BatChristmas, 2013

Monday, December 30, 2013

I hope you had a fantastic holiday.

We did.  In no particular order, I will remember this Christmas as the one with a lot of homemade candy, turkey, and Batman.

(Note:  I hadn't actually made fudge before.  I made it on Christmas Eve. I didn't broadcast that it was my first attempt in life at making fudge.  I attempted to vibe out an air of expertise on the matter, actually.  And it must have worked because apparently, it was quite good.  Because, compliments aside, it was eaten.)

(Note:  I am a stalwart defender of the baked turkey.  Aside from the obvious issue that fried turkey gives me flashbacks to my Torts exam in law school, which are certain to last forever in something which may or may not resemble emotional distress, I just don't see the point in the extra calories.  But you couldn't have told me that as we gobbled (intended) the fried turkey as soon as it came out of the fryer.  A point which Durel hastened to make.  I think I actually growled at him.)

As for the Batman stuff, well...


This photo has, starting at the top and going clockwise:  insane Christmas morning hair, Superman Underoos, the BatBoat, Ironman sneakers, and the Gotham City prison.  This is serious, people.


This one has, clockwise from the top:  the BatBoat, Gotham City prison, (partially obscured) BatCave, and in the center, the BatStare.


This one features Tow Mater pajamas (soon to become hopelessly uncool, I suspect), and the BatBook (which I will soon have memorized).


And, to round it out, we have the BatSmile and the BatJammies.

Also, despite the fact that Jack has never seen the Adam West Batman show, he's learned that the right thing to say when you race around your grandparents' house with the BatBoat is:  "Nananananananana nananananananana BATMAN!"

Because, how can you not?


Hope your new shoes make you feel like a superhero today.

Talk soon,
Heather

laser beams and salad bars: a pregnancy update

Friday, December 20, 2013

Every evening when I come home from work, my sweet husband greets me with two questions:

1.  How are you?
2.  How is your urge to kill?

He asks this because he cares deeply about both answers. (Out of both love and self-preservation, I presume.)  Both answers will also clue him into what we may be having for dinner, how soon I'm going to bed, and how many people I roasted with my laser beam eyes of hormonal hate that day.

*     *     *     *     *

The bump is growing.  Most of the time, I love that.  Sometimes, at the end of a long day, I know I'm already waddling, which I do not love.  

But then the bump kicks me, and I love it again, waddle and all.

*     *     *     *     *

Commentary on the size of the bump is increasing in a proportionate ratio to the bump's size.  This week, these things were all said to me:

1.  You are looking very motherly today!
2.  You wear your pregnancy very well.
3.  OHMYGOD, you are getting SO BIG!

Two of these comments made me smile with pregnancy radiance.  One of these comments made me feel hormonal hate.  I will leave it to you to decipher which comment elicited the rage.

*     *     *     *     *

Luckily for me, Jack's curiosity (in general, too, but I mean about the baby) has not reached a level where I am not sure how to answer him.

Jack:     Why is the baby in there?
Me:       In my tummy?
Jack:     Yeah.
Me:       Because that's where babies come from.  From mommies' tummies.

(Obviously, the next question could be "How did the baby get there?"  I am very glad he didn't ask that.)

(Side note:  How did that whole stork thing start?  Isn't that an odd way to get around answering the procreation question?)

*     *     *     *     *

For the record, today is a good day.  My urge to kill is not dormant, but is minimal.  The woman who bumped into me at the Whole Foods salad bar and then gave ME stink eye, while carefully placing ONE PIECE of roast zucchini in her container, next to the ONE PIECE of broccoli, could easily have been a victim.  But that salad bar is so glorious that I refrained.  Nothing ugly should happen next to that many organic vegetables.


Hope you're wearing something well today.

Talk soon,
Heather

life lessons from the grinch

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

We DVR'ed The Grinch from TV when it was on a few weeks ago.  It was kind of an afterthought, as I rushed to hit the button, thinking, "Ooh, this could be a DVD that I don't have to buy."  If Jack likes it, that is.

(Side note:  Meet the Parents was on right before the Grinch started.  So, at the beginning of the recording, we have ten seconds of Ben Stiller doing his kung fu moves into the hidden camera -- remember that bit?  I maintain that it's some of Ben Stiller's finest work, because in every other thing he does, he's visibly trying too hard.  It makes him seem constipated in some fundamental way.  But, I digress.)

Anyway, Jack not only likes the Grinch.

Jack LOVES HIM SOME GRINCH.

In an effort to make sure Jack understood the meaning of the Grinch, Durel and I asked Jack what he thought it was about.

Jack:     I don't know.

Me, hopeful still:     Jack, what is the meaning of Christmas?

Jack:     PRESENTS!!

Me:      What the Grinch means is that Christmas isn't about presents.  It means that Christmas is in our hearts.

Jack:     [silence]

Me:     Jack, where is Christmas?

Jack, obligingly:    In our hearts.

I mean, I'll take it.  Right?  Also, I learned that the Grinch has taught us other things.  Last night, I made barbecue chicken for dinner.  (Crock pot.  Delicious, if I say so myself.)  I cut some up and gave it to Jack, who promptly scrunched up his nose.

Jack:     I don't like that.

Me:       It's barbecue chicken!  Try it.

Jack:     No.

Me:       It's roast beast, Jack.

Jack:     ROAST BEAST!  [begins gobbling]

So, there you have it.

1.  Roast beast is delicious.


2.  Christmas is in our hearts.


Hope your day involves unexpected kung fu AND roast beast.

Talk soon,
Heather

from whence this blog came...

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

About four years ago, I found my pregnant self, parked in a leather recliner in our house, looking for something to do.

I was pregnant with Jack then, who we didn't know was Jack, so instead was called Cheeseburger. 

I was on bed rest, and very close to maxing out on episodes of What Not To Wear, so I decided to start a blog.

I also wrote another blog at the time, which has since been put to rest, but that's another story.

This blog, however, is going strong.  And since I have't come right out and said so, per se, GeauxBaby is about to be about more than one little.

You see...


There are a few things I can tell you about this:

-- In keeping with our tradition of nicknames based on cravings, this little one is known as Chilito.  This is because Durel makes awesome chili, and I force him to make it for me at least every other weekend.

-- I eat said chili over top of a bed of pasta (angel hair is my favorite), with shredded cheese, diced jalapenos, and a dollop of sour cream on top.  Every time I eat it, I behave like a caveman, yes, but I also reminisce about good times had at Hard Times in Alexandria, Virginia.

-- The expression on my face in the picture above is a mixture of total excitement and joy, mixed with the realization that my bump ain't small, folks.

-- I have heartburn.  

-- Yesterday, I texted Durel to warn him that I  needed dessert, and that if I did not get it, I might become homicidal.

-- He brought dessert.  (He's smart.)

-- Jack is pretty nonchalant about becoming a big brother.  He is more excited about Christmas and his birthday.  Prioritizing parties and presents over poopy diapers does indicate his brilliance and pragmatism.

-- This second child is long-awaited and much anticipated.  I am one lucky lady.  

-- Chilito is a boy.  I'm ready for soccer games galore!  Yay!

Hope you get dessert today.  It's really good.

Talk soon,
Heather

things overheard at our house

Monday, December 9, 2013

It's busy times, folks.

Durel and I are both super busy at work.  Jack is busy anticipating Christmas.  We are buying presents, getting our home ready for guests, decorating, and the like.  (We also make time for cuddling on the couch in our pajamas and watching excellent things like Monsters, Inc. and the Grinch.)

Jack is extremely busy saying things that amuse and surprise us.

Here are a few:

From top to bottom:  Sully, Mike Wazowski, and Boo.  FYI.

Jack:  I want to name the baby "Boo."
Me:   OK, well if we don't name the baby, "Boo," what else would you name it?
Jack:  Mike.
Me:    Mike Wazowski?
Jack:  [with what can only be described as a withering look]  NO.  Mike BERNARD.

*     *     *     *     *

(About five times a day, at full volume):  CHRISTMAS IS AAAAALLLLLLMOST COMING!!!

*     *     *     *     *

(When I was sick in bed the other day):  Do you want to read a book all by yourself?  Here.
(Hands me a book from my nightstand.)

*     *     *     *     *

Mom, Lucy's going to dress up as Darth Vader.

Not sure Lucy minds being villified, if it gets her pettings.
*     *     *     *     *

Mom.  HEY MOM.  Momma!  Moooommmmmyyyy....  MOM!

*     *     *     *     *

Mom.  Hey Mom.  Mom!  I want a pickle!  Mmm nom nom nom nom I LOVE PICKLES.



Hope your day is both salty and sweet.

Talk soon,
Heather

ain't nobody got time for that

Friday, December 6, 2013

There is no Elf on the Shelf at our house.  

(Editor's Note:  Elf on the Shelf = recent cultural phenomenon where you take a toy elf, give it a nickname, and move it into different places in your home every morning to make your children believe that it's watching them and reporting back to Santa on whether they are naughty or nice.)

You (the family) give your elf a fun name, like Candy Cane, or Rudolph, or Bing Crosby, and then you (the parent) move them around each night.  You (the parent) are supposed to be creative.




I love my family.  I love Christmas.  Beyond words.

But, you know what?  I am not doing this.  I will forget.  I will not be creative.  Is it really necessary?  Is that elf a little creepy?  Do we need it?  

Instead, I snagged a picture of myself with Santa at Christmas Affair.  It's on my phone.  I showed it to Jack and told him that Santa and I are buddies, and that I could call him at any moment if Jack was being naughty.


I mean, I think that's pretty creative, and it doesn't involve me smearing Nutella on a doll's face when I'd really rather be sleeping.

Also, when you're 5 months pregnant, you try to streamline things, and you tend to be a little more blunt than usual.  So, there's also that.

Hope you find a way to keep it real today.

Talk soon,
Heather


yes, I know it's December

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

We have two Christmas trees and one Advent calendar in full effect at our house.

We ate a lot of turkey and pie.

But before I move onto those things, I have to, just have to, share these pictures from Halloween.  Because I forgot and they're AWESOME.

And Jack is obsessed with all things super (including The Incredibles), and so it's late but apropos, anyway.  (Did you know that's how you spell apropos?  Not "apros pos", as I originally tried it?  Huh.)


Not sure how I did this, but it looks like he's TAKING FLIGHT.  Right?

Did you know Superman and Batman are besties?  I did.

Seriously.  Stopping crime in its tracks with sheer cuteness.

OK.  I'm back on track now.

Hope your day involves getting caught up on something totally important.

Talk soon,
Heather

the one where Jack and Santa are totally up to something

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Last year, Jack wanted nothing to do with Santa.

This year, he definitely got the memo that Santa is a good person to have in your corner.

Not only did I not have to sit in the chair for the photo, but apparently Jack and Santa became fast friends.

See?

They sat down for a meeting of the minds and seemed surprised that there was a pesky paparazzi there snapping away.  Hey man, we're trying to talk here.


Now, let's get down to business...  This is trouble.  Clearly.


Safety meeting successfully held, they politely posed for the paps, looking angelic.


But we know better.

After this, Jack gave Santa a hug and they "ho ho ho'ed" at each other.

Hope your day is delightfully conspiratorial.

Talk soon,
Heather

stewardesses, then and now

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Once upon a time, a long long, time ago, my family played Pictionary.

It was new then.  We were excited.  The Davies family is a creative lot -- skewing toward the nerdy side, even.  And we LOVE to get our board game on.

The time came for my beloved Dad to draw.  His word was "stewardess."  (Again, this was a while ago.  People still totally used that word.  Pre-PC.)  He drew an airplane.  He tapped on it.

We guessed everything we could think of related to planes and flight.  We didn't, however, go inside the plane with our guesses.

Dad grew frustrated.  He continued tapping on his pencil-drawn 747.

TAP TAP TAP.

We kept guessing.  In retrospect, we weren't that smart, because how many flight-related words do we really know?  And we STILL didn't guess stewardess?  

TAP TAP TAP TAP TAP!!!

We didn't get it. The timer ran out.

STEWARDESS.

That was the first and last time Dad ever played Pictionary.  We told him that we're glad his brain works differently than ours.  Business school and all that.  What would we do without him?

*     *    *     *     *     *     *     *

In some ways, raising a 3 1/2 year old is a lot like playing Pictionary with my Dad.  If you don't know what they're talking about, it's really up to you to get creative and figure it out.  They are going to TAP that picture until you do.

Last night, Jack asked me on the way home if he could watch "the Michael movie."  I wracked my brain.  There are no characters named Michael on any of his favorite shows or movies.  I told him that I didn't know what he meant.

"Momma, I want to watch the Michael movie!"  (TAP TAP)

"But, Jack, I don't know what that is."

"The MICHAEL MOVIE!"  (TAP TAP TAP)

"Ok.  If you can show it to me or find it, we'll see if you can watch it."

When we got home, Jack efficiently went through the drawer containing his DVDs and proudly pulled out the Michael movie.

It is called An American Tale.

Michael = Fivel.

STEWARDESS.

Phew.

Movie night was, of course, a great success.  (And wouldn't have been complete without a shout out to Uncle Dustin and Aunt Geri, who are fond of that movie and their nephew.)

video

Hope your streets ARE filled with cheese today.  Because that would be awesome.

Talk soon,
Heather

the tradition continues...

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Every year, I take Jack to Breakfast with Santa at the Christmas Affair, hosted by the Junior League of Austin.

Despite the fact that I can't comprehend that Thanksgiving is next week, the Christmas Affair is upon us and our special Mommy and Jack day is this week.

I told him where we are going, in part because I wanted to encourage good behavior and in part because last year, he got skeeved out and didn't want to sit on Santa's lap.  I thought some solid preparation would prevent this year's picture from being a do-over of last year's masterpiece.

Jack and Santa, 2012

OK, I lied.  I don't think we went in 2011.  But I think that the 2010 picture probably  makes up for it:

Jack and Santa, 2010
Anyway, Jack told me that he's going to give Santa a hug and ask him for a horse.  Which would be progress, given the past years of awed stares and abject terror.

So, you know.  We'll see how it goes, on several levels.

Oh, and for the record, I am a member of the Junior League of Austin.  I'm proud to be part of this group of talented, dynamic women who work incredibly hard to do amazing things for the community.  The least of which is creating the magic of Christmas, oh, annually, and raising millions of dollars to give back to Austin.  

Hope you dream big and speak up today.

Talk soon,
Heather


mid-term elections

Monday, November 18, 2013

Foreversville, Bunny has been Jack's ultimate compadre.

Technically, that is still true.

However, there's a little competition brewing.  From Dee Da, of all people!

I feel like Bunny is the one who's full of unconditional love and support and enthusiasm.  And for Jack, that is what has made Bunny his best friend for ever and ever.  Pardon my French, but when four year old shit gets deep, it's Bunny that Jack runs for.

On the other hand, I feel like Dee Da is the buddy who lopes in with the well-timed joke and makes Jack laugh.  And that Jack is realizing the value of having another best friend, too.  Maybe even, a sarcastic, dotted one.

Case in point:  Jack took Dee Da to Show and Tell last week.   I mean, hold the phone, people.


On a related note, I was out of town last week.  And I can confidently say that my risk-averse self would NEVER have let Jack take Dee Da to show and tell, for the utter fear of WHAT IF SOMETHING HAPPENS???

But, I give Durel full SuperDad credit.  He let Jack take Dee Da.  Dee Da came, saw, and conquered.  And everything was OK.

Phew.

Hope you are surprised by who may or may not be calling the shots today.

Talk soon,
Heather

from our great pumpkin to yours...

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!


Hope your trick or treating leaves you with a silly, Smarties-induced grin.

Talk soon,
Heather

proof is in the...well...schnapps, I guess

A few days ago, I was reminiscing about that time in Germany, when my friends and I were drinking schnapps out of little bottles.  And posing for pictures with the caps on our noses?

So, yeah.  I found that picture last weekend.  And I just feel the need to put my money where my big bloggy mouth is.

Here you go:


I will note that even in a foreign land, schnockered on foreign spirits, the future Proper Paige knew better than to have her photo taken with a bottle of alcohol (of any size) hanging out of her mouth.

[Takes bow.]

Hope your photos are only moderately incriminating today.

Talk soon,
Heather



a call to arms (or hands, specifically)

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Jack's (awesome) school sent this picture recently.  He's working on his letters.  You know, as we do.

And I was quick to note how dark his hair is getting and how he's totally left-handed.  JUST LIKE HIS MOMMA.

And to that, I say:


Hope you feel some solidarity today.

Talk soon,
Heather

the one in which we leap tall curbs in a single bound...

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

I've dressed up as Wonder Woman for Halloween before.  It was sort of during Durel and my courtship.  I'm sure Emily, Sean, Sally, and Okie Roy remember that evening very well.  Clay might remember, too.  Other than that, we shall leave it in the annals of history.

This year, I will be dressing up as Wonder Woman for Halloween again.  I will not be wearing the same costume I wore 12 years ago.  Nope.

I will be wearing a cool-yet-mom-appropriate costume.  Because, after all, I am Superman's mom (new origin story; take note).

I am not really cool enough to know what origin stories are.
Durel totally taught me the term.
We debuted our costumes for the Fall Festival at Jack's school last week.  There were hot dogs, cake pops, frozen yogurt, a bouncy slide thing, a band, and games in every room.  Jack's school does not mess around.  It was completely awesome.   (There was also a silent auction, where we bought things.  It really was fun for all ages.)

And, with one more origin story being shredded with disregard by our family, Durel was super, too.  He brushes off comparisons to Hugh Jackman.  Okay, Wolverine.  

This photo was taken with Durel's insanely awesome
Windows phone.
Anyway, Jack and his buddies got down to business.  Who needs a mosh pit when you can stand on a hay bale?  And, I mean, the SWAT team is already there, so you know it was NUTS.




And, it was nuts.  SuperJack danced, bounced and slid, ate hot dogs with wild abandon, gamely posed for pictures, played games, zoomed around with his cape streaming behind him, and only melted down at 8:30 when we informed him, gravely, that it was time to go home.

Even supers have their limits, you know.

Hope you zoom around like a super today.

Talk soon,
Heather

Enter the Lederhosen

Monday, October 21, 2013

Somewhere, there is a picture of me at an Easter bonfire in Hannover, Germany.  I think the year was like...1998.

I am moderately intoxicated and cheesing it up for the camera with several friends.  We all have little white things on our noses.  Those little white things are the caps of our little mini bottles of schnapps, which we were drinking by gripping the neck of the (tiny; like vanilla extract size) bottles between our teeth and tipping our heads back.

They told me, my friends, that you have to take a picture with the cap on your nose.

So, we did.

In the fifteen years that have passed since then, I have matured considerably.  (She said, convincingly.)  I am 100% sure that I would definitely still drink schnapps that way at an Easter bonfire in Germany.   No doubt.  

But in contrast, I will also take Jack to a Hill Country Oktoberfest to make sure he's adequately exposed to his roots.  And their sartorial history.

Enter the Lederhosen.


This is Jack at the recent Oktoberfest in Fredericksburg, Texas.

He is wearing a vintage pair of grey suede Lederhosen that, I believe, were purchased by my dear departed grandparents in Germany in the 1950's as a gift for my brother, who was then a wee bairn.  (We're Scottish, too.) (Yes, we're spaced out quite a bit.)

Let's just say that the fans were a little gaga over that sweet guy in his Lederhosen.  We bought the hat at the festival, and it definitely added some snap to his outfit.  The little bear is also in Lederhosen.  We named him Freiderich von Lederhosen, but Jack has taken to calling him "Freeder" for short.

Hope your outfit really reflects who you are today.

Talk soon,
Heather

it's those preppy choices that can get you

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

I applied Early Decision to Middlebury.

To someone not from the East Coast and/or who doesn't treat liberal arts college admission as a competitive sport, that doesn't mean much.

Middlebury College is a gorgeous college in Middlebury, Vermont.  It is a very academic, very preppy, and very picturesque place.  I had decided that's where I would be an English major, run around in autumnal splendor, and spend four years becoming my most awesome self.

Here's a picture, so you can picture it:

Image credit.  Seriously, right???
 Apparently, Middlebury was not as enamored of me as I was of them.  My application was deferred to the regular decision applicant pool, which was a hard core slap in the face to my idealistic, enthusiastic, overachieving high school self.  That means you have to apply to other colleges and, like, wait it out. [Insert Kristin Stewart's one facial expression.]

So, the search continued.  The family search committee, led by Captain Dad, the College Hunter, explored New England, because that's where I had decided I wanted to be.

We visited a lot of places.  [Smiley face.]  One of them was Bates. Bates is cool.  I walked around the campus to do a "vibe check."  I liked it.  I didn't feel out of place, like I was dressed like an idiot, or like people realized I was a stranger.  Hmm.  

And, let's not overlook that Bates is also gorgeous, very academic, very preppy, and very picturesque.

See?

We totally had classes sitting outside on the Quad.  Not even joking.
 
This picture does not show a lot of snow.
When you live in Maine, this is not a lot of snow.
As it turned out, Middlebury did accept me.  But by then, Bates had already accepted me, too.  Faced with the decision of where to go, I found myself totally happy about the thought of going to Bates.  I also found myself completely annoyed with Middlebury for making me wait for so long and feel all icky and half-rejected.  

I realized that I was just a name on a list.  (Granted, this was true at both schools but it pissed me off vis a vis Middlebury.)  And that if I didn't take the spot, they would call some other girl and make her happy that she'd finally gotten in.  

Screw that!, I thought, with a lot of emotional bravado, to myself, at age 18.  

I'm going to Maine.

And so, I did.  It was awesome. And I, as predicted, was an English major, ran around in autumnal (and snowy) splendor, and spent four years becoming my most real self.  It was fan.tas.tic.

Where was I going with this?

Oh, it was cold today in Austin, and this happened.  




And my heart burst into a million pieces, and I don't even want to think about him going to kindergarten, much less college, and I got all nostalgic for Maine and changing leaves, and how was college so long ago? and sunrise, sunset so quickly go the days...you know?

Hope you find an unexpected wellspring of emotional bravado today.

Talk soon,
Heather

today's post is brought to you by the letter "T"

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

My parents think Jack is perfect.

Now, on principle, I'm not going to disagree with them.  He's amazing.  But...they don't wipe his bottom and deal with his tantrums.  So their rosy view is unfettered by unpleasant details.

My mom is known for her candor.  She is a lady who speaks her mind.

She has told me several times something to this effect:  "I know all of my children were smart.  You could tell.  But I'm telling you, none of you were as smart at this age as Jack.  He's smarter than all of you were."

[As Sara would say, "Damn, Gina!"]

But also, cool.  Because if Jack grows up to like, cure cancer or be President or teach at Harvard, I'd be WAY PSYCHED.  

As if to prove his Grammy's point, Jack spontaneously started asking me how to spell things over the weekend.  In response, I flipped the question around and taught him how to sound things out.  We sounded out everything from racecar to cereal.  No kidding.  And he did a really good job.  

Hmm.  [Have you met my son, the doctor?  It has a certain ring, doesn't it?]

Anyway, apparently today's post is brought to you by the letter "T"...


Which stands for, just off the top of my head and all:

  • toothy grins
  • timid in front of the camera
  • traveling (double decker bus shirt as precursor for a year at the London School of Economics, clearly)
  • threenager (oh, is he ever one right now)

Hope your "T" words are terrific and timely today.

Talk soon,
Heather

to do lists

Thursday, October 10, 2013

I am a serious list-maker.

I have a work to do list.  I have a personal to do list that I keep on my phone.  (I use Wunderlist.)  Each weekend, when I assume I will have more time, energy and motivation than I have ever had on any weekend before in my life, I make my "weekend to do list" on paper.

Jack's not ready to make lists yet, but he does show hints of his mommy's, shall we say, propensity to organize.  He lines his toys up, just so.  He is adamant about his bedtime routine, with all of its idiosyncrasies.  (I'll spare you the details on this, but just believe me.)  He prefers to visit the pantry to pick out his *own* granola bar or bag of fruit snacks, thankyouverymuch.

If Jack had made a to do list for today, here's what it would have looked like.

1.  Demand apple for breakfast.
2.  Debate whether to eat apple at home or at school.
3.  Eat some of apple at home.  Insist on taking the rest to school.
4.  Change mind.  Continue eating apple at home.
5.  Wear Superman shirt.
6.  Meet firefighters.
7.  Pose for picture in firetruck.
8.  Get very shy when posing for picture.
9.  Keep it real like only a 3 1/2 year old can.


Hope you have a productive day.  And an apple.

Talk to you soon,
Heather

I'm not as smart as I thought

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

My sister-in-law refuses to play Trivial Pursuit with Durel and I.  She says it's too humiliating because we know so much stuff.  As much as we've tried to change her mind, she won't budge.  (As in, she doesn't even want to be on our team.)

Which is a bummer, because I love Trivial Pursuit.  But is also a compliment because she insists that Durel and I are, like, encyclopedias...

However, as a boy momma, I'm learning what it is that I don't know.  I have not the foggiest idea about football (not a newsflash).  But evidently, I know pretty much squat about dinosaurs, too.

Last night:

Jack:  Mommy, did the Ice Age kill the dinosaurs?
Me:   (Shit.  I don't know.  I've got a 50/50 chance.)  Yes.
Jack:  NO, IT DIDN'T!
[pause]
Jack:  Mommy, did the Ice Age kill the dinosaurs?
Me:    (Shit.  I still don't know.)  No.
Jack:  That's right!  Mommy, what did kill the dinosaurs?
Me:    (Shit.  This is like law school.)  I don't know.
[silence]
Me:    Jack, what killed the dinosaurs?
Jack:   THE VOLCANO!

Image credit
So, being the smart ass that I am, I decided to follow up on this so that I could feel a tiny bit less clueless.  Though I'm pretty sure Jack's done with me on this topic after my bungled answers last night.

Per National Geographic, I learned:  
New insights about the asteroid thought to have killed off the dinosaurs suggest it may have just been the final blow, and that the reptiles were already suffering from a finicky climate prompted by volcanic eruptions long before the meteorite struck. (Link above, under picture.)
And per Jack, I can now somewhat visualize said volcano:



You see, he and his buddies are doing a project.  They've built a volcano, and today is the day they MAKE IT BLOW UP.  

Ice Age.  Sheesh.  Can't believe I fell for that one.

Hope you learn something prehistoric today.

Talk to you soon,
Heather

partypartyparty

Monday, September 23, 2013

Jack had the pleasure of going to a buddy's pirate birthday party this weekend.  I wasn't there, but I heard that an amazing time was had by all.

Thanks to Emily for hosting yet another mAAARGHvelous party.  Thanks to Terra for capturing these moments of Jack enjoying the party.  And concentrating on enjoying the party.  He does have quite a bit of focus, doesn't he?



Hope your day includes thoughtful friends and high quality images.

Talk to you soon,
Heather

the song that must not be played

Friday, September 20, 2013

I don't have very much music on my iPhone.  Quite frankly, I am not that organized.  And my phone is so full of pictures of Jack that there's not a lot of room for music.  First world problems, right here.  I know.

I do have music that I've bought on my phone.  Most of that is purchased in a fit of afternoon rush hour pique when the radio stations suck and I need to keep my sanity.  Other purchases include running music.  Running music is the stuff that you won't cop to listening to in "regular life," but will get you through the last mile of a race or long run.  (Exhibit A:  Cypress Hill, Insane in the Brain.  It's on my phone.  Anyone who went to Bates with me and went to a Den Terrace party will understand.  The rest of you are totally allowed to laugh and think I'm nuts.)

I can't remember exactly when I bought the Ellie Goulding.  I have a vague understanding that people either love her or hate her.  I love her.  I love "Lights."  And she performed at Will and Kate's wedding reception.  And the song "Anything Can Happen" was the theme song for Season One of Girls, which I watched in one day on HBO demand.

So...the other day, I had my phone plugged into the USB port in my car, which automatically makes my super-smart car stereo start playing music from it.  I have no idea why it starts wherever it does, but this day, "Anything Can Happen" started up.  Jack and I had just gotten in the car after the pick-up from school.

And so it began.

Jack:  "MOMMA, I DON'T LIKE THAT GIRL SONG."

Me:    Uh.  OK.

Jack:  MOMMA, TURN IT OFF RIGHT NOW.

Me:    Well ... OK.  [I mean, what?]

Jack:  Don't play that girl song.  Ever again.  Right?

Me:    Uh.  OK, buddy.  [Thinking:  Not when you're in the car, clearly.]

As if that wasn't hilarious enough, evidently the song lingered in Jack's delicate psyche for a while.  The next day, over 24 hours later, while we were brushing our teeth at bedtime...

Jack:  Momma.  You never ever don't play that girl song again, RIGHT?

Me:  OK.  No, I won't.  [WHAT?]

One of the ways in which karma is apparently getting me now that I am a parent is by giving me an extremely opinionated child.

Hope karma is kind to you today.

Talk to you soon,
Heather

gigglefest 2013

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The other night, this happened.

We were having Mexican.  I made a crazy face and demanded a kiss.  Hilarity ensued.  (Luckily, the intrepid videographer didn't capture my face.)

video

Hope your day involves some giggles and a kiss at the end.

Talk soon,
Heather

my cute mom

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The other day, I had the pleasure of a luxe Sunday brunch with my parents and two dear friends.

They charmed, as they always do, that Jan and Morris.

In fact, my sisters and I have a running list of our friends who would like to be adopted by the Davies, should they suddenly start adopting extra, fully grown children.  That's a testament to their unique brand of cute and cool.

This picture was taken that day, and it's too damn cute not to share.


To know Jan is to love her.  And to help you know her just a smidge, here are a few things about her that I find notable/fascinating/funny/cool.

1.  Though she humors Dad and I in our tastes for fancy food, she would really always prefer a cheeseburger.

2.  She lurves her some John Denver.  

3.  She also lurves her some lavender.  It is her favorite color.  Big time.  (Note:  Her blouse in the picture above.)

4.  When I was in 7th grade, she had a benign brain tumor the size of a grapefruit adjacent to her occipital lobe (related to vision and short term memory).  After 13 hours of open-head brain surgery, she essentially did her own physical therapy by doing daily crossword puzzles and resuming her intricate sewing and embroidery.

5.  She never curses.  (And wishes I wouldn't, either.)  

6.  She LOVES Christmas.  And boy oh boy, so do I.  We decorate, play Christmas carols as early as possible; decorate huge trees -- the whole nine yards.

7.  She taught me to embroider.  She taught my sisters, too.  Admittedly, Cristy is doing the most with this knowledge.  

8.  At her linguistic peak, she was fluent in Spanish, Portugese, and conversational in French and Italian.  She is still fluent in Spanish.  It's awesome.

9.  She cares not one bit about cars.  She doesn't know a Gremlin from a Rolls.  My dad and I marvel over it, but it's endearing nonetheless.

10.  She does not "do the computer."  Therefore, to be fair, I will print this and show it to her.

Hope your day is all fun like a top ten list.

Talk soon,
Heather

the supers

Monday, September 16, 2013

Dinosaurs are cool.  Cars are cooler.  Trains are pretty cool.

Superheros are the coolest.

Many thanks to Uncle James and Aunt Jenny for keeping Jack in the age-appropriate superhero literature.

Jack and I both have these pretty much memorized.  It's awesome.


Also, Jack still insists that I am Wonder Woman.  I am in no hurry to disillusion him.

Hope you suspend some disbelief today.

Talk soon,
Heather

it's never too early to think about a career

Friday, September 13, 2013

Jack does The Coolest Stuff at school.

For example, this week, his class froze plastic dinosaurs into a big tub of ice.  Then, later in the week, they were paleontologists.  They dug their dinosaurs out of the ice and talked, appropriately, about the Ice Age.

Seriously.  And there were hats.


Last night, after story time, I asked Jack what he wants to be when he grows up.  He had just told me his own story, which sounded an awful lot like We're Going on a Bear Hunt (which we had just read), but with enough twists to make it "his own."  Clever.

I said, "Do you want to be someone who writes down stories?"  (Ever the writer, turned lawyer, though still a writer, but a lawyer, and since when did I have to decide what I wanted to be, anyway?)

Jack said, "Maybe.  And a doctor."


I glowed with pride.  Even if he's not a doctor.  Doesn't every mom love hearing that?


Jack continued, "And a cat-petter."

I laughed.  A real laugh.  Because I am not particularly fond of cats, which has a lot to do with me being allergic to them and a lot to do with me totally preferring dogs.  But the thought of Jack sitting contemplatively in an office and petting a cat, well, that's funny.

Enough discussion of careers for one day, right?  He's clearly on the right track.

Hope your career aspirations are realized today.

Talk soon,
Heather

initiation, with hazelnut

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Jenny studied in London during her junior year of college.  

Much to my middle school delight, Mom and Dad and I went to visit her.  It was pretty much the coolest thing that had ever happened to me, that LEAVING THE COUNTRY thing.  Galena Middle School did not boast many international travelers.  I daresay it still does not.

Anyway, one of my little sister privileges was to spend the night with Jenny and her flatmates at their flat.  (It's not an apartment!  It's a flat!  England is SO cool. -- I thought.)  

Now, being a college student saving her pennies (and pence) for important things like Doc Martens and pints at the pub, breakfast at Jenny's flat was, shall we say, minimal.  Tea and toast.  Toast and tea.  That's what we had.

Granted, I didn't want to give up the cool factor of staying overnight in a flat, but the spoiled 12 year old me might have teleported herself back to the cool hotel where she was otherwise staying for the cozy and posh breakfast they were serving.  But, not an option, so tea and toast it was.

At some point, Jenny brought out this Nutella stuff.  You put it on your toast, she said.  YOU'LL LIKE IT, she said, with what I remember imperfectly to be growing impatience because suddenly, breakfast at the hotel didn't sound all that bad to her, either.  A full English breakfast, mind you, is awesome.

OK.  Give me some Nutella.

And then, the rest was history.  We ate our Nutella toast in a haze of choco-nutty happiness and our concerns about breakfast were a thing of the past.    

*     *     *

I didn't want Jack to wait as long as I did to discover the magic of Nutella.  I mean, why wait?

So, the other evening, he and I decadently had Nutella toast for dinner.  (My ears are closed to any judgment.  I just don't hear it.)

I hadn't had it in a long time.  Damn, it's good.

Oh, and Jack agreed.


So, you know.  That's a win.

Hope your day involves a nice cuppa.

Talk soon,
Heather

Monday, December 30, 2013

BatChristmas, 2013

I hope you had a fantastic holiday.

We did.  In no particular order, I will remember this Christmas as the one with a lot of homemade candy, turkey, and Batman.

(Note:  I hadn't actually made fudge before.  I made it on Christmas Eve. I didn't broadcast that it was my first attempt in life at making fudge.  I attempted to vibe out an air of expertise on the matter, actually.  And it must have worked because apparently, it was quite good.  Because, compliments aside, it was eaten.)

(Note:  I am a stalwart defender of the baked turkey.  Aside from the obvious issue that fried turkey gives me flashbacks to my Torts exam in law school, which are certain to last forever in something which may or may not resemble emotional distress, I just don't see the point in the extra calories.  But you couldn't have told me that as we gobbled (intended) the fried turkey as soon as it came out of the fryer.  A point which Durel hastened to make.  I think I actually growled at him.)

As for the Batman stuff, well...


This photo has, starting at the top and going clockwise:  insane Christmas morning hair, Superman Underoos, the BatBoat, Ironman sneakers, and the Gotham City prison.  This is serious, people.


This one has, clockwise from the top:  the BatBoat, Gotham City prison, (partially obscured) BatCave, and in the center, the BatStare.


This one features Tow Mater pajamas (soon to become hopelessly uncool, I suspect), and the BatBook (which I will soon have memorized).


And, to round it out, we have the BatSmile and the BatJammies.

Also, despite the fact that Jack has never seen the Adam West Batman show, he's learned that the right thing to say when you race around your grandparents' house with the BatBoat is:  "Nananananananana nananananananana BATMAN!"

Because, how can you not?


Hope your new shoes make you feel like a superhero today.

Talk soon,
Heather

Friday, December 20, 2013

laser beams and salad bars: a pregnancy update

Every evening when I come home from work, my sweet husband greets me with two questions:

1.  How are you?
2.  How is your urge to kill?

He asks this because he cares deeply about both answers. (Out of both love and self-preservation, I presume.)  Both answers will also clue him into what we may be having for dinner, how soon I'm going to bed, and how many people I roasted with my laser beam eyes of hormonal hate that day.

*     *     *     *     *

The bump is growing.  Most of the time, I love that.  Sometimes, at the end of a long day, I know I'm already waddling, which I do not love.  

But then the bump kicks me, and I love it again, waddle and all.

*     *     *     *     *

Commentary on the size of the bump is increasing in a proportionate ratio to the bump's size.  This week, these things were all said to me:

1.  You are looking very motherly today!
2.  You wear your pregnancy very well.
3.  OHMYGOD, you are getting SO BIG!

Two of these comments made me smile with pregnancy radiance.  One of these comments made me feel hormonal hate.  I will leave it to you to decipher which comment elicited the rage.

*     *     *     *     *

Luckily for me, Jack's curiosity (in general, too, but I mean about the baby) has not reached a level where I am not sure how to answer him.

Jack:     Why is the baby in there?
Me:       In my tummy?
Jack:     Yeah.
Me:       Because that's where babies come from.  From mommies' tummies.

(Obviously, the next question could be "How did the baby get there?"  I am very glad he didn't ask that.)

(Side note:  How did that whole stork thing start?  Isn't that an odd way to get around answering the procreation question?)

*     *     *     *     *

For the record, today is a good day.  My urge to kill is not dormant, but is minimal.  The woman who bumped into me at the Whole Foods salad bar and then gave ME stink eye, while carefully placing ONE PIECE of roast zucchini in her container, next to the ONE PIECE of broccoli, could easily have been a victim.  But that salad bar is so glorious that I refrained.  Nothing ugly should happen next to that many organic vegetables.


Hope you're wearing something well today.

Talk soon,
Heather

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

life lessons from the grinch

We DVR'ed The Grinch from TV when it was on a few weeks ago.  It was kind of an afterthought, as I rushed to hit the button, thinking, "Ooh, this could be a DVD that I don't have to buy."  If Jack likes it, that is.

(Side note:  Meet the Parents was on right before the Grinch started.  So, at the beginning of the recording, we have ten seconds of Ben Stiller doing his kung fu moves into the hidden camera -- remember that bit?  I maintain that it's some of Ben Stiller's finest work, because in every other thing he does, he's visibly trying too hard.  It makes him seem constipated in some fundamental way.  But, I digress.)

Anyway, Jack not only likes the Grinch.

Jack LOVES HIM SOME GRINCH.

In an effort to make sure Jack understood the meaning of the Grinch, Durel and I asked Jack what he thought it was about.

Jack:     I don't know.

Me, hopeful still:     Jack, what is the meaning of Christmas?

Jack:     PRESENTS!!

Me:      What the Grinch means is that Christmas isn't about presents.  It means that Christmas is in our hearts.

Jack:     [silence]

Me:     Jack, where is Christmas?

Jack, obligingly:    In our hearts.

I mean, I'll take it.  Right?  Also, I learned that the Grinch has taught us other things.  Last night, I made barbecue chicken for dinner.  (Crock pot.  Delicious, if I say so myself.)  I cut some up and gave it to Jack, who promptly scrunched up his nose.

Jack:     I don't like that.

Me:       It's barbecue chicken!  Try it.

Jack:     No.

Me:       It's roast beast, Jack.

Jack:     ROAST BEAST!  [begins gobbling]

So, there you have it.

1.  Roast beast is delicious.


2.  Christmas is in our hearts.


Hope your day involves unexpected kung fu AND roast beast.

Talk soon,
Heather

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

from whence this blog came...

About four years ago, I found my pregnant self, parked in a leather recliner in our house, looking for something to do.

I was pregnant with Jack then, who we didn't know was Jack, so instead was called Cheeseburger. 

I was on bed rest, and very close to maxing out on episodes of What Not To Wear, so I decided to start a blog.

I also wrote another blog at the time, which has since been put to rest, but that's another story.

This blog, however, is going strong.  And since I have't come right out and said so, per se, GeauxBaby is about to be about more than one little.

You see...


There are a few things I can tell you about this:

-- In keeping with our tradition of nicknames based on cravings, this little one is known as Chilito.  This is because Durel makes awesome chili, and I force him to make it for me at least every other weekend.

-- I eat said chili over top of a bed of pasta (angel hair is my favorite), with shredded cheese, diced jalapenos, and a dollop of sour cream on top.  Every time I eat it, I behave like a caveman, yes, but I also reminisce about good times had at Hard Times in Alexandria, Virginia.

-- The expression on my face in the picture above is a mixture of total excitement and joy, mixed with the realization that my bump ain't small, folks.

-- I have heartburn.  

-- Yesterday, I texted Durel to warn him that I  needed dessert, and that if I did not get it, I might become homicidal.

-- He brought dessert.  (He's smart.)

-- Jack is pretty nonchalant about becoming a big brother.  He is more excited about Christmas and his birthday.  Prioritizing parties and presents over poopy diapers does indicate his brilliance and pragmatism.

-- This second child is long-awaited and much anticipated.  I am one lucky lady.  

-- Chilito is a boy.  I'm ready for soccer games galore!  Yay!

Hope you get dessert today.  It's really good.

Talk soon,
Heather

Monday, December 9, 2013

things overheard at our house

It's busy times, folks.

Durel and I are both super busy at work.  Jack is busy anticipating Christmas.  We are buying presents, getting our home ready for guests, decorating, and the like.  (We also make time for cuddling on the couch in our pajamas and watching excellent things like Monsters, Inc. and the Grinch.)

Jack is extremely busy saying things that amuse and surprise us.

Here are a few:

From top to bottom:  Sully, Mike Wazowski, and Boo.  FYI.

Jack:  I want to name the baby "Boo."
Me:   OK, well if we don't name the baby, "Boo," what else would you name it?
Jack:  Mike.
Me:    Mike Wazowski?
Jack:  [with what can only be described as a withering look]  NO.  Mike BERNARD.

*     *     *     *     *

(About five times a day, at full volume):  CHRISTMAS IS AAAAALLLLLLMOST COMING!!!

*     *     *     *     *

(When I was sick in bed the other day):  Do you want to read a book all by yourself?  Here.
(Hands me a book from my nightstand.)

*     *     *     *     *

Mom, Lucy's going to dress up as Darth Vader.

Not sure Lucy minds being villified, if it gets her pettings.
*     *     *     *     *

Mom.  HEY MOM.  Momma!  Moooommmmmyyyy....  MOM!

*     *     *     *     *

Mom.  Hey Mom.  Mom!  I want a pickle!  Mmm nom nom nom nom I LOVE PICKLES.



Hope your day is both salty and sweet.

Talk soon,
Heather

Friday, December 6, 2013

ain't nobody got time for that

There is no Elf on the Shelf at our house.  

(Editor's Note:  Elf on the Shelf = recent cultural phenomenon where you take a toy elf, give it a nickname, and move it into different places in your home every morning to make your children believe that it's watching them and reporting back to Santa on whether they are naughty or nice.)

You (the family) give your elf a fun name, like Candy Cane, or Rudolph, or Bing Crosby, and then you (the parent) move them around each night.  You (the parent) are supposed to be creative.




I love my family.  I love Christmas.  Beyond words.

But, you know what?  I am not doing this.  I will forget.  I will not be creative.  Is it really necessary?  Is that elf a little creepy?  Do we need it?  

Instead, I snagged a picture of myself with Santa at Christmas Affair.  It's on my phone.  I showed it to Jack and told him that Santa and I are buddies, and that I could call him at any moment if Jack was being naughty.


I mean, I think that's pretty creative, and it doesn't involve me smearing Nutella on a doll's face when I'd really rather be sleeping.

Also, when you're 5 months pregnant, you try to streamline things, and you tend to be a little more blunt than usual.  So, there's also that.

Hope you find a way to keep it real today.

Talk soon,
Heather


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

yes, I know it's December

We have two Christmas trees and one Advent calendar in full effect at our house.

We ate a lot of turkey and pie.

But before I move onto those things, I have to, just have to, share these pictures from Halloween.  Because I forgot and they're AWESOME.

And Jack is obsessed with all things super (including The Incredibles), and so it's late but apropos, anyway.  (Did you know that's how you spell apropos?  Not "apros pos", as I originally tried it?  Huh.)


Not sure how I did this, but it looks like he's TAKING FLIGHT.  Right?

Did you know Superman and Batman are besties?  I did.

Seriously.  Stopping crime in its tracks with sheer cuteness.

OK.  I'm back on track now.

Hope your day involves getting caught up on something totally important.

Talk soon,
Heather

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

the one where Jack and Santa are totally up to something

Last year, Jack wanted nothing to do with Santa.

This year, he definitely got the memo that Santa is a good person to have in your corner.

Not only did I not have to sit in the chair for the photo, but apparently Jack and Santa became fast friends.

See?

They sat down for a meeting of the minds and seemed surprised that there was a pesky paparazzi there snapping away.  Hey man, we're trying to talk here.


Now, let's get down to business...  This is trouble.  Clearly.


Safety meeting successfully held, they politely posed for the paps, looking angelic.


But we know better.

After this, Jack gave Santa a hug and they "ho ho ho'ed" at each other.

Hope your day is delightfully conspiratorial.

Talk soon,
Heather

Thursday, November 21, 2013

stewardesses, then and now

Once upon a time, a long long, time ago, my family played Pictionary.

It was new then.  We were excited.  The Davies family is a creative lot -- skewing toward the nerdy side, even.  And we LOVE to get our board game on.

The time came for my beloved Dad to draw.  His word was "stewardess."  (Again, this was a while ago.  People still totally used that word.  Pre-PC.)  He drew an airplane.  He tapped on it.

We guessed everything we could think of related to planes and flight.  We didn't, however, go inside the plane with our guesses.

Dad grew frustrated.  He continued tapping on his pencil-drawn 747.

TAP TAP TAP.

We kept guessing.  In retrospect, we weren't that smart, because how many flight-related words do we really know?  And we STILL didn't guess stewardess?  

TAP TAP TAP TAP TAP!!!

We didn't get it. The timer ran out.

STEWARDESS.

That was the first and last time Dad ever played Pictionary.  We told him that we're glad his brain works differently than ours.  Business school and all that.  What would we do without him?

*     *    *     *     *     *     *     *

In some ways, raising a 3 1/2 year old is a lot like playing Pictionary with my Dad.  If you don't know what they're talking about, it's really up to you to get creative and figure it out.  They are going to TAP that picture until you do.

Last night, Jack asked me on the way home if he could watch "the Michael movie."  I wracked my brain.  There are no characters named Michael on any of his favorite shows or movies.  I told him that I didn't know what he meant.

"Momma, I want to watch the Michael movie!"  (TAP TAP)

"But, Jack, I don't know what that is."

"The MICHAEL MOVIE!"  (TAP TAP TAP)

"Ok.  If you can show it to me or find it, we'll see if you can watch it."

When we got home, Jack efficiently went through the drawer containing his DVDs and proudly pulled out the Michael movie.

It is called An American Tale.

Michael = Fivel.

STEWARDESS.

Phew.

Movie night was, of course, a great success.  (And wouldn't have been complete without a shout out to Uncle Dustin and Aunt Geri, who are fond of that movie and their nephew.)

video

Hope your streets ARE filled with cheese today.  Because that would be awesome.

Talk soon,
Heather

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

the tradition continues...

Every year, I take Jack to Breakfast with Santa at the Christmas Affair, hosted by the Junior League of Austin.

Despite the fact that I can't comprehend that Thanksgiving is next week, the Christmas Affair is upon us and our special Mommy and Jack day is this week.

I told him where we are going, in part because I wanted to encourage good behavior and in part because last year, he got skeeved out and didn't want to sit on Santa's lap.  I thought some solid preparation would prevent this year's picture from being a do-over of last year's masterpiece.

Jack and Santa, 2012

OK, I lied.  I don't think we went in 2011.  But I think that the 2010 picture probably  makes up for it:

Jack and Santa, 2010
Anyway, Jack told me that he's going to give Santa a hug and ask him for a horse.  Which would be progress, given the past years of awed stares and abject terror.

So, you know.  We'll see how it goes, on several levels.

Oh, and for the record, I am a member of the Junior League of Austin.  I'm proud to be part of this group of talented, dynamic women who work incredibly hard to do amazing things for the community.  The least of which is creating the magic of Christmas, oh, annually, and raising millions of dollars to give back to Austin.  

Hope you dream big and speak up today.

Talk soon,
Heather


Monday, November 18, 2013

mid-term elections

Foreversville, Bunny has been Jack's ultimate compadre.

Technically, that is still true.

However, there's a little competition brewing.  From Dee Da, of all people!

I feel like Bunny is the one who's full of unconditional love and support and enthusiasm.  And for Jack, that is what has made Bunny his best friend for ever and ever.  Pardon my French, but when four year old shit gets deep, it's Bunny that Jack runs for.

On the other hand, I feel like Dee Da is the buddy who lopes in with the well-timed joke and makes Jack laugh.  And that Jack is realizing the value of having another best friend, too.  Maybe even, a sarcastic, dotted one.

Case in point:  Jack took Dee Da to Show and Tell last week.   I mean, hold the phone, people.


On a related note, I was out of town last week.  And I can confidently say that my risk-averse self would NEVER have let Jack take Dee Da to show and tell, for the utter fear of WHAT IF SOMETHING HAPPENS???

But, I give Durel full SuperDad credit.  He let Jack take Dee Da.  Dee Da came, saw, and conquered.  And everything was OK.

Phew.

Hope you are surprised by who may or may not be calling the shots today.

Talk soon,
Heather

Thursday, October 31, 2013

from our great pumpkin to yours...

Happy Halloween!


Hope your trick or treating leaves you with a silly, Smarties-induced grin.

Talk soon,
Heather

proof is in the...well...schnapps, I guess

A few days ago, I was reminiscing about that time in Germany, when my friends and I were drinking schnapps out of little bottles.  And posing for pictures with the caps on our noses?

So, yeah.  I found that picture last weekend.  And I just feel the need to put my money where my big bloggy mouth is.

Here you go:


I will note that even in a foreign land, schnockered on foreign spirits, the future Proper Paige knew better than to have her photo taken with a bottle of alcohol (of any size) hanging out of her mouth.

[Takes bow.]

Hope your photos are only moderately incriminating today.

Talk soon,
Heather



Wednesday, October 30, 2013

a call to arms (or hands, specifically)

Jack's (awesome) school sent this picture recently.  He's working on his letters.  You know, as we do.

And I was quick to note how dark his hair is getting and how he's totally left-handed.  JUST LIKE HIS MOMMA.

And to that, I say:


Hope you feel some solidarity today.

Talk soon,
Heather

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

the one in which we leap tall curbs in a single bound...

I've dressed up as Wonder Woman for Halloween before.  It was sort of during Durel and my courtship.  I'm sure Emily, Sean, Sally, and Okie Roy remember that evening very well.  Clay might remember, too.  Other than that, we shall leave it in the annals of history.

This year, I will be dressing up as Wonder Woman for Halloween again.  I will not be wearing the same costume I wore 12 years ago.  Nope.

I will be wearing a cool-yet-mom-appropriate costume.  Because, after all, I am Superman's mom (new origin story; take note).

I am not really cool enough to know what origin stories are.
Durel totally taught me the term.
We debuted our costumes for the Fall Festival at Jack's school last week.  There were hot dogs, cake pops, frozen yogurt, a bouncy slide thing, a band, and games in every room.  Jack's school does not mess around.  It was completely awesome.   (There was also a silent auction, where we bought things.  It really was fun for all ages.)

And, with one more origin story being shredded with disregard by our family, Durel was super, too.  He brushes off comparisons to Hugh Jackman.  Okay, Wolverine.  

This photo was taken with Durel's insanely awesome
Windows phone.
Anyway, Jack and his buddies got down to business.  Who needs a mosh pit when you can stand on a hay bale?  And, I mean, the SWAT team is already there, so you know it was NUTS.




And, it was nuts.  SuperJack danced, bounced and slid, ate hot dogs with wild abandon, gamely posed for pictures, played games, zoomed around with his cape streaming behind him, and only melted down at 8:30 when we informed him, gravely, that it was time to go home.

Even supers have their limits, you know.

Hope you zoom around like a super today.

Talk soon,
Heather

Monday, October 21, 2013

Enter the Lederhosen

Somewhere, there is a picture of me at an Easter bonfire in Hannover, Germany.  I think the year was like...1998.

I am moderately intoxicated and cheesing it up for the camera with several friends.  We all have little white things on our noses.  Those little white things are the caps of our little mini bottles of schnapps, which we were drinking by gripping the neck of the (tiny; like vanilla extract size) bottles between our teeth and tipping our heads back.

They told me, my friends, that you have to take a picture with the cap on your nose.

So, we did.

In the fifteen years that have passed since then, I have matured considerably.  (She said, convincingly.)  I am 100% sure that I would definitely still drink schnapps that way at an Easter bonfire in Germany.   No doubt.  

But in contrast, I will also take Jack to a Hill Country Oktoberfest to make sure he's adequately exposed to his roots.  And their sartorial history.

Enter the Lederhosen.


This is Jack at the recent Oktoberfest in Fredericksburg, Texas.

He is wearing a vintage pair of grey suede Lederhosen that, I believe, were purchased by my dear departed grandparents in Germany in the 1950's as a gift for my brother, who was then a wee bairn.  (We're Scottish, too.) (Yes, we're spaced out quite a bit.)

Let's just say that the fans were a little gaga over that sweet guy in his Lederhosen.  We bought the hat at the festival, and it definitely added some snap to his outfit.  The little bear is also in Lederhosen.  We named him Freiderich von Lederhosen, but Jack has taken to calling him "Freeder" for short.

Hope your outfit really reflects who you are today.

Talk soon,
Heather

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

it's those preppy choices that can get you

I applied Early Decision to Middlebury.

To someone not from the East Coast and/or who doesn't treat liberal arts college admission as a competitive sport, that doesn't mean much.

Middlebury College is a gorgeous college in Middlebury, Vermont.  It is a very academic, very preppy, and very picturesque place.  I had decided that's where I would be an English major, run around in autumnal splendor, and spend four years becoming my most awesome self.

Here's a picture, so you can picture it:

Image credit.  Seriously, right???
 Apparently, Middlebury was not as enamored of me as I was of them.  My application was deferred to the regular decision applicant pool, which was a hard core slap in the face to my idealistic, enthusiastic, overachieving high school self.  That means you have to apply to other colleges and, like, wait it out. [Insert Kristin Stewart's one facial expression.]

So, the search continued.  The family search committee, led by Captain Dad, the College Hunter, explored New England, because that's where I had decided I wanted to be.

We visited a lot of places.  [Smiley face.]  One of them was Bates. Bates is cool.  I walked around the campus to do a "vibe check."  I liked it.  I didn't feel out of place, like I was dressed like an idiot, or like people realized I was a stranger.  Hmm.  

And, let's not overlook that Bates is also gorgeous, very academic, very preppy, and very picturesque.

See?

We totally had classes sitting outside on the Quad.  Not even joking.
 
This picture does not show a lot of snow.
When you live in Maine, this is not a lot of snow.
As it turned out, Middlebury did accept me.  But by then, Bates had already accepted me, too.  Faced with the decision of where to go, I found myself totally happy about the thought of going to Bates.  I also found myself completely annoyed with Middlebury for making me wait for so long and feel all icky and half-rejected.  

I realized that I was just a name on a list.  (Granted, this was true at both schools but it pissed me off vis a vis Middlebury.)  And that if I didn't take the spot, they would call some other girl and make her happy that she'd finally gotten in.  

Screw that!, I thought, with a lot of emotional bravado, to myself, at age 18.  

I'm going to Maine.

And so, I did.  It was awesome. And I, as predicted, was an English major, ran around in autumnal (and snowy) splendor, and spent four years becoming my most real self.  It was fan.tas.tic.

Where was I going with this?

Oh, it was cold today in Austin, and this happened.  




And my heart burst into a million pieces, and I don't even want to think about him going to kindergarten, much less college, and I got all nostalgic for Maine and changing leaves, and how was college so long ago? and sunrise, sunset so quickly go the days...you know?

Hope you find an unexpected wellspring of emotional bravado today.

Talk soon,
Heather

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

today's post is brought to you by the letter "T"

My parents think Jack is perfect.

Now, on principle, I'm not going to disagree with them.  He's amazing.  But...they don't wipe his bottom and deal with his tantrums.  So their rosy view is unfettered by unpleasant details.

My mom is known for her candor.  She is a lady who speaks her mind.

She has told me several times something to this effect:  "I know all of my children were smart.  You could tell.  But I'm telling you, none of you were as smart at this age as Jack.  He's smarter than all of you were."

[As Sara would say, "Damn, Gina!"]

But also, cool.  Because if Jack grows up to like, cure cancer or be President or teach at Harvard, I'd be WAY PSYCHED.  

As if to prove his Grammy's point, Jack spontaneously started asking me how to spell things over the weekend.  In response, I flipped the question around and taught him how to sound things out.  We sounded out everything from racecar to cereal.  No kidding.  And he did a really good job.  

Hmm.  [Have you met my son, the doctor?  It has a certain ring, doesn't it?]

Anyway, apparently today's post is brought to you by the letter "T"...


Which stands for, just off the top of my head and all:

  • toothy grins
  • timid in front of the camera
  • traveling (double decker bus shirt as precursor for a year at the London School of Economics, clearly)
  • threenager (oh, is he ever one right now)

Hope your "T" words are terrific and timely today.

Talk soon,
Heather

Thursday, October 10, 2013

to do lists

I am a serious list-maker.

I have a work to do list.  I have a personal to do list that I keep on my phone.  (I use Wunderlist.)  Each weekend, when I assume I will have more time, energy and motivation than I have ever had on any weekend before in my life, I make my "weekend to do list" on paper.

Jack's not ready to make lists yet, but he does show hints of his mommy's, shall we say, propensity to organize.  He lines his toys up, just so.  He is adamant about his bedtime routine, with all of its idiosyncrasies.  (I'll spare you the details on this, but just believe me.)  He prefers to visit the pantry to pick out his *own* granola bar or bag of fruit snacks, thankyouverymuch.

If Jack had made a to do list for today, here's what it would have looked like.

1.  Demand apple for breakfast.
2.  Debate whether to eat apple at home or at school.
3.  Eat some of apple at home.  Insist on taking the rest to school.
4.  Change mind.  Continue eating apple at home.
5.  Wear Superman shirt.
6.  Meet firefighters.
7.  Pose for picture in firetruck.
8.  Get very shy when posing for picture.
9.  Keep it real like only a 3 1/2 year old can.


Hope you have a productive day.  And an apple.

Talk to you soon,
Heather

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

I'm not as smart as I thought

My sister-in-law refuses to play Trivial Pursuit with Durel and I.  She says it's too humiliating because we know so much stuff.  As much as we've tried to change her mind, she won't budge.  (As in, she doesn't even want to be on our team.)

Which is a bummer, because I love Trivial Pursuit.  But is also a compliment because she insists that Durel and I are, like, encyclopedias...

However, as a boy momma, I'm learning what it is that I don't know.  I have not the foggiest idea about football (not a newsflash).  But evidently, I know pretty much squat about dinosaurs, too.

Last night:

Jack:  Mommy, did the Ice Age kill the dinosaurs?
Me:   (Shit.  I don't know.  I've got a 50/50 chance.)  Yes.
Jack:  NO, IT DIDN'T!
[pause]
Jack:  Mommy, did the Ice Age kill the dinosaurs?
Me:    (Shit.  I still don't know.)  No.
Jack:  That's right!  Mommy, what did kill the dinosaurs?
Me:    (Shit.  This is like law school.)  I don't know.
[silence]
Me:    Jack, what killed the dinosaurs?
Jack:   THE VOLCANO!

Image credit
So, being the smart ass that I am, I decided to follow up on this so that I could feel a tiny bit less clueless.  Though I'm pretty sure Jack's done with me on this topic after my bungled answers last night.

Per National Geographic, I learned:  
New insights about the asteroid thought to have killed off the dinosaurs suggest it may have just been the final blow, and that the reptiles were already suffering from a finicky climate prompted by volcanic eruptions long before the meteorite struck. (Link above, under picture.)
And per Jack, I can now somewhat visualize said volcano:



You see, he and his buddies are doing a project.  They've built a volcano, and today is the day they MAKE IT BLOW UP.  

Ice Age.  Sheesh.  Can't believe I fell for that one.

Hope you learn something prehistoric today.

Talk to you soon,
Heather

Monday, September 23, 2013

partypartyparty

Jack had the pleasure of going to a buddy's pirate birthday party this weekend.  I wasn't there, but I heard that an amazing time was had by all.

Thanks to Emily for hosting yet another mAAARGHvelous party.  Thanks to Terra for capturing these moments of Jack enjoying the party.  And concentrating on enjoying the party.  He does have quite a bit of focus, doesn't he?



Hope your day includes thoughtful friends and high quality images.

Talk to you soon,
Heather

Friday, September 20, 2013

the song that must not be played

I don't have very much music on my iPhone.  Quite frankly, I am not that organized.  And my phone is so full of pictures of Jack that there's not a lot of room for music.  First world problems, right here.  I know.

I do have music that I've bought on my phone.  Most of that is purchased in a fit of afternoon rush hour pique when the radio stations suck and I need to keep my sanity.  Other purchases include running music.  Running music is the stuff that you won't cop to listening to in "regular life," but will get you through the last mile of a race or long run.  (Exhibit A:  Cypress Hill, Insane in the Brain.  It's on my phone.  Anyone who went to Bates with me and went to a Den Terrace party will understand.  The rest of you are totally allowed to laugh and think I'm nuts.)

I can't remember exactly when I bought the Ellie Goulding.  I have a vague understanding that people either love her or hate her.  I love her.  I love "Lights."  And she performed at Will and Kate's wedding reception.  And the song "Anything Can Happen" was the theme song for Season One of Girls, which I watched in one day on HBO demand.

So...the other day, I had my phone plugged into the USB port in my car, which automatically makes my super-smart car stereo start playing music from it.  I have no idea why it starts wherever it does, but this day, "Anything Can Happen" started up.  Jack and I had just gotten in the car after the pick-up from school.

And so it began.

Jack:  "MOMMA, I DON'T LIKE THAT GIRL SONG."

Me:    Uh.  OK.

Jack:  MOMMA, TURN IT OFF RIGHT NOW.

Me:    Well ... OK.  [I mean, what?]

Jack:  Don't play that girl song.  Ever again.  Right?

Me:    Uh.  OK, buddy.  [Thinking:  Not when you're in the car, clearly.]

As if that wasn't hilarious enough, evidently the song lingered in Jack's delicate psyche for a while.  The next day, over 24 hours later, while we were brushing our teeth at bedtime...

Jack:  Momma.  You never ever don't play that girl song again, RIGHT?

Me:  OK.  No, I won't.  [WHAT?]

One of the ways in which karma is apparently getting me now that I am a parent is by giving me an extremely opinionated child.

Hope karma is kind to you today.

Talk to you soon,
Heather

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

gigglefest 2013

The other night, this happened.

We were having Mexican.  I made a crazy face and demanded a kiss.  Hilarity ensued.  (Luckily, the intrepid videographer didn't capture my face.)

video

Hope your day involves some giggles and a kiss at the end.

Talk soon,
Heather

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

my cute mom

The other day, I had the pleasure of a luxe Sunday brunch with my parents and two dear friends.

They charmed, as they always do, that Jan and Morris.

In fact, my sisters and I have a running list of our friends who would like to be adopted by the Davies, should they suddenly start adopting extra, fully grown children.  That's a testament to their unique brand of cute and cool.

This picture was taken that day, and it's too damn cute not to share.


To know Jan is to love her.  And to help you know her just a smidge, here are a few things about her that I find notable/fascinating/funny/cool.

1.  Though she humors Dad and I in our tastes for fancy food, she would really always prefer a cheeseburger.

2.  She lurves her some John Denver.  

3.  She also lurves her some lavender.  It is her favorite color.  Big time.  (Note:  Her blouse in the picture above.)

4.  When I was in 7th grade, she had a benign brain tumor the size of a grapefruit adjacent to her occipital lobe (related to vision and short term memory).  After 13 hours of open-head brain surgery, she essentially did her own physical therapy by doing daily crossword puzzles and resuming her intricate sewing and embroidery.

5.  She never curses.  (And wishes I wouldn't, either.)  

6.  She LOVES Christmas.  And boy oh boy, so do I.  We decorate, play Christmas carols as early as possible; decorate huge trees -- the whole nine yards.

7.  She taught me to embroider.  She taught my sisters, too.  Admittedly, Cristy is doing the most with this knowledge.  

8.  At her linguistic peak, she was fluent in Spanish, Portugese, and conversational in French and Italian.  She is still fluent in Spanish.  It's awesome.

9.  She cares not one bit about cars.  She doesn't know a Gremlin from a Rolls.  My dad and I marvel over it, but it's endearing nonetheless.

10.  She does not "do the computer."  Therefore, to be fair, I will print this and show it to her.

Hope your day is all fun like a top ten list.

Talk soon,
Heather

Monday, September 16, 2013

the supers

Dinosaurs are cool.  Cars are cooler.  Trains are pretty cool.

Superheros are the coolest.

Many thanks to Uncle James and Aunt Jenny for keeping Jack in the age-appropriate superhero literature.

Jack and I both have these pretty much memorized.  It's awesome.


Also, Jack still insists that I am Wonder Woman.  I am in no hurry to disillusion him.

Hope you suspend some disbelief today.

Talk soon,
Heather

Friday, September 13, 2013

it's never too early to think about a career

Jack does The Coolest Stuff at school.

For example, this week, his class froze plastic dinosaurs into a big tub of ice.  Then, later in the week, they were paleontologists.  They dug their dinosaurs out of the ice and talked, appropriately, about the Ice Age.

Seriously.  And there were hats.


Last night, after story time, I asked Jack what he wants to be when he grows up.  He had just told me his own story, which sounded an awful lot like We're Going on a Bear Hunt (which we had just read), but with enough twists to make it "his own."  Clever.

I said, "Do you want to be someone who writes down stories?"  (Ever the writer, turned lawyer, though still a writer, but a lawyer, and since when did I have to decide what I wanted to be, anyway?)

Jack said, "Maybe.  And a doctor."


I glowed with pride.  Even if he's not a doctor.  Doesn't every mom love hearing that?


Jack continued, "And a cat-petter."

I laughed.  A real laugh.  Because I am not particularly fond of cats, which has a lot to do with me being allergic to them and a lot to do with me totally preferring dogs.  But the thought of Jack sitting contemplatively in an office and petting a cat, well, that's funny.

Enough discussion of careers for one day, right?  He's clearly on the right track.

Hope your career aspirations are realized today.

Talk soon,
Heather

Thursday, September 12, 2013

initiation, with hazelnut

Jenny studied in London during her junior year of college.  

Much to my middle school delight, Mom and Dad and I went to visit her.  It was pretty much the coolest thing that had ever happened to me, that LEAVING THE COUNTRY thing.  Galena Middle School did not boast many international travelers.  I daresay it still does not.

Anyway, one of my little sister privileges was to spend the night with Jenny and her flatmates at their flat.  (It's not an apartment!  It's a flat!  England is SO cool. -- I thought.)  

Now, being a college student saving her pennies (and pence) for important things like Doc Martens and pints at the pub, breakfast at Jenny's flat was, shall we say, minimal.  Tea and toast.  Toast and tea.  That's what we had.

Granted, I didn't want to give up the cool factor of staying overnight in a flat, but the spoiled 12 year old me might have teleported herself back to the cool hotel where she was otherwise staying for the cozy and posh breakfast they were serving.  But, not an option, so tea and toast it was.

At some point, Jenny brought out this Nutella stuff.  You put it on your toast, she said.  YOU'LL LIKE IT, she said, with what I remember imperfectly to be growing impatience because suddenly, breakfast at the hotel didn't sound all that bad to her, either.  A full English breakfast, mind you, is awesome.

OK.  Give me some Nutella.

And then, the rest was history.  We ate our Nutella toast in a haze of choco-nutty happiness and our concerns about breakfast were a thing of the past.    

*     *     *

I didn't want Jack to wait as long as I did to discover the magic of Nutella.  I mean, why wait?

So, the other evening, he and I decadently had Nutella toast for dinner.  (My ears are closed to any judgment.  I just don't hear it.)

I hadn't had it in a long time.  Damn, it's good.

Oh, and Jack agreed.


So, you know.  That's a win.

Hope your day involves a nice cuppa.

Talk soon,
Heather

 
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