Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Puttin' on the Ritz

On March 8th Jeffrey and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary.  Was it really 5 years ago that we got married?  Well, the pictures give some proof—we do look about 5 years older now than we did then, but it still seems like it was just yesterday.

Jeffrey is a great husband most of the time, but he really outdid himself this time.  Secretly, he planned a trip for us to Dallas.  And I almost ruined it.

One day Jeffrey excitedly told me that we were going on a mystery trip for the weekend.  He told me we deserved some time together and that Carter would be staying with his parents for the weekend.

And I started sobbing.

“I can’t leave Carter for two nights in a row!” I cried, totally in panic mode.  Quickly re-routing the plan, Jeffrey said he would rearrange things so that Carter could stay with us one of the nights.

With my overprotective mommy malfunction mollified, I was able to start getting excited about our trip.

We left on a Friday morning and drove directly to downtown Dallas where we toured the Dallas Aquarium.  Carter loved the jellyfish the most—he kicked his little arms and legs so much every time we walked by their tank.  My favorite was learning how they feed the octopus.  His dinner came inside one of those little hamster exercise balls.

Except that instead of a hamster, the ball had a lobster or something inside.  The octopus had to open it himself when he got hungry—who knew? 

After the aquarium we drove up to a very nice, very private valet at a hotel.  But not just any hotel—The Ritz.  Honestly, I would’ve been happy staying in the lobby—it was so beautiful.  Vaulted ceilings, elegant floral arrangements in vintage glass vases, polite staff; everything was just perfect.  Our suite (Jeffrey didn’t think a regular room would be good enough for our first “big” anniversary) was just as lovely, augmented by a beautiful flower arrangement that Jeffrey had delivered to the room shortly after our arrival.

That night we just hung out in the hotel, played with Carter, and fell asleep early (I’m sure that sounds like a nightmare to a kid, and like heaven to any adult). 

The next morning we ate a leisurely breakfast, provided by The Ritz’s room service, and we ate in our plush hotel robes.  That’s the life!  Then we dropped Carter off with his grandparents and went to the mall to look around.  Once we got back to the hotel, Jeffrey told me to change into comfy clothes for a surprise.  He took me to the elevators and the doors closed, but when they opened again we were standing at the entrance to the hotel’s spa.  Jeffrey said, “Go check in—you have an appointment.  I’ll see you later.”

The spa.  It probably deserves its own post.  Ahhhh-mazing.  While you wait for your service, you can sit in the quiet room, the locker room, the sauna, the hot tub, or the snack room.  The showers had everything you could possibly need or want.  I could’ve stayed there all day except that I had a massage, a facial, and a manicure to go to.  I left several hours later feeling beautiful and refreshed. 

When I got back to the room there was a snack waiting for me (wine, grapes, and cheeses) and a note from Jeffrey saying to meet him downstairs at the hotel restaurant once I was ready for dinner.  I got dressed up and met a very handsome man in a suit, looking very much like James Bond, sipping on a martini at the bar by the restaurant.  He escorted me into the restaurant called “Fearings” and we dined on some incredible food, including chicken fried lobster and lamb.  Delicious!
The next morning we left early (I’ll admit it—I was itching to see Carter after almost 24 hours without his sweet little face), but we were sad to go.  I would love to go back to The Ritz…maybe even sooner than 5 years from now.
(Hint, hint)

Saturday, May 11, 2013

8 Is Great!

Oh, baby--you're not such a little baby anymore! 

This boy is keeping us on our toes by crawling all over the place (especially toward the dog's water bowl, sharp objects, and choking hazards) and starting to pull himself to standing.  On top of that, this month he started saying "Dada!"  Granted, he usually says it when examining the remote control...but we'll take what we can get.

I am convinced that there is no happier baby in the world than this boy, as this month's picture will testify.  Carter lights up the room with his smile.  And he gives the smile out freely--maybe too freely, in fact.  This little guy is a genuine flirt!  No woman is safe.  He grins at everybody, from grandmas to other babies.

Carter, you are such a joy.  I can't remember life without you--and I don't want to.  Happy eleventh, little man. 


Monday, May 6, 2013

You're Killeen Me, Smalls

This post has been a long time coming--just like my job change.  Let's rewind the clock:

January 2012--I find out that I'm pregnant (surprise!) and count quickly on my fingers--yup.  I'm gonna be very obviously pregnant while interviewing for my 1st post-dental school job.  Great.  Might as well put "maternity leave" under my list of hobbies on my resume and look for jobs at McDonald's. 

May 2012--Sure enough, I'm very pregnant and, after 2 months of searching, still very jobless.  Until I applied for a brand new dental office that was being built in Temple by a corporate dental company called K**l $miles (asterisks and dollar sign my own--the company doesn't actually spell their name with a dollar sign like Ke$ha, I just didn't want my blog to show up when somebody searches for a dentist).  After an interview I was hired for their brand new office in Temple, about an 8 minute drive from my house.  What a relief!  They didn't mind that I was pregnant or just out of school.  Hooray!  I have a job.

July 2012--On the Friday before I was supposed to start, my boss informed me that my office in Temple would not open as scheduled due to failure of a permit to come through.  Temporarily I was sent to the K$ office in Killeen to work there until my office opened.

December 2012--My temporary job in Killeen had somehow become very permanent.  The office in Temple had not (and still has not to this day) opened for business.  My temporary inconvenience of commuting 50 miles per day was now a recurring frustration--rolling away precious time that could have been spend with my sweet baby.  During this month the office changed its name to Re$oluti*n Dent#l (again, spelling is mine) and changed its business model to appeal more to adults and commercial insurance patients (the office would no longer accept Medicaid).  This change was good for me in many ways, allowing me to do a larger variety of procedures, see a wider demographic of patients, and enjoy a more relaxed schedule; however, with change comes stress and confusion, and our transition was not without incident.  We lost several from our staff and endured our fair share of growing pains as we tried to navigate through what this new office should look like.

January 2013--Still navigating many transitional bumps in the road at work, one of my church friends mentioned that the dentist she worked for was looking for an associate.  Intrigued, I sent him my resume.  Several hours of discussion and interview followed with him and ended with a job offer.  The offer came with many attractive facets, not the least of which were shorter hours, closer to home, and the opportunity to learn from a dentist with 20+ years of experience.  It was a God-sent gift, and I took it.

February 8, 2013--I gave notice at what I was now calling "my old job."  My contract specified that I must give 90-days notice prior to leaving, but the dentist I work with told me that in her experience dentists are usually fired as soon as they give notice.  I had heard similar stories from my friends who work for other corporate dental offices.  I didn't think there was any way they would make me stay 3 months longer...

I thought wrong.

May 6th, 2013--I'm still here.  I have 3 work days left on my "sentence" here at RD, and I cannot wait to go.  I used to think I was a woman of some fortitude, but now I see that I am not as strong as I once thought.  I intended to make a graceful exit, however somewhere around day 75 my "graceful" took a turn for "grumpy."  I couldn't help but to feel that this job was standing directly in the path of my happiness at my new job AND more time at home with my boy.  So I had some days where I was short with the staff.  Some days where I just didn't smile much.  Some days when I just felt sick driving to work.  But this, too, shall pass.  Wednesday is my last day at RD and on May 13 I'll start my new job (finally) in Salado.  It may not be perfect, but it's a welcome change. 

T-minus 3 days...and counting.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

One Take Wonder

You know how when you do construction you say, "Measure twice, cut once"?  Well, in childhood photography, the saying is:  "Set up during his nap, take 4000 shots, and maybe one will be good."  Granted, it's not as catchy of a saying, but it's true nonetheless.

Even with the most adorable kid on the planet (Carter Edwards, in case you were wondering), you are still bound to find some seriously unfortunate outtakes in your pile of quickly captured images.

For your viewing pleasure:

The "No Neck Newborn" Pose

 The "I'm Too Sexy for my Onesie" Pose

The "I am NOT Amused" Pose

The "Not by the Hair on My (Double) Chinny-Chin-Chin" Pose

The "Rollover Beethoven" Pose

And don't even get me started on those balloon pictures.  I can't even tell you how many frames of those get ruined by yawns...


and, of course, balloons.

But through it all, we have prevailed.  We own the digital rights to approximately 300 excellent, adorable, majorly cute pictures of Carter (and approximately 1000 photos of him that range from mediocre to comically terrible).  At the end of the day, though, it's hard to even pick out some "bad" ones because this mama finds her boy adorable even when he's got an 18 inch-long string of slobber running from his bottom lip right onto her fancy comforter.

You are so handsome, dude.