Sunday, October 14, 2007

Ginger Yuzu

I feel really, really good about using my reusable plastic grocery bags and after I bought four plain green ones, I vowed to get a fun, mismatched set. And now Method products are making my plan that much better!

One year old

One year old
Originally uploaded by kaymaria

Oliver turned a year old today.

Since Tommy is currently a little busy participating in the wilderness challenge (we figured it was the only year we could get away with truly celebrating O’s bday on another day other than his actual birthday), I decided to take Oliver into New York for the day so we could celebrate just a little.

Needless to say, it was a great day and we partook of the stereotypical melting pot that is New York. I loaded my flickr pics backwards so you could see the proper order of the day.

We spent the night at Judah’s house last night. I had made cupcakes so we had our first commemorative birthday cupcake and O was sung too while staring mesmerized at the candle (more pics to follow but they’re in Stace’s camera which is in Mexico for the next week). The next morning I awoke to a very wet and saturated baby and Pack & Play. After clean-up, we then took the train into Grand Central Station and decided to walk down to Union Square (rather than taking the subway) to meet Lynn & Nicole for lunch. On the way, I passed the Empire State Building so I elected the help of many tourists to take our picture to commemorate the day. In doing so, we met people from France, New Zealand, and Spain. Fortunately, I was able to return the photo favor by taking pics of the French couple. Tres bon!

As we approached Union Square, we passed a really big, very tall guy wearing a sandwich board touting a suit shop going out of business. As we passed, he looked into the stroller and commented, “Ay, que lindo!” [basically Spanish for: Oh, how cute!]

We had a great lunch at Rosa Mexicano and I was able to get to know Lynn’s girlfriend, Nicole a little better. SUCH a catch!

Afterwards, we walked to Books of Wonder, stopping at Cupcake CafĂ© for an adequate but commemorative birthday cupcake. Books of Wonder is a great bookstore for kids. Oliver is obssessed with the opposites books by Leslie Patricelli. When we first moved here, I bought him Big Little because I figured his baby-baby eyes would like the bold colors. After that, Yummy Yucky soon followed. When I couldn’t find Quiet Loud at the local bookstores, I ordered it online and O acted like his long lost baby brother was finally shipped to him. He truly studies the pages and now can turn them relatively well which is absolutely insanely precious. So yesterday, though I was hesitant to encourage “the plug” (what we call his pacifier) since he kind of hangs on to it a bit too much, I looked through Binky. The ending was great. Seriously, I think Mrs. Patricelli – who is from Seattle, of course – what’s not to like?, was equally hesitant with her kids so she wrote this book. So I bought it and a signed copy of #1 (one) I love, love, love this book! I want to get Ten next…and everything else thereafter.

Another Why I Like NY Moment occurred as we left Lynn and Nicole and headed uptown. I was walking (briskly, of course) and all of a sudden, the weight of my travel mug full of coffee snapped the snap of the little mesh cup holder of O’s stroller. Granted, it was probably too heavy to support the weight from the get-go, but thankfully it waited til after we left the restaurant, bookstore, etc. So, it dropped and the lid shot off spraying coffee all over the sidewalk. A second sooner, and it would have been all over the guy walking briskly next to me. And yet, said guy bent over and picked up the coffee-covered lid to said travel mug, handed it to me, and resumed his brisk walk. I didn’t even have time to offer him a baby wipe so his hand didn’t smell like that day’s Starbucks. THAT doesn’t happen everywhere.

So we slowly headed back to Grand Central. I pulled a Mom and said, “We’re going to pop into the MAC store for a couple of lipsticks, but after that, we’ll go swing in the park.” Like I needed to bribe when it dawned on me that MAC stores are filled with women, cool lighting, and mirrors – the swinging in Madison Square Park was bonus time.

I wanted to get a picture or something to commemorate O’s first birthday so when we got to Grand Central, I decided to push further past and head for MOMA where I knew there would be artists with booths set up. We found the perfect little abstract painting done by Martha Murphy. It even looks like there’s the number one in it. AND she was super nice and allowed me to take a picture of her holding Oliver.

A great way to end a great day.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


Originally uploaded by kaymaria
My sister has become cooler than me. Granted, I’ve lost quite a lot of cool in recent years...and haven't missed it too much now that I think about it... but still, she has surpassed my peak of coolness. Initially that intimidated me but she’s smart enough to pet my ego with lines like, “You’ve molded me into the woman I have become.” I may have watered the seed and nurtured the sprout, but the bloom is all her. [I was going to go with a "running with the ball" metaphor but it wasn't girly enough.]

In the immortal words of Alabama Whitman-Worley, "...three words went through my mind endlessly, repeating themselves like a broken record: you're so cool, you're so cool, you're so cool."

Happy Birthday Jessica! Man, I love you!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Should have posted this on 9/9/07

I searched YouTube and MySpace and didn’t find anything on the person I met today and I’m truly shocked. So here’s a link to get you by.

We drove to Stamford today to see the exhibit The Motorcycle, Italian Style:
Riding the Curves with MV Agusta at the Stamford Museum and Nature Center
. Nothing like walking through gorgeous farmland with turkeys and chickens skittering about underfoot only to walk into open land filled with gorgeous Italian motorcycles. Since the show just opened, today’s shindig featured even more gorgeous bikes and the presence of Roosevelt “Rosey” Lackey. He is the 2006 Bonneville land speed record holder. What does that mean, in a nutshell? He went really really fast on salt. If you haven’t seen The World’s Fastest Indian, rent it. Even though it’s about Burt Munro who broke the land speed record in 1967, it will give you a general idea what Rosey has done and where.

Those that know me know I like motorcycles but don’t really want one. Though there are a few I covet. The point of this tome is to praise Rosey. I associate the word “gentleman” with humility – this man has accomplished A LOT and still remains humble and will gladly pick up some crazy lady’s HUGE baby when she asks if she can take a picture of him holding said huge baby. (Like you need to guess who that crazy lady was.) I asked what he thought of The World’s Fastest Indian, he of course, loved it. Then after we chatted for a moment, I went in to see the exhibit and there was a gap where his Agusta motorcycle will be once it gets shipped to the museum. I met the guy who rode the bike that is going to be in a rather important museum exhibit. Needless to say, upon leaving the exhibit, I had to go back to Rosey’s table and acknowledge that I may have downplayed his accomplishment by gushing over the movie about someone else’s similar accomplishment (he of course has met Burt Munro but that’s beside the point). I soon gushed about how impressive that gap in the exhibit was. He in turn, as any humble man would do, downplayed the gap while saying how much he loved the movie. I did the best I could to push the movie aside and thanked him for being there today.

70. The man is 70 years old.

I made an observation today. (Me? Go figure.) I really like people that are quiet about their accomplishments. Quiet a.k.a. humble. Because you don’t need to be anything more. Let your work speak for itstelf. I see it in my friend Jeff. Granted, "The Movie People" may be kind of getting to him, but fortunately/hopefully he has enough friends that will keep him in line if he gets too big for his britches. And even in me I’ve seen this silence (there are some of you out there going, “You? Silent???” but give me a minute to explain…) I moved to New York to be a photographer and I liked quite a few of the pictures I took but I realized I could not schmooze them enough to be successful so that combined probably with my laziness, made me give up the idea of being a photographer as a profession. Still though, I remember standing before people like Bill Westheimer, Howard Schatz, and other big, big photographers. I had to show my work after this guy that took gorgeous portraits of these $1 a night Venezualan hookers (seriously, they were shockingly beautiful pictures) and before the guy that followed Nixon through his Presidency and Watergate and took the clencher pic of Monica Lewinsky hugging Bill Clinton at that press junket (moral of that story to all photographers: don’t delete your digital pictures unless you’re SURE you’re not going to use them) and I was clicking through my slides like I was on a game show. Hello? Such a crowd makes a girl NERVOUS. And yet, said crowd made me stop and start over. Schatz even traded one of my pictures for one of his. I knew those pictures I shower were good, and yet, I stayed quiet. And I’m happy about that.

Sometimes quiet is good.

And yet, something tells me I'm going to cringe later for bringing myself into this entry because that wasn't very quiet after all, was it?

Seriously though, it was really, really great to meet Rosey Lackey.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


I am going to meet my new coworkers of my new part-time job today (we found all 3 seasons of The Office on DVD - this is not helping the job jitters even though it came with a free Dunder Mifflin lunch box).

I will drop off my son with the nanny for the first time today as well.

I just applied for a tax ID number for the small business I am dabbling in.

I am looking into trademarking the name.

Me. A nanny, a potential business, a trademark, and yet another new job.

I must go wash the dye off my hair even though I'm clearly giving myself more gray hairs.

Think happy, pink thoughts for me, would ya?

Monday, August 27, 2007


We went back to the farm for cukes & peaches. Apparently, telling Oliver that cows say "Moo" and actually hearing a cow say "Moo" are two totally and emotionally different things.

He was not pleased to hear the live version.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Alice Acres Farm

Turns out there's a farm nearby. Alice Acres Farm, home of Cows and Cones, their new icecream shop. Tommy, Oliver and I walked there last Friday for a cone. It's a nice-sized, gorgeous farm complete with cows, chickens, pigs, and produce. We told Annie we'd come see her this week and that's just what Oliver and I did. She was there along with Pete, the owner. Turns out, Pete's from Washington so we reminisced about you ask for "sockeye," "coho," and other yummy types of salmon there and here you just ask for "salmon." O & I picked up some tomatoes, cukes, and peaches and when I asked if she had any eggs today (I saw a sign), Annie said, "Let me see what the girls have," went off to the coop, and came back with 6 fresh eggs.

Connecticut isn't looking so bad today.

Thursday, August 09, 2007


Today is my birthday. It's been ridiculously hot so we broke down and put a window unit in our bedroom window and set up the Pack & Play for O to sleep in. This worked out great for said birthday because I was able to watch how Oliver wakes up. Normally we only get to hear him babble but this morning I saw how he talked with his bottle, his rattle bunny, the ceiling, etc. Then when I got up I got THE GREATEST smile from him and I teared up at how great of a birthday it was....and I hadn't even noticed yet the strategic placement of Lindt truffle hearts throughout the house (on the toilet paper roll, on the toothbrush holder, on this laptop, on the changing table, on the tray of Oliver's highchair - wherever I was going to be, there one was!). It was a leisurely day and after Tommy got off work, I was able to go to the gym then come home and take a long shower before going to dinner. We went to Paul's Pasta - this cute little place on the water. They make everything including the pasta on the premises. While waiting on our food, a woman came up to us and asked if we were O's parents and commented how adorable he was. We talked for a minute and she went back to her table and meal (he's cute enough to interrupt a meal!). The table next to us was equally enamoured but I think O was a bit too intimidated by the volume of the NY accent to really dazzle them with a smile. The food was great, the waitress was darling, and at the end of the meal she said something like, "There's this club where anonymous people by dinner for people and ask only that one day you do the same. Someone here who wants to remain anonymous thought you looked nice and happy and are buying your dinner and ask that you do the same for someone in the future." How cool is that?!? AND we came home to Cold Stone icecream cake.

SUCH a happy birthday it was.

I am so, so thankful.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Attempting to be unapologetic and yet....

I know it's been ages, I know this is a scattered bit of prose, but it will have to do for now so I hope you enjoy.

July 21, 2007

Mom and I sat talking in her living room this morning before Oliver woke up. Dredging up not-so-pleasant and oh-so-pleasant memories along with the quest to be able to always remember said memories (the oh-so-pleasant ones to be more specific, if you hadn’t noticed: it ain’t hard to remember the not-so-pleasant ones). I brought up my blog (not that she has internet but enough of the rest of my family does so you won’t see much venting on this thing) as a way of documenting the memories but I also noted that I don’t write on it enough though my older brother commented not too long ago, “You know how to write!” so because a good memory came out of the visit to TX Oliver and I are flying back from, for example, one with said brother, I will document a bit. I don’t think I need to remind you, I digress and this tome is no exception.

There are examples of true motherhood that my mother has shared with me that I always want to remember and live up to: After my parents divorced, we moved to Corpus Christi, TX and my mom worked full-time then went to school at night for her Master’s. As I remember, she took 9 to 12 hours per semester. This had to KILL her and she admitted that there was many a night that she drove to school crying because she was cold and tired and school was the last place she wanted to go to after working full time for the Department of Human Resources counseling 17 year olds pregnant with their 5th child and they “just don’t know why.” And yet she drove on solely for her kids.

My mom had polio when she was five. The doctors apparently told my grandmother that she would be “a cripple” (apparently the p.c. term for the time) to which my grandmother basically said, “Not on my watch.” And every morning she drove my mom from the tiny little town of Benavides, TX (“blink and you’ll miss it”) to Corpus so mom could have some sort of 1936 physical therapy (I shudder to think what that consisted of) til my mom was able to walk. But that’s not all – my tiny, little grandmother CARRIED my five-year-old mother from the parking lot to the hospital each and every day. This makes this morning’s flight from San Antonio to Cincinnati sitting next to a HUGE bowhunter* (judging by his periodical of choice) with my 26+ pound nine-month old sitting in what little, cramped lap I had seem like a walk in the park eating icecream.

So to lighten things up a bit, Tommy, Oliver and I flew to TX for a week followed by Oliver and I continuing our journey onto San Antonio by a really great, really long Texas Backroads drive by the hand of my older brother (mentioned above).

*Okay, this morning’s flight was comical enough worthy of documentation. As I said, Oliver is 26+ pounds. The flight to TX, we lucked out and he got his own seat (apparently on most all airlines except Continental, if the seat next to you is vacant, your baby can sit there in his carseat). I figured since I was returning on another Saturday (the slowest travel day, FYI), I’d have reasonable good luck. My afternoon flight through that logic off and Mr. Bowhunter, Oliver and I were rowmates. Mr. Bowhunter’s wife and son sat in the row next to us and I was thisclose to asking if the son would be willing to sit next to us rather than Mr. B but I felt that Mr. B’s son was a little too young to comply so I refrained. Well, Mr. B wore a camoflaged hat that had orange trim and some sort of orange, pro-bow logo on it. Red is too bulls as orange is to Oliver. PLUS Mr. B was not in awe of the preciousness that is Oliver so that made O that much more cute and, shall we say, assertive. His precious, biscuit hand often grazed Mr. B’s army green t-shirt to no avail and no response. None. Mrs. Bowhunter fell victim to Oliver’s charms many-a-time through the flight and she was sitting across the aisle but Mr. B? Nope. And I don’t think he did it out of anger for sitting next to big ol’ me and big ol’ baby, I kind of got a weird “out of respect I’ll ignore them”/shy, gentle giant vibe. But still, EVERY PART of me was cramping up trying to contain the force that is Oliver Who Needs a Nap Very, Very Badly in my own personal Seat 8D space [please know, I realized before this fateful trip that this was the last time that Oliver wasn’t going to have his own ticket – it was the whole Saturday flight thing that made me risk it and to confirm that gamble, I sit here typing this in my own seat with precious, sleeping Oliver sitting next to me on the flight from Cincinnati to Hartford. (Soon I get to see my husband! Soon Oliver gets to see his Daddy! Joy, joy, JOY!!!)] And yet I digress in my own “whatever this ‘*’ thing is. called” At one point in my cramping while chanting, “This too shall pass/My Grandmother carried my mother to the hospital ever yday” over and over and over, the flight attendant came up and asked if Mr. Bowhunter and I were together, he said we weren’t and she then said there was an exit row, aisle seat (my pre-motherhood favorite seat of all time second only to First Class, of course) available and he said, “No thanks, I’m with them” and pointed to Mrs. & Jr. Bowhunter. I turned and looked out the window and forced myself not to cry. The flight attendant then proceeded to ask how old Oliver was, her son was only 11 days older and approximately half his size – at least Mr. B got to discover that O was still a card-carrying baby while feeling ever so slight kharmic ramifications while being sandwiched between two first time mothers both over 35. And the flight eventually ended, and I eventually was able to stretch and walk, and all is well. God has a funny sense of humor sometimes and I knew this was one of them.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Six Months Old

Sorry it's been so long since I've written. A lot has happened between then and now. Oliver and I went to Texas for a week. I was SO nervous about flying alone with him. ("But what if I'm this upset because some part of me knows something bad is going to happen?!?" I said between sleep-deprived sobs to Tommy the night before.) But it turns out he did great (seriously, why would I even doubt he would - he's great everywhere [knock wood] so OF COURSE that would include the friendly skies). I'd like to thank EVERYONE at the Atlanta airport for being flawlessly nice and beam-y to my beautiful son AND they have a Chik-fi-la there, what's not to love! If it wasn't so hot there, I'd consider that a place to move to in 12/09. And thanks to everyone on all our flights for tolerating the precious little goblin when he wasn't so precious.

Oliver is now sitting up if you place him in a full and upright position (got flying on the brain). Granted, he doesn't stay upright forever but long enough to take some really cute Easter pics.

And the beast is now eating. We started him on rice cereal then three days later he had bananas then tomorrow he may try carrots. The first taste of each met with an unpleasant facial expression but by the second serving he was scarfing it up like a loud, grunting, big baby bird.

The house is coming along very slowly but surely. We now face new countertops and a building permit for our rockin' new shed for Tommy's dirtbikes and such (our garage is just too small to handle them) and every now and then I have time to unpack one of the many boxes that still decorate various corners of our house. And since O just fell asleep, maybe I better address another box....

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

4 months old

Oliver turned 4 months old today. He also had his 4-month Well-Baby check up so he's a bit moody since he's sporting 4, count 'em 4, bandaids on his juicy, delicious thighs.

What did his check up reveal? Well, not surprisingly, he's off the charts in height and in the 98% of weight. The boy is 28 1/2 inches long and 19 1/2 pounds! And I worried he was going to be scrawny!

He is so, so great.

[a la Holly Hunter in Raising Arizona]: Ah luhv him so mu-u--u-u-uch!!!

Saturday, January 27, 2007


My new friend Natalie had never read a blog before this one.

My real estate agent has never shopped on amazon. "Is it like ebay?" she asked (?!?).

What the hell kinda town have we moved to?!?

And yet, I can't say much about the blog since I haven't had much to say in the blog...mainly out of fear of boring you to tears.

This SAHM-ing does not a riveting girl make. And yet, the fact that I'm present for just about every "ooh" and cackle O makes does tend to warm the cockles of my heart.

We just bought a lovely house and are paying far more than I would have liked especially with the current Stay At Home Mom title but said house has an addition that would be just perfect for an in-home daycare and after-school environment and if I could find one precious little, well-balanced toddler for the former and one or two myspace-illiterate, relatively stable tweens for the latter, Life would be financially peachy.

I just wonder if it's Enough. I want to be The Greatest Mother to help O become The Greatest Kid so what can I do to be the best I can be and not succumb to boredom during naptime?

I used to want to be this bigtime photographer, til I realized I did not have the drive to schmooze my work (or was I just plain scared and/or lazy?). I have (had?) a good eye so I now feel it best to at least shoot something/anything as a hobby and as a way to prevent the right side of my brain from turning to Betty Crocker spud. And so a goal is set. I'm not sure I can dooce it, and that was probably a bad, non-motivating thing to type, but at least I'm typing that I WILL be shooting more. (And to those friends that are reading this and probably once again thinking, "Finally!", I will gladly allow you to keep prodding and encouraging.)

I have a great opportunity to stay at home with a most captivating individual who cuts a mean look in dino jammies and I plan to do my best at making this job interesting for both parties, the rest is cake. (Mmmm, cake.*)

To help keep me interesting, I WILL BE SHOOTING MORE.

So I hope you enjoy this here jellyfish that I shot at the oh-so fun Mystic Aquarium. They have a ton of hand-on things there - I got to touch several aptly-named cownose rays, a baby alligator (croc?), a starfish, etc. and for a small (large?) fee during a future visit, I could touch one of the three beluga whales which would be awesome but until then, I was oh-so happy to just look at them. Oh, and I got to see a flounder - which doesn't sound all that exciting but for some reason, I couldn't figure out how they swam and survived with both eyes on one side of their head.

More Connecticut adventures to come.

*Next step is to work on these cravings that I associate with housewifery that are far from beneficial for the spreading midsection.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

3 Months

Oliver turned 3 months old today. Three months!!! I can honestly say it's been great. Sure, there have been moments, but overall, he's a really great kid. HOPEFULLY gushing about my son won't be like gushing about my husband where that night we invariably have a tiff or disagreement though something tells me, I'll get one of O's newfound headbutts so whatever, bring it on. Oliver ROCKS! Right now he's laying on the couch beside me gnawing on his thumb and kicking me every now and then and ever so often you can hear him say, "Oh." O says "Oh." Already he's a prodigy. Granted, it's 10:53 in the p.m. but he's yawning every now and then so hopefully we'll be asleep in the next hour or two [fingers crossed].

Do you recognize this little shirt our brilliant son is wearing? It's featured in my 5/2/06 entry and is what Karry gave us when we first found out "it" was a "he" that would soon become an "Oliver."

Oliver is pretty laid back (he's now propped against my left arm staring off as his little fingers appear to be working on some sort of chisenbop calculation). He has a smile that makes me melt and his laugh, albeit only two-syllables, is infectious. Sure, he can have a full-tilt MELTDOWN where he turns beet red and reaches a shocking volume level for such a little guy, but eventually the smiles come back and all becomes right in the world.

Tommy is (of course) great with him. Lately he serenades O with a composition he calls The Mullet Song because he's at a rather....awkward stage of hairstyle. The song is set to the Mickey Mouse Club theme and goes something like this:

Super Mullet!
Super Mullet!
It comes with it's own cape!

And he also does an Steve Erwin-style Aussie accent as he becomes the Smile Hunter but the accent is too hard to type, just know it's REALLY cute and makes me beam with delight that I get to live with these two guys.

And now he's dozing in my lap so I'm going to try to put him to bed.

Happy Quarter of a Birthday Oliver!!!

And he somehow just spit up on the BACK of his neck