Coll Writes

You know how I do.

Obligatory 12-13-14 Post

Written By: Colleen - Dec• 13•14

I almost missed it, but I made it! Zachary turned six months today and my goodness, I can’t believe it’s been six months since he was born. On one hand, it’s crazy that he’s six-months-old already but on a much stronger hand, it feels like he’s been with us forever and it’s hard to fathom that he’s only been with us for half of a year.  Having Zachary feels like it did when I first met Jay – like he’s a part of my soul who fits into my life so completely that I can’t remember what life was like without him. Man, I love my son.

I spent the day today working on making some headway with Christmas presents. I decided to try to make a bunch of them this year, so hopefully they turn out okay. I’ve been feeling down because I haven’t been able to exercise in almost a month and don’t see when in the next two months I’ll be able to do so again. That’s really difficult for me because for so long, my life has had such a focus on doing some form of physical activity. It keeps me sane and sleeping well at night. So, I decided to appeal to my creative side. I went on Pinterest to get some ideas and how I hope that it pays off. We’ll see.

Back to my six-month-old. He ran some errands with me today and he’s sitting in the shopping cart all by himself! I have a cover, so next time, I’ll be using it. Yes, I disinfected the cart and washed his hands when we got home.

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He has also been hard at work learning how to take the rings off of his toy. He can take the top one off now and has figured out creative ways to get the other ones off. Once they’re all off, he fusses to have someone put them all back on for him so he can repeat the process. Well, I guess he has half of it figured out.

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Zach has also been doing really well in school lately.

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When Zach Met Santa

Written By: Colleen - Dec• 11•14

Every year, Santa visits my office. The director of another company in our building will dress up as Santa and all employees are invited to bring their children, grandchildren, etc. to visit with him. We were originally supposed to take Zachary to see Santa when Santa visited his school last week, but those plans were scrapped because Jay had the flu and we had no idea if Zachary or I were going to be spreading flu germs, so we felt it was best to not potentially expose 100 little children who sat on Santa’s lap after Zach to the flu.

Luckily, we were able to catch up with Santa on Monday, December 8. Zach did great. He was curious at first, then he smiled when we coaxed him to, and of course, he let us know when he had had enough. When we went to take a family picture, Jay and I stood behind Santa. Well, once we got behind Santa, Zach couldn’t see us anymore and that’s when he got upset. We never got the family picture, but we did get a lot of really adorable ones of just the two of them. I know next year will be a challenge once he has enough sense to be frightened of Santa, but hey, at least we got some good pictures for his first year meeting Santa.

Here are a few, even though you probably already saw them on my Facebook:

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The Adventures of Zach and Zoe: Part 10

Written By: Colleen - Dec• 09•14

They commiserate together when Mommy makes them take too many pictures under the Christmas tree…

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[Photo taken December 7, 2014.]

The Last Five Years Movie Trailer

Written By: Colleen - Dec• 08•14

I had no idea they were making a musical version of one of my top five favorite musicals, The Last Five Years, starring Anna Kendrick (I guess she’s the Jennifer Lawrence of musicals now) and Jeremy Jordan. I LOVE The Last Five Years. Written by Jason Robert Brown, it’s the story of a couple’s relationship arc, from when they meet, date, marry, fight, and divorce. What makes this show so great is the way the story is told: There are only two characters in the entire stage musical, Cathy and Jamie. Jamie tells the story chronologically while Cathy relives their relationship in reverse. So, it opens with Jamie gushing about having just met Cathy and Cathy mourning the demise of their relationship and it ends with Jamie lamenting the five years they spent together while Cathy relives the joy of their first date. What’s even more compelling is that characters only directly interact one time, right at the middle of the show during their wedding scene. It’s the only time they’re on the same page. Fun fact: The Last Five Years was inspired by Brown’s relationship and failed marriage to his first wife and after previews, he had to change some details to avoid legal consequences from how similar Cathy was to his ex-wife. It’s a GREAT musical and if you’ve never heard of it, you should go listen to the soundtrack right now.

Here’s the trailer:

I’m a little worried that they won’t be able to hold a candle to the original actors, Norbert Leo Butz (original Fiyero in Wicked) and Sherie Renee Scott (original Amneris in Aida). The vocals are demanding and the actors don’t get much of a break. I can already hear the difference in the vocals that Kendrick is singing, so I hope that isn’t too distracting for me. Anyway, go check out The Last Five Years. You won’t regret it.

The Gs Do Halloween

Written By: Colleen - Dec• 01•14

This year’s blog theme: Better late than never. We really did Halloween this year, so this is a long post. Hold onto your hats!

You had to have known that we were going to do some sort of Ghostbusters theme for Halloween, right?

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Okay, so here is how it all came about. Naturally, Jay wanted to do a Ghostbusters theme. So back in the summer, we committed to doing it. Jay already had a Ghostbusters jumpsuit, so his costume was easy. He bought the Venkman patch over the Internet and I sewed it on for him. Next, we thought about what we wanted Zachary to be. We searched Google and Etsy to get ideas. We really liked a Stay Puft Marshmallow Man costume that we saw on Etsy. I contacted the shop owner about the sizing. Despite the fact that she was extremely active on Etsy and Instagram, she never responded to me. After 3 attempts in 4 weeks, (I started contacting her in August) I decided, “Fuck her. Obviously my business isn’t very important since she can’t answer me back, so I’ll just try to make my own costume.” And that was that. I bought him a long-sleeved organic cotton onesie from H&M and white pants from Target. For the actual costume, I got a bunch of felt from Michael’s and cut it out to the correct shape and size before gluing it on with a hot glue gun. After doing some searching locally, I ended up buying the chef’s hat from this shop on Etsy and glued the red and blue felt to it. The letters were iron-on letters also bought from Michael’s. The white socks were from a package of socks my mom got him for his baptism, so I have no idea where they were bought.  I was proud at how great it came out. I managed to surprise myself.

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Next, we had to start thinking about Zoe’s costume. We originally weren’t sure if she was going to be a Ghostbuster or Slimer, but after doing some more Googling, we decided to make her a Ghostbuster as well. I’m pretty ashamed at how much Zoe’s costume ended up costing. I’m always pumped on trying to help small businesses, so once again, I decided to go through Etsy and get her a custom made Ghostbusters costume. The measurements were perfect except for the front legs, which were WAY too long. I ended up having to modify them myself, but I was happy they were too big rather than too little. Now that I see how to make that type of costume, I think I’d try to sew it myself in the future before spending the money on it. I am really happy with how it looked, though, so I can’t complain too much.

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Finally, we had to think of my outfit. I originally wanted to do the Dana Barrett-as-Zuul thing. I searched and searched around to find a dress that I could alter into the one that Sigourney Weaver wears, but had no luck. About 10 days before Halloween, I decided that I was going to have to change directions and be a Ghostbuster myself. The more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea that the three of us (me, Jay & Zoe) were all Ghostbusters with Zach as Stay Puft. So, I ordered the costume online. It arrived missing a strap! I ended up having to buy black elastic banding and cut the original strap off to make it even and then sew both on. It was a pain in the butt because the material was so thin and crappy, but at least I did get a refund from the site I ordered it from. Again, it all worked out great in the end regardless of the extra attention paid to detail. I couldn’t be happier with how we all looked!

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If you follow me or Jay on Instagram or are friends with us on Facebook, you may have noticed that Zachary actually wore three costumes for his first Halloween. Originally, we were going to have him wear his Stay Puft outfit to the Halloween parade at his school, but as our full family theme took shape, we got a little nervous about him getting the costume dirty or it getting ruined before the main event. So, we decided to send him to school dressed as Batman. However, the night before, we realized that we have a baby that has a lot of poopslosions and therefore, whatever we sent him to school in wasn’t going to be what was going to make it to the end of the day for the parade, haha. Luckily, Jay was able to score an adorable Tigger costume at the last minute.

Here’s Batman flying (just go with it, we know he doesn’t really fly lol) before school on Halloween morning:

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And here’s Tigger at school. The first picture is a class picture, the second two are from the costume parade and the last one is him smiling and playing as we were waiting for the parade to be over so Jay could meet back up with us (the parade was blocking the entrance and Zach’s class went first).

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Back to the Ghostbusters stuff! Once that costume idea was locked down, Jay and I started thinking about our method of delivery for this family-themed costume. We both like throwing parties, so we decided to have a little Halloween fiesta at our house this year. We had Jay’s family, my sister Katelyn, and our good friends Sara and TJ over. It was a lot of fun. Jay and I went all out to decorate this year. Once we decided to have a party, we decided we were going to commit to have some legit decorations this year. One of our neighbors put up some pretty awesome decorations early in October, so we wanted to get in on the fun, too. I can’t find the picture with the final outdoor decorations, but here’s one of the later versions. We added lamps to the tree and a doormat with a skull on it. You can’t see the door but I wrote “Trick or Treat” in gel letters and there are little monster and candy decals also on the door. We also had these glow-in-the-dark decals on the upstairs windows, too.

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Next, we took care of the inside. I went a little crazy at Target, Wal-Mart, Michael’s and Dollar Tree and can’t believe that I didn’t take more pictures. I had decals on the windows, little pumpkin & skull shaped mats in the kitchen and a display when you first walked in and I didn’t get a picture of any of these things. Oh well, next year. Jay did an amazing job tricking out the front hallway with cobwebs. It was by far the best feature of the house. Here are some pictures, but they aren’t the greatest representations of what we did:

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We had a really fun Halloween. Like I said before, my sister, Jay’s family and our friends were all here. I am so happy that my sister was able to be here! We wanted everyone to dress up and were excited that Jay’s sisters and their significant others did. My sister wore my old trusty standby: the devil ears. Everyone looked great! I’d love to make a Halloween party a tradition in the future.

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And that, my friends, is how the Gs did Halloween.

December 2014 Photo-a-Day List

Written By: Colleen - Nov• 30•14

Created by FatMumSlim and Kylie of Birdy Num Num Designs. Happy December!

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November 2014 Photo-a-Day List

Written By: Colleen - Nov• 01•14

Created by Fat Mum Slim, designed by Justin from The Happy Bloom.

Happy Picture Taking!

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Pumpkin Carving in the 919: 2014 Edition

Written By: Colleen - Oct• 31•14

One of my favorite things that we do each year is carve our pumpkin. It’s a great excuse for me to dress up Zoe, drink beer, and take a lot of pictures. We’ve done it every year except last year (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012). This year was Zachary’s first year carving a pumpkin. He “watched” as best a 4-month-old can watch. We propped him up because he hates laying down and were able to hold his attention for much longer than we thought we would be able to.

Watching Daddy make the first cut.

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Zoe gets in on the action.

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Family selfie.

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Zach’s first look at the inside of a pumpkin.

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Happy Baby!

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Pumpkin Picking in the 919

Written By: Colleen - Oct• 30•14

I know I keep promising to update more but I’m having that work/life balance issue right now. One of these days, I am going to sit down and document Zach’s big moments, even if no one cares by the time that I do. Maybe I’ll challenge myself to do that before Thanksgiving.

Last weekend, Jay and I took Zachary Louis to a pumpkin farm to go pumpkin picking. It also had a hayride and a corn maze. We went to a small, local farm called Page Farms. For the most part, Zach did okay. He had had a busy morning before we went, so he was tired by the time we got there. He enjoyed the first half of the hayride, but it went a little too long (for anyone, not just a baby) and he started to get fussy after about ten minutes. They did have llamas at this farm, though, and as a devoted fan of The Emperor’s New Groove, I found that to be exciting. He fell asleep during the actual pumpkin picking portion of our program, but woke up just in time for the corn maze. We each got a pumpkin (Jay and I co-picked out Zachary’s) and I had a blast.

So without blabbing on more, here’s our day in pictures. …And yes, I totally dressed Zach up to match me. Enjoy!

Mr. Cool Dude is all set to find out what this pumpkin picking stuff is all about.

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Kisses from Mommy as we wait for the hayride to start.

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October 2014 Photo-a-Day List

Written By: Colleen - Sep• 30•14

I like the idea of this month’s prompts. It’s different and I appreciate that. It’s credit to Laura Blythman. I’ll be nice and not point out the obvious thinking-ouside-the-box joke when you see the list. As always, thanks to FatMumSlim for creating the list.

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