Sep 28, 2009

As of Wednesday, Charlotte has figured out how to truly crawl. Her dad and I are her biggest cheerleaders. I don't think she understands what we're so excited about.

Sep 27, 2009

Art Prize

For those who live under a rock, perhaps you haven't heard about the $250,000 Art Prize in Grand Rapids, 9/23 - 10/10. I wanted to tour the various art works, but wasn't quite sure when I'd make it down town. Brian talked me into heading out there with him today since he needed to do some PR work. We raced out of the house by 9:30 to get there (and yes, when you have a baby, 9:30 is racing). I barely ate breakfast, which later came to be a colossal mistake.

While Brian worked, Charlotte and I strolled about town. We found this maze of recyclable plastics.

Aah, just like home. A beautiful portrait of a windmill made out of black dots.

We hung around waiting for this guy to jump off of his 75' foot easel, but apparently he "wasn't granted permission by the city." Also known as, "I chickened out."

Apparently the Lochness Monster wanted to check out the art too.

Charlotte and I held our very own tea party on this massive table and chairs.

Charlotte got to hang with Kaomi Getz, formerly of Michigan Radio. She thought Charlotte should be a model, but maybe she changed her mind after she saw her in this photo.

Then we waited amidst the crowds for the release of the 100,000 paper airplanes from 5 rooftops (done by the same artist who orchestrated the Pillow Fight and Zombie Walk). It was as though we were all watching a space ship land. The crowd was at a standstill. The airplane release was choreographed with an orchestra playing some Scandinavian song, apparently one of the artist's favorites. The planes were tossed out in clumps from large sheets. It was a nice effect, but many just fell quickly to the ground. If he could've figured out a way to slowly sprinkle them to the streets, I would've enjoyed it much more.

Once the demonstration ended, it was so difficult to get out of the pack. Then we failed over and over trying to find somewhere to eat. Anyone who knows me well enough knows I can get awfully irritable if I don't get to eat on schedule. Finally we just ended up getting in the car and trying to get out of dodge so that we could find food with less than a 30 minute wait. Amidst all of the shuffle, Charlotte lost one of her shoes. And I'm quite sure she didn't kick it off in a fit of joy.

All in all, I enjoyed the day, exhausting as it was. Lesson learned: If Brian ever tries to take me on a last minute day trip, pack a lot of snacks. He doesn't plan for such trivial things as eating.

Sep 22, 2009

I don't want to make all the other mother's out there feel bad, but I just have to show you this evidence that Charlotte is already reading at 8 months old! Yes, see she can't talk yet so she wouldn't tell me what the paper said, but it seemed quite obvious that she comprehends the text. ;)

But seriously, Charlotte has learned some new tricks over the past few weeks. She's taken to moving all over her crib at night. Now I awaken to her cry at night because she's dorked herself into some position that she can't get out of. She usually has her legs stuck in the crib bars or lying on her stomach. My favorite was when I walked in to find her seated in the corner of the crib, crying, but still pretty much asleep. As if she was saying "Help mom, I have no idea how to sleep sitting up!" We need to drop the mattress down a notch before she learns how to pull up.

I am trying my best to catch a video of her dancing. She has the cutest wiggle/head bop that she'll do for just about anything, the radio, her toys, or an off pitch song that I sing. Too funny.

Sep 20, 2009

Our friend Linda

Many of you know how much I adore Linda. I would go as far as saying I idolize her because she does everything that is cool in crafting, and on top of that, is just generally awesome to be around!
I miss working with her, but we try to make time to see each other throughout the year. So, when she invited Charlotte and I up to her cottage in Traverse City, I did all I could to rearrange my work schedule so we could go. We were there just over 24 hours, so time just flew by. My favorite parts of the trip were sitting, drinking tea and knitting while watching the bay Friday afternoon, enjoying cheese and wine at the mercardo, and watching Charlotte bond with Linda. Some day I am sure Charlotte will love her as much as I do.

View from the deck

I love applesauce

Today was the perfect day to pick apples. After we finished our "chores" for the day, we headed to Crane's orchard in Fennville and picked 54 pounds of apples, including Gala, Honeycrisp and a new version of Golden Supreme called Blondey. The Blondeys were pretty well picked over, so I had to sit on Brian's shoulders to get to the top limbs. (I knew my middle school cheerleading experience would come in handy some day.) I've already peeled most of the Gala and have them softening on the stove top right now for applesauce.

Sep 15, 2009


Charlotte is officially 8 months old. She is starting to wave, dance, and loves a good game of Peekaboo. As far as that crawling thing, she is taking it nice and slow. She's cautious like her mom.

Sep 13, 2009

5 Years

Brian and I decided to celebrate our 5 year anniversary by revisiting our favorite city, Kalamazoo. It's the city where we met each other, met our best friends, and eventually got married.

We started the night at the Chef's Table at Zazio's. We did this about 4 years ago and still remember the food so fondly that we just had to return. The night includes a 5 course Italian meal with wine pairings prepared right in front of you by chef John Koryki. He gives a nice lesson on travel in Italy as he prepares a meal focused on one region of the country. We went to Liguria for the night.

Our first course was focaccia with eggplant, heirloom tomatoes, and fresh vegetables. Next (my favorite) was halibut over summer squash "spaghetti" with basil oil. Then a potato filled ravioli with fresh pesto. Fourth - chicken with basil, fingerling potatoes, and an almond/pine nut sauce. Dessert was stuffed peach with amaretti and raisins, pistachio semifreddo and basil crema bruciata (like creme brulee). I will dream about this meal for years to come. I can't wait to go back - any friends want to go with us next time?!

The funniest (and most annoying) part of the evening was that there was another couple there celebrating their 49th anniversary. The wife had a few too many cocktails and had turned into a chatty cathy. She wouldn't stop pronouncing every thought to the chef. By the end of the 4th course she had disappeared to the restroom - good riddance.

We stayed the night in a beautiful suite at the Radisson - that way we could each enjoy our wine freely. Mom Burch took Charlotte for the night, so we were free to enjoy ourselves. The next morning we got up early to eat breakfast at Cosmo's. I had a fritatta with farm fresh veggies. So good! Anyone who went to WMU knows and loves their breakfast. We drove around campus, the ghetto, and down Fraternity Village Drive. Ah the memories. Our old house on Minor still looks great! (I know it's only been 5 years, but some of the houses around it really seem to be decaying.)

We ended our visit with mass at St. Tom's. Although the building has changed so much, there are still so many familiar faces. We loved the new structure. We couldn't resist taking a picture in front of the beautiful dove window.

Sep 2, 2009

Too bad I'll be out of town. This sounds fun.

I can't be stopped

Carter's had their warehouse sale last weekend, so I stocked up on 12-18 month clothes for next spring/summer. Best part of the whole deal was that the young lady at the register slid me an extra 20% off the whole lot. Brian had to roll his eyes when he saw how much I bought, but I just love playing dress up with Charlotte. So much better than a Barbie doll!

Also - I have about four coupons for $10 off $35 purchase, good this month - if anyone wants one I am happy to mail it to you.

Daddy gives the best baths!

Charlotte loves baths, but even more when Daddy gives them because he always thinks of new games. Today the "nose sucker" became a squirt gun. (I've also caught him making nipples into squirt guns while doing dishes...such a boy."

I don't know why this video is so choppy, so I apologize for that. I also just noticed how large Brian's nostril is! My goodness.