Feb 23, 2012

Like, Love and Don't Like

This week, I like storage solutions. Julie and I have LOTS of stuff and few places to put it. In the last few years, we’ve managed to stow away fine china, wedding gifts, all kinds of miscellaneous items, extra cookware and baby stuff. But now we’re bursting at the seams and needed a solution. One of the best wedding gifts we got (via gift cards) was an outdoor closet that was tall enough to store long-handled tools. That freed up some room in the only utility closet we have in our home. But that space was quickly eaten up. We recently took the plunge and bought a deck box to match the outdoor closet. This new addition is big enough to allow us to keep our paint cans, air compressor, gas cans, tool boxes, saws and a lot of other stuff outside. Now we have much more room in the utility closet, which will fill back up soon. This deck box is worth the money. GET ONE TODAY.

This week, I love Graham’s nap time. On the weekends, I get a full dose of what Julie goes through each and every day with Graham. Life is certainly all about Graham now! For the most part, he is a good baby. But he has his fussy moments, which really make me appreciate the time he spends sleeping. I’ve come to realize that these rare quiet moments are great for accomplishing other tasks around the home, including catching up on my favorite TV shows on the DVR (kidding!). Graham is a sound sleeper and I’ve recently introduced a new sleeping position into his routine (face down). Let me tell you one thing right now, America: there’s no better feeling than having the dead weight of a sleeping baby on your chest.

This week, I don’t like Russell Athletic. When he founded an apparel company in 1902, Benjamin Russell probably didn’t realize how much positive impact his company would have on Alexander City, Alabama, in the years to come. He probably didn’t realize how much of a negative impact it would have either. Russell Athletic grew to such heights that it was the official supplier of uniforms for Major League Baseball as recently as 1992. That’s not to overlook the significant role the company played during WWII , manufacturing uniforms for the Army and Navy. Heck, we all remember watching Auburn and Alabama play in jerseys made by Russell Athletic. Lots of good was accomplished by Russell Brands and it served as prominent employer in the area. But that all changed in 2006 when the company was sold. The company headquarters were moved to Kentucky and jobs were sent out of the country for the sake of lower labor wages. My employer has an office in Alexander City and we get reports from the staff there about more and more rounds of layoffs by the various Russell companies there. The economic impact is obvious and that’s why it irks me to see the Russell Athletic logo positioned in lucrative endorsement spots. Russell now endorses golfer Kenny Perry (from Kentucky) on the Champions Tour. I’ve also recently seen their logo at the announcement of the new head coach for the St. Louis Rams. C'mon Russell - you can spend lots of money in these spots but you have to cut more and more jobs in Alex City???

There are lots of things wrong with the economy and this country. But we are getting exactly what we ask for by not providing means for Americans to make it for themselves. Bring the jobs back!

Feb 5, 2012

Picture Post

I am fully aware that all anyone is really interested in is pictures...so here you go.  Our first month...

Feb 4, 2012

Like, Love and Don't Like

This week, I like Jake and Amir. This duo has been making internet videos since 2007. The videos are short, feature unique humor and are just the right thing when you’re trying to rock a baby to sleep. You may remember Amir from this (obviously scripted) prank video. Sometimes crude but always funny, I’m really glad I came across these videos. I imagine that I act a lot like Amir’s character in my friendships.

This week, I love eating sunflower seeds. This is not a new discovery for me. It’s just the first time I’ve ever shared this love with you. I grew up eating seeds on the baseball diamond as a good-glove-bad-bat first baseman. I often enjoy eating seeds on the golf course (I have to do better about spitting the shells on the greens). But my craving for seeds has increased since Graham arrived. I came across these studies that show new fathers often suffer from drastic drops in sodium levels during the first 2-6 months of their newborn’s lives. So not only am I healing my body but I’m also getting lots of nutrition from this classic snack.  Photo credit to Vernon Bryant.

This week, I don’t like belly putters. It’s happening more and more – younger golfers on professional tours are turning to long-shafted putters to help improve their ability to roll the rock. Traditionalists oppose these putters and proclaim that belly putters allow players to anchor their putters to create an unfair, improved pendulum stroke. I agree and was discouraged when watching highlights of last week’s annual PGA merchandise show. It seems that Titleist is developing an adjustable belly putter, but thankfully this putter has yet to receive USGA approval. I’m sure the club will soon receive “conforming” status and what was once only seen in the bags of senior players will find its way to more local Bammers players. The irony is that as a marketer, I can appreciate a manufacture’s ability to put a new twist on an old standard. Adjustable drivers have been all the rage for the last few years and I suppose it was only a matter of time before someone figured out a way to make belly putters cool.

Feb 3, 2012

The Day Our World Changed

Well I am only about a month late with this post, but I wanted to be sure to record the events while they are still fresh on my mind.  As all of you know, Nick and I welcomed our precious son, Graham, into the world on December 28, 2011.  I have so much to share but want to begin with the my thoughts on delivery day.

Here is a quick timeline of the events leading up to the delivery. 
December 27th
8:00 p.m.   Arrived at the hospital and settled into our room.
9:00 p.m.   Received first dose of Cervidil
December 28th
1:00 a.m.   Received second dose of Cervidil
5:00 a.m.   Started Pitocin
5:45 a.m.   My water was broken
7:00 a.m.   Epidural
8:45 a.m.   Started Pushing
9:30 a.m.   Still Pushing
10:00 a.m. Still Pushing
10:15 a.m. Still Pushing
10:23 a.m. He is finally here!

I am not sure that anything prepares you for that moment when you and your husband are riding in the car to the hospital to have your first child.  I was nervous, anxious, excited, and extremely uncomfortable  all at the same time.  When we arrived at the hospital it was like we were checking into a hotel...very strange and nothing at all like I envisioned the process.

Throughout the night and leading up to delivery I really didn't have any really deep thoughts or insights.  I just remember taking it one step at a time and going through the motions.  I was somewhat anxious about the delivery and the pain associated with that but there was no doubt that I was ready to have this baby and see my son.

After the sleepless night, the contractions, the epidural, and the pushing Graham finally arrived.  From the second he came out I felt as if I became a different person.  From that moment I was oblivious to my pain or anything else going on at the time...all I was concerned about was that sweet baby and if he was ok.  Here we are a month later and those are still my thoughts every hour of every day.  I guess that is what being a mom is all about...

I will leave you with this... Our first family picture.  Again not what I envisioned our first family photo to look like, but nonetheless this is it.