Monday, February 04, 2008

new site

check out the new fourtwentynine site! this is the last post on this site so update your bookmarks! :)

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

the second coming

it must be imminent because jack pooped on the toilet today. by himself. without me knowing.

(and the heavenly chorus sings HALLELUJAH)

he was upstairs in his bed for quiet time and i heard him go into the bathroom. a few minutes later i heard him screaming downstairs to me, 'MOMMY!!!! i have a POOPY!!!!"

i immediately yelled back (and not in a nice voice), "IN YOUR PANTS???!"

to which he (gleefully, knowingly) yelled back, 'NO! in the POTTY!"

i ran up the stairs three at a time and danced a jig when i saw that huge poop in the toilet. swear to god, i was thisclose to grabbing my camera and taking a photo just to remember the glorious, wonderful, magical day that jack pooped somewhere other than in his pants.

Monday, January 28, 2008


i just got a bill from one of my credit cards and it said that i didn't owe anything this month. i'm always on alert for funny credit card offers and figured that they were 'graciously' letting me skip a payment but were still going to charge me interest.

turns out i have a NEGATIVE account balance. somehow (how??) i overpaid my bill last month. i just emailed the company asking them what i need to do. can they credit my checking account? or do i need to go charge the negative amount in order to get my account balance to zero?

are you reading this, mom and dad? A NEGATIVE BALANCE ON MY CREDIT CARD! how ya like THEM apples? :)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

chuckles and kitty kat

a few snaps of jack and kate this morning:

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


more strep.

kate has strep.


she just finished a course of antibiotics on monday and she woke up this morning with a fever of 101 and a sore throat. so we're headed back to the doctor today for more antibiotics. it's probably just a matter of time before jack gets it, too.


meanwhile, check out some new photos of kate posted on my photo blog. i was trying out the idea of setting up a studio in my house and it looks like i might be able to make it work.

Friday, January 18, 2008

outta here

i'm heading out of town this afternoon for a weekend by myself. just going to virginia, down to tyson's corner. not far, not fancy, not glamorous. but it's away. away from jeff and the kids and the dog and the house and my life. when the kids were little, i used to try to get away every 4 months or so. i went to sanibel island once and another time i just went to a hotel in baltimore. it's not about where i go, it's just getting to spend time alone. time to refresh and renew and relax. time to be kristin and not mom or wife or carpool driver or potty-trainer or caregiver. just kristin.

so this afternoon i'm heading down the the ritz carlton in virginia and am going to order room service and watch tv and sleep in and take ridiculously long showers and go to the bathroom BY MYSELF. i'm going to eat all my meals WITHOUT INTERRUPTION and i'm going to catch up on season three of the wire on DVD. i might even go see the new katherine heigl movie, 27 dresses.

or i might lie in bed for two days, drinking vodka tonics and watching crappy pay-per-view movies.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

blue cheese

how do you know when blue cheese dressing has gone bad?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


tonight i found myself missing i have a craving for ben and jerry's and jeff is out at a concert. i'm too lazy to pack up the kids to run to the grocery store to buy it. i wish kozmo was still around to deliver it to me.

back in the late 90s when i lived in seattle, you could order just about anything from i didn't have a car so many friday nights i would order a movie and a pint of ben and jerry's. i'd have it in under an hour and would curl up on the futon in my basement apartment and watch a crappy movie and eat an entire pint of ice cream (i miss my metabolism). and then there was the night when jeff and i were dating and i burned my hand on the stove before we were supposed to go out that night. we canceled our plans and ordered up a movie and a tube of aloe vera. one hour later my burn was healing and we were watching an utterly forgettable movie.

it was an idea destined to fail but i miss it. i want some ice cream.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

strep throat

jeff went out of town this weekend and kate came down with strep throat. have you ever taken a sick 5-year-old and a potty-training three-year-old to a doctor's clinic at 4pm on a saturday? and the three-year-old hasn't had a nap and is hungry? and needs to pee? and the five-year-old is listless and has a 103 degree fever? and the three-year-old wants out of the room where we've been waiting for an hour for the doctor?

yep. it was a fun night.

Friday, January 04, 2008


jack and i were snuggling today and he started looking at my eyes with an intense look on his face.

jack: mommy? are you getting old?

me: why?

jack: because you have cranky eyes.

me: (laughing) what are cranky eyes?

jack: you know, what old people have.

cranky eyes? i have no idea.


ok. i'll admit it. i don't like politics. i don't follow politics and i don't like political debates. it just doesn't interest me. i feel like all politicians (on the national level) are crooked so it's just a matter of voting for whomever is LESS crooked.

that said, i'm curious to find out about the iowa caucas from yesterday. obama and huckabee won, but what did they win? does this mean they are the official republican/democrat candidates? is hillary out of the race completely? or is this just the first of many votes to come? when do we find out who the final presidential candidates are?

(hi, my name is kristin and i'm completely ignorant when it comes to our nation's government)

Thursday, January 03, 2008


i found this face recognition thing on another blog. it looked interesting and i had a few free minutes. i was curious which current celebs i look like. turns out i look mostly like a man. seriously. 6 of my top matches are men. and not even good looking men. i keep hearing austin powers' voice in my head, "she's a MAN, baby!"

ETA: i tried another photo (a horrible photo from new year's eve. many drinks preceded this photo) and it turns out i look more like a girl (but how the hell did i get mccauley caulkin in the mix??)


yep, that picture is what you think it is. we went through three pairs of pants and underpants before noon today and there's sure to be more before the day is through.


jack is three-and-a-half. it's beyond time for him to be potty trained. we've started and stopped, thinking he needed more time to mature. i bought potty scotty, bribed with m&m's and jellybeans and finally resorted to buying jack a play guitar to get him to pee on the toilet. but pooping? no dice. he refuses to poop on the toilet and could happily play for hours with a poop in his pull up. i've been taking a 'he won't get married in his pull up' attitude but today something snapped. i'm done with pull ups. the kid needs to use the toilet.

so today was day one of cold turkey potty training. jack had one accident this morning before we left to take kate to school. rather ambitiously, i decided to take him to target so i could stock up on undies and sweatpants (easy to get on and off). believe it or not, he actually told me he had to go to the bathroom while we were shopping. we made it to the bathroom and he peed on a public toilet for the first time. i (prematurely, it turns out) congratulated myself for nailing the potty training. and ON THE FIRST DAY, no less.


this is jack we're talking about. the boy who was supposed to be in the NICU for one week and ended up staying for five. the boy who is as stubborn as his mother. i should have known.

i let him play in the playroom for about thirty minutes before checking on him. when i shouted up the stairs, "jack! do you need to go poopy or pee pee?", he answered, "no! i already did it in my pants!"

the kid who hates to have dirty hands and cries when he clothes get dirty is the same kid who will happily play with a poop in his pants and pee running down into his socks.

tell me. HOW do you potty train a kid like that?

Wednesday, January 02, 2008


kate got her haircut a few days ago. for as long as i can remember (or at least as long as she's been old enough to have an opinion), she has wanted long hair. so we let it grow.

but last week, she mentioned that she wished she had short hair like mine. she wanted to get it cut. i said sure and we went to the local hair cuttery the next day.

i surprised myself by getting emotional when she got into the chair. i wasn't (and am not) the mom who saved her kids' hair from their first haircut or got weepy when kate and jack reached other milestones. most of the time i was overjoyed that they were getting more independent. but the haircut? it got me. i got weepy. i didn't know why, at first. kate has had her hair trimmed before. but i realize now it was because she made the decision herself. she wanted to cut her hair. for whatever reason, she was tired of long hair and wanted a change. and THAT'S what got me. she's separate from me. really and truly. for so long (it seemed, at least), kate was part of me. first in my belly and then as an infant. i was ready for the physical dependence to go away but i wasn't quite prepared for the emotional independence. when did she start having opinions about her hair? what comes next? i know it sounds insane but it feels like this haircut is the first step towards her moving out of the house and moving on with her life. and i'm surprised that it makes me sad.


nope, no new year's resolutions. i don't keep 'em so why bother making 'em? we did have a great new year's eve with wendy and her family. i have lots of photos but i'm going to send them to wendy to post on her blog since i don't update this one that often. stay tuned.

in the meantime, here are two photos of jack i took last month. i took him on the metro into DC one morning when he didn't have school because he's never been on the metro. we got off the metro in DC, got a bottle of juice and a pretzel, and sat on a bench watching the pigeons. then we took the metro back to maryland and drove home. a small outing, yes, but it just seemed wrong that at almost three-and-a-half the kid hadn't ever ridden public transportation.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

getting dressed

kate gets herself dressed pretty often these days. for the most part, her wardrobe is pretty basic so everything goes with everything else.

but today.

she came downstairs as we were getting ready to go out to run errands and she had this on:

she was so proud of herself.

kate: mommy! do you like my outfit?

me: um,, do YOU like your outfit?

kate: i love it! i look so pretty! i'm going to wear my pink sneakers, too!

i'm going to save this photo until she's 12 and only wants to wear what all her friends are wearing.

Friday, December 21, 2007


jeff just booked four plane tickets to seattle in august (and since we are using amex points, we booked first class!). we haven't been back to visit since we moved in 2001 and i am beyond excited about going back. it will be totally different since we're going to see it with the kids, but both of us wanted to bring them. kate and jack won't care about seeing seeing elliott bay from the viaduct as we drive in from the airport. they won't care about seeing the first condo jeff and i lived in or walking around pike place market. they'll be bored out of their minds when we poke around the funky shops in fremont and they won't have the same warm rush of nostalgia when we take the ferry to bainbridge island. but jeff and i will and we can't wait to go back to the place it all started with the kids who made us a family.

Thursday, December 20, 2007


jack was wearing his nantucket sweatshirt today and at one point he looked down and read off the letters:

jack: n-a-n-t-u-c-k-e-t

i got all proud motherish thinking how smart my not-quite-three-and-a-half-year-old-son was, what with reading all the letters and UPSIDE DOWN NO LESS.

me (beaming with pride): that's right! what do those letters spell?

jack (proudly): baltimore!

proud mommy was promptly deflated.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


i feel guilty a lot. guilty that i have two healthy children. guilty that i have a great relationship with my husband. guilty that i have a new house with new furniture and no debt hanging over my head. guilty that my life is so fantastic.

i know.


it's ridiculous. i should be thankful. and i AM. very much so. but i also have this nagging, creeping guilt because i didn't do anything to deserve any of this. nothing. nada. i'd like to think that the years i spent volunteering and working for non-profits paved the way for this good karma but really, i know that's not true. because just like bad things happen for no reason, so do good things. it's just that i have a much easier time accepting the bad things. i don't know why. blame it on my parents for teaching me that if it seems to good to be true, it probably is. for teaching me that good things come as a result of hard work. that nothing good comes easy. valuable lessons, yes. lessons i hope to teach my own kids, in fact. but lessons that leave me wondering why the hell i've been so lucky in my life and when the other shoe is going to drop.

kind of depressing, isn't it?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

better you than me

so I've mentioned that I'm chairing a fundraiser for a non-profit I'm involved with. The local hospital is our partner in the fundraiser; we take turns staffing the booth and we split the profits when its all over.

Its supposed to sleeet and snow on Saturday and all I can think is that I am SO glad its the hospital's day to run the booth. The last thing I want to deal with is 47 phone calls from all our volunteers saying they can't make their shifts. No, instead I'll be outside with my kids and neighbors sledding and building snowmen.

It will be a much needed break :)

Friday, December 07, 2007


for the first time in weeks i feel like i can breathe again. my conversion is done, my tubes are tied (did i tell you about that? i had this procedure done), my photography holiday rush is over and even gift wrap is (knock on wood) running smoothly.

i actually have time to eat and shower and i can't wait for the kids to get home from school so we can spend some time together (i've been pawning them off on 'barbie as the island princess' and 'high school musical').

i had time today to run errands not associated with gift wrap or photography, i picked up a few new home decorating magazines and i actually sat down with those magazines and drank a cup of hot chocolate in front of my fake fire. i almost felt guilty :)

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


this morning: jack was getting dressed and was having a hard time getting his sweatshirt on. he couldn't get his arms in the sleeves and as he threw the sweatshirt on the floor he said, 'mommy! the sleeves aren't PAYING ATTENTION!'

this afternoon: i dragged the poor kid all over creation this morning running errands. as a reward, i took him to red robin for lunch. it was packed and we were squeezed in between two other tables with barely enough room to stand between the tables. the woman next to us was wearing a head scarf and jack pointed to it and said (very loudly), 'mommy - that lady is a pirate!' either the woman didn't hear us or she very politely ignored us.



Saturday, December 01, 2007


you know what really pisses me off? people who critize the way you do a job that they themselves don't want to do. if you don't want to do the job, then shut the F up and let me do it my way.


Thursday, November 29, 2007

that time of year

last year i volunteered to help run a major fundraiser for an organization i'm involved with. wendy and i did it together and we both swore up, down and sideways that we wouldn't do it again this year. i guess wendy is smarter than i am because i volunteered to run it (alone) this year. and truthfully, it hasn't been a big deal. i knew the routine, knew what to do and things are running much smoother (for me) than last year. i was even thinking the other day that i might volunteer to do it next year, too.

but today? today it all hit me. it's not just the fundraiser, which starts friday and runs through christmas eve, but the fact that this is my busiest time of year with photo sessions. i have twice as many clients as last year and their orders are much larger this year (a very nice problem to have!). today i have to be at the mall with all the supplies (all of which haven't even arrived yet) AND order photos AND proof three client sessions - each of which takes a few hours.

today i'm questioning my sanity and wishing i had not taken on the fundraiser. i know it will be fine and that everything will work itself out. it always does - one way or another. but today - right now - my stomach is in knots, i'm short tempered with the kids and i'm wondering how i'm going to get 48 hours worth of work done in 24 hours.


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

thanksgiving photos

i posted some photos from thanksgiving over on my photography blog.

more photos (and posts) to come soon.

i promise :)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

national holiday

when kate was done with dinner tonight, she walked over to me, gave me a hug and said 'happy almost jewish day, mommy.' we're going to the mikvah tomorrow where i'll become jewish and kate is beyond happy about it.

almost jewish day? maybe it *should* be a national holiday.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

i'm it

wendy tagged me to write about certain topics in blocks of 8. here we go:

8 passions in my life
good sushi
home design

8 things to do before I die
lose those stubborn 15 pounds
take a cruise on the QE2
fly first class to another country
own my own natural light photography studio
create a philanthropic foundation with jeff
retire to manhattan
learn to stop feeling guilty
travel to a third world country with jeff and the kids

8 things I often say
maggie! in your crate!
you're my favorite girl in the whole world
you're my favorite boy in the whole world
stop snoring
jack, do you have a poop in your pull up?
put your jackets and shoes on. now!
i love you
sorry i didn't call you back

8 Books I read recently
i was born on a blue wednesday
lost: in search of six of six million
lost and found
a long way from home
henri cartier-bresson: the man, the image and the world

8 songs that mean something to me
by your side
infinite eyes (keb 'mo version)
blackbird (kenny rankin version)
live like you were dying
right here waiting for you (i know. gag.)

8 Qualities I look for in a friend
mildly sarcastic
doesn't mind cussing
laughs a lot
down to earth
if a parent, someone who isn't afraid to discipline their kids
is happy with their life the way it is
cares about improving the world around them

Friday, November 02, 2007

ugh. uggs.

i know i'm about, oh, 8 years behind on this trend but i just got my first pair of uggs and i'm in love.


i needed a pair of shoes to wear outside in the mornings to let maggie out. in our old house, we had an invisible fence so i would just open the door and let her out. we don't have one in the new house (mostly because we have no yard in which to fence her in). so every morning jeff or i have to walk outside in the alley and walk maggie into the field behind our house and wait while she does her business.

i've been wearing my slippers most mornings but then i end up tracking dirt back into the house. so i went looking for a pair of light, cozy boot type shoes to wear in the mornings.

enter uggs.

i tried them on reluctantly. but as soon as i put them on, i knew i had to have them. had to have five pairs. in every style and color available (i only bought one pair, in the chocolate brown).

i still think they are butt ugly and i won't wear them anywhere but the field behind our house. but they make walking the dog so much more enjoyable in the morning. i'm eyeing a pair of snow boots, too...

Sunday, October 28, 2007

halloween parade

our neighborhood had a halloween parade yesterday. all the kids and parents walked up the main street in the neighborhood and ended up at the big lawn. the garden club was selling cider and treats to raise money to plant new tulips beds and the kids ran around hyped up on sugar. after the parade, everyone piled into the clubhouse for a carnival - there were a few games and some arts and crafts. there was a costume contest and even a magician. at the end, all the kids got goodie bags. it was a great, great event and the kids had a blast (jeff and i enjoyed it, too).

some photos:

Thursday, October 25, 2007

snow camels

last night as i was putting on jack's pajamas after his bath, we started talking about the colder weather and how winter would be here in a few months.

jack: is it going to snow?

maybe. sometimes it snows during the winter and sometimes it doesn't

jack: will you go with me in the snow so i'm not scared?

me: what is scary about the snow?

jack: the snow camels.

the snow camels??

YES! the snow camels.

me: what are snow camels?

jack: you know, the camels with the horns on their heads in the snow.

(thinking, thinking, thinking) do you mean reindeer?

jack: um, yes! weindeer!

tell me where on earth that kid got snow camels from reindeer.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

new jew

so about two years ago i started thinking about converting to judaism. not necessarily because i think it's the "right" religion or because i've done an intense soul searching. it's simply because my family is jewish and i want to be a part of that.

jeff and i live a jewish life, meaning we don't celebrate christian holidays and we are raising kate and jack jewish. the kids will go to hebrew school and have bar and bat mitzvahs. it's the deal we made before we got engaged; jeff said it was important to him to raise his kids jewish and i said, 'eh. fine by me. religion is religion.'

when jeff and i got married, people asked me a lot if i was going to convert. i always said that i wasn't planning on it but that if the time came when i wanted to or felt the need to that i would.

and now that time has come. or came two years ago. kate was in her first year at a jewish preschool and she was coming home with all sorts of projects i knew nothing about (the lulav and the etrog? i had no idea what these were or why she made them in class). for the first time i began to see a division between me and my family. they were jewish and i was not.

and then hurricane katrina hit new orleans. i was so moved by the jewish community's response and heard for the first time about the jewish concept of tikkun olam: repair the world. it spoke deeply to the part of me that values volunteer work and the idea of helping others. i decided that i wanted to convert.

the journey the past two years has had starts and stops. i thought i wanted to join a temple and be mentored by the rabbi there but he never returned my calls and i found out later that he took a sabbatical from the congregation to teach a congregation down south somewhere. which left me back at the beginning. i always thought the converting would require a year or so of studying and learning and the thought of a year of school slowed my fervor to convert.

i took an intro to judaism class in the spring at the temple where the kids go to preschool. i'd never been a fan of the rabbi there but in a classroom setting and one-on-one, i saw him in a new light and realized he wasn't as aloof and removed as i had always thought.

so. i made an appointment for this morning to talk to him about converting. i thought i'd go in and we'd talk about setting up a study course and he would tell me how hard it was going to be and how long it was going to take. instead, he asked me how i came about the decision to convert and then told me what would happen. turns out i don't need to do any (more) studying. he said the fact that i've been living a jewish life is far more valuable than any studying i could do (of course, the fact that i took the intro class didn't hurt).

so i filled out my application to convert and just need to decide on my hebrew name. the rabbi is going to contact two baltimore rabbis to make up the beit din. then i go through the mikvah and voila - i'm a jew.

i can't believe it's happening so quickly. it could be just a few weeks; the rabbi said the hardest part was coordinating three rabbi's schedules.

so there you go. from catholic, to home churched, to born-again, to jewish. maybe this one will stick.

Monday, October 22, 2007

the kids

i've been struggling with being a parent lately. not just being a parent, but parenting my two kids. i wake up in the mornings hoping it won't be another day of jack crying and whining about the fact that he had to wake up and breathe today and that kate won't answer with a stifled scream to every question i ask her. is it something about the ages of 3 and 5? the physically demanding part of being a parent to a newborn is long gone but in its place is the mentally exhausting chore of trying to raise two whine-free, responsible, happy kids.

and i seem to be failing miserably.

it seems that all kate thinks about or talks about (or, let's be truthful here, whines about) is that someone has something that she doesn't have or jack got to do something that she didn't and IT'S. NOT. FAIR. nothing is fair. the poor child has the most miserable existence any kid could have what with the three meals and two snacks she gets daily, the closet full of clothes and the toys she has to play with. how do you teach a 5-year-old to be thankful? seriously. what is an age appropriate way to teach them? do i take her to volunteer at a homeless shelter? would she even understand that? do i take her on a walking tour of east baltimore and hope we don't get shot in the process of showing her the boarded up houses and the homeless people wandering the streets? HOW do i teach her? because right now i just want to throw out all her clothes and toys and make her live in the garage to wipe that smug smile of entitlement off her face.

and jack? good lord. jack is just another can of worms. his teachers love him. other parents think he's adorable and funny and entertaining. so why is he a whining, miserable mess at home? i know he's got it rough what with his own room and a playroom full of toys and endless viewings of the jungle book and high school musical. but still.

how do you give your kids things without also giving them a sense of entitlement? we don't buy our kids everything they want. but we do give them a lot. do i stop buying things we want to buy them just to prove a point? i don't know. i just know that whatever i'm doing isn't working.

or am i being unrealistic that a 3 and a 5 year old should be mature enough to grasp the concepts of being thankful and giving to others?


Friday, October 19, 2007

back in the saddle

it's been a while since the last time i blogged. life got busy, the kids got needy and blogging was just the last on a long list of things i needed/wanted to do.

the thing is, i've wanted to post for a few weeks but felt the pressure of jumping back in after a long absence. like, the return post had to be profound or insightful or ridiculously funny. and nothing i had to blog about was any of those things.

so, instead, i'm just plunging in. ripping off the band-aid. getting back on the horse.

here's hoping this sparks some more posts.

Friday, September 07, 2007


i listen to the high school musical soundtrack even when my kids aren't around.

i know.


Thursday, September 06, 2007

new photography website

i'm so excited that my new photography website is launching (hopefully!) in the next day or two! check it out at anna elliott photography.

the new blog is also up and running and you can see it here.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

app state beats michigan

in case you haven't heard or read: appalachian state university (my alma mater) beat #5 michigan state yesterday. one of the biggest upsets in college football EVER.

read all about it HERE, HERE, and HERE.

go apps!!!!!

Friday, August 24, 2007

our photos!

i finally got the link from the photographer:

jinky art
password = anna

i love these photos!!!!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


in childrens photography circles there is a woman who is revered as being one of the best: barb "jinky" uil. her photos are bright and creative and really capture the essence of who kids are. she lives in australia but came to the states this summer to spend two months traveling the country doing portrait sessions. i was lucky (LUCKY!) enough to be able to schedule a session. i just got an email that she put her new website up and two of our photos made the new site! we should get the link to our entire gallery tomorrow (i'll be sure to post the link so you can ooh and aah over us) ;)

here are the two photos from our session on her site:
click on 'portfolio'
click on 'giggles'
it's the third picture in the series. one of our feet and one of kate.

i adore this woman's talent!!

Friday, August 10, 2007


fed ex delivered two packages to our house at 11:30pm last night.


jeff and i had been asleep for a few hours and we heard maggie start barking like crazy. jeff went downstairs to see what was going on and i heard him open the front door. he came back to bed and said, 'fed ex dropped off some packages for you.'


it couldn't have waited until this morning?

how bizarre.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

really old

yesterday in the car, kate asked me why bubby mitzi and mema (jeff's grandmothers) lived alone:

me: because their husbands don't live with them any more.

kate: why?

me: well...they died.

kate: why did they die?

me (trying to make it as simple as possible):
well, they were really old.

kate: so you die when you get old?

me: a lot of times, yes.

(a few seconds of silence as kate thinks about this)

kate: well how come mema is still alive? she's REALLY old.

Monday, August 06, 2007

buh bye

i took kate to her endocrinology appointment today. i wasn't expecting anything other than the normal routine we go through every three months: she gets weighed, measured and the doctor listens to her heartbeat and feels her abdomen. her appointments are always the same and always last for about 15 minutes. we get her prescription for growth hormones renewed and make an appointment for three months ahead.

but today. oh, today was a glorious day.

dr. reiner said that kate had caught up on the height chart (but at 28 pounds, she's still WAY low on the weight chart) and that with my permission, he'd like to take her off her shots for the next six months to see how she grows.


we've been giving her a shot every night for the past two-and-a-half years and now, suddenly, we have a six-month reprieve. SHE has a six-month reprieve. for the next six months we don't have to travel with a car refrigerator to cool her medicine. we don't have to request refrigerators in hotel rooms. we don't have to worry about missing a dose. or forgetting to order the medicine or the needles or the alcohol swabs. when kate gets ready for bed for the next six months, she doesn't have to hear, 'kate, let's do your shot and then go get your jammies on.' she doesn't have to worry about us doing the injection badly and drawing blood or causing a knot on her arm. she doesn't have to worry about peeling band-aid after band-aid off the backs of her arms and causing rashes.

we've all come a long way since we started. it used to take both jeff and i to hold her down (all 18 pounds of her) and give her the shot. kate would be screaming bloody murder and i'd be crying and jeff would just be flummoxed by all the noise and commotion. it has since become a part of our routine. a part that none of us likes but have come to grips with and have dealt with.

we went out to dinner to celebrate tonight (kate chose red robin) and then went to the bookstore and let her pick out a book. she kept hugging me and laughing, "i don't have to do my shot! i don't have to do my shot!"

nope. you don't. and you deserve the reprieve my little kitty kat.

Friday, August 03, 2007


i made my first challah last week but it didn't turn out very well; it was more like a very heavy loaf of bread. undaunted, i tried it again today and this is what i ended up with:

not bad for a non-cooking, almost-jew, eh?

Thursday, August 02, 2007

dooce strikes again

this is one of the funniest dooce entries i've read in a while. i couldn't stop laughing:

dooce blog

Friday, July 20, 2007

happy birthday, paige

my niece, paige, turns 6 today. happy birthday!

Thursday, July 19, 2007


i'm curious: which do you think is more likely to be accurate? your perception of yourself or other people's perceptions of you?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

prayer stop

i was on my way to tj maxx this morning after dropping the kids off at summer camp when i passed this on the side of the road in a random town called spencerville:

(click to see it larger)

i almost ran off the side of the road trying to do a u-turn. isn't it the most random thing you've ever seen? it's just sitting there, on the side of the road, in a little blink-and-you'll-miss-it town. i wanted so badly to knock on the door to see if anyone was in there. i wonder if people actually stop there? is someone in there all day? what made them put it up? how long has it been there?

i've got to go back.

Monday, July 16, 2007

is it just me?

believe it or not i've been thinking a lot about birthday parties this past week. i had a major (may-hay-hay-HAY-jor) blow out with a family member over her child's birthday party and the fact that we may not be able to attend due to a prior commitment. then i was talking to one of my neighbors who went with her family to NJ for a birthday party for the son of a good friend of hers. she said it was a total blow out and there were tons of people. the kid turned one. ONE.

jeff and i had parties for the kids' first birthdays. i get it. but we just had people over to the house and had food and cake and ice cream. that's it. nothing major. certainly no out of town guests (except for my parents who i couldn't have kept away even if i had wanted to - which i didn't). but after the first year? eh. birthday parties aren't a big deal to me and jeff. AT. ALL. we didn't even have a party for jack's 2nd birthday because we were at the beach and he was TWO, for chrissakes. what did he know about birthday parties?

this year, for jack's 3rd birthday we requested no gifts. instead, we asked people to bring a new book to donate to a children's charity. i realize that's not going to fly in another year or two when jack really gets the concept of birthdays and presents, but for now? it's fine. and the last thing this kid needs is more plastic toys that he will break apart two days after he gets it. i thought this was a great compromise.

and yet, a few people still brought gifts. it was weird to me. i mean, the kid turned 3. he had a birthday party. he gets new toys ALL the friggin time. he doesn't need more. and still, people brought gifts.

are jeff and i completely out of touch with kids' birthday parties? are we seriously the only parents (except for mine) who don't think the world revolves around their kids? who don't make their kids' birthday a national holiday? who honestly don't care whether you can come or not? who don't think that someone missing our kids' party is a personal attack and a low-down, dirty, selfish thing?

geez, people. it's a birthday party.






Saturday, July 14, 2007

my new nephew

my older brother and his wife had their third child this week!

seth gavin laciano

Monday, July 09, 2007


we're in new jersey this week; i have a photography conference and jeff just wanted to be near casinos. we brought a babysitter with us (wendy's oldest son) and jeff and the kids are having a blast while i sit in a freezing cold conference room. jeff just sent me this photo:

Saturday, July 07, 2007

maple lawn days

our neighborhood threw a big party today for all the residents. there were pony rides and face painters and a moon bounce and barbeque. it was a fantastic event and is just one of the thousands of reasons we love living here.

a few photos from today (taken with my phone camera):

Friday, July 06, 2007

i rock at euchre

i just played my first round of euchre and i kicked dan and jeff's ass (are you reading that, wenner? i kicked his ASS! ). emily and i were partners and i had incredible cards - dan said i could have gone alone several times.

i just want all the northwestern guys to know that jeff lost to his rookie wife.

ha ha ha ha ha ha

(two vodka tonics later...)

so tired

jeff, dan, emily and i are all playing euchre. it was bedtime for the kids so jeff put jack to bed and told kate she could play in her room; this was about an hour ago.

jeff just went upstairs to tell kate to go to bed and he came downstairs laughing. he said he went into her room to tell her to go to bed and she let out a sigh of relief and said, 'good, i'm SO tired.'

apparently she didn't know she was allowed to go to sleep and thought she had to stay awake until jeff told her to go to bed.


dan's new woman

my little brother is in town with his new girlfriend, emily. dan got divorced about a year ago and he has really grown up and grown into himself. he's been with emily for the past 6 months and now that i've met her i understand why he's crazy about her. she's down to earth, drinks beer, checks the cub scores and puts up with dan's hoopdy truck that has no air conditioning. plus, she's a math teacher and she quilts. the girl is well rounded. and best of all? she accepts my brother as he is and lets him be himself. maybe i sound like a mom, but any woman who treats my brother well is ok by me.

(hi liz! emily said you read my blog sometimes. can't wait to meet you!)

Thursday, July 05, 2007


i've been looking at buying a new program to show my photography clients their slideshows. i found one i'm interested in and they have a demo mode you can preview for 30 days. i threw together a quick and dirty slideshow of jack's new bike (he got it for his birthday on sunday):

jack's new bike

Monday, July 02, 2007


anyone out there been to mexico? i'm looking at booking a vacation, just me and my mom, and i know next to nothing about it. don't even know where to start looking. i think we'd like to stay at a nice (very nice) hotel but also have access to some less touristy areas.

leave a comment or email me at kristin at havitad dot com.



jack's 3rd birthday was yesterday. we had his party on saturday so yesterday i took him to a birthday party for some friends of his. he had pizza and cake and two juice boxes which is a lot of sugar at once for him.

we came home and i put him down for a nap. a half an hour later i heard him screaming; it wasn't an 'i hurt myself scream' or a 'i don't want to take a nap scream'. it was really something different.

so i sprinted upstairs to his room and he was sitting in his bed, hysterical, and when i asked him what was wrong he sobbed, 'i have chocolate all over me!'

i looked at the bed and thought, 'how'd he get chocolate all over his legs? did he take some from the party and it melted? that little punk! i can't believe he did that!'

and then i got a whiff and realized it was most definitely not chocolate.

chocolate. ha. i wish he could crap chocolate.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

a few more photos...

...from our vacation, posted on my photography blog.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

beach photos

we're still in south carolina, heading into the last couple of days of vacation. i posted a few photos on my photography blog.

Friday, June 15, 2007

public urination

so we're in hilton head. we got down here about 3:30pm today and we checked into the hotel. jeff and i immediately hit the bar outside by the pool and we noticed that they pour them strong in south carolina.

we took the kids to dinner at the inside bar/lounge and then to the inside pool since it started raining (there's a point to this, i promise).

we didn't have any swim diapers on us so we just stuck jack in a pull-up and figured we were good to go. we played in the (heated) pool for a while and then went upstairs to get some dessert to bring back to the room.

and that's when it happened. through my vodka tonic/pina coloda haze, i felt jeff nudging me saying, 'oh my god, oh my god.'

i looked at him and he pointed at jack.

who was standing in a puddle of pee.

in the middle of the gift shop.

jeff said (loudly), "he's just dripping from the pool, right?'. he said it in a voice that i knew meant he knew EXACTY what jack was doing but was trying to pretend otherwise. i grabbed some napkins from the coffee bar and wiped up the puddle saying (in a voice loud enough for everyone in the gift shop to hear), "wow! daddy forgot to towel you off! you sure are dripping from being in the pool! ha ha ha!'

i don't think we fooled anyone.

jack is going to kill jeff and i both.


Thursday, June 14, 2007


(click the photo to see it bigger)