Archive for October, 2012

Open Sesame? October 29, 2012

Monday, October 29th, 2012

We’re kind of a big deal in the local toddler birthday party circuit lately.  (I hope you read that sentence in Ron Burgandy’s voice.)  It  seems like every weekend we’re at some preschool hot spot or in a suburban backyard sipping juice boxes.  That’s just how we roll.  Don’t hate.  Mama’s gotta get her cupcake fix.

We’re in full-tilt party planning mode as Charlotte’s 2nd birthday is Friday and her party is Saturday.  I’ll let you in on a secret.  I love it.  I stayed up well past midnight Saturday night cutting out “2’s” and “C’s” for her Sesame Street soiree.  Oh, how our weekend “partying” has changed!

I’ve noticed something about the last five parties for 2 and 3 year-olds that we have attended.  At every one of these shindigs, the Birthday Girl or Boy did not open their gifts in front of their guests.  These were parties both in homes and at local attractions.  Granted, there were a couple of parties we had to leave early.  They may have opened presents after we left, I dunno.  We hung around late at the party for the son of our very close friends.  Most people had gone when I asked if  he could open his gift from us because I knew the parents would get a kick out of the present we found for him.  Other than that, I didn’t even know if the child got their gift until the Thank You note.  (Which annoys me by-the-way.  I’m not a fan of the Thank You note.  I personally think it’s unnecessary and I feel silly when I get one.  I’m not giving you a gift to get a note about it.  I also procrastinate when writing them.  I know!  I know!  Call Miss Manners!  I’m an outrageous faux pas!)  

Anyway, I got to thinking about Charlotte’s 1st birthday party.  Did I commit a major kid party no-no last year when my then one-year-old opened her stack of presents in front of everyone?  Did I bore my guests to tears and come across as an attention seeking moron mom?

I personally like seeing the child open their gifts.  They get to tear paper to reveal some noisy, blinking nonsense.  It’s cute.  Who doesn’t like seeing a kid get a present?  I considered having Charlotte just open friend gifts at the party and save family presents for later.

What is the etiquette these days?  Is there a rule, or is it decided on a party-by-party basis?  What have you done in the past?  What have you experienced at other parties?  Should I have her open her gifts in front of the group, or wait until later?

I’m excited to hear your take on this.  Thanks!

(Oh, and I did write Thank You notes and I will again this year too.  Relax.)



Week in My Life- October 28, 2012

Sunday, October 28th, 2012

All week long I’ve been remembering things to write about and snapping a quick cell phone pic when I had a free second.  Let me tell you.  That was rare my friends.  I had been looking forward to writing every day this week and linking up with Melissa at Adventuroo for her annual “Week In My Life.”

But, during this week. That wasn’t going to happen.  I was extremely busy at work and out-of-town for two days.  So, I’m just doing a recap of the week.  Here is this crazy week in my life.  Well, what I can remember, anyway.


I didn’t know this was the week until I read a post from Erin about it.  Oops.  I didn’t record much this day.

8:30am-  I was really psyched to get into work to talk to people about the real-life soap opera that is our local school board.  I covered this cluster as a news reporter.   My jaw dropped into my coffee Sunday morning when I read a breaking newspaper article about board members running for statewide office who supposedly had an illicit affair.  Ah politics!  It’s dirty and totally irresistible.

6:00pm- I got to play with my girl because Lord knows I wouldn’t be able to later in the week.  I had to take a picture of this smile in mismatched pajamas pushing Cookie Monster in the doll stroller.



7:30am- I needed to be at work at 7:30am and got stuck at the train tracks.  Not for a train.  For maintainance.  Really?!  Ya’ll couldn’t handle that at 3:00am? You had to wait until I was rushing into work.  Thanks for nothing.  (Side note:  I still lift my feet when I go over the tracks.  Please tell me you know what I’m talking about.)

9:00am- I got to take some cool photos for clients at work.  I loved the setup we had and the chance to stretch my photographic abilities.  Some of the guys in this particular office rushed in about this time and said, “Did you see LeBron?!?”  Now, as far as I know there is only one LeBron in the world.  If there are more, I don’t know who they are.  I looked down to the street from the office window and saw the reflection of the Miami Heat’s bus in the window of the Marriott.  Some people had waited to see LeBron James and company exit the hotel before heading to our local arena.  They had an exhibition game that night.

12:00pm- I grabbed a quick bite with a coworker before spotting an old family friend to chat with. I got a parking ticket.  Little did I know, this would be just the first time I would curse the City of Raleigh’s parking enforcers this week.

5:30pm-After meetings back at the office all afternoon I got to go pick up Charlotte.  She did not care that I was there and was engrossed in a book about a duck and a goose.  I had to bribe her with a pumpkin visit to even get her to come home with me.  She happily greeted the pumpkins at the front of her school.


6:30am- Let the madness begin!  My coworker, Jen and I headed 1 1/2 hours out-of-town Greensboro for a meeting.  I love her and love working with her.  Thank goodness, because we spent loads of time together this week.  We may or may not have grabbed a quick bite at the IHOP on the way out-of-town and I may or may not have ordered the Pumpkin Pancakes.  Holla!

4:00pm-  Okay, here’s where things get interesting, well, annoying.  I arrived at a huge work event in downtown Raleigh.  I unloaded equipment from my car and went to move my car to our designated parking area.  I turned on one busy street.  Bam!  Battery died in my Jeep.  I frantically coasted into a parking spot on the street.  I tried to crank my engine, but it sounded like someone had put nail polish remover in my gas tank.  Shoot me.

To make things even better, some lady with City of Raleigh parking informed me that I was 6″ over the line, and thus not actually in a spot.  One of her coworkers with a ticket printer made me put money in a meter before the woman informed me I had to move by 6:00pm, or the city would tow me.  Oh, did I not mention that my portion of this company event started at 5:30pm sharp?!?  Thankfully a coworker suggested the ladies in my office wear flats as I rushed down the street, frantically searching my wallet for my AAA card.  Naturally it was stuck between my Dunkin Donuts coffee card and library card.

I informed my very understanding coworkers of my predicament before hopping in the AAA car with Robert.  I apologized for eating my boxed dinner in his car, but I was starving and I knew it was the only time I could eat anything.  We drove down the block to my stranded Jeep.  Robert saved my ass and I would have kissed him if I weren’t a married woman.  I had a corroded battery that he fixed by 5:15pm.  You’re my hero Robert!

8:00pm-  Greyson let Charlotte stay up a little late.  I made it home just in time for a story.  I had 10 precious minutes with her the entire day.  It hurt my heart to have such a brief time, but I soaked up every second.


5:30am-  I hit the road.  I had to drive 3 hours to Charlotte.  I sucked down some coffee and snacked on some dry Cheerios.  I seriously wish I had eaten more.

8:30am-  Meeting #1

11:00am- Meeting #2 after maneuvering through the world’s most annoying parking deck.  Jen and I carrying photo equipment through SUV’s squeezed into compact car parking spots was quite comical.  We got to eat around 1:00pm as I tried to call my sister.  I knew she worked in the building across the street and I would have loved to hug her.

3:00pm-  Meeting #3

4:00pm-  I got back on the road only to sit in terrible traffic!  I called Jen to complain because I knew she too was sitting in her car on I-85.  We decided we were true Raleigh girls who seriously needed to get out of the  Queen City.

7:30pm-  I got another 10 minutes with my child.  ::sigh::

9:30pm- As if Jen and I hadn’t seen enough of each other.  I texted her this pic of me to get her opinion about my outfit.  Girls.


8:00am-  I made it!  Poor Greyson had to take Charlotte to school because I forgot I left the car seat at work since I had to load the Jeep with equipment.  I was at a client meeting for a video shoot from 8:00am-11 ish.

Noon-  Friday Mexican Lunch with coworkers!  Ole!

4:00pm-  The office closed early and I had some time to make up with my girl.  Ice cream date!

6:00pm-  The babysitter came.  I had a hot date at our favorite French restaurant.  Oui!


10:00am- You remember that party I effed up last week?  Yeah, we got to go this week.  Beth Anne threw an adorable and creative construction themed party with Bojangles biscuits as “Bricks and Stone.”  My baby ate the bacon outta that thang like a boss!

Some time in the afternoon:  The Tar Heels won!  They beat NC State after a bit of a losing streak.  The final play was epic and made ESPN’s top play of the day.

9:00pm-  After a day of house showings I stayed up until 1:30am making decorations for Charlotte’s party this coming Saturday.  I think I have a party planning problem.


Happy Birthday Mama!  It’s my mom’s birthday.  We already celebrated my family’s October birthdays a few weeks ago.  It is also the 2nd anniversary of my due date.  

Have a great week, everyone!



Feeling Pretty- October 25, 2012

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

Hello my dear readers!  I’ve missed you this week!  Please excuse my absence.  This has been the single busiest week I’ve had since starting my new job.  Things are busy, but good.  I have not even had time to eat, let alone blog or Tweet.  I appreciate your understanding.

I want to share this little nugget I’ve been enjoying lately.  When I catch it on TV I can’t stop smiling and giggling.  Everything about this reminds me of Charlotte and her epic, beautiful bed head.  I hope she, and all these baby girls feel this pretty their whole lives.  Enjoy!


“I’m all like” October 22, 2012

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

We got Charlotte all excited for a birthday party Saturday morning. I explained how the toy truck was not for her as I put it in the gift bag. (I only wrap at Christmas. Don’t judge.) Greyson was all like, “Who’s party is this again?”

I explained it was for Harrison. He is the darling, toe-headed 3-year-old of my dear friend Beth Anne. She is my sorority sister and Internet maven. I was all like, “You know, Beth Anne. Her husband went to school with us too.” He said, “Oh, are they cool?” I was all like, “Um, yeah. I told you she is one of my sisters. We were the best chapter on campus, so yeah. I’d say they’re cool.” He reminded me that I am a 31 year-old mother and really need to let the sorority days go. (Never!)

I dolled up Charlotte in a little fall frock and off we went. We were about 20 minutes late. I figure it was cool to be fashionably late to a party. I was all like, “Charlotte, can you say ‘Happy Birthday Harry!’?” She giggled.

I rang the bell and Beth Anne stared at me like I had five heads. She was all like, this.

Beth Anne and I doubled over in giggles at my stupidity. The party is next Saturday. Greyson was all like, “Seriously, Amy?” My mistake meant I got to hug my friend and get a sneak peek of her new house.

Charlotte was all like, “I want cake!” I was all like, “Yeah, too bad. We’re gonna go get flu shots and vote early.”

In the car Greyson was all like, “She’s cool. I like her.” I was all like, “I told you.”

No surprise. I got the date at our Early Voting precinct wrong too. Guess when it opens? Yep. Next Saturday.

The family flu shots were somewhat successful. I was all like, “I want to try the new type of flu shot with the 90% smaller needle that hurts less! Oh! It’s covered by our insurance!” Greyson and I got the new shot and Charlotte got the standard pediatric dose. We tried to be brave in front of our toddler but both of us were all like, “Ugh! Hurts less, my ass!” Our arms are still red two days later.

About as red as Greyson’s face standing on Beth Anne’s steps.




Life is Fair- October 18, 2012

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

Every fall we park in the same dusty parking lot outside the same football stadium.  My hand finds his as we weave through the crowd before going through the same gate.  I breathe the cool air laced with the smell of bubbling oil in deep fat fryers.  It’s always mixed with the scent of ribboned livestock and smoked meat that used to be livestock.

It’s the North Carolina State Fair.  I joke with Greyson that we fell in love at the State Fair.  He reminds me that this fact is unbelievably redneck.  I laugh and tell him I don’t care.
October, 2003 at the fountain at the NC State Fairgrounds.  This picture is framed in our house.
I took Greyson for the first time in 2003.  We had just started dating and I told him as a new resident of our state it was a must-see.  Greyson had the day off so I played hooky from my part-time job as a receptionist at a local specialty pharmacy.  The day before,  I invented a wicked fake sore throat.  The pharmacist, my boss,  whipped up a mouth and throat numbing lollipop for my “affliction” and made me eat it in the office.  I wiped drool and smelled like cherries the rest of the day.  Greyson laughed and said no woman had ever gone to those lengths to go on a date with him.  
It was worth it for that next day.  There are few days in my life I remember being as carefree and unabashedly happy.  That day is always on my list of the best days of my life.  We stole glances and kisses through 10 hours of crowded carnival attractions.  I knew he was different from any other guy.  Life was just better with him, and so was the ridiculous people watching and silly rides at the State Fair.
I took him through every exhibit of my childhood and every midway ride of my teens.  I had no idea he was being the brave guy on the Zipper and the Gravitron as I held my arms in the air with each spin and flip.  He held on for dear life and held back the vomit just for me.  We ate NC BBQ and all the deep-fried foods we could stomach before topping off our day with a ride on the Ferris Wheel at sunset.
This year we juggled a stroller and a toddler who threw a tantrum when she had to say “bye-bye” to the ponies after her first pony ride.  We hurried to snag our few favorite treats because obviously our trip had to be complete before nap time.  Between wiping the baby’s nose and giving her rides on our shoulders, we stole glances and kisses, remembering that this was one of the places where it all started.  He’s still different from any other guy.  The Fair, and life are better with him.