Curly locks! Curly locks!

Talking to a friend on the phone the other day I was reminded just how few photos have been posted here lately. He commented about seeing a picture of Kayleigh with curls starting to show. Starting to show? What the… It’s a full blown invasion!

Curly locks like golden honey
I just love those curly locks

Granted, those have some serious help from the humidity these days, but sometimes it’s hard to imagine that she’s the same baby as the one with such short and flat hair in all of the pictures around me.

Hair is now officially long enough for barrettes
Hair is now officially long enough for barrettes
Sharing a moment with a cow
Sharing a moment with a cow

Two days ago Kayleigh turned 13 months. I can’t believe how much she’s grown in that time. Of course I also can’t believe how much I’ve grown in that time. Since the initial year that I gave myself to adjust before really getting back into my hobbies is over (that’s my excuse for inconsistent posting, by the way), it’s time to start playing around with the tools at hand to get words and photos out there. This is my first attempt at using WordPress’s built-in photo tools – figured that was a good enough reason to post these.

I fought the wall and the wall won

That title could have gone either wall or lawn. Not only does the “pun effect” work both ways, but they both have an ounce of truth to them. But in this case, while the lawn was mildly tiring and involved a mowing, watering, trimming, shoveling, raking, and some shrubbery, the wall involved… well… a wall. Technically it was 2 walls, but neither was that big.

Yes, this is the story of a man, a hammer, a crowbar, several 2x4s, sheet rock, flying nails, falling tiles, and an almost complete lack of protective gear. It is a tale that invokes the age-old saying, “Give me a Wonder Bar and a place to stand and I’ll rip apart the world.” There was blood, sweat, tears and cursing at the former homeowner. But in the end, despite only wearing just a t-shirt, shorts and sandals, nothing of any real interest occurred. It was the perfect storm for AFV or ER material, yet no skin was punctured or gashed, bones broken, or heads jostled by falling debris. A rather sad day in the Slattery household when the removal of a closet results in nothing but 2 halves of a piece of sheet rock covered in tile being carried down to the basement.

At least I continue to have my suspicions confirmed that, however little I know about construction, the people who worked on this house knew less. Why would anyone possibly put a closet in the middle of a bathroom that does nothing but make the toilet a claustrophobic nightmare? Was it simply to cover that ghastly 4″ vent pipe that should have been 3″ and in the wall? How does someone manage to install 2x4s in the wrong direction? Who bought 7 inch nails to attach the molding but felt dry wall screws were enough to hold the wood together? Did anyone really think shims were a suitable structural support?

These are the questions that keep me up at night… a lot less than they used to. Perhaps in the near future we’ll even get to turn the toilet to face the right direction! For now I’ll just enjoy our less coffin-like restroom experience. The rest of this bathroom renovation should only take about 2 years…

Last night I had the strangest dream

The Woman and I threw a party. But all of the guests seemed to be random selections from Facebook. I mean, they were all friends, but I only recall one couple that we see regularly. Otherwise it was old high school and college friends of mine whom I haven’t had much contact with lately. Not that strange, except I was stuck running all around taking care of things because The Woman had left.

That’s right, she left. Can you believe it? In the middle of our party she insisted on going to the hospital. Something about having to give birth. This is probably the point at which the dream starts getting weird.

For some reason we not only planned this rather random party at the end of her pregnancy, but I had to leave her in the middle of labor to go home and take care of the guests. And so she handled giving birth to Miguel all on her own. Yes, his name was Miguel. That might seem strange, but if you saw him you would say that Miguel was the perfect name for him. After all he was a 20 pound Hispanic boy.

So perhaps there was some indication of infidelity that would explain my lack of interest in the birth of my son? Nothing that I can recall – perhaps random ethnicity had become the norm…

Anyway I ditch The Woman at the hospital to find most of the guests having left except for 1 friend whom I try to convince to stay – because I’d feel really guilty about leaving my wife and newborn at the hospital for a party that had already ended… At this point things become hazy so it is possible that the party did continue. For sure both mother and son made it home safely that night at which point I spent the rest of the night trying to locate Miguel after misplacing him last repeatedly, thus cementing my “Father of the Year” award.

This was either a message that I’m not ready for a second child or that I need to go to bed earlier…

Celebrate with leather

Did you know that the third wedding anniversary is “leather”? That sounds far more exciting than a third anniversary with a 12 month-old child can be. That’s right, The Woman and I celebrated our third anniversary… uh… a week ago? Well, the actual celebration took place a week from last Saturday.

Believe it or not, this was only the second time since Kayleigh’s birth that the two of us have ventured out together… alone… You know, without the little un in tow. Can you guess the other time? That’s right, a year ago on our second anniversary. Seems kind of crazy, but the distance of relatives and the current lack of daycare need has allowed us the freedom to trap ourselves. Fortunately Kayleigh is warming up to my in-laws enough that we decided on a trial run for a celebratory brunch. Nights are still way too traumatic to hand off to the uninitiated.

Thus we frantically scrambled to find a decent destination so as not to waste our golden opportunity. Our old standby, Anthony David’s, was out of the question because travel into and out of Hoboken is just way too unpredictable. After debating about a couple other spots (some of which had closed since our last visit), we stumbled upon a review of Market Restaurant in Montclair – which had taken over the former location of another old standby.

In case you haven’t figured it out, I do enjoy a certain element of the “hippie/granola” lifestyle. Lots of organic this and free range that purchased locally when possible. So the idea of a restaurant that specializes in such cuisine definitely intrigued me. Sure it was a gamble for our lone meal, but one that seemed like a good bet. And if only I was a better wordsmith my review might come across as more than just “YUM!”

Let me put it to you this way: I got a turkey burger and thought it was one of the best burgers I’ve ever had. Take that in for a second. Anyone who has eaten with me knows that health is not necessarily a concern when I choose an entree and blood-red beef reigns supreme. Picking a turkey burger when out at a restaurant is practically sacrilege for me. More like… nevermind… that joke is just too played out. Anyway, this thing had the most perfect grill marks on it and was topped with thick-cut applewood-smoked bacon and a slice of avocado. Once again, YUM!

The Woman had Moroccan eggs, which were poached in an onion and tomato sauce. I just remember you could really taste the spices. But for the most part I was distracted from her dish by mine and the ridiculously awesome frozen mint lemonade. Tons of fresh mint leaves gave the drink a wonderful taste.

And then there was the dessert… she still hasn’t let me forget that I said no to a second plate of cupcakes. We split a plate of 3 cupcakes: chocolate, vanilla, and red velvet. The icing, it is safe to say, was probably the richest I’ve ever had. If not for the gargantuan size of the burger, a second plate would have just been the start.

All in all, it was a fantastic meal. The next hour was spent walking around Montclair and doing a little shopping without any carriers or strollers. It was, what’s the word? Relaxing.