Sunday, January 31, 2010

Snapshot Sunday

Bit by bit Cameron is becoming more mobile. She still does commando crawling so she hasn't figured out how to sit up from a horizontal position. But I'm sure she's close.

DH and I have been trapped inside with Cameron all weekend because of the 2 or so inches of wintery mix that hit Charlotte on Friday night. All of my appointments for the weekend were cancelled and most stores are still closed as of writing this on Sunday afternoon. It's very annoying and makes me feel like I might have to play catch up this week.

But why should my pain be your pain? Instead, enjoy these photos from the last week.

Cameron gets leverage now while searching through her toy bin for that perfect toy.
Cameron is suspicious.
This look does not bode well for future adolescence!
Think it's time we got our act together and really baby proof?
Cameron now enjoys pulling herself up and looking out the window.

Friday, January 29, 2010

American Idol: predictions and promises

After next week we are finally through the audition rounds. I think that the producers have done a better job this season of showing us good contestants but they still spend far too much time on back stories for the pathetics that have no shot. I much prefer the montages. Who really wants to see sparkly girl for 5 minutes? She sucked in Season 1 and we can only be happy to see the age 28 flashed next to her name as a promise that she won't be returning to audition even if AI makes it to Dallas again.

A few other comments about Wednesday's Dallas auditions. First of all, I heart Neil Patrick Harris. I loved him in Doogie Howser, MD. Thought he was pretty kick ass in Starship Troopers and live for him in How I Met Your Mother. I even watched his opening monologue for the Emmy's, that's how much I love him. Obviously the producers felt the same way since he got 2/3 of the show and Joe Jonas got about 15 words total. Most of them being "yes." Is Joe the married one? I can't keep those guys straight. I'm sure by the time Cameron reach tween status they will be long gone so I guess it doesn't really matter.

Whip girl was much better when she sang the Barney song than her En Vogue mess. And yes, Mommy, Esq., she obviously had a nose job some time between her years on Barney and the audition. I thought she was pretty obnoxious but Simon told her she had moxie or something BS like that. I also disagreed with the rainbow and sunshine they blew up the ass of the 16 year old girl with the little brother who was WAY too into her. That was creepy. I actually thought she kind of sucked but the judges loved her. Her pathetic sob story was that her parents were divorced and had each remarried. Um, join about 50% of American kids.

Speaking of sob stories, the dock worker's age was listed as 29. I guess if they are 28 in the year of the audition they qualify? I thought they had to be 28 in the year of the live show. If someone knows the real answer, please write in.

I'm trying to give Kara a break this year. Instead I'm going to focus my hate on Randy. A "million, bazillion percent"? Dude, not cool. He hasn't updated his cliches or lingo in quite a few seasons. Dawg.

Based on the golden tickets given so far I think the girls have an edge this year. Frankly, they need it. For the past two years the top 2 have been guys. Not that they didn't deserve it, they totally did. So I'm predicting a first place win for a girl this season. Write it down. Oh, I guess I just did.

My other promise/prediction is that when Simon leaves after this season I could be done recapping the greatness and awfulness that is American Idol. We'll see. But Simon is a big part of why I love the show and recapping is a big commitment. Particularly when I'm used to going to bed by 9:30 PM. It's all for you that I stay up until 10 or 10:30 during the first few weeks of Idol. And that's why I'm the dawg.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Hi, my name is gullible, what's yours?

For years I have battled the gullible curse. I seem to have some kind of mental block that makes me automatically believe everything people tell me. Don't get me wrong, I love sarcasm and can usually spot it but if someone states something as fact I totally believe it.

When I was in NY recently at an off site the theme of the meeting was "flawless execution." To prove the point one of the executives showed the clip below as an example of what we should be striving for. Watch it, it's totally awesome.

I was so impressed by this video that I had to research it more. And of course, I was disappointed to learn that it was all fake. Microsoft had their dirty paws all over it which is probably why they tricked me. After all, I did download Windows XP and look where that got me...

So, am I alone in being completely gullible? Do you think women more than men are susceptible to being gullible?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Dropping bottles - advice requested

When DH and I took Cameron in for her 9 month well appointment her doctor told us that we should start pushing the sippy cup more because starting at around 11 months we should begin phasing out bottles.

I mentioned at the time that the thought of removing bottles made me very nervous. I've already blogged about my stress and control issues when it comes to Cameron eating and I'm not sure if being unable to monitor the exact consumption of ounces is a good thing or a bad thing for my peace of mind. Regardless, the idea of dropping bottles has been percolating in my head since that appointment and I have spent time thinking about which bottles and how I will drop them. Unfortunately I have made no progress in coming up with any decisions or plans.

Last week Cameron was sick and since she felled me with the same illness I completely understood (retroactively of course) why she didn't want to drink any more than 10 ounces a day. Our new challenge this week is that Cameron has refused to drink more than 1-2 ounces for her first bottle of the day. It's possible that it could be due to teething...soon our little munchkin will have 6 (!) teeth or she could be voicing her preference to drop the first bottle of the day from her feeding schedule.

As a first time mom I have no idea. 10 months is a little early to start dropping bottles (right?) but I need to start my planning process if this refusal of bottles continues. How have you handled dropping bottles from your baby's eating routine? Cameron still isn't eating enough to cover her nutritional needs via the finger foods so I assume I need to be significantly supplementing through baby food. Or is that a bad assumption? Somehow this struggle with changing eating patterns is doing nothing for my resolution to stress less about what/how much Cameron eats. Help!

Edited: Mommy, Esq. wanted me to tell everyone that Cameron gets breakfast at daycare around 8 AM and is usually awake around 6:30 or 6:45 AM. In case that influences your responses!

Monday, January 25, 2010

An American Idol leak?

American Idol has been very good about keeping stuff under wraps until the live shows air. But according to blogger Joe, the Season 9 Top 24 finalists have already been identified and a copy was leaked.

I did take a look but frankly, don't remember too many of these folks from their auditions. I'll probably check back again after Hollywood Week and see if any of them popped for me. Regardless, nothing will beat the elevator ride of doom that each of the Top 50 contestants take to find out if they make it to the Top 24. You think they will do sing offs this year? I hope so, that was one of my only "likes" from the "improvements" introduced last season.

Any hot contestants from last week auditions that you are routing for? Personally I grind my teeth every time I hear a person talk about how much their life will be changed if they make it to Hollywood. Really? Your life will be changed from a one week trip to Hollywood where you will get exactly one half day to do tourist things and the rest of the time will be spent manufacturing drama? Sure. Keep telling yourself that.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Cameron: ten months old

Dear Cameron,

Today you are ten months old. You love nothing better than to have Mommy or Daddy sitting on the floor with you while you play.

Whenever you finish a bottle in your room you insist on standing next to the ottoman and rocking it back and forth while cooing and laughing. I would enjoy it more if you finished your bottle regularly first!
This month has also seen you starting to assert your independence. The head shake is back and used primarily for food related requests. Vegetables? Head shake. Cheerios? Hand reaching forward to grab. You have also made your preference for Cheerios known by screeching when Daddy or I walk over to the cabinets to get some food for you. I give in a lot more often than Daddy does. You better be careful...Daddy will definitely be the disciplinarian!

Another new trick is arching your back and trying to scoot off the changing table pad. I can usually distract you with a bottle or shoe to play with while changing you.

I am officially declaring in this blog post that you have said your first word, "Charlie." DH and I knew it would be your first word because it is probably the word we say the most often besides Cameron. While you still lack the language control to say the "ch" Daddy and I can definitely make out what you are saying. Up next? Hopefully Mommy!

You have learned how to fairly gracefully tip yourself over from a sitting position and start crawling. After a lap or two around the room you scoot under the coffee table and poke your head up right next to Mommy's feet. I can't resist scooping you up and giving you a kiss before you squirm away and insist on being stood up on your own two feet. You are already growing up far too quickly.

We can't wait to see what you will do next!

Mommy and Daddy

Thursday, January 21, 2010

When a doctor's note isn't enough

Cameron has been sick all week. She's been fever free since Monday but as I wrote in my last post she has a wicked bad sore throat. I'm allowed to say "wicked" as I hail from Massachusetts. DH and I have been layering her pain medications - Motrin and Tylenol. But still she will eat maybe 3 ounces in a sitting if we're lucky.

I thought ahead and got a doctor's note outlining the dosage of the two medicines. Go me, I thought, patting myself on my back. This way the day care will have to give Cameron her medicine. After all, I had a doctor's note.

Nope. No deal. Apparently the day care will not give medicine unless it's a life threatening situation. Not to put my crass hat on or anything but WTF? I totally get that they are trying to avoid liability but what if Cameron had an ear infection and needed antibiotics while in school? Is DH supposed to interrupt his day and make a round trip to the day care to give her the medicine? I say DH because he is much closer than me and would have to be the one to do it.

Has anyone else experienced this with your day care? Do I have any recourse here? Cameron still has a sore throat and I'm worried she will drink even less than she has been for us.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Struggling with control

Yesterday after her second (brief) nap, Cameron woke up crying with a 102 temperature. DH and I coddled her and gave her some Tylenol and put her down for a longer third nap. The biggest problem? She wouldn't eat.

I should have known something was off when she woke up and ate only 3 ounces instead of her normal 6. She did it again eating only two ounces after her morning nap. For some reason Cameron refusing her bottles frustrates me more than any other thing she does. I have no idea why that is. Whine for an hour? Fine, my ears might hurt but my frustration level stays moderately low. Take a short nap? Roll my eyes and tell her that she's going to get a fourth nap that day. But refuse to eat? It immediately increases my blood pressure.

I wonder if ultimately it all hearkens back to breastfeeding. It was a struggle to get Cameron to nurse consistently for many weeks. So all I could do was obsess about how much she was eating. Dropping over a pound off her birth weight didn't help either. So somehow eating became that trigger that would result in me passing her off to DH and walking out of the room if she refused to eat.

Up until we went to the doctor's earlier this afternoon I was convinced that it was teething. True, DH was sick last week and 102 is high for a teething fever but Cameron was still a happy baby in general. Plus there was a lot more drool than normal. Then I thought it might be her ears although she wasn't tugging at them too much. Regardless I took a day off from work and we went to the doctor's after a nice long morning nap. Turns out Miss Cameron has a very bad sore throat. Not strep but blisters are involved.

All we can do is give her Tylenol and Motrin. The doctor recommended Cameron stay out of school tomorrow. DH will be the taking the lead on that one while I head back to work. I thought ahead and even had the doctor write a note for daycare so if she was still a bit out of sorts we could have them give her pain relievers when she returns on Thursday.

Once I had a diagnosis I felt much better. My patience level has increased dramatically and I didn't try to fight Cameron when she refused another bottle. I am beating myself up a bit over being so stressed about her not eating. How about the rest of you? What are the things that really increase your stress level with your kids?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sunday snapshots

This weekend I stole a few hours to do some shopping for Cameron. It is so much more fun to shop for her than myself! Kohl's was having a great sale with some stuff up to 70% off for kids. I hadn't even been planning to go into the store (isn't that always the way?) but I had something to return and Babies 'R Us was very lacking in fleece PJs and socks.

As of today all of Cameron's 9 month clothing has been put away and she's been moved into her 12 month clothes. I love it because it means all new outfits for me to enjoy. Cameron could care less, of course...the pants are still a bit long but she can still crawl around with no problem.

Yes, she really is adorable, isn't she? No, I'm not biased! We've had to start putting clips in her hair to keep it out of her eyes. It usually only lasts an hour or two before falling out. But at least she doesn't pull it out herself.
Our friends, Pat and Nikki, sent along this adorable Adidas outfit. Cameron is ready for her professional sports career to start!
As you can see, the squinty look has become a favorite of Cameron's when the camera is whipped out. She's quite the ham. DH and I try to present a lot of options for finger foods but Cameron always prefers her carbs. I can put a new kind of food in front of her and she will only pop it in her mouth if it is carb related. Otherwise it takes 6-7 introductions for a new food before she puts it in her mouth to try it. Then it is a 50/50 chance if Cameron will actually like it.

Despite her pickiness with finger food Cameron has always been fascinated with Charlie's food. One day, we let her indulge herself. Watch and enjoy!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Was it really only 4 days?

I swear that Cameron waited until I left to make some major milestone achievements. Prime example? Her two eye teeth are cutting in. Interestingly she didn't whine and complain about it, waking up every hour while with Daddy. No, she likes to save that for me!

Another big milestone is that Cameron has started pulling herself up. Looks like it's time to lower the crib mattress. Yes, we are spoiled and have been able to leave it up until she was almost 10 months old.

The last milestone is her advancement in language. When I left she was still just doing the babbling of nonsense syllables. Primarily "dada" of course. Last night when I was feeding her some Greek yogurt I asked Cameron where Charlie was. She looked over to him standing in the doorway and said, "burg-hie" or something like that. Clearly not the word Charlie (yet) but two syllables and with the "ie" sound at the end. Then we were playing on the floor and DH came in. She said, "Daddy" in his general direction. We're not clear if she knows that DH is daddy but she's obviously getting closer.

Look at how much Cameron changed in just 4 days!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Friday updates

Per usual I ended up not getting enough sleep, eating and drinking too much and overall having a nice business trip in NYC. Getting to meet up with an old friend is always a plus too!

The last time I was in NYC for this length of time I was still breastfeeding. The annoyance of lugging the pump around coupled with the stress about making sure the output stayed cold put a whole damper on the trip. This time around it was like a huge weight off my shoulders. Although I also missed my little munchkin. I hated that I couldn't wake her up when I got home just to snuggle with her and give her lots of kisses. Not to worry, I made up for it this morning.

I would have posted while traveling but the building I was in blocked my access to FaceBook and any blog. Epic FAIL! Now I'm back on BigFinance's VPN and able to indulge my love for social networking.

I still haven't seen the first two nights of auditions for America Idol and I am trying to remain unspoiled. I did hear from Mommy, Esq. that the producers have FINALLY followed through on their promise and given us more "good" performances. And apparently a lot of those Hollywood-bound contestants need dental plans, STAT.

Despite my avoidance of all things American Idol I couldn't help but hear that Simon officially announced this was his last year as a judge on American Idol. Part of me thinks, "good for him" because how many people deliberately go out on top vs. trying to milk it? The other, bigger part of me wonders if I will be as invested in the show without him. Simon allows me to like the show. He takes it seriously which is why his criticism is so harsh and also so spot on. We don't want every judge to fawn over the contestants because then it will be an entire hour of cheese. And I already roll my eyes far too much at the heavy handed edits and sob stories.

4 judges is definitely too many. I think we will see that again this season. There is a reason other shows like America's Got Talent or Dancing With The Stars each have 3 judges, and it's not just because they were copying American Idol. (Full disclosure: I don't watch those referenced shows.) I haven't figured out yet if the producers will just stick with Randy, Kara and Ellen or if they will dig deep and cast another curmudgeonly Brit. I'm sure we'll hear an announcement in the summer.

How about the rest of you? Will you enjoy AI as much without Simon? Do you think he had guts to leave or was it a stupid move to leave such a juggernaut? And a report $50+ million paycheck?

Monday, January 11, 2010

Monday mash up

Looks like the temperatures are finally going to warm up this week. It's been the longest cold snap in Charlotte in decades. And I'm so pleased we got to experience it during our 3rd winter here. Unfortunately I leave for NYC today and will be there until Thursday night. So I won't get to enjoy 50+ degree weather until I return.

What else does that mean? My first American Idol recap of the season will be late. Sorry, folks! With business dinner and drinks, not to mention the lack of a DVR in my hotel room I won't be able to watch the first two nights of auditions until this weekend. Perhaps one of these days I'll look into a sling box....

Good news on the American Idol front, however. Turns out that everyone else hated the Top 36 and Wildcard format just as much as this faithful recapper did. So the producers have decided to go back to the Top 24 format with 12 guys and 12 ladies squaring off. The claim is that the audience gets more emotionally invested because we see the performers more often prior to the Top 12. I'm just happy that it might help with my American Idol pool rankings. I'm still hesitant about the 4 judges. Last season Simon didn't get to weigh in on every performance and since I agree with him 95% of the time it was distressing for me. I also wonder who will take the Paula role over now that she is gone. There really has to be a judge who pours on the sugar as an antidote to Simon's bitterness. Well, not really bitterness but that metaphor ran away from me. Y'all know what I mean.

I've been surveying my library to determine what books I can purge and how to turn it more kid friendly (read: store more toys) for Cameron. I've also packed two hard cover books for my trip to NYC. All in all it makes me lean towards one day getting an eReader. There are some pretty cool ones that were showcased last week in CES. Here's a link highlighting a few. I am far from an early adopter. True, I got a Tivo way back in 2005 but even then it had been out for a few years. My biggest concern is that I want to make sure all my fantasy books get published in the digital format. And in strolling through Amazon I would estimate that only 30% are today. Anyone also struggle with this decision?

Cameron and I went to a birthday party for one of her play group friends this weekend. He turned one and his parents threw him a little party. It was timed perfectly for Cameron's nap and she enjoyed playing with "new" toys and tasting ice cream for the first time. It also got me thinking about what to do for her first birthday. Our house isn't very well set up for entertaining unless we were outside. But late March isn't a great time to have a BBQ. Perhaps we should just do something low key with a trip to Discovery Place or some other kid friendly venue? What did you did for your kids' first birthdays?

Saturday, January 9, 2010


Cameron hangs out with Stacy. I think she managed to convince Stacy that babies wouldn't be THAT hard!
Cameron was fascinated by Janusz. He was more trepiditious than fascinated but by the end of the weekend they were fast friends.
Cameron is introduced to the power of Apple when she starts watching Cars on their Powerbook.
I couldn't resist this photo. No, she's not really drinking a Bud Light. We'll save that for when she's a bit older.
Cameron doesn't look annoyed at being in her play yard but trust me, she hates it.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Dropping the third nap

For the new year DH and I decided to change things up when it comes to pick up/drop off at daycare. For the past 6 months I had primarily done pick up and he got the AM drop off. What that meant for me was I rushed to get to work by 7:30 AM so I could leave by 4:30 PM, get Cameron and get her down by 5 PM for a 30 minute third nap. If I was lucky and hit mostly green lights I could do it. On the weekends Cameron rarely needs a third nap but that's because her AM and PM naps are so much longer than they are at daycare.

The problem with our original schedule is that it gave me zero flexibility. DH works from home so I'd get Cameron home and put her down for a nap and he could keep working until 6 if needed. On my end I'd have to boot up my computer or keep checking my Blackberry. Additionally BigFinance rarely has meetings before 8 AM but more after 5 PM to accommodate the West Coast workers.

With bonus discussions right around the corner I've started being the primary parent for drop off and DH will do pick up. A little later face time in the office never hurts! Fortunately we both have flexibility in our calendars so if DH has a meeting in the late afternoon I can pick her up and vice versa. For drop off I like that I can peruse the daily menu and list the foods I'd like Cameron to try. I don't like how rushed I feel or the fact that she's started crying if I don't just plop her down and take off. Any lingering could result in a breakdown. I also don't like that I can't ask about her day. And let's be honest, how many fathers are good at asking lots of questions?

Somehow this post went off on a tangent about drop off/pick up but what I really wanted to write about is the third nap. So getting back on topic....Monday DH was a little late getting Cameron so by the time she got home it was almost 5:30 PM. Too late, in my opinion, for a third nap. We usually put her down for the night by 6:45 PM so I figured by moving it back to 6:30 PM we would be OK. And for the most part we were. Cameron was a little fussy but as long as I gave her my complete, undivided attention for the hour before bed she was reasonable happy. I'm just not sure I'm ready to have her drop that third nap permanently. So for the other parents out there when did your kids stop taking that third nap? Was it a gradual extinction or a planned deadline?

Also, how did you decide who does pick up or drop off in your household when both parents work? Did it change over time as your little one(s) got older?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Baby products review: 6-9 months

There are lots of things that we now use with Cameron that I didn't anticipate us needing or wanting when she was percolating or even 3 months old. Here is a run down of products that work for us.* You are also welcome to refer back to my older post on 0-3 months necessities.

Feeder bags
A friend told me about these bags at a play date when I mentioned that Cameron was having trouble eating fruit when we started down the solid food path. I was in Target one day and decided to pick them up. The only problem? No one had any idea what I was talking about. I was about to give up and leave when a very nice sales associate flagged me down with the product. It took Cameron a day or two to figure out the bag but then she loved it. I would put frozen pieces of apple in to help with teething or fresh fruit. I haven't done vegetables yet but do recommend you mush the fruit slightly after you've put it in the bag. It helps release the juices and gives babies instant gratification.

Cameron was a socks only baby for a very long time. But it started getting colder out and Cameron commenced with her commando crawling. When I saw the ground in dirt on her socks I figured that shoes had become a necessity. I really, really like the Robeez brand of shoes but at $35 a pop they are expensive. Target carries their own brand that are much more reasonable at $13 a pair. I hate to say it but the Robeez ones do stay on a little better than the Target ones. I have one pair of each.

Sleep sacks
Baby, it's cold outside. We used to swaddle Cameron which was great because I never worried that she was cold. At five months we unraveled her permanently and I decided that we would try sleep sacks as an alternative. Now Cameron knows that it's time for her nap or bedtime when she is put into her sleep sack. Sure, that means she whines a little but she also falls right to sleep. I'll probably keep doing this with lighter sleep sacks as she gets older.

I said in my last post that you don't need to register for or buy any bibs because you'll get a lot of them as layettes or as one off presents. And that's true. What's also true is the number of bibs Cameron goes through in one weekend approaches 9. Assume 3 bibs, one for each meal. If I'm lucky then I might get two uses out of a bib but that's unusual. We picked up a big pack of Circo brand ones. While they will stain they do hold up well to repeated washings. And somehow they find each other in the dryer so that when I pull one out, they all come with it.

Pacifier holder When the whining gets to be too much it's nice to have a pacifier on hand, isn't? I feel so bad for moms who wanted to give a pacifier but their baby just refused. The biggest problem with the pacifiers is finding them. Followed closely by keeping them clean. The latter problem can be solved by a dishwasher. The former requires a pacifier keeper or holder. Make sure you get one that works with your brand of pacifiers. We use MAM so we have to use one like the one I've linked to above.

Safer bather
Now that Cameron is much more mobile she is just as likely to flip over in the bath as she is on the floor. Couple that with her swimming lessons and the girl thinks she's a fish. That's why I am so, so happy that we have the Safer Bather. I praised it in my last product recommendations and must do so again here. It really helps me keep Cameron in one place while bathing her. I know there are some cheap knock offs out there but at $20 you should really get the brand name.

Soft sided storage bin
There are a million kinds of storage bins out there so I won't link to any in this post. For the past few months we've kept Cameron's smaller toys (which let's face it is about 90% of her toys) in a medium sized soft storage bin. We plop Cameron down on the floor, put her bin next to her and let her go to town. She loves reaching in to grab a toy and casting it aside to start all over again. We haven't quite gotten to the "put it back in the bin" stage. The soft sides means I don't have to worry about her falling into it and it's light enough for her to tip over and spill all her toys out. We simply shove all the toys back into it when she's done and viola we have a much neater living room. It's basically a toy and storage all in one.

Musical table
My mom got this for Cameron for Christmas and she absolutely LOVES it. Before we started playing with this toy Cameron would stand for a few seconds and then get bored and topple over. Now she can stand assisted only by the table for many minutes. I still sit behind her to make sure she's safe but it has worked wonders for her balance and physical development.

It's amazing what babies like, isn't it? But these plastic links have been a hit with every baby in our play group. Plus you can take a section with you on the go.

Activity Triangle
I think Cameron is starting to outgrow this a little bit but she still enjoys playing with it. The best part is that it is big enough for her to lean against when she was learning to sit up but light enough for her to pick up and wave around (with both hands). I got mine used so I included a link to the newer version.

Stacking cups
Like the plastic links I love how simple these are and the fact that even though there are literally no bells and whistles you can still interact with them.

These are a few products that worked for us in this age range. Anything you would add?

*No, I am not endorsed for writing these things. I wish...I just had to buy two car seats and a stroller!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Bring it on, 2010!

2009 was wonderful, due in no small part to a little munchkin pie we like to call Cameron. True, she did manage to become very sick on New Year's Eve day but was back to her old self by Sunday. Just in time for Mommy and Daddy to return to work!

These past few weeks have been nice and quiet at work. Most of BigFinance associates take the two weeks between Christmas and New Year's off which meant I received about 10 emails a day. Max. I managed to catch up on a few things like training and reflected on successes and challenges while completing my annual self evaluation. Bottom line? I rocked. Now let's just see if BigFinance agrees....

DH and I made a couple of resolutions to kick start 2010. I won't share them with you but they aren't monumental. Just a few things we should be doing to be happier, healthier and more us.

I'll be posting more photos later this week to showcase the visit we just enjoyed from our friends Stacy and Janusz. We still haven't been able to convince them to move back to Charlotte (dammit!) although it's probably for the best considering the state of my liver yesterday.

I would also mention that we are T minus 8 days for American Idol Season 9 to premiere. Yes it is that magical time once again. This season should be particularly interesting sans Paula and with new judge Ellen. I am hopeful that the producers will decide that's enough drama and get rid of the group sings to make up the Top 12. I really, really hated the group sings they had last season. It meant we only got to see each contestant perform once before the Top 12 were selected. Don't the producers realize how hard that makes ranking our American Idol pools?

Welcome to 2010, folks! And remember, at least this time we can call the decade the teens rather than something stupid like the aughts.