Tuesday, January 29, 2008

NYC, Part two...

Continuing the saga...I had one whole day to myself in the city, and although I would LOVE to say that I got up early, read the paper, had my coffee, and was out and about early in the morning, anyone who knows me would understand that was just a flat out lie. I slept in till 10:30, had a yummy fresh croissant and latte from the cafe downstairs, then shopped for about 4 hours straight. THEN, I got to spend a few hours at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. That is truly an amazing place. To think that in one building you can see Celtic jewelry from a thousand years ago, pieces of an actual roman temple, 15 foot high buddahs, and original Van Gogh paintings. And that was about 4 rooms worth. There's three floors in the place! I could have spent the five days just in there, but I guess that's a good excuse to go back. I'll post some pics of just a FEW of my favorite finds. More to come!

The main staircase

Van Gogh's "Wheat fields with cypress"


The statue gallery from above

Friday, January 25, 2008

New York City, Part One...

So I thought I'd start off with a few pics of our hotel room - PLEASANTLY surprised. Our hotel was built in about 1902 or so, but recently remodeled, and it is lovely. Plus, customer service always makes the day. The Mansfield has a little of everything. When we arrived at about 10 a.m. after a long redeye flight and an even longer ride into the city (in a towncar!:) they unfortunately informed us we'd been upgraded - to a suite! Bummer. Then they let us check in about 4 hours early, gave us a great recommendation for breakfast, and gave us a free cappucino. Love this place. Check out the yummy period details. Plus there's an amazing library downstairs with a fireplace, leather chairs, LOTS of books, and free espresso 24 HOURS A DAY!!! What's not to love about that? More to come!

Literally the tiniest sink I've ever seen. When you lean over to wash your face, all the water goes right on the floor because the sink is too little to catch it!

Walking With Dinosaurs

I took Jackson and his buddy Levi to see the AMAZING Walking With Dinosaurs live show, put on by the BBC. (You know, they do everything just a leeetle bit better in Europe.) It was really, truly amazing. The boys were blown away - both by the size and by the noise. The roars of the T-Rex shook the seats in the Rose Garden (which is BIG). We went to Red Robin (Jackson's choice:) before the show and made a little date of it. I have to say, I think I had the handsomest date in the place! Happy early birthday, Jack!

And they saved the BIGGEST for last!

Thursday, January 17, 2008


YAY! I know this may not seem like that big of a deal, but today I had my PICC line removed. That is a seriously big deal in the life of someone who's had an IV tube sticking out of their upper left arm for the last four months! I am officially 22 weeks pregnant, I'm finally in the positive on weight gain (watch out world, here I come!) and all of this is just in time for our trip to NYC on Tuesday. FINALLY! This trip is 3 years in the making. For real. It's been rescheduled 3 times because of pregnancy or stomach flu. We are so excited to finally be going. Almost as excited as I was this afternoon when I got to take a shower and there was NO saran wrap involved!:) Thanks again to everyone for all the prayers, calls, and generally good thoughts surrounding this crazy pregnancy. Now we can focus on just bringing a healthy baby girl into this world. And also, I'm sure, on some SERIOUS shopping.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Learning from the Movies, 101

The other day Jackson said to me (out of the blue, or so I thought) "Mom, I know how to make a bomb out of a coconut." Immediately I think - Oh, great. Now I'm raising the unabomber or something. There are always signs, you know! He keeps going - "First, you take a coconut. Then you make a hole in it, fill that with this powder, put a string in it, and light it! It's a bomb!"

Hmmm. Casually, I say to him "So, where did you learn that?" "Oh, from Swiss Family Robinson. Also, I learned that if you're being attacked by pirates, you can pile up a bunch of logs on a hill, and tie a string to them, and when the pirates are under it you pull the string and all the logs fall on them!"

Wow. The art of war, courtesy of Disney. The funny thing is, after giving it some thought I decided that this is pretty great. First of all, Swiss Family Robinson was one of my top 5 movies as a kid. Come to think of it, I'd say it still rates in the top 10. And quite frankly, I've heard some of the things my kids have picked up from the latest and greatest animated films - and it's NOT pretty. (Don't even get me started on Shrek III.)

So, yes, occasionally my kids have learned some un-PC things from the older Disney movies. Yes, Aidan runs around in public singing "Who made the red man red," accompanied by a very convincing war whoop (Peter Pan, thank you) and Jackson is practicing his pirate warfare and bomb making. But you know what? At the beginning of Swiss Family Robinson, when the whole family (and the dogs) make it to the beach safely they all kneel in the sand while mom leads them in a family prayer of thanks for still being alive. I like that. Can anyone remind me where that happens in Shrek or Ratatouille?

So for now, I think we'll be going back to the oldies but goodies for a while. Bring on Herbie the Lovebug, Mary Poppins, and the Parent Trap (the one with Hayley Mills, NOT the one with Lindsay Lohan!). Let the imaginations run, let the creativity (and coconut bombs) flow, and hopefully if you see us in public, you won't mind the singing and the swordfighting!

The only downside - Shawn's got a LOT of work to do on their new treehouse!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

31 Years Later

I know I'm a few days behind, but I wanted to say Happy Anniversary to my parents - Bill and Tracey. On the 8th they celebrated 31 years of marriage - that is pretty impressive! (trust me, I know them both) Shawn and I are so lucky to have parents that are both committed to marriage - his parents had their 35th in December. What great examples we have - both in fashion and in life!:)

What you might not be able to see in the wedding photo are the wooden clogs my dad was wearing. Yes, with a courduroy suit. You've come a long way, baby!

Baby Dreams...

It's been about three days since the Butler fam discovered a baby girl will be joining us in May. Granted, this is what I was really hoping for, but I was pretty convinced we were getting another boy. So, finally today I think it's sinking in. Here are a few of my favorite girl things I've been hoping we could use! So pink, really. So FUN. And it is the truth - I KNOW FIRSTHAND - that they make about a BILLION more cute things for girls than they do for boys. Shawn is afraid, very afraid.

I fell in love with these Cambodian Jingle anklets. Here's the story behind them:

"The History Behind Cambodian Jingle Bells Jewelry:
For thousands of years Cambodian mommies have adorned the feet of their precious babies with silver anklets that have small bells attached to them. This tradition is still alive as Emi s grandmother (who is from Cambodia) gifted her with her first baby anklets at her birth. Traditionally, it is believed that the delicate jingling sounds would protect young children by warding off bad spirits. They also serve a functional purpose by providing auditory clues to their children movements and activity."

I love the idea of being able to hear a crawling toddler no matter where they go! Plus, they are DARN cute.

From what I hear, the shopping has already begun (that means you, NANA!) I have a feeling that it isn't going to stop for about...oh...maybe 18 years, give or take a few.

Here's a pic of our OTHER favorite Butler girl - Charlotte is going to make a great playmate for us!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Seriously? Seriously.

So today was D-day - or should I say U-day, for ultrasound day. Seriously, I really went in expecting a boy. Griffin William was on his way - and I was ready and prepared to be raising a small army of Butler boys. What I was NOT expecting, was a GIRL. Yes, a girl. We hadn't really even hoped for a girl, except for secretly way deep down inside. So, we are now going to be parenting a girl. I'm pretty much preparing for our nursery to look like somebody threw up pink. Shawn's so excited to get rid of the TUBS of boy clothing we've been saving in the garage. The worst part? We have NOTHING in the way of girls names. Really, nothing. So we have some work to do! Here are some pics of the ultrasound. Seriously, a girl? Seriously.


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