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?