Sunday, July 31, 2011

A Posh Birthday

I made reservations for Michael's birthday and didn't tell him where we were going because I thought it was such a cool idea. The restaurant is called Posh and it describes itself as "Improvisational Cuisine." It was right across the street from where we used to live in Old Town Scottsdale.
Ordering is like this: first you decide how many courses you want. 4, 5, 6 or 7. You can also order however many courses accompanied by customized wine selections to fit your food. They have a list of protein options for the evening and you are supposed to cross off the ones you aren't willing to try. Normal things like red snapper, prime rib, soft shell crab, but also thinkgs like kangaroo, monkfish, frog legs, cod cheeks, uni (sea urchin roe). You also have a place to write down general things you don't like, such as tomatoes, asparagus, etc.
YOU DON'T ACTUALLY SELECT YOUR MEAL. The chefs just take a look at what you wrote down and they create however many courses you decided to get based on what you tell them. I was so excited to see what came out.
This is a nice place and I felt a tiny bit apprehensive about taking June there. We have been very lucky in our experiences at restaurants with June. We normally keep her on our laps, let her look around and play a bit before she gets tired. When that happens (usually before the meal even comes out), into the baby carrier she goes and sleeps for the whole meal. But still, at a nice restaurant like this, I was worried that the other patrons or the servers would see her and give us the stink eye. Well our flamboyant waiter came over and was all, "And who is this?!?!" and I knew we were in good. Besides, who could give the stink eye to this face and her sailor girl/Jackie O. dress?
And as nice as this place is, it's not stuffy, you know?

And she proved herself a Martin by going after Daddy's Crown Royal:
Pop-Pop would be proud.

The rest of this post is pictures and descriptions of our food, that's how excited I was about this place. So if you're not interested in that kind of blogging, read no further!

Before our first course came out we were given a little treat to cleanse the palete. An "amuse-bouche," which Wikipedia defines as a single bite-sized hors d'oeuvre. (Thank God for Google auto-correct because my first attempt to search for this was spelled "a mouje bouche." I'm that klassy.)
Here's my attempt at describing what was in this: orange zest, some kind of greek yogurt, watermelon and/or watermelon radish? They do tell you what it is they're serving you, the problem is that you're so excited to eat and so preoccupied by the pretty presentation that you are hardly paying attention.

I didn't get pictures of our first courses. I had a chilled avocado soup with pumpkin seeds and Michael had a wild greens salad with a fancy poached egg on top.

Second course: I had a soft shell crab with basil pesto and corn salsa, Michael had cod cheeks with artichokes.
For the main course I got wild boar bacon! My main protein was bacon! I was psyched - I had even put a star next to this on the menu, so badly did I want to try this little slice of heaven. Served with lentils and asparagus.
Michael had filet mignon:
And for desert Michael got creme brulee that was spiced with anise or fennel or something fancy, and I got a white chocolate mousse with a berry compote on top. So so good.
Overall I'd give this place 4 amuse-bouches out of 5. The courses were pretty small but we walked out of there feeling full and satisfied. I loved that we got to try all these crazy things we hadn't before. It is pretty pricey ($50 per person for 4 courses), so this is definitely a special occasion type of place.

Which is good because it was Michael's birthday, and I hope it was a great one!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Walk the Plank

Have you heard of planking?

It's the newest sensation that's sweeping the nation - that, along with its sister sensation, owling. Planking involves laying completely flat, face-down in different locations and getting a picture of it.

I think it's become such a phenomenon because of it's randomness. But leaving out the debate of this being stupid or not, you have to admit that these are kind of funny. Sometimes because of how difficult they seem:

And sometimes because of their completely random locales:
The other day at work one of my coworkers mentioned planking and our boss said she had no idea what we were talking about. Instead of trying to explain, I just showed her:
Yes, that's my white sweater on the ground. I knocked it off my chair in my excitement to attempt my first plank. I don't usually leave sweaters lying around.

The coworker snapped this shot with her camera phone and sent it to me, which I proceeded to immediately forward to Michael, who thought, "Planking is dumb" but also, "Be careful!" Aw, he's such a dad now.

Look! Even June knows how to plank!
Hmm, you need to work on your form, June. Head is supposed to be down, gosh!

Friday, July 29, 2011

To Sleep, Perchance to Dream

So you know how sometimes having a child makes you feel like your mind is on crack?

Last night I slept fretfully. Tossing and turning. Sometimes I have dreams where June is in some kind of danger and I’m unable to get to her to help. I often wake up frantically searching the covers for her, sure that she’s tangled under our thick comforter, unable to breathe. And last night she was there and I rubbed her little back and patted her bum and noticed she didn’t have a diaper on! She’d been sleeping all night without a diaper! I made sure I wasn’t imagining things, I rubbed her butt several times, feeling her separate baby cheeks instead of one puffy diaper bum under the cloth of her pajamas.

“She doesn’t have a diaper on!” I told Michael. It was a miracle that the bed wasn’t soaking wet. “Michael! She doesn’t have a diaper on!”

“Go back to sleep,” Michael grumbled. “She’s not in bed with us.”

I woke up fully to find that I was sitting up in bed. I had to remind myself that June was safe - and fully diapered - in her crib. I listened and could hear the soft whisper of the sound machine we keep in her room through the baby monitor. Everything was okay.

But when Michael and I were getting ready in the morning, he turned to me with a crooked smile. “So, you were fondling my butt in your sleep last night. What was that all about?”

Monday, July 25, 2011

Our Next Big Vacation?

The following is taken directly from my emails to Michael:

Subject line:

iF YOU LOVE ME YOU WILL TAKE ME TO THIS PLACE


Text:

All-Inclusive family resort. There are places and times for family time...kayaking, swimming, hikes, pools, adventures, imagination, fishing, tramolines, ziplines, lake and lakeshore activities. There are activities and always-available childcare that is incredible (doings things like listed above) and most kids NEVER WANT TO LEAVE to hang with their parents, that's how cool it is. ALL AGES, even infants. There is time for romantic times. Adult-only activities like archery, classes, adventuring. ROMANCE TIME TOO...parents' night out, a bar, private bedrooms, private shorline, dining. So help me, it's like ADULT SUMMER CAMP. Except you can hang out with your kid as much or as little as you want and there are always awesome things to do with your kid and even if you aren't with them you know they are being taken care of, you can see them any time and they are having the time of their lives.
I'M NOT EFFING KIDDING YOU CAN WE GO THIS WEEKEND?
Blog about how awesome it is:


and also This
Favorite quote:

"Truly, my toughest decisions all week were whether to stay in one hammock or move to another when a guest by the lakeside began practicing her violin, beautifully (stay); whether I should wake Ben from his three-hour nap to walk him over to the pool to swim with friends (yes); and whether it was a good idea to ride the zip line in a skirt (wheeeeeeee). No motels to research, no ground to cover, no tips to figure, no restaurants to chance, no lines to negotiate — none of the usual logistical bullshit that makes so many so-called vacations harder than staying at home."

Site website: Tyler Place

PLEASE?



And a follow-up email:

Ok, so listen, I'm thinking next June. So I'm going to go ahead and book it, mk? Did you see the part about ADULT SUMMER CAMP?

This is the type of family vacation we were talking about! It's like the Dirty Dancing summer getaway, with no Patrick Swayze (sadface) but hopefully as much hip gyrating!



Who's coming with us?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Happy Birthday, Michael!

Happy 31st birthday to my husband, friend, babydaddy and suga-lips!

Who would have guessed that this little guy:
(7 weeks old)

Would someday have this:
(7 weeks old)

Alternately, who would have guessed that a man with this kind of devil-may-care sexiness:
Was one day sporting these threads:
Ho-ho-ho, baby Michael! Taken in December of '80 when he was 19 weeks old. (June is currently about 17 weeks old.)

Question: Where can I find a silver vest like that? Not for June, for me.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Inevitable

Some parts of parenthood are inevitable.

It is inevitable, for example, that you will get spit up on as you’re leaving for work. It is inevitable that you will walk around with poop on you until some kindly lady informs you that there is bodily excrement on your person. It is inevitable that you will accidentally hurt your child (accidental pokes, knock downs) , or allow your child to be hurt (not catch him in time, look away for a minute while she gets a bean stuck in her nose), and the guilt will be unbearable.

These haven’t happened to me yet, but they’re coming. (Well, I did once scratch June accidentally with a fingernail and her sad, hurt, angry little cries were terrible to behold. I needed more comforting than she did, in the long run, so guilty did I feel.)

But one inevitable thing has visited our house already. Our baby got an ear infection. And with that came a change in sleep that was unwelcome.

We still try to put her to sleep between 8 and 8:30. This used to be her “prime time” at which we’d put her down and not hear a peep until 5:30 in the morning. We’ve tried elevating one side of her mattress to help relieve the pressure on her ears and in her sinuses, but that had us walking in her room to find her at one end, rotated 90 degrees from where she’d been put down. She scoots, you see.

And with this comes another inevitability. The parent break-down over trivial things. Which is how I came to be crying at work (outside on the patio where no one goes because you don’t cry at work, but For the Love!, it’s hot out there, so now I’m crying and sweating) because I can’t remember any password and username combinations. So I’m pretty sure I have early-onset Alzheimer’s, and isn’t it time NASA implemented simultaneous fingerprint/retina/voice scanning to unlock things instead of stupid passwords anyway, and will our baby ever go back to sleeping through the night?

But then I got a phone call from a husband who tells me to come outside, and it turns out that he brought me a bag of delicious BBQ food for a lunchtime surprise to cheer me up, and I found that it worked. I was cheered. (Why do men in business semi-formal and BBQ have this effect on me? Lord knows.)

I had to reset all my old passwords and now had a brand new set of passwords to forget. And my baby still didn’t sleep longer than 3 hours straight that night. But I sat at my desk and ate BBQ and knew I had a husband who cared and understood me, and my baby still gives me gurgly smiles in the morning, which I guess is what life’s about anyway.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Grandparent Love

June is so lucky to have grandparents who love her so much! She got to spend some time with all of them during our trip to Indiana/Illinois.

June with Vivi:
4 Generations!
Pop-Pop has obviously been getting a lot of golf in: look how tan June makes him look!

I love seeing these two together because June looks so small in his big ol' bear paw hands.
Look closely! You can see where June spit up on her Granddad. Sorry, Dad, I don't think it'll stain!
Playing with toys with Grammy:
And taking a nap:
Hanging out with Grandpa Fred:

Judy even had June in the Moby while we were out to lunch!
June almost blends in, doesn't she? You can barely tell she's there!

Thank you to all of June's grandparents. Thank you for withstanding spit up to spend time with our little bundle of joy. She's all the more joyful because she has you.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Great Grandparents Are Great

June will never have to wonder where she needs to go to be positively dipped in love and sprinkled with kisses. On our trip to the Midwest, she saw a bunch of Great Grandparents and got some love from them all.


Grandma Pfeifer


Grandpa Pfeifer


(While this picture was taken, another woman wheeled up to our group and wanted to look at June. It was kind of a bad moment because it was a little hectic trying to get everyone in place and everyone looking and not crying [this is mostly about June, but not exclusively]. And then the woman holds out her arms like she wants to hold June. Now, I had already told Michael [who was holding June at the time] that I didn't really want any randoms holding her. I know that babies brighten up the lives of people in homes, but those people also sometimes have contagious things that we can't know about ahead of time. So when the poor lady held up her wobbling arms, not only did Michael quietly say, 'Yeah, I don't think we're going to do that,' but Judy also stepped in to redirect. The trick to any potentially awkward baby-related moment is numbers. Overwhelming numbers.)


Meeting Grandma Mickie over in Danville:
Out to eat with Grandma Helen:
"Mmm! Salad!"



Cuddling with Mimi:
Don't they both look so pleasant?
and Grandpa Tom
And, of course, some lovin' from Mommy.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Traveling with a Baby

We got to the airport with plenty of time to spare, despite both of us having worked a full day already and having to pick the Bug up from daycare. We checked the car seat at the counter, popped June in the Moby wrap and headed for security.

Let me tell you, I've waited my whole life for this. You have a baby! You get to go through the Family and People with Medical Liquids line! You get to cut in front of everybody and not feel bad! So what sight did I see upon racing up to security to finally see all the people I would cut?? Nobody. Just a bunch of TSA employees standing around staring at each other. I think a tumbleweed blew past. I didn't even get to cut ANYONE.

So...whatever. There goes my #3 reason for having a kid.

We did board early, which was nice but semi-unnecessary because neither of us had a real carry-on. Just the diaper bag. I changed June back in the bathroom carrying just the changing pad, the pack of wipes and a single diaper. Pretty uneventful.

I was so nervous for the whole thing, truthfully. When I saw people sitting around us glance at June I wanted to shout to them that she was such a good baby, don't worry! But I figured I'd let her show them, or if she was fussy, I wouldn't have her make a liar out of me.

I needn't have worried. She ate on the way up, slept the entire flight and I woke her up to eat on the way down. Basically the same story coming home except for a brief stint in the middle of the flight when she wanted to be bounced, which I did in the aisle.

I wish they always stayed this way. Small and sleepy and sweet. I know they turn into toddlers who need entertainment and who scream and make demands and are irritable. So I'll try my best to appreciate this time, and remember these wonderful days when a 3 year-old June won't stop kicking the seat in front of her.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Thursday, July 14, 2011

New Day in LA

My oldest friend, Keely, lives in LA. So since we were in the neighborhood, we called her up and arranged to get together for lunch. To kill some time beforehand, and to get some caffeine, Lauren took us to a really cool little coffee shop in Venice Beach called Intelligentsia.
This place was full of hipsters and Michael and I felt decidedly not cool enough to be there (we weren't wearing Fedora hats, artsy glasses OR Toms shoes...the shame!).
As I'm walking back to my seat past the coffee line, I hear my name called. I looked around and...looked right at Keely!
Can you believe it? Of all places to stop for a coffee, they picked the same place that we did! So Keeks finally got to meet June, who adored her.

This next picture is us trying to see what June will look like with hair.
The effect isn't quite...right.

We then all made our way to the BBQ joint we'd originally planned to meet at.
Keely and her boyfriend, Luca. What a genuinely nice guy!
Then Lauren, Michael, June and I headed to Santa Monica for a little wandering and shopping.
We ate with the Perrys again that night. June and Ellison once again slept through most of the meal.
The next morning was the 4th, and was the day of our departure back to Phoenix. We had one last meal with Lauren while June modeled her 4th of July outfit.
Hope you all had a great holiday! We certainly did!