Monday, March 31, 2008

Drinking the Koolaide

I never thought I'd be the kind of mother to get caught up in all the preschool/daycare hysteria you hear about. After all, we live in a much more forgiving and laid back place than New York City, home of the "preschool admission consultant" and the crazy waiting lists. But today, in what will be the first of many situations in which I will suck it up and do the best thing for my family, I stood in the lobby of the (really really wonderful) daycare by our new house and filled out TWO waiting list applications.

The first was for Charles Lastname birthdate 11-2-06.

The second was for "Baby Lastname" birthdate 9-30-08.

Then I went and got a pedicure while I verbally abused my nanny on my cell phone, just for the heck of it.*

*just kidding, I don't have a nanny and I paint my own toes

(Still no decision whether to work or not, but I'm glad I got started on this childcare business early)

Sunday, March 30, 2008

I wonder if he tried to get her number

On a whim, we decided to take Charlie to this place on the way home from church today. We'd never been there before, but the sign said "burgers" and Bravo said "Yes, please! And NOW!"

(That was before I knew about the unlimited fries. How have I lived in this town for five months without knowing there was a restaraunt with unlimited fries practically next door to our church?)

After we were seated we met our waitress, Mackenzie. Mackenzie LOVED Charlie. After she brought him the water we ordered for him she told us we could get him some juice as part of his meal if we wanted. Then Charlie LOVED Mackenzie. Because "Dgooce? Dgooce! Dgooce!" [emphatically sign "more" repeatedly].

When she brought us a basket of fries to munch on while we waited for our burgers (which came with more fries, did I mention that?) she also brought some crackers for Charlie. And every time she passed our table she said to Charlie "Oh my gosh, you are SO CUTE!" Mackenzie is my friend.

And THEN! When she brought our food out she saw me waving a french fry around, trying to cool it off enough for Charlie's delicate sensibilities and said "You know, his food is pretty hot, let me take it back and hold it in the freezer for a little while to cool it off." When she came back with Charlie's delightfully lukewarm chicken fingers basket she said "Brr, it was COLD in that freezer! Oh, and I cut the chicken into smaller pieces so it would cool off faster!" I halfway expected her to offer to sit down with us so she could take over monitoring Charlie's table manners and we could relax.

Not that much monitoring was required. Charlie wolfed down his chicken fingers like we had just picked him up from a desert island instead of our church's walkers' nursery. I guess he was able to set aside his disdain for all easily recognizable forms of protein in the name of puppy love. And with all the extra attention he was completely delightful for the whole meal--coloring nicely on his placemat, alerting us to a dropped crayon with a demure "Uh oh!" instead of screaming, and beaming at Mackenzie every time she passed our table.

To top it all off he took a two hour nap when we got him home!

Is tomorrow too soon to go back?

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The weather's not the only thing that's hot in South

I'm not what you would call "girly". I would consider my style to be more practical. Which means that on Charlie days I wear one of the two pairs of maternity shorts I have that fit (thank GOODNESS the old ones are too big. I'm kind of appalled that they ever fit to begin with) and, if I'm feeling pretty, a shirt with no words on it. And recently, because I haven't had a haircut since 2007, a ponytail. I know. It's time to suck it up and give someone $45 to rub my head, offer me tea, wash my hair, and make polite chit chat with me for an hour. The sacrifices we must make to look nice.

It's not that I don't care what I look like. I just lack the energy and skills to acheive that coveted "put together" look everyone else seems to find so simple. Especially when Ryan is on a business trip and I am home alone with Charlie.

It was with this mix of apathy and jealousy that I took Charlie to the neighborhood pool on Tuesday. The part of the neighborhood where the pool is located is a completely different world from where I live. The houses are grander, the cars more exotic, and the women look like freaking JCrew models.

Wisteria Lane? Think people with families only look like that on TV? You're WRONG. If I was going to go watch Charlie's swim practice, I would probably throw on a pair of shorts and a t-shirt, and carry my keys, phone, and a small cooler full of Capri Suns and pretzels. What I would NOT do is dress like I was expecting to appear on the cover of Conde Nast Traveler.

So Tuesday, there I was, sitting by the baby pool (fully clothed in a pair of khaki maternity shorts and a blue Old Navy polo shirt because baby pool! Foot and a half deep! No need for me to expose my strangely shaped early pregnancy body to the whole world! Yay baby pool!), pale, stubbly legs crossed at the ankle in the water, when in walked two of the most effortlessly beautiful women I have ever seen. Both of them with perfect highlighted hair held back by perfect designer sunglasses, tan and confident in their BIKINIS despite the fact that the adorable four month old baby they had with them clearly belonged to one of them (I wonder if she saw my head explode when I contemplated what I looked like four months post-partum).

My inner monologue shifted into snark mode, but then Charlie did something cute and one of them laughed and smiled warmly in my direction.

Then I felt frumpy and mean. And I also suddenly wanted to go work out and then have my hair highlighted.

Monday, March 24, 2008


I just ordered official transcripts from the university just in case I decide to apply for a job I found near here. The job is pretty great and just a couple of exits away from our new house. After six months I would qualify for flex time, meaning Ryan could drop Charlie and Bravo off and I could pick them up around four o'clock and then spend the afternoon with them. I am qualified for the job, and better yet, IT PAYS. Like, MONEY. Money that can be used for, I don't know TWO COLLEGE EDUCATIONS in the future. Or that bitchin' minivan I've been eyeing on Craigslist.

I found the job this morning during a dark moment of dissertation despair when I was just taking a peek to see if there were any jobs out there that don't require constant self-flagellation (hee hee) and substance abuse (caffeine! Although I am sure speed or ritalin or maybe mushrooms would provide a better result). And up pops this great job. Nervous and excited, I sent Ryan the link and said I was thinking about applying for it. He replied in usual awesome husband fashion "You can do whatever you would like. I'll support whatever decision you make." All day I thought about the possibilities and mulled the pros and cons in my head.

A career! Professional validation!!

No more Baby Storytime or leisurely afternoons on the playground with our other toddler friends.

Fully funded retirement and college savings in record time (my whole salary would be dedicated to daycare and savings)!

Who would take care of Charlie when he is sick?

Work clothes! Adult conversation!


Still, I rationalized that Charlie went to daycare until 2:30 every day from age 8 weeks to 10 months and he was just fine (my poor, overpumped nippies, on the other hand, were not). I thought about my working-mom friends who seem very happy with their lives. I thought about the well-dressed women with Blackberries that I see at drop off (who, I am sure, think I am in high school from the way I dress on work days). I thought about the time I nearly died from jealousy as I sat behind a woman in a gorgeous suit who had her portfolio open on her lap to reveal her business card advertising her position as a writer at a national publication. She made phone calls and took notes as we sat in tiny chairs awaiting Charlie's daycare's "Pajama Parade". I sat there in my tshirt (Hurricane Field Project, 03!), faded jeans, sneakers, and ponytail wishing I could hide in the play fort. I thought about a professor I met once at a family get-together who found a charter school near the university so she could participate in school activities with her daughter.

Then I thought about my own happy childhood--swimming lessons, trips to the library, building villages out of popsicle sticks, movies and popcorn on rainy days, baking cookies, long summer mornings at the pool with my sister, unscheduled outside playtime, family vacations--and thought about how many of those things would not be possible if I worked full-time. Daycare has provided Charlie with many wonderful experiences that he would not have had otherwise--horseback riding, a petting zoo, music class, daily arts and crafts projects, the doting care of two adults whose only job is to make sure everyone has a good time. But, Tuesday and Thursday, we have FUN. We go to Little Gym, we play with friends, we go out for lunch together, we go to Baby Storytime and to the playground. I took him swimming in a spring the other day! Our little playgroup has plans for a train ride, the Children's Museum, and trips to the pool. And if he feels bad and needs me to hold him while he sleeps I can do that too.

Charlie is really fun to hang out with right now. He loves to try new things, he's sweet and affectionate, he's playful, independent, and curious about new things. And his nap schedule make our days together really easy and laid back.

I think I am in a really good situation right now... surely I couldn't keep up the Mom Camp routine if I had Charlie home every day. And I don't think I'd be as content as I am if not for my part time work (even if it is The Dissertation That Will Never End). But what is there for me after I finish my dissertation? Do I have to wait six and a half years until everyone is in public school before I can pursue a career? Do I have to miss out on Charlie's and Bravo's baby/toddlerhood just to ensure that I will be able to find a good job when they do go to public school? Do I have to decide to opt out altogether in the name of family sanity, despite all the work I have put into my education?

I know Charlie and Bravo will thrive whether they are in daycare or home with me--we've done both. And I know we would have a great time together as a family on weekends and holidays. And it's not that I'm worried I won't be part of his life if he went to daycare full time; it would be no different if he was in elementary school. But I genuinely like being with Charlie and would hate to have missed out on this part of his life.

I know most of the usual commenters have a variety of professional/family arrangements, so I'd love to hear your thoughts on this subject if you would like to share.

Monday Science Corner

In an effort to put the Acaduh- back in Academomia, I present a little experiment I undertook here at my WAHM desk today.

Problem: I feel crummy.

Hypothesis, H0: Eating too much Easter candy makes you feel crummy and have trouble concentrating.

Experimental Plan: Eat five more mini peanut butter cups.

Result: Fail to reject H0

Sunday, March 23, 2008

There was a bunny in my house and he brought cookies

I don't have much to say today because I'm still stuck in this fog that I've been in all week. Plus I've been thinking nonstop about why this one thing won't work in my analysis (it's always one dumb little thing) and the thing that's really killing me is that I am pretty sure I've already solved this problem and cannot figure out how I did it before. So frustrating. Probably more frustrating for my advisor.

Anyway, the Acade- part is not so great right now, so here are some great -Momia pictures of our Easter weekend. It was lovely and restful and Charlie had a great time putting the eggs into the basket and eating the vanilla wafers he found inside when he managed to get one open.

Here's a picture of Charlie on Palm Sunday last year. Somehow he slept through being taken out of his car seat, propped up in these flowers, and posed for a picture.

Charlie in the tulips

This year he was much more into the festivities. We went to a neighborhood Easter egg hunt in the park and they had a lot of fun games that were just a little too old for Charlie (including the animal display, which I thought would be perfect for him until we got to the front of the line to discover the tanks contained snakes and scorpions and centipedes, sweet dreams kids!). Fortunately we found this one which was just his speed--pick a rubber duck out of a baby pool. It wasn't crowded so they let him play for a while. He was in heaven.


Here he is with his one egg that another boy's dad gave him because we missed the two minute window for the 0-3 egg hunt.


Charlie's Easter basket (which is where we usually store hats and gloves, because we couldn't find his regular Easter basket).


The Easter Bunny's handiwork.


Charlie with "tookies". I opened the first egg he found and gave him the vanilla wafers inside. After that every time he picked up an egg he handed it to me and signed "eat". Whoops. Fortunately he didn't eat nearly as much sugar as Ryan and me, who polished off four Cadbury Eggs and half a bag of mini peanut butter cups.


Friday, March 21, 2008

Progesterone induced narcolepsy

On Wednesday I fell asleep while typing the following command into Matlab:


Hard to imagine something so enthralling knocking me out isn't it?

Well hopefully that won't happen today because Ryan and I came down to the cool part of town by the big state university (as opposed to the Stroller District, where we live) because Ryan is helping a friend with something at the university. I'm tagging along to soak up all the good academic vibes. I bet I'll finish all my analysis today and then think of something really amazing to add and then finish that too. All because of that Tier I juju surrounding me at the neat little coffee shop I found. I mean, there was literally a guy in a tweed blazer smoking a cigarette outside the front door. It's going to be a good day.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

House Pictures! Yay! If you're still interested!

So I bought batteries last week but then I was waiting for the house to be clean to take pictures but we all know that that will probably never happen again given our current/future family/professional situation. So, here are some pictures of the new place.

Kitchen. I love the cabinets, I don't love the fourth shelf of the cabinets, which, at 5'10" I am still unable to reach. I had to ask Ryan many times to retrieve various objects for me. But still, I am very excited about my kitchen.

The other side of the kitchen where Rossby is helping clean out Charlie's high chair with his mouth. The door on the left is to the half-bath, the one in the middle is the pantry/laundry room, and the right is to the back yard.

Here is the living room and foyer. The messy coffee table is like that because I am still working there while we try to get our wireless modem up and running (and because I've been craving a burger from Sonic for three days and decided today was. the. day, that's what all the paper is from). The windows on the left look out onto a wildlife reserve and at dusk a herd of deer come out of the woods and cross the street to eat the grass on the other side.
Living Room

Dining room, where Ryan and I feast on four course meals while "the children" eat leftovers at the kitchen table. Just kidding, it's usually quite the opposite.
Dining Room

Charlie's playroom... the listing called this a "home office" which I am fundamentally opposed to, (even though I work at home, which is odd, I think home should be a relaxing place). We made it a fun room instead.

Master bedroom with hastily made bed. Not pictured: TV that turns itself on every morning and scares the heck out of me when I am home alone.
Master Bedroom

Charlie's room. It doesn't have much furniture yet because his closet has a built in dresser and his dresser went to Baby Bravo. Soon we hope to have a twin bed and a desk in here (where Charlie can write my dissertation for me).
Charlie's Room

Baby Bravo's room. Those are not our handprints. I'm still deciding if that bothers me or not. Given how much I hate painting, I'm going with "does NOT bother me".
Baby Bravo's Room

Kids' bathroom and the shower curtain that nearly killed me (we HAD to find one Friday because we were having overnight guests and it was over 90 degrees and I didn't have any maternity shorts yet and Ikea and Penny's didn't have any good shower curtains. Finally I decided to go to Kohls but made a pit stop at the Old Navy nearby to buy some shorts, which I changed into in my car because the jeans I was wearing were sucking all the life out of me, and felt much better. When I came home I had to lie down because I was so exhausted from shopping for a freaking shower curtain. Isn't pregnancy magical?)
Kids' Bathroom

We call this "the park", as in "Charlie, want to go to the park?" He always does. Even when it is cold and raining, if we don't let him out in the back yard he goes and finds my keys, takes them to the back door, and tries to open it himself. Charlie has played here many times in nothing but a diaper after getting out of his baby pool but I didn't take any pictures because I am afraid of the Neighborhood Association's strict anti-redneck policy.
Swing Set

Yes, we have a Neighborhood Association, as in "If that guy has that boat in his driveway one more week I'm going to sick the Neighborhood Association on his ass." I feel like such an adult living in a neighborhood where you're not allowed to store car parts in your yard (or manufacture meth in your garage). If only the residents of Meth Lab Acres Apartment Community could see me now!

All the neighbors I've met have been great and all of them have young kids. There's an Easter Egg hunt in the park on Saturday and Friday outdoor movie nights in the summer. Our culdesac has parties in the summer too where, I'm told, the fathers and kids play kickball and the mothers drink margaritas and wait ready to call 911. There is a frisbee golf course across the street which seems to be wildly popular on Saturdays. Last weekend I saw a group of frisbee guys with a stroller, which I thought was just adorable until they turned the stroller around and I saw that it contained A COOLER OF BEER. Which is ingenius!

I don't have a visor or double jogging stroller or Honda Oddysey yet, but I think we are going to fit in really well here.

In other news, I had a good OB checkup today. I heard Bravo's heartbeat so looks like everything is nice and alive in there, probably really enjoying his diet of tea and donuts with his barely developed fetal tongue. I also met my OB for the first time and I think she's going to be great. She kind of stared at me gape mouthed when I told her I have a 16 month old and am in grad school and then asked tentatively if I was planning on finishing before Bravo is born, which I am. She seemed relieved. She also offered me phenergan for what I described as "a touch of really manageable morning sickness." I declined because phenergan knocks me out, but I like that attitude!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Like it's 1999

This weekend we attended the wedding of Ryan's cousin, here in South. It was beautiful and after a well-timed and longer than normal morning nap for Charlie I actually got to see most of the ceremony while seated comfortably in the sanctuary. The vows I heard from the lobby while I worked to keep Charlie from playing in the bowls of holy water.

Here's Charlie, dressed in the Lil' Humanities Professor Collection, including a corduroy blazer, making a run for it after the ceremony.


The reception was held outside at a beautiful park. The only problem were these ponds. There were about five of them and Charlie found them irresistable. Many times I let him lean over and look in only to have him turn around and stick a Robeez clad foot in the murky water. Later an older toddler fell in and had to be rescued by his grandfather who jumped in after him. That was scary. Later I would give Charlie two pieces of wedding cake and the last of my water because I was so grateful he was not at the bottom of a pond (thank you pregnancy horomones).

More Goldfish Please

I think we'll use this one for the Christmas card.
No-nap Charlie

Finally, here is a video of Charlie shaking his groove thang on the dance floor. Interestingly this was moments after that last picture was taken. We had to pass the dance floor to get back to our car and he squirmed until I put him down as soon as he heard, inappropriately, "I Like Big Butts" pulsing from the speakers. For about thirty minutes he screamed when we tried to get him away from the dance floor. Finally, when Ryan and I were teaching him "YMCA" he collapsed in exhaustion on my shoulder (Or maybe he was just embarrassed that he had to dance with his mom). We weren't able to capture the best moments, like the time he did this crazy thing with his arms and everyone else on the dance floor mimicked him, on video, unfortunately.

Untitled from charlielaughs on Vimeo.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Oh right, the bone crushing fatigue thing.

No pictures of the house yet. I STILL don't have batteries for my camera. It's not like I don't go to the grocery store every single day or something. I just can't remember to buy batteries until I hear the CLICK of the seatbelt in Charlie's carseat. And there's no turning back after that point. Especially because also? I am TIRED. So very tired. I remember this from when I was pregnant with Charlie but I also remember taking lots of naps and, oh, not carrying a twenty-six pound child around with me everywhere I went (until the last month of course and then it was more like thirty-seven pounds, ahem). My gosh.

And today when I got home from having lunch with Ryan my new neighbor's mother was out in the driveway with her grandkids and asked if we wanted to walk over to the park with them. OF COURSE I DID! It was sunny and in the seventies and I'd love to get to know the neighbors and the park is only a few blocks away right? Wrong! It's approximately seven-hundred blocks away and, impossibly, one of those blocks is COMPLETELY VERTICAL.

My neighbor's mother was a very nice woman and also, apparently, some kind of Olympic level race walker who yesterday went on a THREE MILE RUN just for the heck of it. Also? The dainty ten-month old girl in her stroller looked to weigh about fifteen pounds. Just sayin.

Don't grandmas sit with you at the kitchen table and offer you homemade cookies and tea anymore? This one expected me to keep up a coherent conversation as we jogged up K2 to the park. "So, what do you and your husband do?"

"He's an .." wheeeeeeze, cough "engineer" pant pant pant "I stay... " COUGH "...home with Charlie part..." huff huff huff "...time and work on my dissertation part time."

"Oh! A dissertation, is that for your masters?"

(Correcting her would require too much precious oxygen) "Yup!"

About halfway back to the house I was fairly certain I couldn't actually make it home, what with my jeans alternately sticking to my sweaty legs and then sliding off of my butt (they don't actually go all the way up in the front right now thanks to Baby Bravo, tres klassy) and my body feeling heavier and less cooperative with each step. I only kept going because I thought it would be embarassing if Super Grandma found Charlie and me asleep in the shade of the community mailbox on her way home. Maybe, maybe not.

Then, THEN! A friend from the old hood came over for a playdate, because I do not know my limits and thought two toddlers would be even more fun than one... which it really was except that we did not have an afternoon nap and when I made her coffee I did something wrong and all the water stayed up where the grounds go and she insisted that I not make another pot but then left after only an hour. THIS TRIMESTER CANNOT END QUICKLY ENOUGH.

Now I am sitting on the couch with my feet up while Ryan makes me dinner, including homemade tortilla chips. He said "You sit on the couch and make a human being, I'll make dinner." Sounds fair to me! I wonder if he'll also make me some cookies.

Saturday, March 8, 2008


After all of the craziness of the fall and Ryan's illness and the move and the miscarriage it seemed like our lives were finally settling into a reassuring rhythm. But I was wrong. On Tuesday I went for a walk with friends to a deli for lunch. I was distracted as we walked because Tuesday was the day my mom was to get the results of the biopsy of the lump in her breast.

I had to drop off her cell phone at her school so my three friends and I stopped at her elementary school, which was on the way to the restaraunt. I called the number for her classroom and an unfamiliar voice answered. I asked if she could give me the correct number for my mom's classroom and explained who I was and the voice told me I should go to the main office right away. She said "She needs you honey."

I felt panicky as I sent my friends on their way and walked into the school. I pushed Charlie's stroller into the office and was greeted by a secretary who said "Oh Charlie, you're just in time!" She opened the door to the principal's office and led us in. My mom was crying. I didn't know what to do, what to think, what to say. Bad things rarely happen in my family. We've been so lucky. I was sure that this would just be a blip, a scary couple of days followed by a huge sigh of relief. I wasn't prepared for actual bad news. I hugged my mom tightly and said "I'm so sorry, Mom."

The doctors move quickly after a diagnosis and by Thursday she was in surgery for a lumpectomy. Friday we went to see the radiation oncologist together. She will have a new procedure in which the radioactive source is placed in the cavity left by the tumor. She has to go twice a day Monday through Friday next week instead of going regularly over a six week period. We are still a very lucky family as this will likely be over after her last radiation treatment on Friday (except for lots of checkups over the next few years).

Today (Saturday) you would almost never know anything had happened at all. My mom helped unpack boxes in our new kitchen and played with Charlie and actually insisted that I rest and stop apologizing (the stress of this week and all the physical exertion of moving have resulted in some kind of super morning sickness/intestinal bug combo which rendered me almost completely useless at the worst possible moment... and yes, I did protest and insist that the kitchen was FINE please just come sit down I'll do that when I feel better, but she said she was having fun).

But that was scary. Most of this week I was full of that kind of irrational anger that you get when you bang your head unexpectedly. It wasn't directed at anyone or anything, it was just there and it was powerful. Maybe it was a mask for fear? Because I certainly wasn't allowing myself to consider the really scary possibilities. My dad won't even say the words "cancer" or "tumor". But I'm confident once again that everything is going to be ok. We are so lucky that that is the case.

Get your routine mammograms.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


Charlie just started saying "bye" with the "y" sound instead of "bah!" It gets me every time. He says "Hi!" now too anytime he or someone else enters a room. He mimicks our goofy inflection perfectly so it sounds like "Hiiiiii!" You can also see a little bit of his new teeth (or as I like to call them, The Reason I Will Never Sleep Again or Ever Finish My Degree, Amen).

Untitled from charlielaughs on Vimeo.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Things that make Charlie dissolve into a puddle of miserable, angry tears, the short list

*Being presented with breakfast

*Being asked not to feed Rossby, please

*Having breakfast taken away

*Being put in his crib

*Being taken out of his crib

*Not being allowed to drink the bottle of milk (of undetermined age) that he found under his crib

*Having to play by himself three feet away while I pay bills online

*Not being allowed to run away with my credit card

*Rossby barking

*Baby Orajel


*The toaster door being partway open

*Being offered a sippy cup/Having the refused sippy cup put away

He's just cranky because he barely slept for the third night in a row. Wow I am tired.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Analyze This

I just downloaded five songs from iTunes:

"Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen
"Somebody to Love" by Queen
"Fat Bottomed Girls" by Queen
"One Bread, One Body" by Cantemos Unidos
"Let Us Break Bread Together" by Discovery Singers

Is it any wonder the "shuffle" feature on my iPod makes me so nervous?*

*One time a friend from church, a retired Methodist pastor, and his wife came over to visit Charlie when he was a newborn and I had my iPod on shuffle. It played some innocuous folk music for a few minutes before launching right into the Office Space soundtrack, beginning with "It's Good to be a Gangsta". You've never seen a postpartum woman move so fast.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Oh right, the food thing

We watched "Old School" on Saturday night (wild wild wild, that's us) while we waited for our house guests to come back from the basketball tournament they were watching. It seemed like every commercial was for food... some made me starving and some made me have to look away (like that one for Friday's where the guy dips half his hamburger into a big bowl of what looks like tartar sauce with parsley in it). At the end of the movie Ryan said to me "So, what do you want to eat?"

"I don't know, I'll just get a bowl of Cheerios."

"What about ice cream?" he said.

"We don't have any ice cream" I said, disappointed.

"Sonic has ice cream!" He said with a smile.

"Oh! Will you also get me some popcorn chicken?"

Sure, write down your order, I'll go get it.

Here's what I gave him:

*small popcorn chicken
*sausage, egg, and cheese breakfast taco
*small popcorn chicken
*Oreo Blast

I am a freakin' de-LIGHT to live with.

Forty minutes and five days worth of calories later I was asleep on the couch in my pajamas.

Today Ryan and I took Charlie to the city's Kite Festival. The park where it was held is huge (they hold soccer tournaments there and have a dozen games going on simultaneously with tons of room to spare) and it was PACKED with people (the official estimate was ten to twenty thousand people) flying kites. There were thousands of kites in the sky of all different types (ours was a triangular plastic one with flames). The day could not have been any more perfect for kite flying. It was so windy that as we crossed the footbridge over the lake into the park we couldn't have a conversation and there were whitecaps on the lake. Charlie loved it so much he opened his mouth and shook his head back and forth all the way across the bridge (I probably should have checked for insects) making a stern bicycle cop crack up. If we weren't careful Charlie's stroller would roll away with him inside. We saw this happen to several other people.

It was total chaos with kites flying everywhere, sometimes swooping down and narrowly missing the spectators. There were kite-fliers, spectators on blankets, strollers, dogs, and hippies--lots and lots of hippies. Some kites got tangled up mid-air and some got stuck in trees. But the sight of hundreds of beautiful kites against the overcast sky was spectacular. Everyone was so nice to each other. Ryan and I were preparing to launch our kite and two cyclists came up so we lifted our string as high as we could and they ducked down and rode underneath it. If someone else's kite landed near your feet you helped it's owner launch it again. I've never seen such a large crowd be so considerate of each other.

We move into our new house on Saturday! Ryan hired movers. It's our anniversary gift to each other. What better gift than to avoid all the bickering that goes along with maneuvering a queen sized mattress up a flight of stairs?