trying to find the fruit.
This was the first time he had the fruit. I was eating a nectarine while getting him ready for his bath. I was holding him and taking a bite of my nectarine, and he leans in his head and starts biting the nectarine at the same time. It was so cute.

This was the apple. I'm trying to get him to eat cut up bananas in his high chair, but he apparently only wants what I'm eating.

The other big news is that I went to Iowa this past weekend. I left really early in the morning on Friday and had a flight out of Pittsburgh. I had a decent sized layover in Detroit, where I had some fantastic lobster bisque. There is a hallway in the detroit airport where the walls are backlit and the colors change according to the music. It's really neat. I arrived in Iowa to be picked up by Christopher, MJ and Nicole. We all hung out at Krista and Emily's apartment for a while. Then I got checked in to the sweetest hotel I have ever stayed at! The Coralville, Iowa Marriot Conference Center is SUCH a nice hotel. I got to have a king sized bed all to myself, flat screen TV, and all the toiletries were from Bath and Body works! The rehearsal went very well, and the dinner was awesome. I ended up reading "A Marriage" by Michael Blumenthal.
Afterwards we all went back to the Herbert Hoover Presidential (Sweet Ass) Suite. I drank a lot of wine and local beer. It was good times. Below is a picture of me and Krista. I'm in love with my pumpkin orange sweater. It was a great night. The next day, I spent most of the day by myself. I didn't really do much except hang out in the hotel room and relax. Had a good lunch in the hotel restaurant, and all of the staff everywhere was so nice. I like Iowa.
The wedding went off without a hitch. I almost cried during my reading, and I definitely cried a lot when they said their vows. Luckily I came prepared with tissues. The reception was at a golf club called the Brown Deer. There were awesome appetizers, open bar, great music. I sat with Nicole, MJ, Jessica, and Krista's cousins. I loved the whole pumpkin and wasabi colored theme. All the little napkins and seating cards and match books and stuff were so cute.
Everyone went back to the room to party a little more, but I was so tired and full from 'racing MJ' and taking advantage of the open bar the last hour of the reception. I went back to the room and took a shower, then got most of my stuff packed up and passed out.

Most of the way home was spent reading "The Road" by Cormac McCarthy. Another Rich recommendation. One of these days I will read another book that has not been referred to me. The book was incredible. Tragic. Heartbreaking. Hopeless. An actual EXPERIENCE for a parent. All in all, a good read. I kept crying during the difficult parts and the people sitting next to me on my flights probably thought I was mentally unstable.
When I got home, I was so happy to see my little boy. I missed him so much it was insane. I brought home Wellsburg DiCarlos on the way home from the airport. Yum. I ate kind of poorly over the weekend, but I'm back on track now.
The Wellness Bridge has been fantastic. In one month I lost 11lbs and 12.5 inches from all over my body. Last week alone, I lost almost five pounds. Woohoo!
Some little videos. In both, please excuse my horrible sounding voice. There aren't any excuses...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

H20 troubles

So, the water is out again. There is a massive waterline break in downtown Wheeling, AGAIN, that happened around noon yesterday. So, we haven't had water for almost 30 hours. This wouldn't be that big a deal, except it is a big deal. We have a baby here, who needs water in order to EAT. We have dishes in the kitchen that need washed. I can't cook. I can't wash vegetables. We have been giving Owen baths with jugs of water that we bought at the grocery store. And... we have one bathroom... and THIS SUCKS.

Erin was kind enough to host a play date today, where I washed baby bottles and filled up extra gallons of water. It was fun hanging out Laura and Erin, Andy and Alexander!

Then I took Owen shopping with me so I could buy new shoes for Iowa. He did not nap. He hadn't slept at all since he woke up from his mid-morning nap at 11am.

The good news is - I have been back on the Wellness Bridge for one week, and I have lost three pounds and 3.75 total inches. YES. Great success.

We had to get out for dinner, where Owen was awesome. He sat at the high chair and ate puffs and flirted with the waitresses, wearing his chick magnet bib. He was super pleasant all through dinner.

Driving home, we hear a loud pop and then I'm swerving in my little red bug. Tire blowout. We had to call Clint's brother to come and get me and Owen so I could get home and put him to bed, then Clint had to call a tow truck to come and take the car to the only tire place open in the Ohio Valley after 6pm. So, $140 and 30 minutes of screaming baby later, we are all home, wanting a shower, washing our hands with jugs of water, in a kitchen full of dirty dishes. I just pray that it's fixed by Friday, because if I have to go without water most of the week at home, I think I might gouge my eyes out if I have to go all weekend without water and air at work. FML.

I literally almost cried when Clint just told me he couldn't find my corkscrew.

But hey, 3lbs. Well-behaved baby in the restaurant. Found the corkscrew. Little things to celebrate...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

It's been awhile.

So, it's been a long time since I have updated the blog. I apologize to my faithful reader(s). There have been things going on, but I just haven't felt compelled lately, I don't know why.

Things are no better on Clint's job front, and we are losing our insurance at the end of the month, so that's that.

Owen has been making major strides lately. He says "DaDa" consistently. In fact, we slept in the same room with him last night for the first time in months, and the first thing he said this morning, -- and for several minutes after that -- was Dada. This was earlier this week. The video gets pretty good around the 45 second mark.

He has four teeth now. Top and bottom two. The top two are kind of far apart, and it looks so freaking cute, I can't stand it. They aren't far down enough yet to see unless he smiles really big. I'm sure they will get closer together as other teeth come in, but it looks so funny and cute now, I love it. I want to take him to get professional pictures done soon. Maybe I can twist Laura Jackson Roberts' arm into taking a few artsy ones for me for a small fee.... ?

He also has started standing. I think he is a little late in this development. His buddy Alexander has been standing for months, I think. However, he finally has it, and now he never wants to sit. He will also stand against something by holding on to it. And yes, that's my blue bowl that I made that he is gripping. Everything must come off the coffee table now.

He also loves to roll now. Clint always puts him on his play mat, which I object to now, because it restricts his rolling. But him on a big blanket on the carpet and away he rolls. This means we need to do some serious baby-proofing now that he is on the move. I had him on a blanket on the center of the rug, and when I left the room, he was under his swing. He made good time. I wasn't gone for more than a minute...

Nothing is too exciting for me. I got new glasses. They have zebra print on the inside of them, but I won't hold that against them.

New favorite music - Bon Iver. I love For Emma and Skinny Love. Just over a month before I head to Iowa for the BIG DAY!! So excited! Still reading Cormac McCarthy - The Road. Slow moving, not because the book is slow moving. I am slow moving.

Also somewhat exciting, I'm joining the Wellness Bridge again. I got my old coach back, who I love. I have my first meeting next Wednesday. YES.

ALSO - we went to Columbus to visit Scott and Cristie again yesterday and we figured that Owen was old enough to stay overnight somewhere. Well... although the visit was great, I don't think we will have him spending the night anywhere else for a good long time. They have four (beautiful) kids, who all love Owen, and they are so attentive and interested in him, and they love to play with him, which is so adorable and fun to watch. However, sometime around early evening, after a day of high stimulation and one twenty minute nap, taken completely against his will, he had just had enough. He started crying and didn't stop until he was asleep (about an hour later...) He cried all through his sink bath, all through his getting dressed, took a short break to have his bottle and then I had to let him cry himself to sleep, because he just did not stop crying!! Then, we about had a heart attack when he woke up around 2:30, we were terrified he was going to be up for hours, but it turns out that he had peed out of his diaper somehow (I really need to buy those overnight diapers), and his whole leg was wet. So we got him out, changed his clothes and then put him back to bed, and he went to sleep. Thank God. Then this morning, he reached the end of his fuse right after breakfast, and in an event to calm him down, and give the Kimmins' some peace and quiet, we high-tailed it out of Columbus and Owen was dead asleep in the car after 15 minutes and slept until we were crossing the bridge into Wheeling. UGH. Otherwise we had such a fun time. Clint played with the kids all day, and Cristie and I played with the babies. This morning and all day today I was so exhausted. Clint actually drove home from Columbus (gasp!) and I fell asleep in the car! And I promise, I only had a little bit of Jack Daniels last night! It was just a long fun-filled day.

And today, Steeler (pre)season begins, so if no one hears from Clint until January, that's why...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Big news

Whenever Owen is particularly "chatty," Clint and I always try to say little words a lot that he may be able to pick up, like "hi," "dada," and "mama." He has been in the foulest mood today. He isn't napping like he should, fussy all the time, and gets bored with everything after five minutes. Today it felt like Clint and I were just taking turns dealing with his crabbiness. It's those teeth.

But. When I was getting dinner ready, Clint was changing a particularly poopy diaper and I heard them talking over the moniter. Clint called me into the room, and Owen was chatting away. So we start saying "Hi Dada," and then gave him a chance to respond. He was looking at us intently and we said it again, and then he totally repeated us! Me and Clint were so excited, we started jumping up and down, and we hugged and kissed, and Owen got scared and started making his pout face. So I got real close to him and said it's OK! And then we tried to get him to say it again - and HE DID. He said "Hi Dada," three times. It was so awesome. After that, he must have gotten shy, because he mouthed the words and smiled but didn't make any noise. <3

Then, during the bath, I decided to reward him by putting some new bath toys in the tub that squirt water. That scared him so much that he started crying, reached for me, and held onto my tank top strap for dear life.

You can't win them all, I guess.

The aftermath of the meeting...

So, the much dreaded co-op meeting wasn't all that bad, for me at least. Back story - our building is next to the Marsh Wheeling Stogie building, which in Wheeling's Hay Day was a pretty significant business. And this apartment building was pretty fancy living. Now I feel like I am in a sinking ship. The building rents a parking lot between our building and the Stogie building. Beyond the parking lot is another lot that was the grave site of a torn-down building. When we moved in, the lot was filled with bricks and cinder blocks and dirt. It was gross. Fast forward. Now, our upstairs neighbors, the children's book writers, have turned the brick-filled lot into an enormous garden. I will have to take a picture of it. It's huge. They actually had 5-foot stalks of corn growing in it last year. It is literally amazing what this man has done with a space that used to be filled with bricks.

That's how I feel about it. That's not how everyone feels about it. You know why? Because he uses the building's water to help the garden grow...

Last night in the meeting, I thought I had warped into a first grade classroom with a bunch of kids yelling at each other. We discussed the issues we had all been dreading, and then before the president could adjourn, one of the guys on the South side of the building decided to point his finger at the garden growers and flip his shit. I just sat with my pen and paper, noting the key points as any good secretary would do, bouncing my knee repeatedly until the steam stopped blowing out of his ears... Then the neighbors directly below us, who have graced my blog several times for all of their lovely complaints about Clint walking too loud, and getting the baby out of bed for church on Sunday morning... and breathing. They think that the garden people are rude because they have approached other members of the co-op association to get their opinions on the garden, bashing the downstairs neighbors in the process. I tried to stay out of it as much as possible, until the lady who lives below us starts, "I think it's downright rude of you to corral all the other neighbors and badmouth us, and now you guys don't speak to us, and the Amies are upset with us..." Please, Allison. Like the problems I have with you are about the garden... Maybe if you didn't find something to antagonize us about, every. single. time. we. speak.

Anyway. Clint was furious, but he missed the best of it, because he left around 8pm to take Owen off my mom's hands and put him to bed. I had to stay, unfortunately, because I'm the secretary, and the official shareholder, because our mortgage is in my name. The only major financial decision we made was for everyone to front the first half of our property taxes by August 25, so all the money we have in reserve can be put toward our gas bill in the winter. It was either that or hike up our monthly assessment fees, and I would much rather front the money right now, then half to pay more every month for the taxes AND end up short for the gas bill and have another special assessment. So the window issue was pretty much a non-issue. However, Clint and I have decided, that after basically freezing last winter, and in attempt to regulate the heat in our bedroom and living room, that we are going to look into replacing the five windows in our bedroom. Our upstairs neighbors have found a window company that charges the same price, regardless of the size of the window, which is a HUGE deal. The meeting started at 6:30, and I did not get home til 9:45... Ugh. The meeting was probably over by 9, but I stayed to be social because everyone had brought food, and I had some fantastic hummus. I've decided I'm a fan of hummus.


So the windows need to be done before winter, on top of buying a new car seat, replacing our sink that won't stop dripping, having Clint's car tuned up, having Chicken declawed so she doesn't decide to use her claws the next time she takes a swipe at Owen (and so she can stop scratching our hardwood floors...) Oh, and the fact that Clint is still indefinitely laid off... So we have decided that I'm going to go to Iowa alone. It's not going to save a ton of money, but at least $450. And, Clint doesn't HAVE to go . I have to go (and of course I wouldn't miss it for the world, KAK). Clint can stay home and be with Owen, that way my mom doesn't have to keep him for three solid days. I'm sad that I will be traveling alone, but I've flown by myself before. I've dealt with unknown airports during layovers. The only thing I'm not looking forward to is staying in the hotel alone. I'm going to take my laptop, so I can keep myself busy. Note to friends: the weekend of September 18, I expect a lot of text support :) and facebook chats. I will also need to decide which book will be my travel companion. Which reminds me... I still need to buy a new dress.

Speaking of Mr. Owen Michael Amie.... he is being a major fuss-pants today and the past few days. He is getting his top two teeth, and could not be in a more crabby mood. He has completely redefined his nap schedule in the past few days. He keeps putting his hands in his mouth and then whining. Drool city. And the spitting up. Lord. I'm going to stop wearing v-neck shirts, because inevitably, if I do, he will throw up down the inside of my shirt. It's awesome. Really.

And, I'm very nervous about who is going to get voted of So You Think You Can Dance. I'm still rooting for Evan, but Melissa was just beautiful last night. My two favorite routines continue to be Randi and Evan dancing to Koop Island Blues (the butt!) and Jeanine and Jason dancing to If it Kills Me. In another life I want to be a dancer. :) Certainly not in this one.

Alright. Me time over.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

"Come on man, I'll be your Doug."

We went to see the Hangover, and I could not stop laughing. It was seriously one of the funniest movies I have seen in a long time. Clint and I went out on our fourth date since we had Owen. We are almost keeping up with the once a month agreement. We have figured out a pretty good system for dates. We get him all ready for bed, then my mom comes over. We do his bath, lotion, and then feed him. Once he's asleep, we hurry and finish getting ready, and then leave. My mom basically babysits the baby moniter. It's a tough job. I sort of wish we could go have a dinner date or something, but for now, I'm happy to go out after he falls asleep, it just makes for some late nights.

We left after he fell asleep and went to get some ice cream. We still had time to kill, so we went to the bookstore and I bought "The Road," by Cormac McCarthy. I've only read about ten pages, but I can't wait to get back to it. I have a feeling it's going to be a hard read for me. Since I have become a mother, I get very affected if anything happens to a child in a movie or book or something.

Tonight is the dreaded co-op meeting where we are going to make decisions regarding the windows, the decks, the gas bill, etc. I am so afraid they are going to decide to replace all the windows in the apartment, which we simply cannot afford to do. I hope that our vote counts. Ideally, we vote for everyone to replace the windows of their choosing. In that case, I would love to replace all the windows in our bedroom and maybe our living room (8 windows total). Anything beyond that, I am going to have to oppose. We are just ticked, because we wanted to do the bathroom this fall, and now we are going to have to wait until Spring to do it. Which means there is no chance we will be moving until next Spring at the earliest.

The other downside to this, is that in an effort to save money, Clint may not come to Iowa with me in September. It's not going to be a big expensive trip, but it does equal two round trip plane tickets, two nights in the Marriot in Coralville, IA, car rental and meals and stuff like that. Besides the hotel costs, it would be half as expensive for Clint to come with me. It just doesn't sit right with me. I don't mind, but I would prefer not to travel alone. It makes the layovers quite a bit longer.

I don't quite understand why there are absolutely no direct flights from Pittsburgh to Cedar Rapids, but it looks like, depending on what flight I end up booking, I'm either going to have a layover in Chicago where I have never been, or again in Detroit or Minneapolis (both cities I have seen only from the inside of the airport.)

The last time I was in Minneapolis, I was sick as a dog, had a piece of pizza from Sbarro, let some guy have my copy of "The Painted Veil" that I had just finished reading, then put in the ipod and zoned out. When the guy saw that I was reading The Painted Veil, he said, "Oh MY GOD. I can't believe you're reading that," then he dug around in his bag and pulled out the copy of the DVD. I told him that I had seen the movie before reading the book, and ended up being disappointed in the book. The movie is more optimistic (and beautiful). Also the last time I flew to Iowa I was just a teensy bit pregnant. I found out the week after I came home.

I'll go alone if I have to, but I would much rather Clint come with me. If I go by myself, I will probably just take a couple of books and my computer and spend a lot of time in the hotel. And, Krista's friends will probably question whether I actually have a spouse.

It's also going to depend if Clint is working. Still no word from his work, other than we may lose our insurance. I checked with my HR person, and I could pick up insurance where I work, but I know it would be so expensive. I did Clint's resume and cover letter. We found a few places to send it to, and I applied a couple of places online for him. Cross your fingers.

I saw a commercial for, where kids were seeing all these road signs and stuff from books (Never Never Land, 25 miles). It was such a neat idea. I'm a big fan of kids reading.

Speaking of, I'm going to read.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

So tired. Felt compelled to blog.

Brunch yesterday was awesome, made a couple new friends. Lots of babies and breakfast. Awesome.

Crazy night at work. I felt like I was there for about three hours instead of 12. Now my neck hurts and my eyes are starting to twitch, so it's about time to go to sleep. Coming up on 25 hours of being awake. I did have a brief nap yesterday afternoon where I dreamed that I was back at Bethany, trying to get another degree, but I couldn't get to my classes, because I couldn't get my schedule, because it was in my Bethany email only, for which I did not have the password. I think this stems from Clint and I having an argument about whether or not we may lose our insurance and it's seriously time for him to find a new job.

I'm just going to come out and say it. The picture of Johnny Depp in his costume and makeup for the Mad Hatter in the new Alice in Wonderland movie -- scares the shit out of me. I'm just being honest.

I still have Jason Mraz "If It Kills Me" and "Everything" by Lifehouse stuck in my head. I hum a lot these days.

And I'm still not done reading (the 150-page) "The Dying Animal." I feel like a failure. I have been reading it for the same amount of days that it took me to read the first three books of the Twilight Saga.......

Friday, July 17, 2009

Six-Month Photo Shoot with my cool kid.

Smiling at Daddy
Much bigger than the bear, now. Shy boy.

Owey and Daddy
My perfect little angel.
I get a kick out of myself.
Even out of focus, the picture is fantastic.

Owen and Daddy in the hallway. Note the partially removed wallpaper on the right side and the snowman against the window seat that has been there since Christmas. (What month is it?)
My boy.

My adorable Charlie Harper frog shirt and bug shorts.

The best six months of my life.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Things I love this week:

*Corn on the cob. It is summer to me.

*Kurt Halsey (as always). I adore him. Especially these things:

Go to his store and buy his prints. I do not mind that they do not have noses. I also think the firefly necklace is fantastic.

*New Music. Mainly, "If It Kills Me (Casa Nova Sessions)" By Jason Mraz. I find myself listening to it on repeat. I miss being able to use my iPod at work. I can't anymore, cause I kind of am responsible for answering the phone. Other songs I love right now: "Born Into a Light," Ryan Adams, "Good Woman," Cat Power, "Eyes on Fire," Blue Foundation, "So Impossible," Dashboard Confessional, "Love Story," Taylor Swift, "Turning Blue," the Swallows, "Never Think," Robert Pattinson, " and "Everything" Lifehouse.

*So You Think You Can Dance. I can't help it. I'm sucked in. I love Evan, he's so awesome. I do not like the new couples, but I thought the dance by Jason and Jeanine (see above reference to Jason Mraz...) was MAD SCANDALOUS. I love it.

I'm also very surprised about something. I posted a picture of my favorite piece of work I ever did in pottery, my Emerson torso. I put "Thou Art to Me a Delicious Torment" on my scandalous torso. I did some research on the quote... and was surprised to find out more about it. Check it: (specifically where it says, "Dear Friend.")

We went swimming again today, and Owen loved it! It was so cute! He actually kept kicking his legs and waving his arms. I kept spinning him around in a circle, and he was holding on to my halter straps for dear life, but he kept a little smile on his face as if to say, "I think I like this, but I'm not quite sure." I love that kid.

I also love this picture, because I think he looks like his mama. And, Clint and I were smart this time and wore sunscreen. Good times.

Tomorrow, I'm attending a breakfast hosted by Erin, mother to Owen's BFF. I must make banana nut bread now.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Six-month Appointment

So, Owey had his six-month appointment today. All in all, it went really well. He weighs 17lbs, 5.1oz and is 25.5 inches long. I thought he weighed more, because it feels like he weighs a ton as we lug him up three flights of stairs.

The questions the nurses asked were a little different this time - more developmental stuff. They didn't ask exactly how much he eats or sleeps. They asked if he rolls (yes, but only if he starts out on his back. He can roll from back to front, and then to back again, but not if he starts out on his belly.) They asked if he tries to stand (no. Yet, he kicks his legs all over the place, and pushes his legs down in his stationary bouncer, but does not attempt to put his legs down if you are holding him up). They asked if he shows anxiety around strangers, and I said sometimes, and then explained the pout face. Other times, he smiles at everybody. Maybe he is a really good judge of character? Is it a bad sign that he makes the pout face when he sees his pediatrician? I don't know.

The doctor came in and listened to his heartbeat and checked his ears, eyes, belly and boy parts. He was all smiles, until she busted out the needles. It's so heartbreaking to see your baby get shots! He's smiling one second, and then they are stabbing a needle into his leg and he just instantly starts crying and screaming. Crying big tears. Ugh. I cried too. Once it was over, he curled up on Clint's shoulder and started sucking his thumb.

She said we could start moving up with baby food too. He can now have Stage 2 foods - including meat! Wow! Also, we have been feeding him solid food twice a day, and now she said we can move up to three or four times a day. The amount of his bottles should not change, just increase the solid food. I don't know how we would manage four times a day, between his bottles and naps, if we fed him four times, all he would be doing is sleeping and eating? He usually wakes up around 7am. I figured out that we could feed him at 9am, before his mid-morning nap, then again around 12, before his big mid-day nap, and then around 7pm as usual before his bedtime routine. She said we could also start putting those little Gerber puffs or cheerios on his high chair tray and let him pick them up and put them in his mouth. She also said that giving a baby juice is basically like giving them a pepsi. She said we could start putting water or very diluted juice in a sippy cup, so he can start getting out of the habit of having a bottle, so by the time he is a year old he can stop the bottle.

So, of course, I ran to the grocery store and bought all different new kinds of foods - mixed veggies, fruit combos - and little jars of what sounds like Thanksgiving dinner. Just kidding. But there are chicken and apples, turkey and sweet potatoes, and chicken and mixed veggies. I also bought two different kinds of puffs (sweet potatoes and peaches) and sippy cups. I fed him some mixed veggies for lunch and put a puff in his mouth. He did the same thing he did when he tried bananas for the first time. Made a disgusted face, and let it drool out of his mouth. Then when it was out of his mouth, he did kind of a little shimmy, like he had just done a shot. I tasted it, and it tastes just little cereal. I think he does that with sweet things. Real peaches didn't have that effect on him, but bananas and the peach puffs...

Oh, and this sucks. He's 25.5. inches long. By the time he's 27.5 inches long (about another month) we have to buy a new car seat. I didn't think we would have to buy another one until he was a year old. Alas, we have to spend $150 on another car seat that can be rear-facing or front-facing. This sucks for several reasons, money obviously, and also, we love his car seat and stroller set. It was a gift from Katie and her mom for my baby shower. The new car seat will stay in the car and will not be compatible with the stroller. Clint likes to take Owen for a walk with the car seat hooked into the stroller, because Owen falls asleep on the walk and always takes the best naps in his car seat. But if we take him for a walk in the stroller and he falls asleep, we will have to wake him up to get him out. (Something else that wouldn't be a problem if we didn't live in a 3rd floor walk-up.

Either way, she said he's growing well and looks great. She said the top two teeth will probably be coming in this weekend or early next week. I figured as much. He's been drool-tastic and a little more cranky than usual. But, he's still in bed by 8:30pm most nights and sleeps until 7 every morning (give or take 15 minutes). He still sucks his thumb to self-soothe. We can lay him down awake and he will fall asleep if he is tired. He started sleeping on his side too, which is the most adorable thing.

I think about how long he has been alive, and what a different little person he is going to be in another six months. I can't get over it. He's the coolest.

I'm going to wait a few more days before I do his six-month photo shoot. I have to decide on an outfit :). I also decided that once he can sit up on his own completely, and once the drooling from the top two teeth subsides a little, I'm going to take him for professional pictures. So much fun!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

I'm in this kind of mood.

I do love a survey - but this isn't your typical survey, and I promise not to subject my (few) readers with another one anytime soon... :)

1. What kind of SOAP is in your bathtub right now? Well, several kinds. Most notably - Neutrogena Rainbath, which is what we bathe Owen in - in his baby tub, and sometimes I steal some too. And, I just picked up a new moisturizing body wash by Nivea that is scented with Rose Oil and Almond extract and the smell of it makes me dizzy...

2. Do you have any watermelon in your refrigerator? No, but I have oranges, nectarines, apples and bananas!

3. What would you change about your living room? New windows, the french doors and window frames need painted, and we need to paint the spot on the ceiling where our upstairs neighbors radiator leaked last winter...

4. Are the dishes in your dishwasher clean or dirty? I think they are dirty, but Clint emptied it yesterday, so there probably isn't much in there....

5. What is in your fridge? Lots of bottles of water - Naked Mango - eggs - cheese - veggies - my homemade dip - pork chops thawing - a huge bag of broccoli florets - lots of stuff...

6. White or wheat bread? We go back and forth.

7. What is on top of your refrigerator? Dust.

8. What color or design is on your shower curtain? It's linen with burgandy and brown flowers sewn onto it. I get many compliments on it...

9. How many plants are in your home? One big fake one.

10. Is your bed made right now? Well, that's not fair. I just got out of it... So.... no.

11. Comet or Soft Scrub? Green Works

12. Is your closet organized? Hahah..... riiiiiight. My closet floor is a mess of strewn shirts and crocs.

13. Can you describe your flashlight? It's a wind-up one that I got as a gift.

14. Do you drink out of glass or plastic most of the time at home? It's a toss-up, whatever isn't in the dishwasher.

15. Do you have iced tea made in a pitcher right now? Gross. No. I hate tea.

16. If you have a garage, is it cluttered? No. We have a parking lot. It can also be called an ice skating rink in the winter.

17. Curtains or blinds? Both, and yet still not enough. Our bedroom faces the off-ramp into downtown Wheeling. I'm afraid to be undressed in there with the lights on for fear I'm giving the drivers a free show...

18. How many pillows do you sleep with? Two. Sometimes a third between my knees, pregnancy habit that carried over.

19. Do you sleep with any lights on at night? No.

20. How often do you vacuum? If by "you" do you mean Clint? One of us does it every few days. We have two white cats!

21. Standard toothbrush or electric? Standard.

22. What color is your toothbrush? Green and white. That reminds me, I need a new toothbrush.

23. Do you have a welcome mat on your front porch? Yes, it's tan with brown flowers.

24. What is in your oven right now? Racks. Pork chops will be in there soon.

25. Is there anything under your bed? Slippers and I think a random water bottle. Cat hair.

26. Chore you hate doing the most? I don't discriminate, I hate them all...

27. What retro items are in your home? If by retro you mean really old - a lot. We live in a 100-year old building...

28. Do you have a separate room that you use as an office? No. My desk is in my bedroom.

29. How many mirrors are in your home? Only 3, but there are two leaning against the wall in my closet.

30. Do you have any hidden emergency money around your home? No. We have a "coin cup" that is actually the "cup" from my raku tea set that I made, which kind of ticks me off, yet it is still in there...

31. What color are your walls? Two rooms and the hallway are Carmel, our bedroom is called Jade Bath, the dining room is a light yellow (soon to be repainted) and the kitchen and bathroom (walls) are white.

32. Do you keep any kind of protection weapons in your home? No. This is Wheeling.

33. What does your home smell like right now? I can't smell anything worth identifying.

34. Favorite candle scent? Gardenia, mmmmmmmm..... or Lilac.

35. What kind of pickles (if any) are in your refrigerator right now? Claussen kosher pickles, I think...

36. What color is your favorite Bible? I only have one and it is tan.

37. Ever been on your roof? Yikes, no.

38. Do you own a stereo? Yes.

39. How many TVs do you have? Two.

40. How many house phones? We both just have cell phones...

41. Do you have a housekeeper? No, but I think I am going to hire one to get the house super clean before we show it to try to sell.

42. What style do you decorate in? I don't know. It's kind of homey but still classy at the same time.

43. Do you like solid colors in furniture or prints? Our couch is striped, but our chairs are all solid.

44. Is there a smoke detector in your home? No (shame.......)

45. In case of fire, what are the items in your house which you’d grab if you only could make one quick trip? Baby. Cats if possible. Nothing else matters.

Woohoo. That was fun.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Good Week

I'm coming to the end of another week off, and it's been a good week. I got to see a wonderful friend, I got to visit with my mom, I got to enjoy some movies and books and I got to spend quality time with my husband and little boy.

Krista K. came to visit on Wednesday. We fed Owen some pears and then fed ourselves. I made buffalo chicken dip, and cut up a bunch of veggies and made some dip. I asked her what she wanted to do, and she said she wanted to watch Benjamin Button. I of course did not object. I cried (like always) at the part where he becomes a little boy, and she has to take care of him. Krista really liked it - but I hope she watches it again, because we were paying too much attention to Owey. I love Krista because we can spend six months not hanging out, and then when we finally do get together, it's like no time has passed. I can tell her ANYTHING, and she does not judge or make opinions, she only offers honest, unbiased reactions. She is a wonderful friend.

Sometime this week, I feel like I had some kind of awakening. I find myself feeling the way I used to about literature and film and art.... Maybe, the way I felt before I got married, found a serious job or had a baby. When I had time... Something about me wants to write again, or to throw clay on a wheel again. (God, I miss pottery.) I'm reminded of my favorite piece of art I ever made. The assignment was to create a female torso (my senior year of college I think), with some kind of text and texture on it. Because of my love for all things scandalous, I found an Emerson quote ("thou art to me a delicious torment") that was perfect and made this:

The hands were SO hard to make. I loved this project, but this, by far, remains the coolest thing I ever created:

But I have been reading a lot lately, I'm rereading A Widow for One Year, and I want to start/finish Love in a Time of Cholera, Unaccustomed Earth and a bunch of others. I've also been referred a few titles that sound appealing. I also read a new book by a friend who has yet to be published, but I have tremendous faith that he will.
Unfortunately, the only creative thing I have actually done myself this week has been cooking, which everyone knows I adore. The other night I made a dijon chicken salad with broccoli and tomatoes. It was an Ina Garten recipe - fantastic! So great I took a picture!

Progress on the house is going.... slow. Clint has taken down a small portion of the wallpaper in the hallway and I'm trying to decide on paint colors. We might have to hold off doing the bathroom, because one of our neighbors told me that the Co-op association may vote to replace several windows in all of the apartments, which will cost us a couple thousand dollars... Sigh... But this I can appreciate more than paying $1400 to repoint the bricks on the north side of the building, which does not affect me one little bit.

When Krista was here, she took a picture of me and Owen. It's not often that I post pictures of myself - but I didn't think I looked too hideous in this one :)

And why is it that almost every new shirt I have is either chocolate brown or white?

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

That is the end of the story.

"There was a little boy who didn't know if he wanted to be born. His mommy didn't know if she wanted him to be born, either. This is because they lived in a cabin in the woods, on an island, in a lake - and there was no one else around. And, in the cabin, there was a door in the floor. The little boy was afraid of what was under the door in the floor, and the mommy was afraid, too. Once, long ago, other children had come to visit the cabin, for Christmas, but the children had opened the door in the floor and they had disappeared down the hole, under the cabin, and all their presents had disappeared, too. Once the mommy had tried to look for the children, but when she opened the door in the floor, she heard such an awful sound that her hair turned completely white, like the hair of a ghost. And she smelled such a terrible smell that her skin became as wrinkled as a raisin. It took a whole year for the mommy's skin to be smooth again, and for her hair not to be white. And, when she'd opened the door in the floor, the mommy had also seen some horrible things that she never wanted to see again, like a snake that could make itself so small that it could sneak through the crack between the door and the floor - even when the door was closed - and then it could make itself so big again that it could carry the cabin on its back, as if the snake were a giant snail and the cabin were its shell. The other things under the door in the floor are so horrible that you can only imagine them. And so the mommy wondered if she wanted to have a little boy in a cabin in the woods, on an island, in a lake - and with no one else around - but especially because of everything that might be under the door in the floor. Then she though: Why not? I'll just tell him not to open the door in the floor!Well, that's easy for a mommy to say, but what about the little boy? He still didn't know if he wanted to be born into a world where there was a door in the floor, and no one else around. Yet there was also some beautiful things in the woods, and on the island, and in the lake.'Why not take a chance?' the little boy thought. And so he was born, and he was very happy. His mommy was happy again, too, although she told the little boy at least once every day, 'Don't you ever, not ever - never, never, never - open the door in the floor.' But of course he was only a little boy. If you were that boy, wouldnt you want to open that door in the floor?"

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A visit with the Mrs. (Owen's future Mrs... that is)

My mom came with Owen and me down to Morgantown today to visit Virginia and Lily!! She is nearly four weeks old, and looks exactly like her mommy. It was only the second time I have driven to Morgantown and it wasn't that traumatic. I think Owen liked being in Lily's presence. He was extremely pleasant, laughing and smiling all day!

On the way back from Morgantown, I had the bright idea to go shopping at the outlet malls, because I have been dying to go for the past month, and it was only about 10 minutes out of our way. I bought four new pairs of crocs. (One pair was for Clint!) and some stuff at Old Navy... and a pair of sandals from Bass for my mom's birthday. It was too hot to stay long. The only relief was a peach and banana smoothie and air conditioning the entire ride. Owen was a major fussy pants. He cried from Washington to Wheeling... Almost a solid 20 minutes. Fantastic.

And... my. skin. hurts.


Clint and I LOVE being in water. We prefer the Caribbean Ocean, but Wheeling Park public pool will do fine. :) I have been itching to take Owen swimming, because he loves splashing and I had a feeling he would like being in a pool just as much as we do.

So, I got him a sun hat, a surf shirt and a pair of trunks. The swim diapers have little Nemos on them. I tried to get him a baby floatation device, but I couldn't find the right one. I swear I had "baby floatation device" on the grocery list for two shopping trips.

When we got him to the pool in his little outfit, all lathered up in SPF 50, he was a little unsure about the water. It was warm enough (the pool is slightly heated) and it was a super hot day, but he was still a little confused. He did not like when you dipped him in and then held him up out of the water. Once we started holding him under the water (to about his upper arms or shoulders) he was perfectly happy. He even did his little splashing. It was adorable. I can't wait to take him again. Maybe Erin and Zaney will go with us~!!! (Hint hint Erin....)

I had an SPF 30 malfunction.... The fancy spray kind that I bought last summer no longer sprays. I put the SPF 50 on my face only, and now I have a fantastic line across my forehead where I did not put sunscreen. Everything on my body, except my face, is a nice tomato shade... I hurt. It's awesome. I'm retarded.

Owey was awesome.

Father's Day!

Here's a picture of my guys on Father's Day! This year, all Clint wanted for Father's Day was new shorts. So I bought him camo cargo shorts and some new khaki shorts (and of course a few shirts to go with them.)

Typically in the past, Father's Day has been a black day that for the past 14 years I purposefully avoided celebrating. But now, my baby's daddy (lol), my dear husband deserves to be celebrated.

Unfortunately - Aside from giving him his presents, I only saw him for a few hours, because I had to work the night before. I had every intention of only taking a nap before his family reunion scheduled to begin at noon that day. He tried to wake me up at 11am, and I think I may have growled at him. So... I missed the reunion this year. He took Owen, and said they had a good time.

Clint said it was a good Father's Day. Considering this was his first real one, with nothing to compare it to- I think I should try to improve next year...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


So, Clint and I feel like we are at a crossroads. For those of you who don't know, Clint and I bought our apartment in January 2008 through a private sale for a VERY reasonable price. Our mortgage is very reasonable, and the co-op association fees are also reasonable - about what we would pay to rent a comparable apartment somewhere in this town. We love this apartment - it's huge for one thing. It's 1800-square feet, kitchen, laundry, dining room, living room, two beds, one bath... We made some minor cosmetic changes when we moved in, with the plan to live here five years or less, and make some other renovations along the way.

A few things we didn't anticipate moving in: When we bought it, we thought it would take a while for us to get pregnant, but I ended up getting pregnant that April and our son was born a couple of weeks after our year anniversary with the apartment. While I was pregnant, we tore old carpet out of the second bedroom and repainted the walls and window frames. The hardwood floors in that room need to be refinished. We just have a big area rug in there right now.

Another thing we didn't think would happen: Clint getting laid off two months after I had Owen. Yes, in the beginning it was only partial, two weeks on, two weeks off, but he hasn't worked for the past month and his employer told his team that if they didn't hear from the company, assume the lay off continues. This. scares. the. shit. out. of. me.

By some brilliant stroke of chance, or God's glorious graces, at the same time Clint gets laid off indefinitely, I get a fantastic promotion. I get to spend more time at home, and I get to make more money. My increase in wages somewhat compensates for what he is losing. (If he was still working two weeks at a time, we would be about even...) He makes unemployment, but it's only half of what he usually brings home. If he went back to work tomorrow (or anytime soon!) we would actually be getting somewhere financially.

Unfortunately, it's the idea that he might not get called back to work that keeps us up at night. He's not going to look for a different job yet, because with the state of the economy, it's very unlikely that he could get a job making the same amount of money. And, as long as he is getting unemployment, along with other millions of Americans right now..., things are, for lack of a better word, OK. He also doesn't want to get involved with a different job, only for his company to call him back. He's very loyal to the company.

But we are worried that something is going to come and we are going to be stuck. Because we live in a co-op, we shoulder our share of the financial responsibilities of our building. We own 65 shares of 765. Only a couple months after we moved in, we found out we had to shell out $1400 to repoint the bricks on the North side of the building. Now the people in our building are talking about redoing the back decks, and replacing all the front windows.... Geez.

It's not just a matter of coming up with these extra assessments for things for the building. Several of the people in our building are downright rude and mean. They didn't want us to live here when we had our interview. We had cats, we were young, they didn't think we could afford it... We probably have better jobs than they do - or at least, better jobs than they had when they were our age. Clint and I are responsible - old for our age. We pay our bills, we keep a nice home, we work, we don't have loud parties, we go to church, we are always nice to everyone - so what are these people's problems? When we tell our friends some of the things our neighbors have said to us, they think we are joking. I don't know if it's because everyone that lives here is at least 20 years older than us, or what - but it really makes this decision easier.

Also, we live on the third floor and there are no elevators and lugging the kid up and down the stairs is something of a trial. I hear that kids always get bigger and not smaller, so it doesn't look like that situation is going to change.

So, we have decided, with all of Clint's new time, that we should be fixing things we have been putting off or planning on doing "someday," with the intention of trying to sell. The economy is poor right now, but it's a good time to buy, and this is, aside from the special assessments, an affordable, convenient, spacious place to live. Because we bought it through a friend, we actually paid around 25% less than the apartment was appraised for, so if it's still valued the same, even if we put money into it, we stand to make at least a little profit. With that profit, we intend to pay off our cars, other little bills we have (small credit cards, all of my hospital bills from the baby, etc.) and get our monthly expenses down as low as we can. I think this means, the smartest thing for us to do would be to go back to renting. Live modestly for a while, build our savings back up, and then find a house - an actual house - that we want to buy. If Clint goes back to work in the meantime, than that's fantastic. But we want to plan for the negative. We wouldn't be opposed to going back to where we used to rent, in North Park. We had a pool for God's sakes! And 1.5 bathrooms!~ Of course, the things we have acquired in the past year and a half, mainly - 1 child - I don't think all of our stuff would fit in there again. We have more than enough STUFF. Ideally, we could rent a house for around what we pay to live here or less.

So, on the agenda, is tearing down the wallpaper in the hallway that has been painted over (several times), refinishing the hardwood floors in the dining room and Owen's room, sanding and repainting all of the window frames, repainting all the crown and most of the rooms, and -- the bathroom. Everyone who has been to our home knows what a thorn in my side this is. We have a bathroom that could be awesome, if it were original. Alas, it was probably remodeled in the forties. We have pink and blue tile on the floor, pink tile on the walls, pepto bismal pink tub, toilet and sink (that has started to drip uncontrollably). Bring on the change. I would like to do a classy 20's style black and white theme - maybe insert a glass block wall on the far end of the tub (instead of having an l-shaped curtain rod, like many Victorians...

First we are going to do everything we can on our own, and then find someone to do our bathroom. Anybody know anybody?

We don't know if this is the right thing to do. We are trying to be practical and safe - and this seems like the best option.

In other, more upbeat news -- Clint and I took Owen to the pool for the first time today. I slathered him up in SPF 50 and had a malfunction with our SPF 30. So Clint and I are nice and crispy. Owen was completely protected. We are pretty sure he liked the water. At first, he was a little unsure, but then by the end, he wasn't fussing or objecting in anyway. I think he's a water baby.

Ok, I need to go be a wife. I need to make meatloaf.

Friday, June 19, 2009

A day in the country.

We went to Columbus yesterday to visit our friends Scott and Cristie and family. Scott is my mom's good friend's son who is about 9 years older than me, who I have known my entire life. His wife of nearly 11 years is Cristie, mom extraordinaire. They have four children: Andrew (10), Allie (7), Adam (4) and Abbie (nearly 2). They have a fantastic family and Clint and I really love spending time with them all! Scott is a pharmacist and Cristie is a stay at home super mom. All of their kids are always well behaved and polite. Andrew adores Clint. If I can be anywhere near as good a mom as Cristie, I will feel like a success.

Abbie and Allie, beautiful girls.

Owen and his curly hair, it was so humid.
This might be my favorite picture from his entire life, so far.

Owey and Pony

Allie swinging.

Cristie giving Owen his first sink bath. It was so hot, she stuck him in there to cool him. He barely napped at all, poor little bubba.

The cornhole twins. "Should we hug?" Ha! Clint said, "Thank God I didn't wear my camo cargo shorts. We would have matched."


Me pushing Adam on the swing. Unfortunately I didn't get a picture of Andrew this trip. Part of him is to the left.
Abbie adored Owey. She might give Lily Dilly a run for her money. Owen was surprised and confused about Abbie's public displays of affection all day, especially the many full on kisses on the lips!! Maybe she just wanted his bumbo seat...

It was an awesome trip. Clint and Scott want to go golfing sometime, so maybe we will see them again soon. We usually spend the night when we go up, but this time was too spur of the moment, and I was worried Owen was still a little too young to make that long a trip from home.
I got stung by something, and now have a little bite on my middle finger of all places.
On the way home, we passed silos, and Clint said:
"What's in those?"
"Corn," I said.
"That's it?"
"Well, in one there is corn, and then in the smaller ones is oil and butter. Then the popcorn comes out that top part."
"Then they bag it up and send it to movie theatres?"
"That's right."
"Shut up."
I love the hubs. Good times.