Saturday, April 30, 2011

All For One...

...and all for love...??

Anyway, I have finally realized that recording every event in my social calendar is interesting to no one but me, and maybe the person(s) said social event is celebrating. And the only reason I record all these events is to fulfill one of my compulsions. Perhaps this particular compulsion stems from a shotty memory? That's just my best guess. (Pretty sure my memory is fine, I just don't listen sometimes. Sorry, you guys get boring.)So, in April, I had the pleasure of attending the wedding of one of our very own wedding photographers!!! The connection we felt with our photographers nearly 5 years ago must have been a real one, because Matt has done nothing but become closer to Eric and Neal of Lemonlime ever since. He even shoots weddings with them on occasion. There is a little group of Kansas City photographers who have all become great friends. And no one is shy of the camera. So, when a photobooth was set up at the reception, you can guess who was in front of that lens for a good majority of the time! Vicariously, through Matt, I have become friends with these photogs, and love them all. The chemistry of the group is amazing, and amiable. They have each other's back. I don't quite understand it, shouldn't these people be competitors?

Anywho, every detail of the wedding was thought out, perfect, and beautiful. Including the bride and groom themselves. You can't go wrong with a base of black and white. You can't really go wrong with confetti and giant balloons either. So, Congrats to Eric and Laura and thanks for the extremely unique and fun night.

And, as we all know, first comes love, then comes marraige, then comes the baby in the baby carraige...Molly Groebe took care of the baby part for us. She and Matt are expecting a baby by the middle of May. A little girl. Therefore we showered Molly and Baby G with some gifts, and enjoyed some tasty treats in the meantime. I hope the little one loves giraffes as much as Brock does, and we can't wait to meet Curtis' future girlfriend!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Za Boys.

I hate to admit, but as per usual I have put off folding laundry for a week. Or two. Or who's really counting. The point is, Matt and I's bedroom has become a landfill of clean clothes. So, last night, when the four of us were just hanging out in the basement, I suggested to Matt that we have a "laundry party". I said this while lying on the floor with Curtis and with no particular excitement, or inflection in my voice. I just made a mere suggestion, not expecting it to be received with any kind of seriousness. In fact, I couldn't be sure that anyone was listening, until... I hear, "YEAHHHHHH!!!" Coming from a little boy who had previously been launching his Matchbox cars down the stair banister. Brock comes sprinting around the corner and says, "that sounds like great fun!" Matt and I just began laughing hysterically. Really, Brock? Great fun?

Though, if you look at it from Brock's perspective, laundry means emptying full baskets and throwing clothes around. Or trying to knock over the freshly folded stacks of clothing while I try to shoo him away. That could be considered great fun.
Also, since before Brock could say much more than 10 words, we have always asked him the same thing upon picking him up from daycare: "Did you have a good day today?" This has become a very frequent question, or statement, as I am never really sure what Brock means because he just randomly says, "good day today, mom". So, I often reply, "I had a good day today, too." Too, as in also. Well, after months of this. Brock decided why just "too"? He walked up to me and said, "good day today, six". Glad it wasn't a least he is optimistic.

Also, as I headed out the door to go for a run, I yelled "bye". I then heard Brock inquire as to where his mother was going, and Matt responded informing him that I was going for a run. I then hear, "Mommy run fast!" Followed by a slight chuckle and a "I don't know about that" from Matt. Again, at least he's optimistic. Brock that is.
Lastly, one week ago tonight, all the boys in my family reached new milestones. Curtis became mobile. Brock moved to his new room, in his new bed. Matt launched his photography website and business. I went to bed with the most satisfied, amazed, proud feeling I have had in long, long time. I was, no, still am, beaming. I love being part of this little family. I love that I am surrounded by amazing people, who accomplish amazing things. I only hope that I have provided ample support and an iota of inspiration to these fella's. Our house is literally filled with laughter.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Personality Wins.

Brock astounds me. As we prepared the eggs and dye to be decorated as is customary for the Easter holiday, he intently watched. When we placed the several tubs of dye on the table, he ran over and patiently waited in his chair. Brock never sits still. When we brought the bowl of hard boiled eggs over, he instantly grabbed one. He seemed to understand that they were fragile, and handled the egg with care. I handed him a wire egg dipper, and he immediately attempted to load the thing himself. And succeeded. He dipped and dyed nearly a dozen eggs all by himself. He broke only one. It almost appeared as though he did it with purpose, treating each egg as an individual piece of artwork. This child has never been known for his patience or attention span, but I caught a glimpse of potential. And this was his first experience in egg decorating.

He was so proud of his eggs, that periodically, he would run to the kitchen and come back with one in hand to show me. So, when he came downstairs Easter morning, it was no shock that he instantly noticed the eggs "hidden" about the living room. He quickly found them all, put them back in the carton and moved on to check out his basket of goods. Curtis slept through all of the egg decorating but seemed to enjoy his basket. We then enjoyed an Easter breakfast with my family at my house! I love hosting breakfast. Easiest meal by far. And cheapest. I get to buy half and half for will actually all get used before expiration. Nothing beats the real stuff. And Brock had an opportunity to not only blow bubbles, but blow bubbles with his Magra! Two of his favorite things.

Next we moved on the THE BIG Easter egg hunt. Matt hosted quite a successful event this year, with the biggest prize being an iPad won by John O. The Golden Egg was found by Thomas O. The Largest monitary prize found by Michael O...the O'Laughlin boys made out quite well. Though, Matt gave everyone an opportunity to sell their big prize eggs back for $200 and Megan Harris was the only gambler in the bunch. She had only $50 in her egg, well played. Now, biggest does not always mean best. St. Peter, the small, clay statue created by the Gloria Eggcelsis Deo Annual Easter Egg Hunt founder was in the mix this year. Lucky for Bridget.Little Brock and Lily had an opportunity to hunt eggs as well, and both had their own pile of prizes. I am not sure what Brock liked more, running around searching for eggs, or the candy? Either way, people better look out when he gets to participate in the big hunt. More and more it is obvious that child got my "persistent" and competitive type personality. He insisted on unraveling the hose, on multiple occasions. He was stopped by his cousins on multiple occasions. What was under that 100ft of hose? The golden egg...

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Pro

One good thing has come of Matt getting "a break" from employment for the last couple months...a chance to jump in and start his photography business. I am not sure when we finally put it all together and realized that Matt had a knack behind the camera. What I do know, is that I have always been obsessed with capturing every moment of my own, my friends', and my families' life. And, I could always spot a great photo moment, but was never able to capture it the way I envisioned. In college, I went to the extreme of buying an expensive camera, and taking a class. No success. Luckily, whenever Matt was around, I would attempt the shot, get frustrated and thrust the camera at him and tell him to take the picture. And what do you know? It came out perfect. When Brock came along, we finally had good reason to invest in a professional grade camera, and Matt's done nothing but get better, more motivated, and more creative ever since.

We can trace his photography skills back as far as high school, where he supplied the yearbook with quite a few sports action shots. He just seems to have a natural understanding of light, how to use it, how to adjust the camera settings accordingly. Perhaps the engineer brain helps with the angles. I don't know...when you have a talent, you have a talent. That's all there is to it. And it is always nice when your talent is something fun that matches your passion as well. So, please, take a look at his new website. He is always looking for fun, new projects, so contact him with your ideas, or photo needs. (Mother's day is right around the corner...)

I am just enjoying living with someone who can help support my psychotic need to have a photo journal of my entire life which includes pictures of myself! Thank goodness I am pretty.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Brock Talk

Giraffee has been ill this week. It must be some sort of stomach flu bug. He threw up in the crib Sunday night. Brock informed his father of this fact on Monday morning. He even went so far as to show Matt the location of said vomitus, underneath one of Curtis' burp clothes, explaining that he cleaned up. He has also mentioned Giraffee throwing up twice since then, and once at Mimi's house the other day.

Giraffee is a stuffed animal.

It was Brock that threw up at Mimi's house.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


Curtis needs to be moved up to a size 4 diaper, before he destroys every piece of clothing with his regularly occurring blow outs. But I just cannot believe this, seeing as I literally just moved Brock out of that size...I have only purchased one box of size 5 diapers. Maybe it's not the diaper, maybe Curtis just has an oddly shaped bottom. In which case, anyone know any good infant plastic surgeons? The two of them could realistically share diapers at this point! He is in 6-12 month clothing. He is determined to begin crawling and his patience is wearing thin. I think having a highly [understatement] active older brother makes him especially ready to get on the move. Just today, as I stood outside holding Curtis and Matt did the "real man work", Brock was riding, dragging, walking his tricycle all about the yard and driveway. Curtis just stared. Then would sudden try to leap out of my arms. When his attempt to join his brother failed, he would just stare some more. And the cycle continued for minutes. You could see the wheels spinning in that little, tiny, adorable head of his, "why can I not do that!? how does he do that?"

He thinks he wants to eat normal food, as evidenced by the intensity with which he stares at our plates, and reaches for the items on them. But when I feed him cereal, he flips out because little spoonfuls of food are not nearly enough to satisfy his ravenous appetite. And it takes way too long. He has undoubtedly discovered his voice, and seems to have inherited the Smith-side volume level. LOUD. Seriously, he is just loud. Don't get me wrong, it's cute. At first. But he just goes on, and on, and on, and on.
Curtis just keeps growing, as he unfortunately should. These last 5 months have gone entirely too quickly. Way, way quicker than with Brock. It could partly be due to having given birth to a 3 month old, so now he's now behaving, nearly, like an 8 month old. Partly due to the chaotic nature of our lives at this point. And partly because I just don't even remember Brock as a baby anymore. Perhaps I have just forgotten how quickly it really goes.

Friday, April 8, 2011

South Padre Island, Texas

Matt and I set out on April 1st for our first vacation, just the two of us, since our Honeymoon, 4 years ago. After arriving at the KC airport at 7am to find a 2 hour delayed flight to Houston, then a cancelled flight to Harlingen, a sprint through the George Bush Intercontinental Airport to catch a plane to Brownsville, Texas, where we rented a car to drive 30 minutes, we finally arrived in South Padre at 6pm. Our checked bag did not. It finally arrived a little before 1am. Normally, this would only provide a minor inconvenience. But I am a nursing (sorry if that makes you uncomfortable) mother of a 5 month old child, and I checked a vital piece of equiptment. V.I.T.A.L. Those of you that have never breastfed a child before, you have no concept of how miserable going from fulltime nursing to 20 hours without a feeding is. Those of you who have, yeah, it was bad. Imagine trying to relax with 2 large bricks resting on your chest. Also, as we lounged, waiting for our bags, Matt recieved an email from a prospective employer stating they did not have a position for him. Needless to say, we needed a vacation from our first day of vacation, let alone the previous Month from Hell (which is what I have nicknamed March of 2011), or the entire last 4 years in general.

To recap: Matt got a job with Cramer, Inc in January 2006. I began medical school a year earlier than planned when a spot opened up in August of 2006. My father had a stroke in September of 2006. He then got diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. I struggled to deal with this, planning a wedding, and studying all at the same time, so took a leave of absence from school in January 2007. I got married February 2007. I started school again in August 2007. I had a baby in November 2008. I had a baby in November 2010. Matt got laid off March 2011. I scrambled to match into a field of medicine I did not necessarily want to match into, March of 2011. And during all that in between time, I studied for highly stressful board exams and regularly stressful med school exams, as well as applied for and interviewed for residency positions. Meanwhile, Matt worked 50-60 hour weeks, traveled quite a bit for work, and attempted to shoot some photography on the side. And finally, there's those adorable boys, who aren't capable, yet, of taking care of themselves. I think that's it...
...not that I need justification for a vacation, I am just trying to help you, the reader, understand, just how relaxing those 3 [non-travel] days were. Do you know what I did? I slept. I ate all my meals without interruption, without being hurried, with both of my hands available and only fed myself. I drank alcoholic beverages whenever I wanted. I did a puzzle without any of the pieces being taken apart as soon as they were put together, or stolen, or fed to the dog, or fed to the baby. I relaxed in the sun. I walked on the beach, I ran on the beach, I rode a horse on the beach. I read a (somewhat) non-educational novel. I say somewhat, because it is Atlas Shrugged, which at 1066 pages long, with tiny print, and lots of enlightening philosophical thoughts, which make me wonder if I am Ayn Rand re-incarnate (it could happen, she died 5 months before I was born...) it's not exactly a light read. And most importantly, I enjoyed some time with my favorite person in the world, Matt.
We discovered an amazing little restaurant, Cafe Kranzler. This place mirrored a famous cafe in Berlin, Germany, and inspired us to the point of scheming on how to open one in Prairie Village. We ate there 3 times, would have been 4, but it's closed on Mondays. They served a pancake. Literally, a cake in a pan. Unbelievable! It took 30 minutes for them to prepare it, I would have waited 1 hour and 30 minutes to eat it. I was more than happy to sit and sip on the cup of coffee, reminiscent of the coffee I had in Denmark. The South Padre brewing company was the only other restaurant of note. With a delightful wheat beer, and the ability to fry anything and pair it with some tastely sauce, it's kind of hard to go wrong.

Though, to most of you, South Padre Island makes you think young people partying for Spring Break. To me, it means paradise. I hope we have nothing but good news, and good times ahead of us, but at least, for now, at this moment, I can say I am refreshed.