Monthly Archives: January 2011

six months


Norah is six months old. Huwhoa! Has been since the 10th. This week we took her for her six month well-baby visit with the ped. She weighed in at 19 lb 12 oz and measured 28.25 inches. Holy growth spurt batman, she is officially off the charts for height! That’s right, our baby is freakishly tall and we think it’s awesome. In the weight world she’s in the 95th percentile; our little chunky monkey and her chubby cheeks and thunder thighs. Maybe it’s all the McDonald’s we feed her. It’s okay as long as it’s blended right? Gross. Currently her diet consists of formula and cereal, but all of that is about to change for starting this week we’ll be introducing all sorts of amazing things like sweet potatoes, oh boy! And avocado, hooray! And bananas, wheeee! (okay she’s had a bit of that before, but it’s time to get serious with a spoon). Keep an eye out for a Facebook vid of feeding the bear. Girl loves her some food. She’s her mother’s daughter no doubt.

At six months many babies are sitting up on their own, and our little bear is well on her way, but hasn’t yet mastered the skill. She’s a bit of a weeble wobble still, and I blame her slight lack of balance on her height. Short and squat equates to a lower center of gravity which makes it much easier to stay put and not flip over. Short and squat she is not, so it’s taking her a little longer than most to keep upright for more than a few seconds. We’ll be starting a basic core strengthening program complete with plank pose and stability ball push-ups in the next week or so. But seriously, we’re absolutely okay with her taking a bit longer than average to accomplish some milestones. For all other six month skills (you know, the things they put on that questionnaire at the ped that could make or break you as a parent as you bubble in “yes” or “not yet”) she’s doing super.

Socially our little bear is improving, but still not a big fan of crowds. We went through a phase about a month ago where she pretty much cried anytime anyone else held her besides us or my mom. While that was incredibly endearing (she loves us so much, and can you blame her?) it was also frustrating. People wanted to hold her, mostly because she’s awesome, and it became an awkward moment for all when immediately upon being placed in someone else’s arms, the corners of her mouth turned down, her bottom lipped protruded and her eyes welled up. During that same period, if we brought her to another person’s house where there were more than two people the breakdown was instant. This made it a tad difficult to have a social life without constantly relying on my mom for sitting. Mom of course wasn’t the least bit bothered, she loves her grandbaby dearly and would be pleased as punch to spend time with her every day, but we like to include Norah whenever possible, if for nothing more than to show off our happy little family to our friends. Attention is addictive. Thankfully, in the past week or so she has shown signs of adjustment, most recently at a play-offs/golden-globes watching partay (such an amazing combo) where she hung out for at least 8 hours and only really cried at the big fluffy poodle, Pepper, that wanted desperately to smother her cheeks with kisses. Eventually she got used to Pepper too and it was a success in my book. When we brought up the social anxiety to our ped, she said oh yeah, totally normal…babies at this age consider themselves and their parents to be one entity. Cool! And weird.

Next up we’ve got crawling to look forward to! Time to start thinking about baby proofing the house.

Elderland out. XO.

staycation: day one

A couple weeks ago my boss was reviewing the payroll and he said (or rather yelled over the wall between our offices) “wow, Sarah, you have a lot of PTO, when are you going to take a vacation?” to which I snarkily replied “when I get paid more and can afford to.” Unmoved, he retorted “just take a week off and spend it with Norah.” Huh. That’s kind of a really good idea, I thought to myself. And so I looked at the calendar, picked a week and put in my request. That week is this week that’s about to start, making today the first official day of Sarah’s Staycation! Staycation, which became a bona-fide word in 2009 when added to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary (other 2009 additions included flash mob, locavore and frenemy), is a vacation spent at home or nearby. It’s fun, relaxing and cheap. Like! I chose this week because our office is closed for MLK day, so I get my week off work and only have to use four vacation days. I is smart. So. I have nine work free days with which I may do as I please, and one thing I please is to blog.

Day one: Though today was the first full day of my staycation, I’d say it technically began at 5:30 PM yesterday and I kicked it off by going to book club. I and most of my favorite Mebane ladies gathered to discuss (briefly) our book and consume (at length) some alcohol. This month’s selection was The Tao of Willie, chosen by KP because she loves Willie Nelson. The food theme was breakfast for dinner (Willie’s favorite meal was bacon and eggs), so we feasted on biscuits, bacon, frittata and more while we read Willie quotes, listened to Willie music and wore Willie bandanas. We drank mimosas and wine and bloody marys (maries? wow, that’s a weird one) and had a bangin’ girls night that went on until oh about 2 AM and so on my first full day of staycation I awoke a wee bit on the tired side. But I mustered my strength, brushed my teeth and made it out for a morning run with friends. It’s RB’s birthday today, so post run we came back to our house where Pete made us breakfast for breakfast, but we ate around 11:30 so maybe it was more like breakfast for lunch (hey, there’s a word for that). Either way, it was yum.

We then got cleaned up and ready for a trip to Raleighwood to visit Lisa Mays. Lisa Mays used to work at the Gallery with me and is one of my favorite people. Every time I say her name I have to sing it, to the tune of I’ve Been Working on the Railroad. Lisa Lisa Lisa Maaaaayyyyss. No reason. Pete wanted to take Penny the Vanagon, I didn’t want to wait for him to transfer the car seat, he said pretty please, I said you have five minutes, he took 15. All loaded up and on our way and about a mile from the house Pete said hmm, we may have to go back and switch cars. And guess who lost her shit? Two thumbs pointed at this girl. After a few choice words, I folded my arms and put on my angry face and kept my mouth shut as we crawled back toward the house (Penny was having some acceleration issues). A hop skip and a jump from the driveway, Penny decided to be fine (turns out she was just cold), my angry face melted away and we made yet another right turn, back on the road to Raleighwood!

Lisa and her man Robyn took us for some nummy med munchies at Neomonde (hummus among us and I definitely didn’t falafel). Post nosh we needed to walk it out and let Norah sleep some in the bjorn, and so paid a visit to the Arboretum. It was a very cool place, and one that is undoubtedly gorgeous in the spring and summer when everything is blooming. Being that it’s winter and especially with the cold, wet weather we’ve had in the past week, it was quite muddy at times and icy on occasion. The last portion of our visit was to the rooftop terrace gardens which had brick paths strewn with strips of ice that just screamed caution. To Robyn, however, they screamed fun and fun he had as he ran, jumped and slid down the icy lanes. It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye. Or falls and hits their head. I didn’t see him go down, but I heard it and turned to find him flat on his back. We hurried over asking if he was okay, and when he didn’t respond things got scary. Then they got a bit scarier when he choked and we quickly rolled him onto his side (good call Lisa Mays!) while Pete got his phone out and ready to call 911. Robyn came to and groaned for us to give him a minute, so Pete and I stepped back and let Lisa hang to help him up. That shit was crazy and I’m just super glad he is okay. His jaw hurt badly and he felt a bit dizzy and nauseous from his concussed brain, but he didn’t bleed and he knew where he was and we avoided (barely) a trip to the hospital.

Robyn plays on the ice. Silly Robyn.

Pole hugger.

Shaken and stirred, we decided wine was in order, and went back to Lisa’s to enjoy a glass while Robyn iced his head, and we all laughed our asses off at Danny Devito in skinny jeans on Always Sunny. Penny brought us safely home and soon it’s off to sleep we go. I’m not quite sure that the next eight days will measure up to today’s excitement, and where the head trauma’s concerned, that’s probably a good thing. Maybe tomorrow I’ll just clean the house and watch some TV. Also showing potential for the week ahead: reading, running, bread making, more blogging, Norah documenting, crafting, movie watching, hiking, etsying (mhm, that’s right), and just a whole lotta time with Pete and the bear. Happy, happy, joy, joy!

Elderland out. XO.

2010 in Elderland

This year was pretty uneventful. Yep. Nothing really amazing happened. Just a typical year full of mundane happenings and quotidian living. Siiiiike. We had a baby! And if you pay any attention to our blog and/or Facebook you might have drawn the obvious conclusion that we are OBSESSED with her. Baby Norah is, as we tell her every chance we get, our favorite baby, the most adorable baby in the world, sooooo awesome, sooooo pretty, sooooo sweet and we love her so damn much. That baby makes my face hurt I smile at her so much, and she has made this life more beautiful than I ever thought possible.

But of course, Norah didn’t join this world until the middle of the year and many things happened both before and after her debut, so here’s a shot at a 2010 recap (remembering everything that happened in a year is dang hard, even with the internets to guide us with its life capture devices like this blog, but we’ll do our best!)…

Early January kicked off the second trimester of pregnancy and a few months of feeling in fine fettle. Though it was quite the miserable winter here in NC, we kept our spirits high and our bodies warm with a slew of social and fitness activities. We celebrated one friend’s birthday middle school style at the roller rink which was not only a blast, but also revealed the mad skating skills of several of our pals; then another’s birthday with a Beatles themed bash that would rival any big city partay with its execution and energy. In February we both participated in the St. Valentine’s Day Marathon Massacre Relay, an event in which teams of four run loops of 1.6 miles each until a full marathon is completed. Being that it’s generally butt ass cold for the event, and running 1.6 miles four times with 20 – 30 minutes between each loop makes for some serious soreness and stiffness, the only real reason to partake is that you get an awesome hoodie. Hence the name of my team – HFTFH. Here for the BLEEP hoodie.

February also began Pete’s fourth year as a soccer coach for the Mebane Youth Soccer Association. This year he sponsored his own team – the Elder Edge Burn. Burn baby burn! he chants with his kiddies at the end of every game. They eat it up and they loooooove Coach Pete. All kids love Pete. Maybe it’s because he has the rare virtue of patience, which enables him to calmly handle the insanity and chaos that would surely send me into fits of vein throbbing twitches and most definitely result in yelling. I’ve always said that with our kids it’s going to be all eye rolls and sighs when I get mad, because the fear will wear off after the 10th time in a week. But if dad is mad? Watch out. Head for cover. Don’t say another word if you know what’s good for you. Also. Pete’s really just a big kid himself and all those little soccer buddies know it. In the Fall, Pete’s team went undefeated and there’s nothing quite like watching a bunch of 7 year olds scream “WHAT ARE WE? CHAMPIONS!” over and over and over and over. And over.

Also in February (whew, busy month!) we purchased a 1985 VW Vanagon from a super nice old guy in Pinehurst, NC. When Pete and I met, he owned an ’84 Vanagon, and I have a clear memory of the first time I went to his house…his directions ended with “you’ll see a VW Van in the driveway” to which I replied something along the lines of “ohhhh, how awesome! I love old VW’s!” And I swear I wasn’t just saying that to impress him and raise my coolness quotient. I really have always had a place in my heart for the vintage v-dub. That Vanagon, Buck, died at our house in Gainesville shortly before we moved to NC, so the acquisition of this “new” Vanagon was a thrill for both of us. Her name is Penny and she’s running strong. Of course, as a good friend recently made clear with his question “do you still have that van?”, we should perhaps get her out more often.

In late March, I joined 8 ladies from Mebane for what turned out to be one of the best adventures of my life thus far. We spent a weekend in Charleston, SC and participated in the Cooper River Bridge Run, an annual 10K road race that started in 1978 and now draws upwards of 40,000 participants. Even though I was almost 6 months pregnant, I ran the entire race and then proceeded to have the time of my life (nobody puts baby in the corner!) with an amazing group of chickees that I hope to be friends with for many, many years. This year we’ll do it all over again, except I’m not preggo and I fully intend to cash in on my credit for being last year’s DD.

For the entire winter and spring of 2010 Pete was training for his first ever half ironman. He worked out every day, often twice a day, to prepare for the crazyness. The event took place in May and he finished strong! It was hideously hot and humid and Pete cramped up badly during his run, but he rocked it out overall and finished an amazing race. Though immediately post race he likely would have signed the dotted line to say never again, he has since changed his feelings to maybe again, just not ANYWHERE or ANYTIME that there would be ANY chance of temps in the 90’s.

We made a few pre-baby home improvements this year including a badass fence, a revitalized shed, some purty refinished floors and a homemade compost bin. The best of those, and by best I mean thank god we did it because otherwise I might have released my dogs to the wild at this point, was the fence. Being able to let the dogs out by simply opening a door has been a life (and sanity) saver, and they love it too. Post baby not much has changed in our house, though Pete did construct a porch railing after we received a cancellation threat from our home owner’s insurance. He did a bang up job and now little Norah can safely play out there. Oh, and! The newest addition to our dining room, which was also my Christmas present, which I’ll gush more about in a separate Christmas post (yes, I’m behind on blogging), a piano! Pete is doing a little playing right now as I type, and even though it’s still completely out of tune, I can hear the makings of Don’t Stop Believing coming from the beyond the kitchen. PS I love Journey and I’m not ashamed.

Our 2010 travel kicked off with a trip to Asheville in May for our babymoon. It was the first time that Pete and I went on vacation, i.e. a trip that did not somehow involve visiting family, since our honeymoon in 2006! That’s just wacky. We loved every minute of it and have made a promise to ourselves that we absolutely must take at least one trip, just the two of us, just for us, no matter how short or long or near of far, every year. It’s good for the soul. After that we mostly stayed around town simply for the fact of Norah’s impending arrival and then newborness, until the fall when we made two family trips – a Robertson (Pete’s mom’s side) reunion in Tennessee in October and Dana (Sarah’s cousin) and Denny’s wedding in Florida in November. Both were tons of fun and full of good ‘ol family QT.

Work? Work shmirk. Who wants to talk about work? Let’s just say that things have been sort of status quo. Pete is selling real estate, and it was another year of ups and downs in the market as the country fights its way through this shit economy (2011, however, seems to be kicking off strong!). Sarah still runs the Jesse Kalisher Gallery, a wholesale art business with a focus on the retail and hospitality industries. One fun note, at the end of 2010 Pete took a class to get his certification to substitute teach! Is there a career change in his future? Stay tuned!

A long, hard winter was quickly followed by a sweltering summer, in fact I’m pretty sure spring took a sabbatical this year. Hot summers in central NC are not unusual, but this was our first in a house without AC. Being hot in your house sucks. Being hot and ginormously pregnant in your house fucking sucks. Pardon my potty mouth, but unless you’ve carried an extra 40 pounds around your mid section when it’s 100 degrees outside, your judgment can go suck an egg. Oh, my car didn’t have AC either. It was brilliant. Luckily our Fifth Street predecessors had left us two window units so our bedroom was quite tolerable at night and the kitchen was less than hellish when we ran the dining room unit at full speed. Also, Pete was ever the gentleman with his insistence that I take his car to work. We made it through and looking ahead, I honestly think we can and will do it again. That doesn’t make me tough. Just cheap.

The second half of 2010 was mostly devoted to learning to be parents, which was horribly hard and exhausting for about three months. Then just a little hard and exhausting for a couple more months and now it’s pretty much amazing. That’s not to say that there aren’t still difficult moments and that we aren’t still tired at least half the time and that we’d even for a second think that we’re riding easy from here on out. Just that things keep getting better and better. And Norah is our favorite baby and the best baby ever and the most adorable baby in the world.

With the arrival of baby Norah it was a big year for family. In June, shortly before Norah was born, my Grams moved to Mebane all the way from California. My Grams was a big part of my life growing up and I was delighted to have her close to me once again. California was just too far away, and it pleases me to no end that Norah has both a grandma and great-grandma so close. If only more of our family lived near, and Norah could see all her aunts and uncles and grandparents often, life would be that much richer. This year Norah was visited by all her grandparents (memaw, grandaddy, grandmama, and grandpa), her aunt Dana and uncle Denny, her uncle James, and her great-aunt Sue. We hope that 2011 brings just as many visitors!

In the fall we celebrated Pete’s birthday with our annual Oktoberfest partay – a dual bday bash shared with our best pals the Brouwers. It was brat and beertastic, and a chance for us to spend some time with neighbors and friends, old and new. We love our little community more and more every year, and plan to stick around for a long damn time. There’s no place like Mebane. This year we not only got some awesome new neighbors on the Southside, but a bowling alley just blocks away and an absurdly large outlet center with some kickass stores.
A lot of folks seemed upset about the Tanger outlets descending upon our quaint little town, but I think they’re super, albeit dangerous (walking distance shopping, wheeeeee!). Later in the fall we took Norah on her first mountain hike at Hanging Rock State Park in Danbury, NC. She rode out in the Bjorn for about 4 miles and only got pissed when we were at the top in the bitter cold wind. We had grand plans for it also to be her first camping trip, but overnight temps in the teens just didn’t seem infant friendly. We’ll make up for it with lots of hiking and camping in 2011. (there it is, babe. in writing!)

I believe that does it. The holidays have been lovely and life is good. Here’s to a stupendous 2011 full of awesome adventure and memory making. We wish all of you a fun, happy, healthy new year and look forward to making most of those memories with many of you!

Elderland out. XO.