Sunday, August 28, 2011

Not In Kansas Anymore

This weekend we had the chance to show one of the youngest Haigh girls around the city. My sister in law Christie and my 6 year old niece Annabelle were our guests for the weekend. Where to begin...
They rolled into town (literly - they took a train)Thursday evening and seeing that the Mister didn't get back to town until Friday it was a perfect setup for a girls night. Unfortunately after an 11 hour train ride (note to self: opt for plane when going back to KS)Annabelle was pretty tuckered out.
We picked up C from daycare and headed home. Once the girls were in bed Christie and I took the time to enjoy a quiet glass of wine on the patio. We talked about the kids, caught up on family stuff, girl stuff, etc. We've become much closer over the past year and I love having her in our lives. And after 3 girls of her own she's already weathered all of those things that we're in for...God help us!
Friday and Saturday were chaulk full of touristy stuff combined with local things that we love - like the Lincoln Park Farmer's Market and the LP Zoo. Annabelle is truly an amazing girl. It's hard to picture whatever life has in store for her but I have no doubts that it will be amazing. She is by far and away the most genorous child I know. Combine that with her love for picking up trash and I think we've got a mini green peace-er on our hands. Check back in about 15 years and my bet is that you'll see a very stong willed, intellegent woman doing great things with her life.
We stayed around home for dinners. Grilling out and enjoying the beautiful weather on the patio. We had such a great time. C was in heaven with all of the attention. Thank you Christie and Annabelle for spending the weekend with us!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Charlotte's Web: Debunking the Cake Myth

I feel that it's my right and my duty to come into this world with a fresh set of eyes. To look at things anew and not settle for what everyone tells me. Where would that have gotten Neil Armstrong? Or Rosa Parks? Or Curious George? Would he have been just "George"?

So when someone tells me silly things like "There's no free lunch" or "You can't have your cake and eat it too", I have to take a step back (errr....roll back?) and ask myself if there's any logic to that statement. For instance have they exhausted all of the options? Are they giving up too easily?
Sometimes they are right. Like when Mom says "I can't be in two places at once". But other times I'm calling bull shit.

In my world you can have your cake and eat it too:

Monday, August 22, 2011

On The Road : Minnesota

Another pack of twizzlers, a stop at subway and a red bull later we found ourselves in Minnesota.

I've been dying to get Charlotte into a pool (no, the baby pools that act as a glorified bathtub do not count) since summer came around. Something about the pool that just screams summer. Maybe it's the smell of chlorine or the feeling of my eyes burning for hours after I'm done or maybe the hint of green to my hair, but nonetheless, to me it means summer. And damn it, it will to Charlotte too.
Ok, maybe it will, or maybe it won't....we'll see. Either way I hope her eyes don't burn.

But I digress...

Our hotel here had a pool...indoor of course considering we're in the frozen tundra so we had to try it out.
Charlotte was indifferent. That is until we threw her "boot" in. Actually a boat, but Troy and I like to joke around and say "It's aboot time" You know, like we're British and all, but also because it's "boat" time all the time in Charlotte's mind. I know, we're lame. But she loves that little piece of bathtub plastic...and her weird parents!

We were in MN for my college roommate's wedding. We met in the dorms freshman year and immediately bonded. We'll ignore the fact that she had a momentary lapse in judgement and joined a sorority (just kidding Anna!) and focus on the fact that she is one of the greatest people that I have had the pleasure of knowing. Anna is responsible for introducing me to Velvet Goldmine, Art, Napster, and 2 Euro tequila shots in Italy. Anna gets people. It's that simple. She understands that there is more to life than just going through the motions and getting through each day. You should truly enjoy this life you are given and have passion. For your job. Your Family. Everything around you.
She is clever, funny, compassionate, wicked smart, and loyal. And this past weekend she became Mrs. Anna Stanislawski.
Anna and Joe - the wedding was absolutely beautiful. Thank you for letting us be a part of it!

Unrelated note: Minnesota marked the 5th state that Charlotte has been to...followed up by Wisconsin (#6) on our way home. At this rate we'll be out of states by the time she starts school.

And that concludes our week-long vacation. We had a great time but we're happy to be home...there's truly no place like it...

See, thoughtful: even C had her own place setting!

I think there was some sort of pep talk going on here....she doesn't look like she's buying it...

Saturday, August 20, 2011

On The Road: Iowa State Fair!!!!!

5 Twizzlers left over from the last trip, Some leftover pasta salad and some hot tamales and we wound up back in Iowa. Des Moines, with it's glaring capital building is home to the greatest yearly event this side of the Missouri river, west of Iowa city, south of Ames and north of Missouri....the Iowa State Fair.

I haven't missed a year since I was in high school and the Mister started tagging along 6 years ago. As corny as it sounds, it's something that we look forward to each year. Food on a stick, biggest boar, etc. It's all part of a tradition. And one that we were all too wiling to introduce the newest member of the family to.

No matter how old we are, or how far away we live I hope that we're always able to make it back.
Thank you Oma for taking us (along with our carload of gear) in for a couple days. We had a great time!!!!

(This guy was not excited about getting his picture taken)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

On The Road: Kansas

4 hours, a package of twizzlers and a roast beef sandwich later we were in Kansas.
It felt so great to be back. On the agenda we had dinner with friends, a birthday celebration and time with family.

We had a relaxing dinner in with Troy's mom and younger brother when we finally rolled into town on Sunday night. Grilled steaks, sweet corn, salad. Who doesn't want to come home to a dinner like that after a 4 hour drive? We spent Monday lounging around and relaxing. And man does Susan have a good house for relaxing. It's quiet, and calm. The couch is comfy and there's always plenty of room on the floor to curl up.

Monday we had a chance to meet our good friends Chris and Gayle for dinner at our favorite Lawrence eatery; Free State Brewery. Thanks for meeting us with such short notice guys! It was great to see you. We miss you tons and we're looking forward to Myrtle in a couple weeks!!

Tuesday we took advantage of the beautiful weather early in the morning. We went for a long walk (about 5 miles). We wandered all along Mass street and ended up back on campus. Amazing how easy to forget how beautiful that place is when you're going to classes everyday. I don't think either of us would be sad if we were making another trip there in about 17 years....if that's what C wants. Great town, great people, good memories.

We also had a chance to celebrate another summer birthday; Troy's older brother Ricky.
My sis-in-law cooked a great dinner for all of us. Thanks Christie! Charlotte was able to get reacquainted with her cousins, who ADORE her, and her Aunt and Uncle who secretly fight over who gets to hold her. Thank you guys for a great evening. And Christie we can't wait to see you again in a couple weeks!!

Great visit. Now back to Iowa...

Some really nice woman offered to take a picture of the three of us while we were on campus (because that's how people are in the Midwest....but T and I can't figure out why she thought she would chop off our feet but keep the 8 miles of blue sky.....

Monday, August 15, 2011

On the Road

The Mister and I have this week off from work so we're taking the time to road trip across the Midwest visiting family and friends along the way. First stop is Iowa where we'll visit Oma and stay at the farm. Next up is Kansas to visit Grandma Susan and the rest of the Haigh clan along with some good friends in Lawrence. After that we'll make a pass back through Iowa staying a couple of days at the state fair. And we'll end our week long vacation at a great friend's wedding in in Minnesota. Phew!! Busy week, but will be so much fun.

First stop: Iowa

Had a great couple of days at the farm with Oma and Great Grandma Loftin. Had a party Saturday night with a rowdy bunch of people that we hadn't gotten to see for a long time. Charlotte met a lot of new faces and enjoyed being the center of attention. Great time! And for those of you that were there and follow the blog - so good to catch up!!
We had beautiful weather which just begged me to get the camera out. Here are some of my favorites from the weekend:

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Little Things

Can't get enough of the little things....especially that curl just over the right ear. :)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Seven Months

Today Charlotte Jean turns seven months old. I know I say this every month, but how is it possible that it is going this fast?
Sitting up
Rolling over (both ways and has actually figured out that this can also be a mode of transportation)
Signing "dog" - or at least I think she is....
Eating sweet potatoes, apples, cereal, peas and avocado
Wants to pull herself up. Favorite thing to use: Mom
Still breastfeeding (Yay for us!!)
No teeth (see above = yay!)
Biggest goal? Getting everything directly into her mouth.

Tonight I took off a bit early from work so that C and I could go on a date. We came home, ate and headed back out. We took our picnic blanket, a few toys and the camera. Charlotte absolutely loves being outside. She is so content and comfortable that it makes me a bit sad to think that in a matter of months we'll be deep in the throws of another Chicago winter. Perhaps the Mister is right when he occasionally brings up moving somewhere warm...
But for now, we have summer. And parks. And blankets spread out on the grass to roll around on. For now we have that warm sun shining down on us right before it goes behind the trees. The locusts singing to us as we walk home. And the gentle breeze that comes through the windows and freshens the whole house. For now we have THIS summer.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Charlotte's Web: Letter of Complaint

To Whom It May Concern (Mom):

I love that you take pictures of me. Don't get me wrong here. I could do without the sound of a shutter while I'm napping or the blinding flash while I'm playing, but in the name of documenting my childhood I can take a few for the team. These things I've dealt with my WHOLE life and I'm guessing they won't stop any time soon so I'm learning to deal.

But this letter is being written with the intent to establish some ground rules. For starters please stop taking pictures (and posting them on the interweb) of my muffin top. I can assure you if the situation was reversed you would not think it was "cute". Case in point:

(6 Months)

Second, let's lay off the shots that draw attention to certain areas. Say the thighs. Or "pork chops" as Oma so affectionately refers to them. Not. Nice.
For instance (and again with the belly??!!):
(Last week)

Oh, and when I'm pissed. That is NOT the time to take a picture. I do not find it funny, or amusing. And I'm certain that when you stop to take a slew of pictures in place of feeding me or comforting me this does not fall under the "good parenting" chapter.
(Last week)

Let's start with these rules and see how things improve. My 17 year old self thanks you ahead of time as you will have considerably less ammunition to embarrass me at my high school graduation.

Your Favorite Photo Subject,
Charlotte Jean


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Confessions of a First Time Mom: Alternative Uses for Tupperware

Now that Charlotte is a wee bit older I find myself thinking back to her first few months in this world. Geez. What a blur they were. And what a mess I was. Nope. Not an exaggeration at all. I blame it on the hormones, or the lack of sleep, or both. To illustrate I give you exhibit A. (If we were in a courtroom I would hold up a blue Tupperware lid from a medium sized storage container). No, no, your honor, Let me explain.
When C was just 2 1/2 weeks old we packed up the car and headed to Iowa to spend some time with Oma and Great Grandma Loftin. Something about the farm and having one more helping hand provided some much needed "calm" at time.
Lucky for us one of my Mom's friends had given her a fairly new crib that he was no longer using along with a changing table. This made a week away from home that much easier.
When we got there I gave the crib a quick once over and it passed the inspection. Then I felt the mattress. And so it began. I flipped out. Charlotte would NOT sleep on the mattress. It was a big white FLUFFY CLOUD. It was basically a giant pillow!!! (Please note that these were my sentiments at the time - I have no idea how soft the mattress really was but my alter-ego was not havin' it)
Our temporary solution until we could go shopping the next day? You guessed it, a plastic Tupperware lid under the mattress sheet. I feel silly just writing it.
But you know what? It worked. It made me feel better. And the next day we got ourselves a mattress (from the 4th, (FOURTH!!!) store we went to). An entire day spent mattress shopping because I'm slightly insane)
What did I learn? That I seriously have the best husband in the world. Not once did he turn to me and say: "Sweetie, I think you've lost it" or "How about we swing by this new store called the Psych Ward - I hear the mattresses there are firm". Instead, he diligently drove me from store to store in search of the perfect firm-ness. Like Goldilocks, only not.
I love Mr. Haigh.
Charlotte - I'm sorry I made you sleep on a lid. But I'd do it all over again.

I'm in love with this photo. Has nothing to do with the post, but I know you're all WAY more into the photos than the text.
Taken tonight at bath time. Still using the baby bath tub but we moved out of the kitchen sink.