Saturday, July 31, 2010

Rehearsal Dinner Fodder?

First date (chaperoned by S's Daddy and Miles's "Opat")


Is holding hands considered first base in toddlerville?


And for the record; I bet dollars to doughnuts that she made the first move.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Signs of the Apocalypse? Or me just being dramatic.

  • Mah-na, Miles, and Felix were locked out of the house after going to the park, and I had to rush home from work and let them in before barely missing a huge work meeting.

  • A "cuca" pitter pattered across my bed last night onto my computer while I was doing work. (And by cuca, I mean red, beady-eyed, asthma inducing COCKROACH). Yeah, try eliminating that bug without making a noise due to the lightest sleeping 6 month old in the universe.

  • I dreamt that Miles was in a toddler bed, and threw up chunks that resembled that square ice breakers gum.

  • Eric walked into the bedroom this morning while I was nursing Felix to tell me that Miles had thrown up at the breakfast table.

  • I am pretty sure that the part on my hair has officially changed sides. Like, overnight. Without my consent. My face looks different.

  • Of all days, Eric and "Opat" (Miles's name for Opa) are going off on an overnight hiking adventure. Luckily, Mah-na is here with me to weather the storm.

Maybe the new hair part shifted the energy in our house or something...it's been a strange 24 hours.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

I scream, you scream, we all scream for AVOCADO!

From End of July 2010
It's that time...

...some people get excited about starting "solids" with their babies.

I am not one of them. Not the second time around.

Even though I LOVE exclusively making my own baby food, it's more about when it comes out rather then when and how it goes in.  Okay, so I know that one cannot live on breastmilk indefinitely, but oh how I love breastmilk poopy diapers! Which in reality, is verbal disguise for me saying "oh how I despise solid food poop in diapers."

Moms, you are with me, no?

Vulli Sophie the Giraffe Teether, Brown/ WhiteFelix is almost 7 months old and we just had our first taste of someting outside of breastmilk (and Sophie the giraffe, or various other teething items. Can I get a "woot woot" from mothers again for Sophie? Miles was not a chewer, but Felix is an oral fiend and this chew toy was worth every penny.). 

So, how did the 'cado go??

He seemed to like it. Which is verbal disguise for "he didn't hate it." He kind of nursed the spoon, and there was one moment that he gagged on a more solid piece, but I was surprised that the majority of the 1/38 of an avocado watered down with breastmilk stayed more in his mouth than on his shirt.
True, he has been grabbing for food from the table since a little after 4 months old, but that kid was grabbing for anything that he could shove straight into his mouth to soothe his gums.

And let's be honest--it wasn't because he was being starved; have you seen him? For a child that drinks only about two to three 4.5-5oz bottles a day, I have no idea how he is so big. Okay, so there is the all night dairy bar he frequents and round the clock nursing on weekend, but I still marvel at how much padding he has on his body considering I know other babies who down 6-8oz bottles three times a day.

So, he certainly wasn't starving. And I was just kind of not interested in going down the path of washing cloth diapers with more "adult" poop in them. (As I only have about 17 cloth diapers from Miles, we are pretty much doing 1 in cloth and 1 in disposable now.). Luckily, we are just experimenting with avocado at this point, and not even every day. I think I have a few weeks until the real poop commences.

There is also a lot of compelling empirical evidence why delaying solids is actually a good thing. Delaying solids until at least 6 months (the caveat is that many of these points assume the baby is breastfed):
  • gives babies better immune protection
  • gives babies' digestive systems more time to mature
  • decreases food allergies
  • protects a baby from iron-deficiency anemia
  • protects babies from future obesity
  • makes starting solids easier
  • helps to space babies
  • helps moms maintain milk supply
What I do like about the idea of introducing solids to Felix is that he can participate in our meals, now. And by participate, I mean not sit in someone's lap or nurse while I eat one-handed, but sit in his new Stokke high chair and throw things on the floor.
Stokke Tripp Trapp® Highchair - Natural

There is something truly special about family meal time. Even if Felix is just sucking on wash cloths and occassionally flinging green goop around the table. Combined with Miles reminding us to do "prayer hands" and asserting "AMEN!" at the end, it may just be one of my favorite times of day.
From End of July 2010

(I ran out of space in my picasa albums, so I am now pulling from Eric's albums. Full album linked here. There are also pictures of a day with the ducks and Eric's recent race in Kirkwood where he got SECOND! And more goofy Felix, who is going to be getting his first haircut next week!)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Fours

Eric,

I think it telling that we are both amazed at how quickly four years have gone by since getting married, but also how it seems like we have known each other forever. I was thinking about how incredibly rich our lives are, and how much we have already been through as a couple and also as a family of...*gulp* FOUR! I guess it is the year of "fours." Fourth anniversary. Felix was born on the fourth of January rounding out our family of four. Number four may overtake our obsession with number eleven...Nah!

And let's just say we have certainly faced the "for worse" promise square in the face. Looking back over the past years, I have to admit that although I am amazed at how resilient we have been through two difficult pregnancies in less than two years and one battle with cancer, I am not surprised. Because, well, I think we absolutely rock as Team Heintz. (How's that for modesty?)

Seriously.

I'm not going to go all poeticwritinglikeIamcomposingmyvows in this post. I'll just stick to the facts without much fuss. Unfortunately, fuss does not equal brevity.

Here is the thing.

We've had what I call "pilot episodes" in our life. You know, those moments that would make GREAT television: proposing in a bathroom with 111 flowers, a redonkulously fun wedding, battling cancer during the first weeks of our newborn's life (don't you think an episode showcasing the cancer vixen mother pumping in the car of a hospital parking deck while her husband gets an 8 inch neck scar and 15% of his tongue removed during surgery would achieve great ratings?).

Here is the thing...continued. (I got sidetracked with my pilot episode commentary). Those moments aren't the only things that sustain a marriage. I think about all of the "episodes" that mean nothing to anyone else-that would not probably even inspire the local cable network or Hallmark TV to approach us for our story.

Everyone else: "Big whoop. You asked Ali to hold your glasses while you (stupidly) ran into the mosh pit at the 99x concert."

Ali: "Remember when we were totally crushing on each other and you selected me out of all of the people we were with to hold your glasses while you ran to the front of the concert to exchange sweat with a group of dirty boys banging into each other like fools? It was like Charlie Bucket getting the golden ticket. I knew I had an 'in' with you and felt honored. Warm fuzzies (that were quickly quelled by the stench of teen angst and stale, warm beer in solo cups.)" Break--I initially wrote sippy cups instead of solo cups and it didn't even phase me. Not until I read the post in its entirety did I have the "something's wrong here" thought.

Golly. I can just sputter off thousands of moments in our life (and I mean that in the singular form--our collective life) that I cherish, knowing they fall into the mundane for everyone else, but resonate so intensely with us. It's those snapshots of loving one another, hanging in our internal museums, that I feel defines our care for one another.

In recognition of our four years of marriage, four moments, pulled from my heart at random, to remember and enjoy.


  1. Last night as we were driving home from visiting our friends' new baby girl, you said you felt bad about not having the opportunity of being able to play the "supportive husband role" during childbirth--the one who offers an arsenal of coping techniques--massage, focal points, chanting positive words of encouragement, pacing around the room, working for hours to bring a child safely into the world. Well, I hate to break it to you, but my uterus and I are actually thankful for the alternative. The 10 minutes of pushing is fine with me.
    What you have failed to recognize are the months of support and encouragement you provided while I was living in the NICU with Miles, or in and out of the hospital while pregnant with Felix. You were a single father--putting Miles to bed every single night. Making all of his meals. Giving him baths. Shuttling him to and from childcare. Staying overnight with me at the hospital when you could, while still making sure he was taken care of by others. Writing what must have been at least 50 thank you notes (and let's be honest, guys aren't usually the first in line to write thank you notes) for all of the meals we received and help that was offered. I contend that you have taken on the role of supportive husband above and beyond most partners. And you rarely, if ever, complained.

    Hands down the best moment: I was strapped to the bed with contraction and fetal heart rate monitors, wishing for a shower while rotting away in my hospital gown and slowly watching my legs turn into Sasquatch's...probably watching some smutty television program exposing Tiger Woods's 13th lover... and in barrels Miles and you in reindeer antlers. The head dressing was WAY too big for Miles, and I don't think he had any idea they were on his head as they were anchored by his standard red fleece winter hat. I had missed his school's Christmas party, so you came by with him to have our own celebration. I watched video of him singling jingle bells in his cute red corduroy shirt, we ate Christmas treats, and I watched you spin around in one of the hospital chairs with Miles, still adorned with those felt antlers, laughing throughout the whole "Turkish Twist" of a ride on your lap.

    I'm pretty sure Felix was even smiling from the confines of my unruly uterus that afternoon.

  2. When you first got the job at Marist, it almost felt like I was married to the president. I felt honored and so delighted that you got not only your dream job, but your dream coaching position. We had just gotten married, and things just seemed so easily to fall into place. At the end of your first XC season we also experienced our first Marist XC banquet, honoring the season. At that time I was sick as a dog, pregnant with Miles, and it took just about all of me to make it to that dinner. I remember all I could stomach were the bony chicken wings, something I never ate/eat. I felt terrible. Worst was no one knew I was pregnant, so I just sat there at the table of honor, while hundreds of runners and their families watched the coaches and their spouses eat. Just as I was about to fall face into my plate of chicken wings, you got up to give your first "head coach end of the year speech."

    You started with the obligatory "what a great year...blah blah..." and then followed with, "the success of our season and of my coaching abilities is in large part due to my wife, Alison. I couldn't have done it without you."

    Yes, I have gotten a thank you before when you made similar speeches at your old school, but the differences, outside of me being hormonal, was that: 1.) this was the first time in such a public way you referred to me as your wife, and 2.) you directed the second sentence to me, not to the crowd.  "I couldn't have done it without her" versus "I couldn't have done it without you". When you looked straight at me and offered me that personal thanks, I had to hold back tears. Again. Mundane to everyone else, but one of the most touching moments in our relationship for me.

    I'm pretty sure Miles was even smiling from the confines of my uterus that night. (Or maybe he just enjoyed a change of menu from bagels and lemonade.)

  3. There was a time when we spent many weekends working the road race circuit. Our feet hit the Stone Mountain pavement weekly, and we were a fixture at the run around the rock races. It all started when you invited me to watch you run a race at Stone Mountain a few months after we first met. Nothing romantic was secured, but things were certainly set up in our favor. Okay, outside of that other guy I was kind of pursuing...but he wasn't nearly as fun, fast...or tall. :) I arrived at the race, watched you come through the finish line, dripping in hard work and a great 300 meter kick, and then it was decision time.

    Hug, or no hug.

    We hadn't even really hugged before. Well, outside of that tragically awkward night we first met in person, you in your aubergine Express button down, and me leaving Twains bar leaning down to you while you sat in a chair to give you a hug. It turned into a delightful headlock that I didn't know how to disengage, so I just cradled your head for a good 10 seconds. Back to the race: I took the plunge, leaned in to get a hug, and you stopped me:

    Eric: "I'm all sweaty."

    Ali: "I don't care!"

    And then I redeemed myself from the wrestling move of a few weeks prior, and gave you a huge, stinky, sweaty hug. It.was.awesome. So awesome that later that night when you dropped me off at my townhome, I refused to get out of your blue jelly bean (aka Ford Focus) until you kissed me. And that is "ballsy" as they say because 1.) I actually had already gotten out, and then right before shutting the passenger door, jumped back in because I decided not to accept the casual good-bye when I knew you needed to man up and make a move, and 2.) Metallica was playing. Nuff said. I stepped out of your car about 2 minutes later, but much more satisfied.

  4. Finally, a short and sweet one. I really feel as though I acclimated to your family at the time your sister got married. You were a groomsman, and I was honored to be a reader. We had just gotten engaged, and going to the wedding just got us both so excited for our own. I was quite emotional that weekend. I can't blame pregnancy hormones that time--just being in love!

    As I walked into the sanctuary, getting ready to find my seat, I got a text message. Oops! I forgot to turn off my phone.

    "Thank you for saying yes."
    I was a goner. Straight to the bathroom to fix my mascara.
Love,
Alison
    Such Great Heights (abbreviated)
    The Postal Service, covered by my Brothers and Sisters-in-law as I walked down the aisle

    I am thinking it's a sign that the freckles
    In our eyes are mirror images and when
    We kiss they're perfectly aligned
    And I have to speculate that God himself
    Did make us into corresponding shapes like
    Puzzle pieces from the clay
    True, it may seem like a stretch, but
    Its thoughts like this that catch my troubled
    Head when you're away when I am missing you to death
    When you are out there on the road for
    Several weeks of shows and when you scan
    The radio, I hope this song will guide you home

    They will see us waving from such great
    Heights, 'come down now,' they'll say
    But everything looks perfect from far away,
    'come down now,' but we'll stay...


    Late night addendum: I had written this post a few days ago outside of the truncated song lyrics. And then today, a number of things happened that just reinforced why I married my soul mate. First, out of nowhere we were playing with the boys in the family room, listening to children's music. Eric stopped mid-song and started playing our wedding version of Such Great Heights. I'm not sure we have listened to it in years. Little did he know I had already planned for the song in the post. Second, as I am walking over to the dinner table tonight, I get a text message from Eric that says "I do."


    It's like he knew the 4 moments I was going to write about.


    You'd think we were married or something. ..

    Monday, July 19, 2010

    The Elefante in the Room

    From Elefante
    From Elefante
    From Elefante
    From Elefante
    This, my dear readers, is the labor of love I have been working on for months. Now, in total it might have taken me about 12-14 nights, but most nights I don't have 2 hours+ to dedicate to my sub par crafting double life. I've been on a baby hat making extravaganza (e-mail me if you want one!), but decided to take the plunge and get knee deep in yarn for this baby shower gift. Once it was complete, Miles had to play with her (I made my own gender assumptions) and turned her into a cannibal as he "stuffed" her full of elephant shaped animal crackers, apples and peanut butter. He also made sure she was "loveable" by playing with her all afternoon and hugging her before I pried her out of his hands before he really tried to get her to eat peanut butter.
    From Elefante
    From Elefante
    As soon as I saw my preggo friend AS's color palatte for their nursery and Baby Schlotty to be, I decided to get corresponding yarn for a hat. But then talk of stuffed elephants came up. I stalked the Ravelry site for a cute knitted elephant and stumbled upon a pattern from Susan B. Anderson, knitter guru, for the most ridiculously cute Elefante creature. I know...pretty intense directions...I had no right attempting this project. I didn't have the time, I didn't have the skills, and I didn't know how to whip stitch or kfb, or crochet the ears. Thanks to Google, I found another blog that gave directions for knitted ears for Susan B.'s Elefante pattern. And it was written on my birthday 2009. Fate I tell you. I must also give credit to the Knit Witch who turned to a number of times when I video Googled a number of knitting questions.

    I got about 1/24 of the way through, and decided to take a break and knit a hat in the same color sequence for said Baby Schlotty. Hats are quick and easy...right?

    Fail. I thought I could add an extra band to make it a little bigger from my original version of the hat I always make, but it ended up too long. And then I dropped a stitch. And knit where I should have purled. So, Felix is now the proud owner of the hat, and I owe Baby Schlotty a new hat.
    From Elefante
    From Elefante
    From Elefante
    From Elefante

    And he couldn't be happier!
    From Elefante

    The best part? I got to HAND DELIVER the elefante to Baby Schlotty as Mama D and I had a mother's weekend off and flew up to Wisconsin for AS's baby shower! It was the first time I have ever been that far away from Miles and from Felix, and from Miles and Felix as a combo.

    Mama D and I both had to pump the entire trip, so we were great travel mates. And we both had never been away from our babies before, so we sympathized with each other's need to have her cell phone at the ready 24/7. Okay, so it was not much more than 24 hours, but you would be amazed at how much you miss your children over the course of 2 days/1 night!

    We had a blast...and let's just say that it doesn't take much to get 2 pumping moms and 1 preggo happy.

    I keep recalling one very telling moment when we were out for the night in downtown Milwaukee. Mama D commented on how many people were out and about, wondering if there was something special going on. And then we paused, and acknowledged that something "special" was normal LIFE. That is, normal for people without young children. How soon we forget that not all people eat dinner at 5:30pm and snuggle with their babies over stories before "lights out" at 7:30pm. There is like this sub-culture that keeps bars in business and restaurants operating past the time primetime television begins. As fun as it is to participate in the festivities of a night out from time to time (I think a monthly girls' night out is requisite!), I came away realizing that I overwhelmingly prefer my quiet predictable nights with my children.

    Highlights of our brief stint in WI included a bloody mary adorned with cheese whips, pickled mushroom, olive, pickle, lemon, lime and hot stick (I am not kidding), a wonderful baby shower, and unending conversations surrounding breast feeding, pumping, and delivering babies (my favorite topics!). Truly, the luxury of being *still* and talking to 2 of my closest girlfriends about anything and everything was just divine.

    And then our good friend in Atlanta had a little baby girl while we were gone. And the news was received on the way to a baby shower while I was pumping in the back of the car. Holy milk production.

    Enter: copious amounts of shrieking, crying and marveling at the miracle of life.

    Sometimes I am overwhelmed by the amazement of pregnancy and birth. The variety of experiences, the wonderment, the excitement, the fear, the unbelievable love parents have for their children. Hands down this is the best time of my life, which is why I am struggling so hard to feel 100% invested in my professional work. I see my close friend AS radiating happiness and anticipation as she is on the tail end of her pregnancy, another one having her little girl this weekend, another one in the hospital with similar circumstance that I had with Felix, another one e-mailing me back and forth about breastfeeding her new son, another one pregnant with her second miracle baby later on in life, another one back home with her son after months in the NICU, another juggling (and well!) newborn twins and a 4 year old...and another one, and another one. (I'm pretty sure I need to invest in a bushel of yarn to keep up with my newborn hats...the pregnancy announcements and babies being delivered keeps coming!) So many of my loved girlfriends from around the country, all entering what WE consider normal LIFE.

    A life that can be simple. Exhausting. Full of poop and wet kisses.

    But those two little boys who are responsible for all of it just melt my heart and make both me and Eric proud to be parents. I wouldn't change it for a moment (okay, I could live without poop).
    video

    Full elefante and hat album here

    Thursday, July 15, 2010

    Surprise!!!

    From Summer Lovin' 2010
    Please. Tell me that this kid isn't stupid cute. We thought Miles's toupee was awful, but Felix takes the cake. He has not only the toupee, but  also what we consider two payis on the side of his head. And then a long lock of cowlick. With the tooth drool, the cheeks, bushy eyebrows, and lips, I fall in love with this baby over and over. Even the little torticollis tilt is getting kind of cute (don't tell that to the chiropractor or PT therapist!) And my mom and I still contend that he smiles more than any baby we know.
    From Summer Lovin' 2010
    From Summer Lovin' 2010

    And not to leave Miles out, here he is during one of his "suffocate Mommy" episodes. When I get home from work, he runs to me and loves to jump all over my business, usually resulting in a scratch to my eye, the loss of hair, or some sort of chin to the face injury. (You'll also notice my DISASTER of a haircut I gave him. We now think he looks like an attractive French woman, or as Eric pointed out, a female contestant from America's Next Top Model after they give her the "trendy boy cut.")
    From Summer Lovin' 2010
    From Summer Lovin' 2010
    From Summer Lovin' 2010
    From Summer Lovin' 2010
    (Is he trying to nurse there?!?! Ha ha.)

    Nothing calms him down like naked acrobatic story time.
    From Summer Lovin' 2010
    From Summer Lovin' 2010
    This kid would sit and read books with you ALL day. And by books, I mean the same five, two of which require you to sing the words. I sing "Down by the Station" and "I've Been Working on the Railroad" in my head pretty consistently throughout the day now. Full album here.

    PS--I promise the Boston post is coming soon...as a teaser and mechanism for keeping my 2 1/2 readers, it will even include ADULT GYMNASTIC VIDEOS! We all love some good backyard tumbling with a 29+ year old, inflexible crowd.

    And now on to the SURPRISE!

    Scene from Saturday night:

    Ali, Eric and friend JP finish their culinary masterpieces at Outback (she writes with more "flair" than their waiter's collection of buttons). Listen, we had some generous gift cards, and the Coke refills were free. Eric drags his feet like a toddler and insists we walk to Bruster's for ice cream. On the way, we get a report from Mah-na (who has arrived for her 6 week Survivor Atlanta gig) about the boys and Ali feels a little more comfortable leaving them for a night out.

    Next on tap: bowling!

    We walk into the establishment, and I see someone who appears to look exactly like my friend. But it cannot be him. Hello, he is expecting a baby at the very beginning of August. Why would they travel to a bowling alley far away from home when the baby is imminent?

    And then I see my mother, said Mah-na who is supposed to be caring for my boys...standing in a group of people.
    From Summer Lovin' 2010

    What the...?

    SURPRISE! Happy 30 1/2 birthday!

    After I pick my jaw off of the ground, I utter, "WHO IS TAKING CARE OF MY BOYS?"

    Said like a true mother.

    I have never been surprised like this before, as I always find out the surprise. Remember--I used to find my x-mas presents in my parents closet, open them, and then re-tape them in my youth. Yup. Eric threw me a surprise 30 1/2 birthday party. If you remember, our actual birthday (Eric and I share one) was spent at home exactly 1 week after Felix was born. Celebrating was reduced to nursing a newborn and folding itty bitty baby clothing.

    Eric collected a motley crue of people (his forte--rounding up people from all aspects of our life into one area), from our beloved childcare director, to our running friends, closest friends, work friends, and I even learned later that there were about 15 more people he had invited that couldn't make it. Two preggos even made it out AND a 3 week old! (Bless the S Family and little L who made the trip out 3 weeks post birth. I just about coaxed my ovaries into working again when I was allowed to snuggle with him for a good 15 minutes...and then I almost stole him.)

    It was a blast, and made me realize how important it is to get out and HAVE FUN! I am so thankful for having such amazing friends. I felt so loved and cared for. And it was really neat collecting such a great group of people together. I especially appreciated that some of my friends who were "with child" either in the uterus, just out of the uterus, or even those with really young ones, all made the effort to come bowling. The surprise was good, too, because I didn't care that I didn't break 100 in bowling. I did find myself trash talking a little, but you know it is a good surprise when I don't become uber competitive. We did take a bunch of pictures, but I'll save everyone the embarassment of their bowling skills documented on film forever.

    Reason # a google (that's a number, right?) why Eric is my soul mate.

    And so the planning for his 30th AND 30 1/2 birthday next year begins.

    I promised him it wouldn't involve delivering a baby prematurely or cancer.

    Oh, and in case you were worried...Mah-na didn't leave the boys to fend for themselves. Eric got one of our tried and true sitters, our childcare director's college aged daughter, to come over and weather the storm. I'm not sure what I would do without that family...and by that family, I mean one that we now consider part of our family...

    Tuesday, July 13, 2010

    This Bites...

    ...with his NEW TOOTH!
    From Fourth of July 2010
    Praise jeebus; it errupted. But please...stop growing little Pee-Bix (as Miles refers to you).
    New entry forthcoming...letting it marinate in my mind for another night. (Sorry for the repeat picture, I need to upload a bunch. I just had to inform the masses that my baby's drooling and hickeys had good reason.)

    Tuesday, July 6, 2010

    Escorts, Hickeys & Water Play

    Escorts, hickeys and water play...oh my! Sounds like a menu of genres from the Video Vault's VHS selection that was housed behind those curious swinging doors. (The worst was when you went to go rent A Walk in the Clouds and heard someone selecting a video from behind the doors, just praying that 1) s/he wouldn't come out while you were still in the store, 2) if s/he did come out, it wasn't someone you knew--especially a friend's parent, and 3) if it was someone you knew, that s/he didn't make eye contact or try to exchange pleasantries.)

    Yup. That was our 4th of July. Really though--do you think our life is that titillating?

    I birthed two children in less than 2 years: I had 7 minutes with my feet up on the couch yesterday, munchin' on some TJ's organic olive oil popcorn while Felix was playing in the jumperoo and Miles was driving his matchbox "geen carn" through an old cardboard box. Forget 10 minutes of heaven in a closet--THAT, my friends, is 7 minutes of heaven. And it was really exactly 7 minutes. You start your CHRONO function on your watch for these moments. Someday I'll get to 10...

    But...I did come away from the weekend with a bona fide hickey. Felix is a love monster. That, and he has been teething BAD for like 2 years straight. Okay, so perhaps that's an exaggeration given he's only 6 months old, but it feels like 2 years. Or 10. He fell asleep on my shoulder while we were at the pool and apparently started playing with Mr Sandman while mid suck. And this isn't the first time I have gotten a hickey in a non-traditional hickey way. (There are a select few of you who know of my other incident. It involved an overly curious 4-5 year old version of myself, a vacuum, a concerned mother who did not know what to think when her little daughter couldn't explain the hickey on her chest that was revealed as she changed her from her bathing suit, and a grandfather who immediately recognized the source of the perfectly circular marking.)

    Needless to say, I didn't wear a sleeveless shirt to the office. You know everyone's response:

    Skeptical co-workers to each other: "Hsss...Psst...Did you see her shoulder?"
    Ali: "Okay everyone. Enough of the whispering; Felix gave me a hickey."
    Skeptical co-worker: "SUUURE. You know those little babies...giving hickeys to their mommies."

    And then they would look for evidence of cover-up that is clearly too dark or too light for areas outside of my face. We all saw those poor cover-up jobs in middle school, no? (Don't mind the haggard face. At least it is overshadowed by both my infant induced hickey and insanely white skin. Someone even commented on how white I was. I thanked them, and then thanked my dermatologist for reassuring me that white is the new tan. At least in the oncology world.)

    You think that is bad, how about the fact that Eric moonlights every 4th of July as an ESCORT?? Five years, now. And the worst part? He does it for free...Okay, the joke is getting old. Eric escorts the elite women runners for Atlanta's famous Peachtree Road Race 10K. This isn't just a leisurely jog with some junior varsity runners. This a group of guys who are paired with one of the top 15 women runners. The guys are charged with jumping into the race 1/2 way through, holding a marker flag with their assigned woman...and praying they don't get absolutely hosed. Eric was lucky #11 this time, and was essentially running 5 minute and 10 second miles. Meaning, these women were running that pace for over 6 miles...some even faster. INSANE.
    This picture was from his time back in 2006. I have absolutely no rights to this picture, so please don't sue me. We've already had a rough go of it this year, I don't need to hire a lawyer. (Interestingly, it was the first picture to appear when I Googled "Peachtree Road Race Escorts.")

    We spent the 4th of July weekend hanging out as a family, going running as a family, playing an insane amount in homemade forts, and chilling at the neighborhood pool. Miles has already been to a variety of pools this year and is getting a little more gutsy when it comes to water play.
    From Fourth of July 2010
    Felix would rather give his mother love bites, or eat the camera.
    From Fourth of July 2010
    I guess that is what you do at 6 months old. What??? SIX MONTHS? Holy teething tablets; my son turned 6 months old this weekend! I was too busy monitoring him putting everything in his mouth to notice. This weekend All. He. Did. Was. CHEW.
    From Fourth of July 2010
    From Fourth of July 2010
    From Fourth of July 2010
    Or wear a wife beater...(I changed the name to mommy sucker)
    From Fourth of July 2010
    Or celebrate Stud's birthday in a cardboard box. (I mean, how ELSE does a 6 month old and 2 year old celebrate?)
    From Fourth of July 2010
    Or wake up from a nap with wonky hair...
    From Fourth of July 2010
    Miles on the other hand, is more refined and showed us how a true gentleman eats watermelon:
    From Fourth of July 2010
    And shares in the spoils:
    From Fourth of July 2010
    Look REALLY closely to the first watermelon pictures. You'll spot one of Felix's hairs attached to his face with a crumb of multi-grain bread. (Huzzah! It's not mine for once!) Combined with the red watermelon juices, it looks like Miles's face is record of some sordid brother battle that involved a teething duo, broken skin, dripping blood...and a random watermelon seed. 

    And yes. The watermelon tasted as good as it looks. 

    Happy Fourth!

    Full album of the Heintz's x-rated holiday here. And if by x-rated, I mean x-tra benign, kid-tested, mother approved.

    (Don't worry. I haven't forgotten to post about the baptism and our trip to Boston. But I am waiting to see if I can get my hands on some pictures taken by Opa since I was too busy wiping baptismal water from my toddler's eyes. Hint. Hint. Nudge. Nudge.)