Thursday, December 29, 2011

November in a Nutshell

I really left you with Halloween, huh? That wasn't very nice of me. Let's move on to November, now that December is almost over. Here's the quick and dirty:

The first weekend in November we went to the Cabbagetown Chomp and Stomp. In a town of great festivals, it's our favorite. What's the Chomp and Stomp, you ask? Really the question should be, "What isn't the Chomp and Stomp?" It's a chili cook-off, bluegrass festival, 5k run, block party of awesomeness. There are no pictures. Sorry. What happens at Chomp and Stomp stays at Chomp and Stomp (really I just forgot to take pictures).

The next weekend, I turned 32. Sounds old, right? It is, but it's also my lucky number, so I'm not feeling too down about it. And, as my dad says, getting old is better than the alternative. So for my birthday, I got a fancy camera. My old one was five years old, and not even very nice when it was new. Now I know that a fancy camera doesn't make me a real photographer, but it can't hurt. I have some friends who are AMAZING photographers, and I'm not thinking that now I take better pictures than they do. They are true artists. For example, my long-time bud Sarah is a REAL photographer. It's her job, and she's dang good at it. She took my favorite picture of Annabel ever (EVER!!). You may want to check her out... no, actually, you DO want to check her out [].

Then there's my friend Jessica, whose praises I have sung before. She did our photos for our birth announcement and our Christmas card. Photography is her hobby -- she's a mighty fine lawyer the rest of the time.

Anyway, I am happy with my new camera. So there. Here's some of my handiwork.

What else? We rode the Pink Pig the weekend before Thanksgiving. I was so excited to finally be able to do this! It would be a little weird to ride the Pink Pig without a kid. What is the Pink Pig, you ask? What's with all the questions? Don't you know anything about Atlanta? Priscilla the Pink Pig is a ride that was at Rich's department store in the 50's. Macy's bought Rich's, so now the Pink Pig is at Macy's every holiday season (on top of the parking garage, but still... we'll take our fun kid traditions where we can get them). Here, read Wikipedia, and enjoy our photos:

We also had Thanksgiving. It was really fun. Annabel had her first pie. Pumpkin. She loved it. She's totally mine. She also had a good time playing with my grandmother, Goose, and it made Goose's day.

In Fox's neck of the woods, we headed to Paris and saw Annabel's first ever Santa. She wasn't scared (though I think she knows a fake beard when she sees one).

Santa also had a pretty sweet petting zoo and train ride. All in all, it was a really nice trip.

So that catches us up through November. Annabel is growing up way too fast. Do you like how I snuck some baby Annabel pictures in this post? Yeah, I'm totally in denial that she's almost one. Not because she doesn't become more fun with each passing day, because she really does. But those true baby days are gone forever, and I haven't come to terms with it yet. Nothing prepares you for how fleeting those moments truly are.

I'll be back soon with December, which brought us Annabel's first visit with a real-beard Santa, Fox's 11th marathon and Annabel's first glimpse of the Atlantic Ocean, and of course, Fox's birthday, also known as Christmas.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Halloween in (almost) December!

My, oh my, where did the time go? I seriously fell behind on my blogging -- and during my favorite time of year! I'm going to catch you up, but I'm going to take it slowly.

Halloween. Yes, the favorite holiday in the Fox household. So much thought and care goes into this holiday in a normal year -- can you imagine the level I took it to for Annabel's first Halloween? We had to have the perfect costume. This would forever be her First Costume. When she meets people throughout her life, and they ask (as any normal person would) "What were you for your first Halloween?" She will answer and they will judge both her and her parents. HOW CAN I POSSIBLY TAKE THIS PRESSURE??

So it had to be a group costume, because we are a group, The Foxes Three (Four if you count Banjo, and he normally does partake of our Halloween costumes [I cite his Splinter costume from 2009 when we went as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles]). After much deliberation, we decided to be Star Wars characters.

I worked really hard on my R2D2 costume. As is my tendency, it was made of cardboard. I have a long history of making costumes out of cardboard. Last year, I was a stove. The year before, a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle (Raphael, my favorite). Then I took a year off from cardboard and was Jesus from the Big Lebowski (it was the 1o year anniversary). The year before Fox and I were both in cardboard again as a "cheap date" -- I was a box of Franzia (that actually dispensed wine, thanks to a Camelbak) and Fox was a DVD of The Notebook. Anyway, all this is to say that I love to make costumes from boxes and such. HOWEVER, next year, I will fight this urge. In my R2D2 costume, it was impossible to hold my baby. This drove me crazy.

We had our annual Fox-o-ween celebration. I made my yearly funfetti cake.

I was so excited because my number one homie from home came to visit. Page (Miss Poppins) now lives in Charleston, and she brought her rad boyfriend Bert, ahem, I mean Daniel.

As I mentioned, I was very distracted by the fact that I could not hold my baby. This prevented me from taking many pictures. I seriously did not know what to do with myself. We started the party at 7 so Annabel could visit for an hour before her bedtime. I wasn't really sure what to expect from her, but she was fantastic. At 8, I put her to bed, and she slept through the entire party.

Let me now showcase some of the fantastic costumes.We had Occupiers of Wall Street...

Occupiers of another famous street...

And the occupant of Halloween's most famous street.

We had some meddling kids with their own kid.

If you ever wondered what it looked like when R2D2 held a baby Scooby, here you go:

And here's the Queen of Homemade Costumes, herself (check out Jenny's sweet Olive Oyl costume -- she also made the vest of a certain Han Solo).

Miss Oyl with her handsome beau in the yellow hat

And the Orkin Man with his lovely bug bride...

Moira, the scariest maid

The all-American space family

We also had an appearance by a couple of Keith Stones handing out Keystone Lights. He was so popular that even though we had a keg of delicious Hop Czar beer, our costumed guests found themselves imbibing in Keystone Light. Go figure.

Annabel's school, The Treehouse, had a Halloween parade on actual Halloween. We left work early to get ready. We thought that the parents also dressed up. They don't. But we did.

Then we went trick or treating with the Williamses. When else will we be able to eat ALL Annabel's candy?

I promise to get this blog up to speed. But not tonight. Stay tuned for the rest of November, including the excitement of me getting a new camera! There are more and better quality photos in your future. The camera's so big I even bought a new purse for it!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Pops, pumpkins, & plenty o' pictures

Whew! We've had a lot of excitement lately. First off, here are some pictures from the baby shower we helped host last weekend taken by my very talented friend Jessica Arnold. These aren't even the serious "let's take some pictures" pictures. Yes, she will do those type pictures for you, and they will be fantastic. If you need her contact info (and trust me, you do), just ask me.

Probably the highlight of the weekend was meeting Brent and Josh, a.k.a. The Fabulous Beekman Boys, at their book signing at Williams-Sonoma. While I was on maternity leave, I discovered their show on Planet Green. It is about them giving up their lives in New York to try to "make it" on a farm they bought in Sharon Springs, New York known as the Beekman Estate. The farm is gorgeous -- with a house (mansion, really) built in 1802 -- and lots of goats and farminess. Brent is a doctor and was Vice-President of Martha Stewart's Healthy Living. Josh is an advertising executive. They started with goat's milk soap, moved on to goat cheese, and now have tons of Beekman 1802 products, one of which is an heirloom cookbook.

So while Annabel would nap in my arms in those early weeks of her life, I would follow the exploits of the city boys turned gentlemen farmers. Of course I was going to see them at Williams-Sonoma -- I could feel the soft stillness of my napping newborn just thinking about it. When we got there, I was grinning ear-to-ear. I felt like I knew these guys. And they were just as sweet in person. Josh said Annabel has my eyes, and she reached out to him, so he held her for some pictures. I had them sign a cookbook for her. It has to be weird to have people who have never met you feel like they know you and grin like idiots at you, but the guys were really gracious. Now, if only I could find time to cook their delicious recipes...

Let's see... what else... I took Annabel to the park. She loves the swing. I love to push her, so it works out well.

I traded out Annabel's infant carrier car seat for her big girl (but still rear-facing) convertible car seat. The weight limit on the carrier is 22 pounds, and since Annabel is one ounce over 20, I didn't want to push it. I'm really sad to be done with the carrier. It was so nice to let her continue to sleep by removing the carrier from the car, and my arms were getting pretty ripped from carrying 8 pounds of carrier and 20 pounds of baby. Now when she falls asleep in the car, I have to take her out of the car seat and carry her inside. It's going to take some getting used to.

Then we went to the third annual Grant Cove Cornhole Tournament, which for some reason, I failed to take pictures of. However, it was lots of fun. We were joking, as we watched nearly as many toddlers as adults wander around, how our parties have changed. We still have a good time, but we have to be home by 8!

And today, we had a lovely brunch at Manuel's. I ordered food for the first time ever for Annabel. She had a ball making a crazy mess with her biscuit. Then we went to the King of Pops Field Day. The King of Pops is a guy who got laid off from AIG and started a handcrafted popsicle business. He had a little push-cart and sold on the corner of North Avenue and Highland. Now he has locations in Atlanta, Asheville, and Charleston. His flavors are off the hook. For example, at the Field Day, you got three free tickets, which could be redeemed for pops or games. Fox and I are no suckers -- we went straight for pops. Fox had grapefruit hibiscus, banana pudding, and cookies and cream. I had chocolate peppermint, pear vanilla, and key lime pie. They were amazing. Annabel mostly slept in the stroller. We did make time for some silly photos.

Then, we went to a pumpkin patch and went crazy with photos. October, I wish you would never end.

Tune in next time to find out if I was able to clean the house and pull the costumes together for Fox-O-Ween V: Electric Boo-galoo.