Butterfly

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I decided to take a quick flashback to vacation today.  One afternoon, Durel, Jack and I decided to take on Key West.  It was hotter than the surface of the sun, so we didn't do much.

We did two things, though.  We sat on the porch of an old-fashioned ice cream shop and shared a dish of key lime sorbet between the three of us.  That's good stuff.

We also went to the Southernmost Point in the United States.  Well, we were one pier over from the one that everyone takes pictures of, which looks like this:



We could have walked over to it to take a picture.  We did not, because it was hotter than the surface of the sun, and walking to the end of the pier would have negated all the cooling effects of the sorbet we had just eaten.

We also stopped at a cool butterfly conservatory.  If you do not have a toddler, you read that sentence and assume that we went through the conservatory.  You would be wrong.  If you have a toddler, and have been reading closely about our TWO events already completed on a day when it's hotter than the surface of the sun, your guess is that we did not go through the conservatory.  You would be right.

We did however, in the great tradition of my family, go to the gift shop.  We got little presents for Jack's teachers, and took this picture of our Boy as Butterfly outside:


Hope your day has a cool treat and a butterfly in it,
Heather

Worth It

Friday, August 19, 2011

Sometimes, being a working mom makes me very tired.  The days can be a blur.  Get up, breakfast, commute, daycare, to work, deadlines, issues, stay hydrated, daycare, commute, 107 degree heat wave, feed dogs, dinner for Jack, bath time, bed time, dinner for grown ups, clean up, laundry, bed.

Oh, wait. I forgot to mention volunteering, yoga, half-marathon training, Junior League, and writing two blogs.

Phew.  Oh, wait.  I forgot to mention spending time with Durel, my parents, my friends, taking naps, drinking wine, or doing other fun things.  

It's a good thing I'm a Type A personality.  It's a good thing I'm a pro-style list maker.  It's a good thing I like having a lot to do.  Because it's the understatement of the week to say that there's a lot to do.

You know what?  It is totally, one hundred bazillion percent worth it.

You know why?  Because I get to spend it with him.


Here's to lists.  And wine.
Heather

Yum

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I don't have much of a sweet tooth.  I prefer a bagel over a donut, 100% of the time.  I prefer queso as an appetizer over any dessert, 100% of the time.  I did eat a hell of a lot of chocolate cake while pregnant, but I blame that on Jack.  Because the kid has a sweet tooth.

Part of me thinks that's inevitable, though.  Because sweets are good!  And let's face it.  If you've been alive for like a year and a half, and someone hands you your first chocolate chip cookie, what are you going to do?  Freak your freak.  Because it's GOOD.  And you've never HAD one before.  And suddenly, you realize that the world (aka, your parents) has been holding out on you.  From that moment on, you crave the good stuff.

Enter, Jack's love affair with a chocolate chip cookie from this weekend.


Disclaimer:  We give him lots of fruits and veggies.  Promise.  But seriously, look at that kid.

Hope your weekend had chocolate chips in it,
Heather

Brees, Baby

Monday, August 15, 2011

Those of you who have been around since the early days of this blog might remember this picture, from this post, pre-baby:

"I don't have a baby yet.  But when I do, they're wearing this.  Asap."
(This is also before I learned how to edit pictures.  Like I needed to say that.)
Jack is destined to be a Saints fan.  In fact, while I lay like a beached whale in my leather recliner, massively pregnant and on bed rest, when the Saints won the Superbowl, watching my husband and his parents whoop with pure, unadulterated joy, Jack *might* have been named Drew for about ten minutes.  Maybe not, though.

Anyway, pre-season football started on Thursday evening.  And on Friday, in honor of this divine event, Jack wore this to school.

Yup, I look good.  Like my pumped up kicks?


Why am I not in the car yet?

Oh, you want a picture of my outfit?  Why didn't you just say so?
Right, then.  Happy football season to all of us, every one.

Heather

I Took the Pledge

Friday, August 12, 2011

So...you guys.  I started this blog when I was pregnant with Jack, then known as Cheeseburger.  (Due to our decision not to know gender and my undying hunger for cheeseburgers while pregnant.)  I was on bedrest for the final two and a half months of my pregnancy.  I needed something to do with my time, spent in the leather recliner in our living room.  (Though Stacy and Clinton are great companions, I craved more.)  I also knew that friends and family would want to see pictures of Cheeseburger after he/she made their grand debut.  Since this blog started, that's what it's been for.  Lots of pictures.  Very light.  The Jack Show.

But lately, I've realized that this blog means more to me than that.    I have things to say!  About sleep, diapers, potty training (shudder), words, work-life balance, priorities, careers, and how on earth working moms make dinner every night.  

I have stoically resisted the label of "mommy blogger" because I (snarkily) thought, "I have a career, and other interests, and don't want to blog about being a mom all the time."  As it turns out, that was a naive and judgmental way to look at it.  I am a mommy blogger.  Because, you know what?  I blog, several times a week, about my beautiful boy and about the pleasure (and stress) of being his mommy.  You know what else?  I love it.  

I also love the online community of amazing, like-minded, multi-tasking, honest, candid, funny, and intelligent women that I have discovered online.  They are doing their thing, just like I'm doing mine.  Some days are good; some days are bad, but they share the love every day.  And that's awesome.

So, with that, in a seismic blog shift that may be significant to no one but me, I'm doing it.  Opening up, with honesty, about being a mom and all the nuttiness that entails.  And, to ensure that I do that with respect for all the other moms out there, I also took the pledge.  




The Mom Pledge
I am a proud to be a mom. I will conduct myself with integrity in all my online activities. I can lead by example.
I pledge to treat my fellow moms with respect. I will acknowledge that there is no one, "right" way to be a good Mom. Each woman makes the choices best for her family.
I believe a healthy dialogue on important issues is a good thing. I will welcome differing opinions when offered in a respectful, non-judgmental manner. And will treat those who do so in kind.
I stand up against cyber bullying. My online space reflects who I am and what I believe in. I will not tolerate comments that are rude, condescending or disrespectful.
I refuse to give those who attack a platform. I will remove their remarks with no mention or response. I can take control.
I want to see moms work together to build one another up, not tear each other down. Words can be used as weapons. I will not engage in that behavior.
I affirm that we are a community. As a member, I will strive to foster goodwill among moms. Together, we can make a difference. 

So, you know, there's that.  Happy weekend to ya.
Heather

No.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

When your child is a newborn, they cry a lot.  That's stressful, at least until you start to figure out what they need and what different cries sound like. (And/or get them medicine for reflux, which was sent down from heaven.)  Then, you feel like the Baby Whisperer, which, in fact, you are.  Each parent is a Baby Whisperer to their own child.  It's the perfect system:  The most gratifying reward ever is built into the world's most monumental task.

Then, when your child starts to toddle and babble, they cry less.  Because there is less reason for them to.   They're rocking their nap times, favorite toys, and sippy cups like little, well, rock stars.  Tears are for tantrums, boo boos, and other unpredictable flare-ups.    This, for the record, is a happy time in Parenting Land.

This weekend, we hit an important (and terrifying) developmental milestone.  Jack started saying, "No."

Don't get me wrong.  I am delighted to get to know Jack with words.  His personality is big.  We know this without the benefit of words.  And the words he uses are adorable and enlightening.  He loves his dogs, his parents, his balls, and his sippy cup.  The kid's got priorities.  

With the advent of "no," we're entering a new phase.  Independence.  Defiance.  Absolutes.  Tantrums.  Discipline.  Sentences.

Do I feel ready?  No.

Do I have to be?  Yes.

Will there be more stories?  Oh, hell yes.

Here's to your favorite words,

Samples

Sunday, August 7, 2011

You know what's awesome?  When you are at the grocery store and your kiddo gets hungry and there are samples EVERYWHERE.

You know what else is awesome?  When the samples include Boursin cheese, focaccia bread, and freshly made tortillas.  And your kiddo eats EVERYTHING.


That's artisan chese focaccia, you know.

Hope you have some cheesy bread today,
Heather

Swimming

Friday, August 5, 2011

Last weekend, Durel and Uncle Dustin took Jack to experience Barton Springs.  For those of you not familiar with this destination, it is awesome.  It's a three acre pool, fed by underground springs, and the water is 68 degrees year-round.  

Courtesy of City of Austin
The boys played in the shallow end of the pool.  Jack didn't mind that the water was cold, didn't mind that he got his face wet, and didn't mind that everyone was watching him as he cuted it up.

Afterward, the boys head to a shady spot in the grass to dry off and have a snack.  Swimming makes you hungry, you know.


Hope you can swim and have some Kix this weekend,
Heather

Oysters

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

When Durel and I were dating, we realized that we both love seafood.  We also realized that each of us firmly believe that *we* are from The State With The Best Seafood.  I am from Maryland. Durel is from Louisiana.

Enter, debate.  Maryland has the idyllic Chesapeake Bay, replete with oysters, rockfish, and, of course, CRABS.  



Louisiana has the epic Gulf of Mexico, replete with oysters, redfish, shrimp, and, of course, CRAWFISH.  How on earth do you decide the victor of this debate?


You don't.  Marriage is about compromise, people.  We took it as "meant to be" that we're both such seafood lovers, not afraid of eating crustaceans with our hands, and rocked on.

While on vacation, we rocked on in the kitchen with some fresh oysters.  I didn't make a recipe, per se, but tried to replicate something incredibly delicious that we enjoyed years ago at Drago's in New Orleans.

Here's what I did:  We left each oyster on the half-shell.  I made a topping of Italian breadcrumbs, minced fresh garlic, oregano, lemon juice, and Parmesan cheese.  I sprinkled that on top of each oyster, and we grilled them that way.

Works in progress.

They were delicious but, after I ate one, I decided that they were a bit dry.  So, I whipped up a white sauce with butter, flour, milk, garlic, and more oregano, salt and pepper, and topped each grilled oyster with a spoonful of that.  The results?  AWESOMESAUCE.  If I do say so myself.

My beautiful sister-in-law, Geri, enjoying the oystery goodness.
Did Jack have an oyster?  No.  He was already in bed.

Will Jack eat oysters?  I'm sure he will.

Will one of us take more credit for Jack's hereditary love of seafood?  Probably.  We'll have to wait and see.

Sprinkle some Parmesan on it,
Heather

Boyz

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

While on our recent vacation, we were able to catch up with two of Durel's cousins, Marshall and Shelly, who were also vacationing in Florida at the time.  Marshall and Shelly have two adorable sons named Colton and Caden.  They are All Boy, and they thought Jack was pretty cool.

We all head out into Key West and stopped for a refreshing beverage.  While there, PapaDu became ground zero for all of the boys' activities.  See here?  He was surrounded.  And you know what?  

He loved it.

Colton watches Jack beat on the table with approval.  Caden watches the camera.

Hope your day is filled with cuteness and adventures.

Heather

PS:  Happy birthday, Marshall!  Hope to see you guys again soon!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Butterfly

I decided to take a quick flashback to vacation today.  One afternoon, Durel, Jack and I decided to take on Key West.  It was hotter than the surface of the sun, so we didn't do much.

We did two things, though.  We sat on the porch of an old-fashioned ice cream shop and shared a dish of key lime sorbet between the three of us.  That's good stuff.

We also went to the Southernmost Point in the United States.  Well, we were one pier over from the one that everyone takes pictures of, which looks like this:



We could have walked over to it to take a picture.  We did not, because it was hotter than the surface of the sun, and walking to the end of the pier would have negated all the cooling effects of the sorbet we had just eaten.

We also stopped at a cool butterfly conservatory.  If you do not have a toddler, you read that sentence and assume that we went through the conservatory.  You would be wrong.  If you have a toddler, and have been reading closely about our TWO events already completed on a day when it's hotter than the surface of the sun, your guess is that we did not go through the conservatory.  You would be right.

We did however, in the great tradition of my family, go to the gift shop.  We got little presents for Jack's teachers, and took this picture of our Boy as Butterfly outside:


Hope your day has a cool treat and a butterfly in it,
Heather

Friday, August 19, 2011

Worth It

Sometimes, being a working mom makes me very tired.  The days can be a blur.  Get up, breakfast, commute, daycare, to work, deadlines, issues, stay hydrated, daycare, commute, 107 degree heat wave, feed dogs, dinner for Jack, bath time, bed time, dinner for grown ups, clean up, laundry, bed.

Oh, wait. I forgot to mention volunteering, yoga, half-marathon training, Junior League, and writing two blogs.

Phew.  Oh, wait.  I forgot to mention spending time with Durel, my parents, my friends, taking naps, drinking wine, or doing other fun things.  

It's a good thing I'm a Type A personality.  It's a good thing I'm a pro-style list maker.  It's a good thing I like having a lot to do.  Because it's the understatement of the week to say that there's a lot to do.

You know what?  It is totally, one hundred bazillion percent worth it.

You know why?  Because I get to spend it with him.


Here's to lists.  And wine.
Heather

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Yum

I don't have much of a sweet tooth.  I prefer a bagel over a donut, 100% of the time.  I prefer queso as an appetizer over any dessert, 100% of the time.  I did eat a hell of a lot of chocolate cake while pregnant, but I blame that on Jack.  Because the kid has a sweet tooth.

Part of me thinks that's inevitable, though.  Because sweets are good!  And let's face it.  If you've been alive for like a year and a half, and someone hands you your first chocolate chip cookie, what are you going to do?  Freak your freak.  Because it's GOOD.  And you've never HAD one before.  And suddenly, you realize that the world (aka, your parents) has been holding out on you.  From that moment on, you crave the good stuff.

Enter, Jack's love affair with a chocolate chip cookie from this weekend.


Disclaimer:  We give him lots of fruits and veggies.  Promise.  But seriously, look at that kid.

Hope your weekend had chocolate chips in it,
Heather

Monday, August 15, 2011

Brees, Baby

Those of you who have been around since the early days of this blog might remember this picture, from this post, pre-baby:

"I don't have a baby yet.  But when I do, they're wearing this.  Asap."
(This is also before I learned how to edit pictures.  Like I needed to say that.)
Jack is destined to be a Saints fan.  In fact, while I lay like a beached whale in my leather recliner, massively pregnant and on bed rest, when the Saints won the Superbowl, watching my husband and his parents whoop with pure, unadulterated joy, Jack *might* have been named Drew for about ten minutes.  Maybe not, though.

Anyway, pre-season football started on Thursday evening.  And on Friday, in honor of this divine event, Jack wore this to school.

Yup, I look good.  Like my pumped up kicks?


Why am I not in the car yet?

Oh, you want a picture of my outfit?  Why didn't you just say so?
Right, then.  Happy football season to all of us, every one.

Heather

Friday, August 12, 2011

I Took the Pledge

So...you guys.  I started this blog when I was pregnant with Jack, then known as Cheeseburger.  (Due to our decision not to know gender and my undying hunger for cheeseburgers while pregnant.)  I was on bedrest for the final two and a half months of my pregnancy.  I needed something to do with my time, spent in the leather recliner in our living room.  (Though Stacy and Clinton are great companions, I craved more.)  I also knew that friends and family would want to see pictures of Cheeseburger after he/she made their grand debut.  Since this blog started, that's what it's been for.  Lots of pictures.  Very light.  The Jack Show.

But lately, I've realized that this blog means more to me than that.    I have things to say!  About sleep, diapers, potty training (shudder), words, work-life balance, priorities, careers, and how on earth working moms make dinner every night.  

I have stoically resisted the label of "mommy blogger" because I (snarkily) thought, "I have a career, and other interests, and don't want to blog about being a mom all the time."  As it turns out, that was a naive and judgmental way to look at it.  I am a mommy blogger.  Because, you know what?  I blog, several times a week, about my beautiful boy and about the pleasure (and stress) of being his mommy.  You know what else?  I love it.  

I also love the online community of amazing, like-minded, multi-tasking, honest, candid, funny, and intelligent women that I have discovered online.  They are doing their thing, just like I'm doing mine.  Some days are good; some days are bad, but they share the love every day.  And that's awesome.

So, with that, in a seismic blog shift that may be significant to no one but me, I'm doing it.  Opening up, with honesty, about being a mom and all the nuttiness that entails.  And, to ensure that I do that with respect for all the other moms out there, I also took the pledge.  




The Mom Pledge
I am a proud to be a mom. I will conduct myself with integrity in all my online activities. I can lead by example.
I pledge to treat my fellow moms with respect. I will acknowledge that there is no one, "right" way to be a good Mom. Each woman makes the choices best for her family.
I believe a healthy dialogue on important issues is a good thing. I will welcome differing opinions when offered in a respectful, non-judgmental manner. And will treat those who do so in kind.
I stand up against cyber bullying. My online space reflects who I am and what I believe in. I will not tolerate comments that are rude, condescending or disrespectful.
I refuse to give those who attack a platform. I will remove their remarks with no mention or response. I can take control.
I want to see moms work together to build one another up, not tear each other down. Words can be used as weapons. I will not engage in that behavior.
I affirm that we are a community. As a member, I will strive to foster goodwill among moms. Together, we can make a difference. 

So, you know, there's that.  Happy weekend to ya.
Heather

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

No.

When your child is a newborn, they cry a lot.  That's stressful, at least until you start to figure out what they need and what different cries sound like. (And/or get them medicine for reflux, which was sent down from heaven.)  Then, you feel like the Baby Whisperer, which, in fact, you are.  Each parent is a Baby Whisperer to their own child.  It's the perfect system:  The most gratifying reward ever is built into the world's most monumental task.

Then, when your child starts to toddle and babble, they cry less.  Because there is less reason for them to.   They're rocking their nap times, favorite toys, and sippy cups like little, well, rock stars.  Tears are for tantrums, boo boos, and other unpredictable flare-ups.    This, for the record, is a happy time in Parenting Land.

This weekend, we hit an important (and terrifying) developmental milestone.  Jack started saying, "No."

Don't get me wrong.  I am delighted to get to know Jack with words.  His personality is big.  We know this without the benefit of words.  And the words he uses are adorable and enlightening.  He loves his dogs, his parents, his balls, and his sippy cup.  The kid's got priorities.  

With the advent of "no," we're entering a new phase.  Independence.  Defiance.  Absolutes.  Tantrums.  Discipline.  Sentences.

Do I feel ready?  No.

Do I have to be?  Yes.

Will there be more stories?  Oh, hell yes.

Here's to your favorite words,

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Samples

You know what's awesome?  When you are at the grocery store and your kiddo gets hungry and there are samples EVERYWHERE.

You know what else is awesome?  When the samples include Boursin cheese, focaccia bread, and freshly made tortillas.  And your kiddo eats EVERYTHING.


That's artisan chese focaccia, you know.

Hope you have some cheesy bread today,
Heather

Friday, August 5, 2011

Swimming

Last weekend, Durel and Uncle Dustin took Jack to experience Barton Springs.  For those of you not familiar with this destination, it is awesome.  It's a three acre pool, fed by underground springs, and the water is 68 degrees year-round.  

Courtesy of City of Austin
The boys played in the shallow end of the pool.  Jack didn't mind that the water was cold, didn't mind that he got his face wet, and didn't mind that everyone was watching him as he cuted it up.

Afterward, the boys head to a shady spot in the grass to dry off and have a snack.  Swimming makes you hungry, you know.


Hope you can swim and have some Kix this weekend,
Heather

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Oysters

When Durel and I were dating, we realized that we both love seafood.  We also realized that each of us firmly believe that *we* are from The State With The Best Seafood.  I am from Maryland. Durel is from Louisiana.

Enter, debate.  Maryland has the idyllic Chesapeake Bay, replete with oysters, rockfish, and, of course, CRABS.  



Louisiana has the epic Gulf of Mexico, replete with oysters, redfish, shrimp, and, of course, CRAWFISH.  How on earth do you decide the victor of this debate?


You don't.  Marriage is about compromise, people.  We took it as "meant to be" that we're both such seafood lovers, not afraid of eating crustaceans with our hands, and rocked on.

While on vacation, we rocked on in the kitchen with some fresh oysters.  I didn't make a recipe, per se, but tried to replicate something incredibly delicious that we enjoyed years ago at Drago's in New Orleans.

Here's what I did:  We left each oyster on the half-shell.  I made a topping of Italian breadcrumbs, minced fresh garlic, oregano, lemon juice, and Parmesan cheese.  I sprinkled that on top of each oyster, and we grilled them that way.

Works in progress.

They were delicious but, after I ate one, I decided that they were a bit dry.  So, I whipped up a white sauce with butter, flour, milk, garlic, and more oregano, salt and pepper, and topped each grilled oyster with a spoonful of that.  The results?  AWESOMESAUCE.  If I do say so myself.

My beautiful sister-in-law, Geri, enjoying the oystery goodness.
Did Jack have an oyster?  No.  He was already in bed.

Will Jack eat oysters?  I'm sure he will.

Will one of us take more credit for Jack's hereditary love of seafood?  Probably.  We'll have to wait and see.

Sprinkle some Parmesan on it,
Heather

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Boyz

While on our recent vacation, we were able to catch up with two of Durel's cousins, Marshall and Shelly, who were also vacationing in Florida at the time.  Marshall and Shelly have two adorable sons named Colton and Caden.  They are All Boy, and they thought Jack was pretty cool.

We all head out into Key West and stopped for a refreshing beverage.  While there, PapaDu became ground zero for all of the boys' activities.  See here?  He was surrounded.  And you know what?  

He loved it.

Colton watches Jack beat on the table with approval.  Caden watches the camera.

Hope your day is filled with cuteness and adventures.

Heather

PS:  Happy birthday, Marshall!  Hope to see you guys again soon!
 
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