Monday, September 27, 2010

Date day

This past Saturday, our neighbors offered to keep Sophie so that mom and dad could get out of the house for a few hours. I had grand plans for our date which completely fell apart the day before. However, sometimes there is nothing better than spur of the moment fun! Bryan and I went to a new restaurant in our neighborhood called Bistro La Bon. The Swedish Meatballs with Lingonberry sauce were The waitress said that people come back for them; and she was right, we'll be back.

Then we were off to Oktoberfest! We volunteered with a vendor - our friend Adam who works for Oskar Blues, a brewery in Colorado. We poured beer for an hour or so and got the backstage tour of the other breweries. I have to say this was my first beer fest (we've only been to wine festivals before) and I walked away with a new appreciation for craft beer

Sunday we watched a little football and headed up to Concord Mills. Sophie was a riot in the BCBG dressing room while mommy tried on dresses for an upcoming wedding. She played in the mirror, crawled all around, threw her puffs everywhere... she was happy as long as she wasn't in the stroller. Then we used our Citipass book to seek out some ice cream. We landed at Elizabeth Creamery for the first time. Baby loved some chocolate ice cream!!


Little cuteness playing with Cooper.
I really just needed a picture of her in this adorable pumpkin hat!
And ps, Janie and Jack's website is 30% off Oct 1,2,3 if you enter
JJFAMILY at checkout!

Having fun in her crib after a nap!

Patiently waiting for more ice cream.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

So long, summer

And the bathing suits were hung by the front door with care... in hopes that the summer just wasn't quite over yet. (Soon to be replaced by stockings, mittens, toboggans.... phew!) I believe we are entering into the two weeks of the year that Charlotteans quit complaining about the weather; which I am thankful for for two reasons. 1. Fall in the Carolinas is magical and 2. I'm tired of people complaining about the weather. For me, fall equals football, festivals, winter vegetables, fires and hot chocolate, to name a few. But still, the end of Sophie's first summer is bittersweet. We checked a lot of things off of the proverbial list this summer: trips to the beach, swimming lessons, pool parties, park swings, long walks, music class, and I'm a little sad that she'll never wear those cute little swim suits again! On our last day of summer today, Sophie and I went to get a pedicure. She was a great lap baby smiling and playing with the remote for mommy's massage chair - it was a nice trip out of the house!

All good things must come to an end, so, farewell summer and hello fall! Speaking of cute little get-ups, you should see some of the steals I picked up for Sophie during this season's consignment sales around town. I got some Christmas smocks that are to die for and a pair of Chatti Patti pants from an overstock sale. Admittedly, I also picked up a little designer number for myself which will finally force me into some leggings, yes, the trend that started two years ago (sometimes I'm slow on the uptake). :) The best kept secret in Charlotte might just be the Wallace consignment sale, hosted in the basement of a sweet piece of real estate in South Park. It's not advertised, no website, pretty much word of mouth. They had some adorable clothes that Sophie will be wearing next winter, because I missed the part about all the clothes being 12mo and up. I'm also 85% sure I was shopping along side of the adopted mom of Carly from "Teen Mom."

Our furbaby Maddox is doing swimmingly well! She got her stitches out yesterday and the Dr said she looks great. For anyone who is equally obsessed with their animals as we are, click here to find out more about the TTA procedure Maddox went through. We still have six weeks of leash walks ONLY, starting at one block at a time, then four weeks of supervised off-leash-backyard-fun before being pronounced successfully recovered (12 total weeks of hell, I mean, fun).

So the dearth of blog activity in no way reflects a dearth of real life activity around the Barber household as of late. Sophie is now NINE months old and has some new stats to go with it: 18lb 4oz (48th percentile) and 28.5in tall (75th percentile). She has some new tricks, too. Her Papa very recently taught her to make a great Indian sound - using her palm over her mouth while making a sound. I don't know if I can describe it well, but you get it. She also replies to us with "Bleh!" We say one word like "Blue" she replies, "Bleh!" We say "Green," she says "Bleh!" Soph is clapping and crawling like a pro, and she loves to take two toys and hit them together AND you can find her drumming and pulling up on everything.

I'm still making all of her baby food with one exception... when I figure out to make Gerber Puffs, I will have hung the moon. New foods she is loving (all organic, of course!) - kale soup with roasted veggies, steel cut Irish oatmeal, blueberries, turkey, spinach and potatoes. She still isn't fond of avocado or peas but I'll keep trying.

Nine months... I love her more than words can say.
This is the back to school September version of her monthly pic!

Here is my peanut rocking in her great-grandmother Sophie's
rocking chair from when she was a baby!

Well, if mommy can't dance for the TopCats, at least she can dress
up her baby. (If you don't know that story, ask me some time.)

Playing in the water bowl (she wedged herself between it and the wall
so she wouldn't have to work so hard at standing and she could
focus on splashing). My girl!

A little afternoon reading. I guess clearing out the bottom shelf
just isn't enough anymore.
And, Sophie, Theresienstadt is a little mature for bedtime reading so put it back.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Save yourselves

I'm on the never-ending quest to frugally becoming more environmental and healthy with our everyday choices and with our food. The following are a few confessions and discoveries made lately that I feel the need to share with you. **Disclaimer: not looking to elevate myself to any sort of higher level by imparting some Earth-friendly wisdom (that you may or may not already know), and your opinion might be different than mine (really?). Simply blogging, people.

Confession: I don't always remember my reusable grocery bags when shopping. BUT I do have two 50-something lb dogs that make a lot of poop in the backyard. SO I repurpose the bags to pick up dog poop. The bags are recyclable if you take them back to most grocery stores, too (not if you have poop in them, mind you).

Discovery: Costco in Charlotte not only sells USDA certified organic chicken breasts and thighs, but also ground beef! Also: quinoa, frozen organic broccoli, frozen mixed veggies, Annie's snacks, flax cereal, ground flax seed... my mental list capacity ran out before your eyes. I'm a big fan of Costco to say the least.

Confession: I throw anything paper or plastic in the recycle bin without really knowing what numbers we in Charlotte are allowed to recycle. At least I'm trying, which is more than some people do.

Discovery: 4, 5, 1, and 2 - all the rest are bad for you. Repeat and remember. This is a good way to make sure you are purchasing plastic products that are free of harmful chemicals. BPA Free is something you should also be looking for. No children's product should ever have a number 7 (polycarbonate) or number 3 (PVC).

Confession: I use Pampers. I have zero desire to cloth diaper my babe and I once used a whole bag of the Seventh Generation diapers... they didn't work for us. My child has never had open sores of any sort from sitting in chlorine or whatever else is in Pampers. I try to offset this horrible, Earth-polluting decision with other, more environmental choices (like supporting local farmers through organic produce, not buying bottled water, repurposing used items like Ziplocs, glass jars, magazines etc.).

Discovery: Seventh Generation cleaning products smell like poo. I'm just not a fan. Environmentally friendly, not tested on animals options that smell delicious: Meyers (love their lavender or the basil dish soap), and Method from Target. Unscented options, too.

What are your discoveries or confessions? Sharing is nice.

The problem with chocolate cake

There's a problem with chocolate cake? Yes. But only in the morning when I pour my coffee. It seems like a great solution to "what's for breakfast?" But wait... then at lunch, something sweet seems to be a right more than an indulgence - after all, I did just eat a Tupperware of leftovers like a good domestic diva. OK... it's also a problem at night. Dinner time goes exceptionally well with dessert (no coincidence why they both start with "d's"). Thankfully the chocolate birthday cake has been reduced to crumbs. Even with guests over the weekend, it took six days to disappear. Happy 30-something again to my dear hubby Bryan!

We had a lovely Labor Day weekend complete with some family visiting from KY and some amazing weather. One broken arm and a trip to the ER, approximately 75 silly bands, lots of fruit, walks to the park, Concord Mills, Discovery Place, s'mores and some Florida State football... phew! A few years ago when Houston and Darra came to town, we ate at gourmet restaurants uptown, watched movies, went house hunting, slept in, hung out... now we slap together turkey sandwiches, veggies and GoGurt, press play on Garfield which we DVR'ed earlier in the day (way to go, mom!) and phone in a pizza for the adults (add Pizza Hut to the list of places that will no longer deliver to our neighborhood!). My, how life changes...

I had some mommy free time on Labor Day so I got in a nice workout and headed to Target to return a bag of recent impulse purchases. I left with an entirely new bag of impulse purchases :) Shopping alone I at least had the opportunity to try things on first... but I felt too tired. Too tired?? When was I replaced with an old lady? At least my hair has stopped falling out in mass quantities... but I am over being so tired in the middle of the day.

Sophie has been such a peach lately. She is getting really good at pulling up on things and has started climbing a little. Personally I think she needs to work on moving horizontally before we start going vertical, but, march on little lamb.

Consignment season is almost over. There are two more really well organized sales that I'm really pumped about. Soph needs a few more things for winter and we should be all set. Still hunting for the perfect Christmas and birthday outfits however!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

What's been going on?

A lot of this (pulling up, standing):

And a little of that (getting some fresh air at the park):

And today is this kid's birthday
(but don't ask him how old, because he isn't sure).
I love you, Bryan!!

It's been a busy few weeks at the Barber household. Shawn (Bryan's youngest brother) came for a weekend before starting his Junior year of high school, and Yaya also came in town for a visit. We hosted our Ears 'N Beers party (with you guessed it, yummy corn dishes, homemade compound butters, cornbread, corn hole, and beer). I started working with a personal trainer who is ah-mazing. I am serving for the 3rd year on the Charlotte Seminole Club board and we hosted our 2010 season kickoff event uptown. Sophie and I switched to a new music class closer to home and we LOVE it, and she made it through an entire church service in the nursery (no small feat for her or me)! I've been whipping up some new dishes in the kitchen with all of our Absolute Organics produce which introduced eggplant and kale to my refrigerator for the first time. Sophie had a birthday pool party last weekend that was so much fun - it's got me planning her December party already (ok, ok, I started planning that a month ago). And finally, Sophie is now the proud bearer of two bottom teeth. I had no idea how sharp they would be... it hurts when she bites... can I file those things down?!

Next Wednesday will be a rough day for us. Please send up some doggy prayers for little Miss Maddox. The good news is that she doesn't have osteoarthitis as we thought. The bad news is that she has been limping around since winter because of what was a partially torn - now fully torn - ACL. So... I've done my research, chosen a procedure and the doctor, and 12 weeks from next Wednesday hopefully we'll have our old Maddox back. Anyone who knows me know that this canine is my first born and she means the world to me. All I can do is hope that the doctor has a successful surgery and that we are able to provide her with the comfort and rehab that she needs to gain back her puppy-like bounce. I love you, sweet Maddox!