Monday, March 28, 2011

Haircut #2

Max's hair.

Its such a mystery to me. How does it grow so freakishly fast? Is he going to have a beard and start sprouting chest hair at age 10?

About 3 weeks after his first real haircut it needed to be cut again. Badly. I had them cut it shorter this go round. Hopefully it will buy me a little more time.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

My point of view : Week 20

Halfway there!

Fat Feet

When I was pregnant with Max my feet were SO swollen. I literally wore a size 11 knitted mule (words can't describe the hideousness of these shoes) to the hospital the day I delivered him. The good news is I wasn't able to wear them out of the hospital because I had deflated like a balloon about 24 hours after he arrived.

At any rate, I'm preparing for elephantitus round 2 since I'm certain that this is my fate for all of my pregnancies. Especially considering this little is due in the sweltering month of August (evidence that this baby was truly unplanned ;).

I decided I should start shopping for a shoe that was comfortable and forgiving to allow for the gradual expansion that is sure to take place. I was looking online and in the description of the very popular TOMS was "Will stretch with wear". That's what I need! So I purchased them in bright red. A decision I will surely regret. I should have gone with a sliming color like black, but I was feeling bold.

Feeling good about being proactive about my "fat foot" issue I started thinking about Max. Max also has fat little feet. They actually look like a mini version of mine when pregnant. They're sooooo cute (the mini version of anything is sure to be cute, right?). Shoes for him are difficult, though, because they absolutely must stretch or I won't be able to squeeze his foot into them due to the "cushion" he has on the top of his feet. The little leather shoes work well, but he's already in the XL size of those so I wasn't exactly sure where to go from there.

When I selected my TOMS a little box popped up on the screen to show me "other related items"...a pair of mini TOMS! Again, mini=cute. I had to get them.

So all of this was just a really long explanation for why I'm sharing these pictures on the blog.

Us in our new stretchy shoes that arrived today. We feel so free :)

Look at this cute little box Max's shoes came in! I love this company and our comfy shoes.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Celebrating Sullivan

Saturday we had a party for Sullivan. We're just so excited about welcoming him into our family!

We all got gussied up and went out for a fancy dinner at Sullivan's Steakhouse. Really...where else would have been more appropriate to go? Most people are probably thinking..."Um, anywhere but there with a 1 year old!!", but Max was on his best behavior.

We like to take Max to "Max's Autodiner" so we thought we should start a tradition of taking Sullivan to "Sullivan's Steakhouse". Kind of funny how one of these restaurants is probably the cheapest place in KC and the other happens to be one of the most expensive. We're going to have to consider that when picking our next baby's name. Just kidding...we really don't only pick names of restaurants for our kids, it's just worked out that way so far! (although we do like the name Jasper and "Jasper's" does happen to be a fantastic restaurant...hmmm...Baby #3??).

First we made a quick stop at my favorite baby boutique...Lauren Alexandra in Brookside. We wanted to let Max pick out a new outfit for his baby brother.

Max was easily side tracked from his mission, though...

"Wait...we're not shopping for me?"

Finally he chose a sweet little sleeper that is so soft (left hand) and an Easter Bunny egg for himself (right hand).

Then we headed to the restaurant. The manager asked us what we were celebrating and we told her that our next son was going to be named Sullivan. Before we finished dinner the word had spread throughout the restaurant and I think just about every server came up to talk to us about the name. The food was wonderful, although I have to admit our dining experience was more rushed than it would have been without Max. Maybe carryout from Sullivan's is a better tradition to start. We left with a chocolate souffle to enjoy at home. We reserved that for just Momma, Dada and Sullivan after Max went to bed. I love the fact that for Sully to enjoy a treat I'm the one who has to eat it ;)

Family photo.

Max wanted to play with the lobsters.

Sullivan wiggled around happily after the Shrimp Scampi and asparagus he had for dinner.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

We have a healthy, beautiful.................


Dear Sullivan,

Now that that you're "officially" a boy I can share my wish that only a few people knew...I had secretly hoped you would be a boy! Of course any baby is a blessing and, like all mommas, I just wanted to get the report that my baby was healthy.

It's just that ever since finding out I was pregnant with you I've been having dreams of a little brother for Max (even though I thought you might be a girl in the beginning of my pregnancy). You're going to be only 18 months younger than your big brother and I love the idea of the two of you growing up together so closely...playing cars and trains and sharing a room with bunk beds when you're a bit older. I picture the two of you playing football together as young men (maybe at Rockhurst...a mom can dream, right? ;). My two handsome sons.

When your Dad and I thought of our family early in our relationship we imagined two or three heartbreakingly adorable boys followed by a baby sister for you all to look after. Who knows what the future holds, but I will tell you my sweet boy, you're the next piece of the puzzle for our family and we cannot wait for you!

My whole heart,

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


So our house is still for sale, but we've been trying to get our ducks in a row on where we're headed so we can move quickly when (if) it does sell. I've got a bun in the oven and I do not want to mess around when the time comes to start packing. Time is not on our side in this situation -- the clock is steadily ticking down to a TBD date in mid-August and its making me sweat a little.

Billy and I have literally looked all over the greater Kansas City area, leaving no stone unturned, for the next place/area we're going to call home. We've looked at big, new houses and heard all of the arguments for buying a house in the suburbs. We've looked in Liberty, Brookside, Lees Summit, Leawood, PV, OP...we've truly considered and have been 100% open to every option.

What we realized, and this might be childish, but the things we want most in a home have nothing to do with square footage/dollar or neighborhood pools. Although I see the value in those things. When we talk about our dream house our conversation usually turns to the way we would live in the house rather than the attributes of the house itself. We start by discussing the number of bedrooms we want and the need for an attached garage like grown-ups, but we always seem to wind up discussing our ideas of strolling in a neighborhood with tree-lined streets and living in an area where you need nothing more than the energy to walk down the road for a great meal and a glass of wine.

We also want another house that has as good of a personality as our current one. Sounds kind of ridiculous, but yes, we feel like houses have personalities. Especially old ones. We love our Brookside house like its a part of our family. There are reasons why its not practical to raise our ever-growing family here, but we love it. I love the squeaky wood floors and the old windows and even the picture rail in the bedrooms that I really disliked at first. Just thinking about these things makes me want to run outside and pull the sign out of the yard.

We've thought hard about whether we wanted something big and new or smaller and old. And we decided, after looking at a few dozen homes, what we really want is to live in a house where its always easy to find each other. A place that feels cozy and charming. A neighborhood that has the feeling of a community in the old school way. I know not many other people would come to the same conclusion we did but we are who we are.

I'm also really glad Billy and I agree. It's funny, we are more alike now than we were the day we got married. People always talk about husbands and wives growing apart over the years and I was warned on multiple occasions that getting married young was a precarious move because you don't really know who you you are yet. It's true, we've both changed so much in almost 6 years of marriage, but we are more on the same page now than we ever have been. That's either really lucky or I actually did know what I was doing when I said "i do" to this Irish hooligan.

My heart can barely contain the love I have for this man. The challenges and changes that have come our way this past year have been the best thing to ever happen to us. Our relationship feels so solid. Not that it's ever been less than that, but lately I can feel the actual bond between us like a magnet. I know now more than ever that nothing will break it. And, yes, I know we still have a long way to go :) I can picture us old and weathered many, many years from now sitting on a front porch somewhere and being so set in our ways because we're constantly validating each others opinions. Its a scary and heartwarming thought at the same time.

Anyway, back to the house. We're still on the hunt but I think we've narrowed down the things that are at the top of our list. I'm sure now that I've laid all this out there we'll end up in something totally opposite of what I described. Especially since combining our "grown up" needs and our childish desires all under the roof of one home would make for a very pricey piece of real estate. Oh well, I honestly will be happy as long as we're all together with a roof over our heads, food on the table and maybe a little red wine in my glass.

It feels strange to write a whole post without the focus being on the Maxman, so I'm going to include some pictures of him with our dear old house and all the things he loves about it...

Max loves: the feel of the wood floors beneath his feet.
Max loves: sitting on the front porch.
In the morning.

In the afternoon.

In the evening.

Max loves: all the places we can walk.
the community garden.

the French bistro for breakfast.

the park for impromptu picnics.

Max loves: the view from his window.

Max loves: swimming in the pool.

We sure will miss this house when the time comes to move on.

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Making Molehills Out of Mountains

When things seem daunting and impossible I remember that, no matter what, I have my little family. Nothing is too big to conquer with the power of that thought. I've realized that as long as I have my husband and baby (plus this little one I'm growing :) I will be happy. No matter where we live, no matter what we're doing, regardless of the things we have or the things we don't have, we will be together and that's all I need. It's such a comforting thought in the face of all the very real problems in our world today and even just daily stresses in our lives. And that is how I make the mountains in my life into molehills.

Waking up to this ridiculous face (and hair) every morning doesn't hurt either...

I love to capture the crazy morning hair-do's. It's like a work of art each day that is never the same.

Good Morning!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Baby Name Poll

Billy and I find out if we're having a boy or girl on Thursday! We cannot wait. This will be a new experience for us since we didn't find out with Max. Another thing that is foreign to us...not being 100% set on the baby's name way in advance. We knew our first boy would be named Max McAlister before we were even married. For years we would point out restaurants and places that had the name "Max" in them and I'd get a little butterfly in my stomach hoping that one day I would meet this little Max of ours. The name just came to us one afternoon when we were talking about our imaginary kids and when the doctor handed us our little boy 9 years later we didn't even have to discuss any others. Our girl name was much the same, but came to us later. I honestly don't have as vivid of a memory of that discussion as I do for Max, but Emelia Lou was going to be the name if he had been a girl. No question.

I don't know why this time it's been a bit more difficult for us. We're definitely set on the first name for a boy, but I've been struggling with the middle name. The girl name is the one that is really stumping me. I still love Emelia, but a few others have been swimming around in my head lately too. I know I may regret putting this out there but I thought it would be interesting. So let us know what name you think is best for Baby Murray!

Disclaimer: Billy and I still will have the last say no matter what the poll results are! :)

Baby Boy Names
Sullivan James
Sullivan Maguire
Sullivan Grey free polls

Baby Girl Names
Emelia Lou
Everly Hazel
Ellis McLain free polls

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Saturday at the Museum

Coming from a very artistically talented family (the gene missed me, but I'm hopeful for Max) I thought it was important to begin exposing the little man to some art. So we decided to spend the afternoon at the Nelson on Saturday. It was the perfect cold and rainy day to spend indoors. He loved looking at the colorful paintings but was frustrated that he couldn't touch them.

We strolled him around and pointed out animals in some of the paintings and sculptures so he could practice his animal sounds. Max would babble conversationally in the quiet exhibits and a few times he let out a really high pitched "ya ya ya!". He loved hearing his voice echo. Watching him discover it was so cute. He would look at us with his eyebrows raised like, "did you HEAR that?!" Billy and I just decided to let him carry on instead of shushing him much to the disapproval of the other museum attendees I'm sure. I know you're supposed to be quiet in a museum, but he was thoroughly enjoying himself. Who would have the heart to stifle such enthusiasm?




Making a run for it.

"Hey, where are the animals?" This exhibit was for momma to enjoy.

We finished the afternoon with a late lunch at the Rozzelle Court.
Billy and I discussed the need for a children's art exhibit within the Nelson. Wouldn't that be a cool idea? Max really enjoyed the exhibits, but I think he might find it boring as he gets older. If there was a place that had brightly colored kids artwork and a more relaxed atmosphere I think it would be a huge hit. Maybe a place like this already exists in KC and I just need to find it. Or maybe I just had a genius idea! :)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Oscar party

Max got to hang out during our Oscar watch party. He liked the cheese and grapes and watching Stella (my friend Erin's dog)

Max and Stella have a peculiar relationship. It always takes him a little while to warm up to her. It's hilarious that he's more intimidated by this little pup than he is by my parent's Great Danes.

They spend a lot of time eyeing each other. I don't think either of them like to have competition for attention...

Max kept trying to sneak whole grapes. He goes crazy for grapes. We all had to keep an eye on him and make sure to cut them in half before he got them in his mouth.

Max getting fed grapes like a mini greek god :)

This could easily be my dinner every night...

We also had mini chicken parmesean, spinach manicotti and mini ceasar salads in parmesean bowls. Delicious.