chippy the christmas elf

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Well, I did it.  It's the last day of 2014, and we STILL don't have an Elf on the Shelf.  

Jack requested one this year.  He was pretty cute about it (as he is), but I stayed strong.
Jack:  "Mom.  We need an elf on the shelf, to watch us!"
Me:    "No, we don't.  Santa is watching.  We're covered."
Jack:   "But, Mom!  I've already named him!  His name is Chippy!"
I'm sorry for you, Chippy.  I hope you find a nice home somewhere.  I hope you entertain other kids with G-rated holiday antics involving candy canes and powdered sugar and whatever else you get into.  

Editor's Note:  I specify "G-rated" antics not because I have a devious mind (at least, not in this context), but because I can't not think of the Inappropriate Elf contest held by Baby Rabies in years past, which is full of gems such as:

(Image credit)
Because if I can't do this, I'm not doing it at all.

As luck would have it, Jack has decided that the Christmas pajamas I got him (Sawyer has a matching set, natch) are his "elf suit."

And so I ask you, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, if I have a real life elf, why do I need a fake one named Chippy?

My elf is much cooler, anyway.

Elf Jack accompanied Uncle James and Durel to Central Market for some holiday fixings.
En route, they enjoyed a leisurely holiday lunch at Red's Porch.
These pjs are street style.

Elf Jack listened to some block rockin' beats on Eli's iPad.
These pjs mix.


Elf Jack posed on his new skateboard from Santa,
right next to Durel's new skateboard from Santa.
These pjs don't bail.

Elf Jack likes taun tauns, Green Lantern Legos, and skateboards.
These pjs are ALL BOY.
Hope your street style dazzles someone today.

Talk soon.  Like next year.  

Heather

let them eat (vegan) cake

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

I never met my mom's father, but tales of his coolness persist.  

His name was Henry.  (Sawyer's name was almost Henry.)  He was a left-handed pitcher in minor league baseball in the 1920's.  (I'm left handed.  I can't throw for shit, though.)  He hurt his elbow and never made the majors, so worked as a contractor building roads, bridges, and the like in Chicago.  In the 1920's and 1930's.  He was a Mason. (He was not a gangster, but HEY Chicago in the 1920's!)

Henry's birthday was on Christmas Eve.  His infinite coolness aside, he always sort of got the shaft for his birthday.  Less presents, and/or birthday presents thoughtfully wrapped in Christmas paper and given to him with his (indistinguishable) Christmas presents, also thoughtfully wrapped in Christmas paper.  You get the idea.

For years, Mom would make a birthday cake at Christmas.  In addition to the legions of cookies, truffles, candies, and the like that my father's customers would send to him, we would also tuck into a birthday cake in honor of Grandpa Henry.  In later years, Mom stopped doing it.  Logical considerations took over, I suppose.

I decided to revive the tradition this year, in large part because I didn't have time to make cookies because I was lawdogging my face off for the entire month of December.  I also recently discovered Capital City Bakery, a local Austin bakery that makes THE MOST AMAZING THINGS, which happen to be vegan.  

Truth be told, I ordered Durel's birthday cake from them in October because I was dairy-free at the time (courtesy of Sawyer) and wanted to have some damn cake.  The cake was so good that I've been looking for an excuse since then to order another one.

Anyway, as I sat at my own breakfast bar to indulge in my Christmas cake, Sawyer decided to join me.  In the spirit of the holidays and all that is dairy free, I decided to let him.

video

Whatchoo looking at, punk?  This is MY CAKE. 
Good stuff, indeed.

Hope your Christmas was filled with tasty treats and things that were joyfully messy.

Talk soon,
Heather

it's bananas. no, really.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Christmas is next week, you guys!

I'm done with my shopping (just).  I have wrapped exactly zero presents.  I have not yet sent my cards.  (Stay tuned; they're coming.)

And I have not yet told you the ground-breaking news that Sawyer ate a banana!

Let's just cut to the chase, shall we?

Clockwise from left:  (1) Inquisitive Sawyer. (2) Cute Sawyer, with banana.
(3) Excited Sawyer.  (4) Slimy, banana-scented Sawyer.

With all the dairy allergy stuff, I sort of forgot that Sawyer was, like, nine months old and that it was time to give him FOOD food.  His pediatrician kindly reminded me at his recent well check.  

We hurried home and enjoyed a ripe banana together.  I mean, Mum Mums are SO a month ago.  

Hope you enjoy something new and tropical today.

Talk soon,
Heather

gravy boats

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Durel and I have been busy LIKE WOAH lately.

Work. Colds. Commutes.  Bills.  Duties.  Thoughts.  Things.

But.  (There's always a but.)

Tomorrow is Official Pie Baking Day.

And then, there's Thursday.

Friday is Official Wear Yoga Pants on the Couch Day.

So, I think we should call it Official Calm Down Weekend.

I know what I'm thankful for.  I really do.

Even superheroes go to the doctor sometimes.
They don't have ear infections, though.  [High five!]

So, mugging for the camera is now a developmental milestone?
Because, WHEN DID THIS HAPPEN?
Hope your gravy boat is half full, too.

Talk soon,
Heather

Ce n'est pas un blog post.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Jack has started helping me in the kitchen.

Full disclosure:  I ordered him an apron for Christmas last year.  He had no interest.  It's been collecting dust since then.  

However, now at the ripe old age of 4 1/2, he is getting into cooking.  I am valiantly trying to ignore the part of me that can't believe MY BABY is big enough to help me cook.  As an alternative, I am trying to listen to the part of me that is so happy to have a little buddy in the kitchen.

Oh, motherhood.  Why do you have to be such a roller coaster?

Anyway, PapaDu's birthday was last week, which is OBVIOUSLY a critical cupcake situation.

Note Pablo photobomb.
"What?  Dogs like cupcakes."

Jack and I were pleased to find that Randall's selection of cupcake decorations more than suited our needs.  They had, in fact, candy eyeballs, candy mustaches, and colored icing tubes for artistic freehand expression a la cupcake.

It's sort of a chocolaty Magritte situation.  Or Picasso.  With some Jackson Pollack influence, perhaps.  
(Ce n'est pas un petit gâteau?)


Regardless of what influences you see here, rest assured that what was pleasing to the eye was also pleasing to the palate.


Hope you get all surreal today.

Talk soon,
Heather

we've apparently lost our minds

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

This just happened.


I will now attempt to answer what I imagine your questions to be.

1.  Did you just give Jack a set of drums? 
     Yes.  You are very observant.
2.  Like, at your house?  
     Yes.
3.  Like, six weeks before Christmas?  
Um, yes.  We purchased them as a Christmas gift, initially.  However, the Davies family is genetically incapable of holding onto gifts for very long.  This ailment is apparently contagious, because it was Durel's idea to give the drums early.
4.  Aren't they loud?  
Yes, they are.  Particularly because four year old drummers don't have a lot of, shall we say, percussive nuance.  He just beats the shit out of those things.  Which means that yes, it is quite loud.
5.  DON'T YOU HAVE A BABY?  
Yes, we do.  We have the coolest baby on the planet, and the drums don't bother him.  Even when he's in bed.
6.  Oh, Jack's room is far away from Sawyer's room?  
No.  They share a wall.
7.  Have you lost your minds?  
Probably.
8.  What on earth are you thinking?
Drums are fun.  Childhood is far too fast, and you only get to do it once.

9.  Can your friends come over and play these drums?
Yes. You should bring wine.
10.  So, is it possible that you guys aren't crazy after all?
I knew I liked you.  Don't forget the wine.
Hope you carpe the hell out of that diem.

Talk soon,
Heather

Hang on, November.

Monday, November 17, 2014

I drank coffee yesterday from a Starbucks Red Cup.

It was 29 degrees in Austin this morning.  Count'em-- twenty-nine.  That's cold!

(Despite my past life as an East Coaster who did attend college in the very snowy state of Maine, I have acclimated to Texas pretty well.  Which means that I feel allowed to talk about how very cold it is, indeed, when the temperature starts with the number 2.)

I know what this means!  Christmas is coming!  

(Also, while I was preoccupied with being legitimately cold on my commute this morning, I realized that Thanksgiving is next week.  NEXT WEEK!  And that means my daydreams of stuffing recipes and perfect gravy are about to morph into a big shopping cart full of goodies at HEB.  Note to self:  Do not forget Cool Whip.  It doesn't matter how much you want to be Martha Stewart.  Everyone wants Cool Whip on their pumpkin pie.  End note.)

So, despite all of that, I have to share just two more pictures from Halloween.  I cannot, and will not, short-change Halloween.


First, we love Jack's teachers, Mr. Scott and Miss Hayley.  Second, we love their costumes.  Third, Jack's smile is pretty special in this particular snap.  Oh, sometimes I would love to be inside his little head to hear what's going on.  I think he was on joy overload here because he was both Darth Vader and having his picture taken with his teachers who he simply adores.


As for Sawyer, well.  The force is strong with this one, even when he is not dressed up as the world's cutest Jedi Master.

OK, October.  I'm good now.  November, I am now officially paying attention to you.  Time to make the gravy.

Hope you get all caught up with yourself today.

Talk soon,
Heather

compare and contrast

Friday, November 14, 2014

Jack at roughly eight months:

Yellow?  Blue? Which one?  I DON'T KNOW!

Sawyer at eight months:

L.  I.  V.  I.  N.
I will say this:  I think different personalities are emerging.  As well as different looks.

Hope your own observations entertain you today, too.

Talk soon,
Heather

eight months

Thursday, November 13, 2014



Sawyer has been here for 240 days.
(That doesn't sound like that long, does it?)

Sawyer is eight months old today.

Now that sounds impressive.

Sawyer is a happy and Zen baby.  He hardly ever cries.  He smiles and laughs easily.  He loves to watch people, especially Jack.  He likes to eat, especially bananas.  He likes to sleep (finally).  

He rolls around with tenacity and remarkable accuracy.  He pets Pablo and Lucy with surprising acuity.  He is *this close* to crawling.  He claps up a storm.

Jack has found a new side of himself as a doting big brother.  He wants to "have breakfast with Sawyer," as in, eat his Cheerios while I feed Sawyer his baby food in the morning.  He wants to cuddle with him on the couch while watching Blaze and the Monster Machines (new show on Nick Junior which should be avoided at all costs.  It's too late for me, but you can save yourselves...)  The first thing Jack does every morning is run into the nursery to see his little brother.

Durel and I marvel at our boys.  We are lucky.  We are grateful.  Our family is delightfully complete.

Sawyer with Uncle Fooshee during their recent, awesome visit.
If you're in or near New Orleans, check out the brilliant Inner Light Photography.
Hope you marvel at something today.

Talk soon,
Heather

carnivals and the paradox of fear

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Every summer on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, there is a Brigadoon known as the Cecil County Firefighter's Carnival.

Cecilton is forgettable, and that is kind.  But the carnival was always fun.  I give full props to the volunteer firefighters (many of whom I knew from my summer job at the marina, where they worked as mechanics or painters on yachts and sailboats).  They are a dedicated bunch, and they know how to throw a carnival.

I have a fuzzy memory of bright lights, funnel cakes, rides that make you *almost* puke, and the sweet freedom of a pocketful of tickets.

*     *      *     *     *     *     *

Going to a carnival as an adult is different.  

It's sort of like when they turn on the "ugly lights" in a bar at last call.  It looks a lot different than you thought, and not in a good way.

Durel and I learned this last weekend.  Luckily, we had enough Tums and Advil to get through it, and were able to enjoy Jack's view of the event, which is utterly carefree.

[I mean, it's just scary to think of all these rides being taken apart into transportable bits, nuts, bolts, and pieces and then reassembled, ridden, disassembled, transported, reassembled, and then ridden by you and your child, the most precious thing to you in the entire universe.  In retrospect, I prefer the firefighters and mechanics.]

[But you know what?  Everything is scary if you think about it wrong.  So, we got our bad selves in line and rode the rides because that's what you do.]

Jack and I rode the Ferris Wheel.

It's really pretty from up there!

Jack and Durel rode the roller coaster.

Raise'em like you just don't CAYAH

We did not take a camel ride, go inside the weird tent to see the "World's Smallest Horse," which the sign said in bizarre, Wizard of Oz style wording, was "Positively Alive!" or pay $12 for a turkey leg.

Sawyer maintained a Zen-like composure while watching us.  Wise baby, he is.

Hope you feel the fear and do it anyway today.

Talk soon,
Heather

everything looks like jello

Monday, November 3, 2014

One of the things I love about the boys' school is that they Really Celebrate Halloween.  

Durel and I recklessly missed the (amazing) Fall Festival this year because we chose to go to ACL and wear our "grown-ups" costumes (see what I did there?).  So, there was no collective family costume this year.  

Don't worry, we're already discussing what we will be next year.  Jack's current suggestion is that Durel should be a hot dog, I should be a cookie, he is a french fry, and Sawyer is a piece of popcorn.  

(We'll see how negotiations go.  We have a good ten months before I have to begin construction.)

Anyway, their school has a costume parade on Halloween.  Bless the infant teachers, who wrestle all their adorable little babies into their costumes and take pictures of them.

Bless the pre-K teachers for harnessing the collective energy of more than a dozen 4 year olds who are in costume and ABOUT TO EAT ALL THE CANDY.

Here's how this panned out:



Of course, we took it to the streets that evening.  More on that to come.

In the meantime, ponder Jack's statement that, with his Darth Vader mask on, "Everything looks like Jello."

Hope you have a gelatinous view today.

Talk soon,
Heather


all hallows eve EVE

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Jack has been counting down to Halloween for two weeks.  He proudly informed me last Friday that it was "the last day of the row before you get to the row with Halloween!"

I deduced that he was talking about the big calendar at school and jumped promptly onto the Halloween bandwagon.

We are going to trick or treat with good friends for the third year in a row.  We all sort of love that it's become a tradition at this point.  We meet at their house because they are in PRIMO trick or treating territory.  We eat pizza.  The grown ups have a drink.  And then we take our spastic children out to go spazz out in the streets and get candy from friendly neighbors.

Flashback:
That was last year.

Double flashback:

That was two years ago.  Wow.

Anyway.

This year, the boys are older, bigger, and more spastic.  And Batman's little sister (top right; being held by mom; dressed last year as Robin) will be in charge of her own area this year, for sure.  

AND.  And.  Sawyer is here.

And he's ready.


Stay tuned for updates from the candy-laden streets.

Hope your belly is ready for Halloween.

Talk soon,
Heather

catching our collective breath

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

You guys.  The past month has been totally ridonkulous.

Here are the highlights:

Durel and I went to ACL.  

We had three day passes because we are nothing if not ambitious.  We got babysitters and cash and went to HAVE SOME FUN, PEOPLE.  We drank beer, saw music, people watched, ate awesome food, slogged through mud, got tired of slogging through mud, and left early to go see a movie.  That might make us old, but it also makes us happy.  

In other news, we've decided that we are now "one day pass" people.  I think it's a sign of maturity.


Bright eyes, full hearts, can't handle that much mud.


Sawyer started sitting up.  

We had been wondering when SawDog would deign to sit up in our presence.  He seemed quite happy to roll everywhere he wanted to go.  I really think he just didn't feel like sitting up.  But then, he decided to throw us a bone in the form of a developmental milestone.  He's thoughtful like that.

This will also [drumroll] signal his transition from a Lamb to a Duck at school!  And that means that crawling and sippy cups are in our near future.  Apparently, I am in a time warp.  

How YOU doin'?

SickFest 2014 happened.

Sawyer had a yucky virus where he coughed a heartbreaking amount.

Jack had a yucky virus where he projectile vomited everywhere.

Sometimes motherhood is harder than law school.


Soccer stars emerged.

Last weekend, at Jack's soccer game, he and his teammates lined up, three kids across, to protect their goal from the oncoming opposing team.

I almost fainted.

They've learned how to play soccer, people.  And they are FOUR YEARS OLD.  And, they're damn cute.

Though they are really in it for the snacks.

Here's hoping you get a snack today.

Talk soon,
Heather

he's got a fever

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Jack's got a fever and the cure is more cowbell.


Hope the one liners just come to you today.

Talk soon,
Heather

P.S.  If you don't know what I'm talking about, I implore you to click the link above and watch the video.

P.P.S.  No, really.  Watch it.

hey, durel...

Monday, October 6, 2014




In 2001, I met a handsome guy named Durel with a really sweet Southern accent.  I got a crush on him.  Our first date involved beer, some dude with a TV show on public access cable, and his friend the rabbi who wouldn't answer his phone.  We've never been boring.

Today is Durel's birthday.

He's been my best friend for more than a decade, my husband for almost a decade, an amazing dad for five years, and Coach D to the formidable DC Dragons four year old soccer team for a month or so.

He's great.  And given the amount of ink I spill about Jack's birthdays, I had to take a moment and thoroughly embarrass Durel by spilling a little ink in his honor.

Hope you get some well-deserved props today.

Talk soon,
Heather

don't cut barbie's hair, and other important life lessons

Friday, October 3, 2014

Once upon a time, I was a snoopy little sister who read her big sister's diary.  I was about 10 years old, which would have made her about 17 years old.  

I thought her diary was full of VERY SHOCKING THINGS.  (Side note:  I was ten.  Cutting your Barbie's hair was VERY SHOCKING.  Context, people.)

I was smart enough not to tell anyone.  Because I knew that I would hate life if my sister knew that I had read her diary, and I also knew that I shouldn't have read it in the first place.  I think every kid is instinctively has the "fruit of the poisonous tree" concept hard-wired into them.  I certainly did.

So, I did what any smart-ass ten year old with a shred of self-preservation instinct would have done:  I went to my OWN diary and recounted what I had read.  I reacted to it, and I'm sure there were a lot of exclamation points.  I wasn't ever one for puffy hearts.

A few days later, I went to write in my diary again (replete with the "lock" for your secretive 1980's self) and found a note from my big sister.  I don't remember exactly what it said, but it was the emotional equivalent of a horse's head in my bed.

Message received.  "Hey kid.  Don't read my diary again.  You got it?"

I got it.

*     *     *     *     *

The other morning, Sawyer and I went to wake up Jack.  And this look happened.


Message received.  "Hey Sawyer.  I think you're amazing."

He got it.

*     *     *     *     *

For the record, I don't read other people's diaries anymore.  And my sister has long since forgiven me.  And I did cut my Barbie's hair, and it was shocking.  And it does not grow back.

I'll do what I can to pass on what I know to my amazing boys.  Clearly, we're all learning here.

Hope your sibling dazzles you today.

Talk soon,
Heather


brussel sprouts and grandiose aspirations

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Before you have children, you have grandiose aspirations of what your parenting style will be.  

Those grandiose aspirations are also TOTAL BULLSHIT.  

This is because they are concocted, in large part, as you sip a nice Chilean Malbec at a nice restaurant while you pretend that you are not judging the nice family across the dining room.  You are, in fact, judging them, and you should not be.  First of all, because it's not nice to judge people.  Second of all, you should be applauding them because if they are at the same nice restaurant as you, they are doing a lot of things right.

As a matter of fact, that family might be mine.  So you should definitely be sending over a dessert to congratulate us for doing such a good job.  OK?

*     *     *     *     *

I, for example, was certain that my children would not be the ones eating food while at the grocery store.

[Hang on; let me stop laughing AT MYSELF.]  

Right.  Anyway.  I also was certain that my kids would not be the ones who refused to eat anything but chicken nuggets and french fries.

As for Jack, I will say that much is true.  He isn't that kid.  He will eat almost anything.  However, the route we took to get there and how I feel about it are VERY different than my naive pre-children self would have imagined.

We have always offered Jack bits of what we were eating.  And he happened to like most of it.  We are really, ridonkulously lucky.  End of story.

*     *     *     *     *

Here is Jack the Gourmand through the ages (so far).








*     *     *     *     *
Here's the latest addition to the gallery.


Seaweed salad, with a side of HAM.

Hope you crave something salty and silly today.

Talk soon,
Heather

saturday morning jumped out of bed

Monday, September 29, 2014

When I lived in San Francisco, my mom used to call me every Saturday morning.  

She was in Maryland, waiting impatiently until a "civil" time to call.  She usually waited until 9 or 9:30.

The trouble with that is the whole pesky time zone thing.  So, alllllllllllll the way in San Francisco, my phone would RINGRINGRING at 6 or 6:30 AM.

The trouble with that is that Saturday morning comes after Friday night.

For example:  We used to go to a bar in the Mission called the Makeout Room.  They played Social Distortion and had a baby doll head in a jar of formaldehyde behind the bar.  We took cabs and stayed until closing time.  I had a black faux fur Hello Kitty purse.

*     *     *     *     *

Last Saturday morning, Jack had his first ever soccer game of life.

The game was on the fields just down the street.  They start at either 8 or 9.

Jack and his doppelganger, A., ran around, passed the ball, made shots, made those shots at the correct goals, and scored a few times.

Look at my soccer mom photobomb.  Look at it!

I, never one to cheer, found myself whooping on the sidelines with the best of'em.

The trouble with this is that I think I am now TECHNICALLY a soccer mom.

For example:  Durel is the team's coach.  I emailed all the parents to rotate who brings snacks to the games.  I brought them this time.  I brought Goldfish, orange slices, and 100% juice pouches.  I wore (hot pink, thankfully) sneakers.


*     *     *     *     *

Tell me how you spend your Saturday mornings, and I'll tell you who you are.

Hope you diversify over time.

Talk soon,
Heather

life according to Jack, fall 2014

Friday, September 26, 2014

On sushi:
"I LOVE FISH!"

Escolar, to be precise.
On Sawyer:
"I'm going to call him Little Peanut.  He can call me Big Peanut.  No...he can call me Big Brother."

On slimy things:
"Mr. Scott brought goo to class.  Goo...it's like slime.  But it's NOT slime.  Goo is just goo."

On bath time:
"But I don't want to take a bath!  I don't stink!  I promise!"

On Batman:
"Mom!  Make Robin hurry up!  We have to beat the bad guys!  WE DON'T HAVE MUCH TIME!"


On bedtime:
"Hey Mom, I'm not tired.  So let's play with toys all the time until I'm tired.  Isn't that a good idea??"

Hope there's lots of play time in your day.

Talk soon,
Heather

sawyer's sartorial truth

Thursday, September 25, 2014

I firmly believe that it's better to be overdressed than under-dressed.

Incidentally, it is (completely sincere) statements like this that led me to adopt the pen name of Proper Paige for the purpose of etiquette blogging.  (I've got a lot less to say about etiquette these days, but once the poopy diaper ratio goes down, the etiquette ratio will go back up.)

Anyway, as for my zeal for being appropriately (if not over) dressed, it appears that Sawyer shares it. Because, you see, this is what he wore to the beach.  

You will note the beach-patterned rash guard and matching swim trunks, a swim diaper, and a sun hat (off to the side).  


You will note that his choice of beach towel is in complimentary colors.


You will also note the most fabulous baby sock-moccasins ever to grace the shores of Port Aransas, Texas.  

Sawyer knew that, even if our beach trip was after Labor Day, it was still a beach trip, and these would be fine.


This nap on the beach towel is as close as Sawyer ever got to the water.  He was both well-dressed and over-dressed.

That's my boy.

Hope your panache shows today.

Talk soon,
Heather


the eyes have it

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

When Jack was a baby, his eyes were brilliantly blue.  Like, in a "do recessive genes really work that well?," "holy shit look at those!" kind of way.

See?

Jack, Blue Steel, 6 months old
Also, I apparently really liked that outfit.
I had read just enough books while pregnant with Jack to be both clueless and opinionated.  I tried to deter people from getting too excited about his eyes because I was pretty damn sure that the color would change.

I was wrong.  (You can ask Durel.  I don't say that a lot.  The words just don't feel right, somehow.)

Still blue.


Dude.  Mom.  Chill.

Now, there's Sawyer.  And it's become something of a competitive sport to identify who Sawyer resembles, particularly how much he does (or doesn't) look like Jack, me, or Durel.

My mom insists that "he just looks like Sawyer."  That is kind of her.  We all smile when she says that.  And then we resume trying to dissect what, of his six month old features, we can distinguish in ourselves.


So far, we all agree that Sawyer's eyes, while massive pools of philosophical baby wisdom, are not blue any longer.

We also agree that his pesky hemangioma is getting smaller (under the talented and watchful eye of his pediatric dermatologist) and that he has far more hair than Jack at this age.  (See above.)

Dude.  Bro.  Chill.
And that instead of Blue Steel, perhaps he's working on Brown StinkEye.

Only time will tell.

Hope you observe some distinctions and differences today.

Talk soon,
Heather

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

chippy the christmas elf

Well, I did it.  It's the last day of 2014, and we STILL don't have an Elf on the Shelf.  

Jack requested one this year.  He was pretty cute about it (as he is), but I stayed strong.
Jack:  "Mom.  We need an elf on the shelf, to watch us!"
Me:    "No, we don't.  Santa is watching.  We're covered."
Jack:   "But, Mom!  I've already named him!  His name is Chippy!"
I'm sorry for you, Chippy.  I hope you find a nice home somewhere.  I hope you entertain other kids with G-rated holiday antics involving candy canes and powdered sugar and whatever else you get into.  

Editor's Note:  I specify "G-rated" antics not because I have a devious mind (at least, not in this context), but because I can't not think of the Inappropriate Elf contest held by Baby Rabies in years past, which is full of gems such as:

(Image credit)
Because if I can't do this, I'm not doing it at all.

As luck would have it, Jack has decided that the Christmas pajamas I got him (Sawyer has a matching set, natch) are his "elf suit."

And so I ask you, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, if I have a real life elf, why do I need a fake one named Chippy?

My elf is much cooler, anyway.

Elf Jack accompanied Uncle James and Durel to Central Market for some holiday fixings.
En route, they enjoyed a leisurely holiday lunch at Red's Porch.
These pjs are street style.

Elf Jack listened to some block rockin' beats on Eli's iPad.
These pjs mix.


Elf Jack posed on his new skateboard from Santa,
right next to Durel's new skateboard from Santa.
These pjs don't bail.

Elf Jack likes taun tauns, Green Lantern Legos, and skateboards.
These pjs are ALL BOY.
Hope your street style dazzles someone today.

Talk soon.  Like next year.  

Heather

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

let them eat (vegan) cake

I never met my mom's father, but tales of his coolness persist.  

His name was Henry.  (Sawyer's name was almost Henry.)  He was a left-handed pitcher in minor league baseball in the 1920's.  (I'm left handed.  I can't throw for shit, though.)  He hurt his elbow and never made the majors, so worked as a contractor building roads, bridges, and the like in Chicago.  In the 1920's and 1930's.  He was a Mason. (He was not a gangster, but HEY Chicago in the 1920's!)

Henry's birthday was on Christmas Eve.  His infinite coolness aside, he always sort of got the shaft for his birthday.  Less presents, and/or birthday presents thoughtfully wrapped in Christmas paper and given to him with his (indistinguishable) Christmas presents, also thoughtfully wrapped in Christmas paper.  You get the idea.

For years, Mom would make a birthday cake at Christmas.  In addition to the legions of cookies, truffles, candies, and the like that my father's customers would send to him, we would also tuck into a birthday cake in honor of Grandpa Henry.  In later years, Mom stopped doing it.  Logical considerations took over, I suppose.

I decided to revive the tradition this year, in large part because I didn't have time to make cookies because I was lawdogging my face off for the entire month of December.  I also recently discovered Capital City Bakery, a local Austin bakery that makes THE MOST AMAZING THINGS, which happen to be vegan.  

Truth be told, I ordered Durel's birthday cake from them in October because I was dairy-free at the time (courtesy of Sawyer) and wanted to have some damn cake.  The cake was so good that I've been looking for an excuse since then to order another one.

Anyway, as I sat at my own breakfast bar to indulge in my Christmas cake, Sawyer decided to join me.  In the spirit of the holidays and all that is dairy free, I decided to let him.

video

Whatchoo looking at, punk?  This is MY CAKE. 
Good stuff, indeed.

Hope your Christmas was filled with tasty treats and things that were joyfully messy.

Talk soon,
Heather

Thursday, December 18, 2014

it's bananas. no, really.

Christmas is next week, you guys!

I'm done with my shopping (just).  I have wrapped exactly zero presents.  I have not yet sent my cards.  (Stay tuned; they're coming.)

And I have not yet told you the ground-breaking news that Sawyer ate a banana!

Let's just cut to the chase, shall we?

Clockwise from left:  (1) Inquisitive Sawyer. (2) Cute Sawyer, with banana.
(3) Excited Sawyer.  (4) Slimy, banana-scented Sawyer.

With all the dairy allergy stuff, I sort of forgot that Sawyer was, like, nine months old and that it was time to give him FOOD food.  His pediatrician kindly reminded me at his recent well check.  

We hurried home and enjoyed a ripe banana together.  I mean, Mum Mums are SO a month ago.  

Hope you enjoy something new and tropical today.

Talk soon,
Heather

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

gravy boats

Durel and I have been busy LIKE WOAH lately.

Work. Colds. Commutes.  Bills.  Duties.  Thoughts.  Things.

But.  (There's always a but.)

Tomorrow is Official Pie Baking Day.

And then, there's Thursday.

Friday is Official Wear Yoga Pants on the Couch Day.

So, I think we should call it Official Calm Down Weekend.

I know what I'm thankful for.  I really do.

Even superheroes go to the doctor sometimes.
They don't have ear infections, though.  [High five!]

So, mugging for the camera is now a developmental milestone?
Because, WHEN DID THIS HAPPEN?
Hope your gravy boat is half full, too.

Talk soon,
Heather

Monday, November 24, 2014

Ce n'est pas un blog post.

Jack has started helping me in the kitchen.

Full disclosure:  I ordered him an apron for Christmas last year.  He had no interest.  It's been collecting dust since then.  

However, now at the ripe old age of 4 1/2, he is getting into cooking.  I am valiantly trying to ignore the part of me that can't believe MY BABY is big enough to help me cook.  As an alternative, I am trying to listen to the part of me that is so happy to have a little buddy in the kitchen.

Oh, motherhood.  Why do you have to be such a roller coaster?

Anyway, PapaDu's birthday was last week, which is OBVIOUSLY a critical cupcake situation.

Note Pablo photobomb.
"What?  Dogs like cupcakes."

Jack and I were pleased to find that Randall's selection of cupcake decorations more than suited our needs.  They had, in fact, candy eyeballs, candy mustaches, and colored icing tubes for artistic freehand expression a la cupcake.

It's sort of a chocolaty Magritte situation.  Or Picasso.  With some Jackson Pollack influence, perhaps.  
(Ce n'est pas un petit gâteau?)


Regardless of what influences you see here, rest assured that what was pleasing to the eye was also pleasing to the palate.


Hope you get all surreal today.

Talk soon,
Heather

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

we've apparently lost our minds

This just happened.


I will now attempt to answer what I imagine your questions to be.

1.  Did you just give Jack a set of drums? 
     Yes.  You are very observant.
2.  Like, at your house?  
     Yes.
3.  Like, six weeks before Christmas?  
Um, yes.  We purchased them as a Christmas gift, initially.  However, the Davies family is genetically incapable of holding onto gifts for very long.  This ailment is apparently contagious, because it was Durel's idea to give the drums early.
4.  Aren't they loud?  
Yes, they are.  Particularly because four year old drummers don't have a lot of, shall we say, percussive nuance.  He just beats the shit out of those things.  Which means that yes, it is quite loud.
5.  DON'T YOU HAVE A BABY?  
Yes, we do.  We have the coolest baby on the planet, and the drums don't bother him.  Even when he's in bed.
6.  Oh, Jack's room is far away from Sawyer's room?  
No.  They share a wall.
7.  Have you lost your minds?  
Probably.
8.  What on earth are you thinking?
Drums are fun.  Childhood is far too fast, and you only get to do it once.

9.  Can your friends come over and play these drums?
Yes. You should bring wine.
10.  So, is it possible that you guys aren't crazy after all?
I knew I liked you.  Don't forget the wine.
Hope you carpe the hell out of that diem.

Talk soon,
Heather

Monday, November 17, 2014

Hang on, November.

I drank coffee yesterday from a Starbucks Red Cup.

It was 29 degrees in Austin this morning.  Count'em-- twenty-nine.  That's cold!

(Despite my past life as an East Coaster who did attend college in the very snowy state of Maine, I have acclimated to Texas pretty well.  Which means that I feel allowed to talk about how very cold it is, indeed, when the temperature starts with the number 2.)

I know what this means!  Christmas is coming!  

(Also, while I was preoccupied with being legitimately cold on my commute this morning, I realized that Thanksgiving is next week.  NEXT WEEK!  And that means my daydreams of stuffing recipes and perfect gravy are about to morph into a big shopping cart full of goodies at HEB.  Note to self:  Do not forget Cool Whip.  It doesn't matter how much you want to be Martha Stewart.  Everyone wants Cool Whip on their pumpkin pie.  End note.)

So, despite all of that, I have to share just two more pictures from Halloween.  I cannot, and will not, short-change Halloween.


First, we love Jack's teachers, Mr. Scott and Miss Hayley.  Second, we love their costumes.  Third, Jack's smile is pretty special in this particular snap.  Oh, sometimes I would love to be inside his little head to hear what's going on.  I think he was on joy overload here because he was both Darth Vader and having his picture taken with his teachers who he simply adores.


As for Sawyer, well.  The force is strong with this one, even when he is not dressed up as the world's cutest Jedi Master.

OK, October.  I'm good now.  November, I am now officially paying attention to you.  Time to make the gravy.

Hope you get all caught up with yourself today.

Talk soon,
Heather

Friday, November 14, 2014

compare and contrast

Jack at roughly eight months:

Yellow?  Blue? Which one?  I DON'T KNOW!

Sawyer at eight months:

L.  I.  V.  I.  N.
I will say this:  I think different personalities are emerging.  As well as different looks.

Hope your own observations entertain you today, too.

Talk soon,
Heather

Thursday, November 13, 2014

eight months



Sawyer has been here for 240 days.
(That doesn't sound like that long, does it?)

Sawyer is eight months old today.

Now that sounds impressive.

Sawyer is a happy and Zen baby.  He hardly ever cries.  He smiles and laughs easily.  He loves to watch people, especially Jack.  He likes to eat, especially bananas.  He likes to sleep (finally).  

He rolls around with tenacity and remarkable accuracy.  He pets Pablo and Lucy with surprising acuity.  He is *this close* to crawling.  He claps up a storm.

Jack has found a new side of himself as a doting big brother.  He wants to "have breakfast with Sawyer," as in, eat his Cheerios while I feed Sawyer his baby food in the morning.  He wants to cuddle with him on the couch while watching Blaze and the Monster Machines (new show on Nick Junior which should be avoided at all costs.  It's too late for me, but you can save yourselves...)  The first thing Jack does every morning is run into the nursery to see his little brother.

Durel and I marvel at our boys.  We are lucky.  We are grateful.  Our family is delightfully complete.

Sawyer with Uncle Fooshee during their recent, awesome visit.
If you're in or near New Orleans, check out the brilliant Inner Light Photography.
Hope you marvel at something today.

Talk soon,
Heather

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

carnivals and the paradox of fear

Every summer on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, there is a Brigadoon known as the Cecil County Firefighter's Carnival.

Cecilton is forgettable, and that is kind.  But the carnival was always fun.  I give full props to the volunteer firefighters (many of whom I knew from my summer job at the marina, where they worked as mechanics or painters on yachts and sailboats).  They are a dedicated bunch, and they know how to throw a carnival.

I have a fuzzy memory of bright lights, funnel cakes, rides that make you *almost* puke, and the sweet freedom of a pocketful of tickets.

*     *      *     *     *     *     *

Going to a carnival as an adult is different.  

It's sort of like when they turn on the "ugly lights" in a bar at last call.  It looks a lot different than you thought, and not in a good way.

Durel and I learned this last weekend.  Luckily, we had enough Tums and Advil to get through it, and were able to enjoy Jack's view of the event, which is utterly carefree.

[I mean, it's just scary to think of all these rides being taken apart into transportable bits, nuts, bolts, and pieces and then reassembled, ridden, disassembled, transported, reassembled, and then ridden by you and your child, the most precious thing to you in the entire universe.  In retrospect, I prefer the firefighters and mechanics.]

[But you know what?  Everything is scary if you think about it wrong.  So, we got our bad selves in line and rode the rides because that's what you do.]

Jack and I rode the Ferris Wheel.

It's really pretty from up there!

Jack and Durel rode the roller coaster.

Raise'em like you just don't CAYAH

We did not take a camel ride, go inside the weird tent to see the "World's Smallest Horse," which the sign said in bizarre, Wizard of Oz style wording, was "Positively Alive!" or pay $12 for a turkey leg.

Sawyer maintained a Zen-like composure while watching us.  Wise baby, he is.

Hope you feel the fear and do it anyway today.

Talk soon,
Heather

Monday, November 3, 2014

everything looks like jello

One of the things I love about the boys' school is that they Really Celebrate Halloween.  

Durel and I recklessly missed the (amazing) Fall Festival this year because we chose to go to ACL and wear our "grown-ups" costumes (see what I did there?).  So, there was no collective family costume this year.  

Don't worry, we're already discussing what we will be next year.  Jack's current suggestion is that Durel should be a hot dog, I should be a cookie, he is a french fry, and Sawyer is a piece of popcorn.  

(We'll see how negotiations go.  We have a good ten months before I have to begin construction.)

Anyway, their school has a costume parade on Halloween.  Bless the infant teachers, who wrestle all their adorable little babies into their costumes and take pictures of them.

Bless the pre-K teachers for harnessing the collective energy of more than a dozen 4 year olds who are in costume and ABOUT TO EAT ALL THE CANDY.

Here's how this panned out:



Of course, we took it to the streets that evening.  More on that to come.

In the meantime, ponder Jack's statement that, with his Darth Vader mask on, "Everything looks like Jello."

Hope you have a gelatinous view today.

Talk soon,
Heather


Thursday, October 30, 2014

all hallows eve EVE

Jack has been counting down to Halloween for two weeks.  He proudly informed me last Friday that it was "the last day of the row before you get to the row with Halloween!"

I deduced that he was talking about the big calendar at school and jumped promptly onto the Halloween bandwagon.

We are going to trick or treat with good friends for the third year in a row.  We all sort of love that it's become a tradition at this point.  We meet at their house because they are in PRIMO trick or treating territory.  We eat pizza.  The grown ups have a drink.  And then we take our spastic children out to go spazz out in the streets and get candy from friendly neighbors.

Flashback:
That was last year.

Double flashback:

That was two years ago.  Wow.

Anyway.

This year, the boys are older, bigger, and more spastic.  And Batman's little sister (top right; being held by mom; dressed last year as Robin) will be in charge of her own area this year, for sure.  

AND.  And.  Sawyer is here.

And he's ready.


Stay tuned for updates from the candy-laden streets.

Hope your belly is ready for Halloween.

Talk soon,
Heather

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

catching our collective breath

You guys.  The past month has been totally ridonkulous.

Here are the highlights:

Durel and I went to ACL.  

We had three day passes because we are nothing if not ambitious.  We got babysitters and cash and went to HAVE SOME FUN, PEOPLE.  We drank beer, saw music, people watched, ate awesome food, slogged through mud, got tired of slogging through mud, and left early to go see a movie.  That might make us old, but it also makes us happy.  

In other news, we've decided that we are now "one day pass" people.  I think it's a sign of maturity.


Bright eyes, full hearts, can't handle that much mud.


Sawyer started sitting up.  

We had been wondering when SawDog would deign to sit up in our presence.  He seemed quite happy to roll everywhere he wanted to go.  I really think he just didn't feel like sitting up.  But then, he decided to throw us a bone in the form of a developmental milestone.  He's thoughtful like that.

This will also [drumroll] signal his transition from a Lamb to a Duck at school!  And that means that crawling and sippy cups are in our near future.  Apparently, I am in a time warp.  

How YOU doin'?

SickFest 2014 happened.

Sawyer had a yucky virus where he coughed a heartbreaking amount.

Jack had a yucky virus where he projectile vomited everywhere.

Sometimes motherhood is harder than law school.


Soccer stars emerged.

Last weekend, at Jack's soccer game, he and his teammates lined up, three kids across, to protect their goal from the oncoming opposing team.

I almost fainted.

They've learned how to play soccer, people.  And they are FOUR YEARS OLD.  And, they're damn cute.

Though they are really in it for the snacks.

Here's hoping you get a snack today.

Talk soon,
Heather

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

he's got a fever

Jack's got a fever and the cure is more cowbell.


Hope the one liners just come to you today.

Talk soon,
Heather

P.S.  If you don't know what I'm talking about, I implore you to click the link above and watch the video.

P.P.S.  No, really.  Watch it.

Monday, October 6, 2014

hey, durel...




In 2001, I met a handsome guy named Durel with a really sweet Southern accent.  I got a crush on him.  Our first date involved beer, some dude with a TV show on public access cable, and his friend the rabbi who wouldn't answer his phone.  We've never been boring.

Today is Durel's birthday.

He's been my best friend for more than a decade, my husband for almost a decade, an amazing dad for five years, and Coach D to the formidable DC Dragons four year old soccer team for a month or so.

He's great.  And given the amount of ink I spill about Jack's birthdays, I had to take a moment and thoroughly embarrass Durel by spilling a little ink in his honor.

Hope you get some well-deserved props today.

Talk soon,
Heather

Friday, October 3, 2014

don't cut barbie's hair, and other important life lessons

Once upon a time, I was a snoopy little sister who read her big sister's diary.  I was about 10 years old, which would have made her about 17 years old.  

I thought her diary was full of VERY SHOCKING THINGS.  (Side note:  I was ten.  Cutting your Barbie's hair was VERY SHOCKING.  Context, people.)

I was smart enough not to tell anyone.  Because I knew that I would hate life if my sister knew that I had read her diary, and I also knew that I shouldn't have read it in the first place.  I think every kid is instinctively has the "fruit of the poisonous tree" concept hard-wired into them.  I certainly did.

So, I did what any smart-ass ten year old with a shred of self-preservation instinct would have done:  I went to my OWN diary and recounted what I had read.  I reacted to it, and I'm sure there were a lot of exclamation points.  I wasn't ever one for puffy hearts.

A few days later, I went to write in my diary again (replete with the "lock" for your secretive 1980's self) and found a note from my big sister.  I don't remember exactly what it said, but it was the emotional equivalent of a horse's head in my bed.

Message received.  "Hey kid.  Don't read my diary again.  You got it?"

I got it.

*     *     *     *     *

The other morning, Sawyer and I went to wake up Jack.  And this look happened.


Message received.  "Hey Sawyer.  I think you're amazing."

He got it.

*     *     *     *     *

For the record, I don't read other people's diaries anymore.  And my sister has long since forgiven me.  And I did cut my Barbie's hair, and it was shocking.  And it does not grow back.

I'll do what I can to pass on what I know to my amazing boys.  Clearly, we're all learning here.

Hope your sibling dazzles you today.

Talk soon,
Heather


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

brussel sprouts and grandiose aspirations

Before you have children, you have grandiose aspirations of what your parenting style will be.  

Those grandiose aspirations are also TOTAL BULLSHIT.  

This is because they are concocted, in large part, as you sip a nice Chilean Malbec at a nice restaurant while you pretend that you are not judging the nice family across the dining room.  You are, in fact, judging them, and you should not be.  First of all, because it's not nice to judge people.  Second of all, you should be applauding them because if they are at the same nice restaurant as you, they are doing a lot of things right.

As a matter of fact, that family might be mine.  So you should definitely be sending over a dessert to congratulate us for doing such a good job.  OK?

*     *     *     *     *

I, for example, was certain that my children would not be the ones eating food while at the grocery store.

[Hang on; let me stop laughing AT MYSELF.]  

Right.  Anyway.  I also was certain that my kids would not be the ones who refused to eat anything but chicken nuggets and french fries.

As for Jack, I will say that much is true.  He isn't that kid.  He will eat almost anything.  However, the route we took to get there and how I feel about it are VERY different than my naive pre-children self would have imagined.

We have always offered Jack bits of what we were eating.  And he happened to like most of it.  We are really, ridonkulously lucky.  End of story.

*     *     *     *     *

Here is Jack the Gourmand through the ages (so far).








*     *     *     *     *
Here's the latest addition to the gallery.


Seaweed salad, with a side of HAM.

Hope you crave something salty and silly today.

Talk soon,
Heather

Monday, September 29, 2014

saturday morning jumped out of bed

When I lived in San Francisco, my mom used to call me every Saturday morning.  

She was in Maryland, waiting impatiently until a "civil" time to call.  She usually waited until 9 or 9:30.

The trouble with that is the whole pesky time zone thing.  So, alllllllllllll the way in San Francisco, my phone would RINGRINGRING at 6 or 6:30 AM.

The trouble with that is that Saturday morning comes after Friday night.

For example:  We used to go to a bar in the Mission called the Makeout Room.  They played Social Distortion and had a baby doll head in a jar of formaldehyde behind the bar.  We took cabs and stayed until closing time.  I had a black faux fur Hello Kitty purse.

*     *     *     *     *

Last Saturday morning, Jack had his first ever soccer game of life.

The game was on the fields just down the street.  They start at either 8 or 9.

Jack and his doppelganger, A., ran around, passed the ball, made shots, made those shots at the correct goals, and scored a few times.

Look at my soccer mom photobomb.  Look at it!

I, never one to cheer, found myself whooping on the sidelines with the best of'em.

The trouble with this is that I think I am now TECHNICALLY a soccer mom.

For example:  Durel is the team's coach.  I emailed all the parents to rotate who brings snacks to the games.  I brought them this time.  I brought Goldfish, orange slices, and 100% juice pouches.  I wore (hot pink, thankfully) sneakers.


*     *     *     *     *

Tell me how you spend your Saturday mornings, and I'll tell you who you are.

Hope you diversify over time.

Talk soon,
Heather

Friday, September 26, 2014

life according to Jack, fall 2014

On sushi:
"I LOVE FISH!"

Escolar, to be precise.
On Sawyer:
"I'm going to call him Little Peanut.  He can call me Big Peanut.  No...he can call me Big Brother."

On slimy things:
"Mr. Scott brought goo to class.  Goo...it's like slime.  But it's NOT slime.  Goo is just goo."

On bath time:
"But I don't want to take a bath!  I don't stink!  I promise!"

On Batman:
"Mom!  Make Robin hurry up!  We have to beat the bad guys!  WE DON'T HAVE MUCH TIME!"


On bedtime:
"Hey Mom, I'm not tired.  So let's play with toys all the time until I'm tired.  Isn't that a good idea??"

Hope there's lots of play time in your day.

Talk soon,
Heather

Thursday, September 25, 2014

sawyer's sartorial truth

I firmly believe that it's better to be overdressed than under-dressed.

Incidentally, it is (completely sincere) statements like this that led me to adopt the pen name of Proper Paige for the purpose of etiquette blogging.  (I've got a lot less to say about etiquette these days, but once the poopy diaper ratio goes down, the etiquette ratio will go back up.)

Anyway, as for my zeal for being appropriately (if not over) dressed, it appears that Sawyer shares it. Because, you see, this is what he wore to the beach.  

You will note the beach-patterned rash guard and matching swim trunks, a swim diaper, and a sun hat (off to the side).  


You will note that his choice of beach towel is in complimentary colors.


You will also note the most fabulous baby sock-moccasins ever to grace the shores of Port Aransas, Texas.  

Sawyer knew that, even if our beach trip was after Labor Day, it was still a beach trip, and these would be fine.


This nap on the beach towel is as close as Sawyer ever got to the water.  He was both well-dressed and over-dressed.

That's my boy.

Hope your panache shows today.

Talk soon,
Heather


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

the eyes have it

When Jack was a baby, his eyes were brilliantly blue.  Like, in a "do recessive genes really work that well?," "holy shit look at those!" kind of way.

See?

Jack, Blue Steel, 6 months old
Also, I apparently really liked that outfit.
I had read just enough books while pregnant with Jack to be both clueless and opinionated.  I tried to deter people from getting too excited about his eyes because I was pretty damn sure that the color would change.

I was wrong.  (You can ask Durel.  I don't say that a lot.  The words just don't feel right, somehow.)

Still blue.


Dude.  Mom.  Chill.

Now, there's Sawyer.  And it's become something of a competitive sport to identify who Sawyer resembles, particularly how much he does (or doesn't) look like Jack, me, or Durel.

My mom insists that "he just looks like Sawyer."  That is kind of her.  We all smile when she says that.  And then we resume trying to dissect what, of his six month old features, we can distinguish in ourselves.


So far, we all agree that Sawyer's eyes, while massive pools of philosophical baby wisdom, are not blue any longer.

We also agree that his pesky hemangioma is getting smaller (under the talented and watchful eye of his pediatric dermatologist) and that he has far more hair than Jack at this age.  (See above.)

Dude.  Bro.  Chill.
And that instead of Blue Steel, perhaps he's working on Brown StinkEye.

Only time will tell.

Hope you observe some distinctions and differences today.

Talk soon,
Heather
 
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