Tuesday, September 29, 2009


I hate clutter. After Matt and I got married and moved into our first apartment, I tried to fill every available space with picture frames, books and magazines, candles, figurines...you name it. While letting me decorate however I wanted to, Matt would tell me how much he really preferred surfaces to be clear and free from all the "stuff" I liked to sit out. Somehow over the last 5 years, I have come to completely agree with him. I love the clean, minimalistic look, and dislike having anything that I don't use or wear or like take up room. We regularly take boxes of stuff to Goodwill, the library, or the dumpster - I actually think we both get more of a thrill of getting stuff out of our house than bringing new stuff in. We're weird, I know.

A blog/website that I read often is Unclutterer. They have tips for organizing and I thought this post was really good. It said that a good question to ask when deciding what stays and what goes is:

Does this make my life better?

The emphasis is on the present tense of does - not did, could, or should it make my life better, but does it? The article sums it up with:

So often we hold onto things because they were once meaningful or because we think we might need them at some undetermined point in the future or because we worry about what other people will think if we get rid them. Asking the straightforward, “Does this make my life better?” allows you to avoid these cluttering scenarios and instead focus on the present.

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Monday, September 28, 2009

Great weekend!

My family came in town this weekend and it was so good to see them! My dad and my sister had not seen Will since he was in NICU and hooked up to all kinds of wires. My dad had never even gotten a chance to hold him, so he was really excited to get the chance when he got here Friday morning!

My cousin Meredith was in town on business Friday and took the train to our house to visit Will and my family during one of her breaks. Friday was also her birthday, and it was so good to see her! We went to one of my favorite places for lunch, Bat 17, and then she had to take the train back down to the city for a meeting that afternoon.

My sister got in town mid-afternoon and she too was pretty excited to see Will! Mary Beth brought me two pieces of cake from Piece of Cake in Atlanta (the BEST cake ever!) - one piece of caramel cake and one piece of peanut butter cake! (Unbeknownst to MB, I'd been on Piece of Cake's website the week before to see if they deliver to IL - they do...for a nice little shipping fee of $84!). And my mom brought chocolate fudge peanut butter cookies from the best bakery on St. Simons - Sweet Mama's. Aaahh...my family knows me too well :)

Saturday morning we went to Dixie Kitchen for breakfast, and then mom and I dropped Matt, dad, and MB off to watch the Northwestern football game while we did a little shopping with Will! After the game we picked them up and did a little more shopping. After that we were worn out so we came home and had a little wine and played with Will before dinner!

MB gave Will a bath and then rocked him to sleep in his chick pj's. She was a pro and he was pretty happy!

Sunday we went to church and then took a picnic of chicken and tuna salad, croissants, fruit, and cheese and crackers to the park. It was such a beautiful day and a great day to be outside! We took about 300 pictures of Will (literally!)...I'll go through them all and show a few of them soon!

They had to leave late afternoon to get back to the airport and it was sad to see them go! I miss them so much already!

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Swing and a hat

Tonight Will was fussy - even while sitting in his vibrating seat and even while he had a pacifier in his mouth - 2 things that usually will calm him down very quickly. He'd just eaten and been changed so we knew that wasn't the reason he was being fussy. So we decided to break out the swing. I was walking around holding him and trying to calm him down while Matt tried to put it together as quickly as possible. Finally it was ready and here he is trying it out...

Success!!! It looks like we will be using it more in the days to come.

Today I took Will to meet Matt for lunch on campus. Matt enjoyed carrying him around showing him off, and we went and showed him to some of the administrators that Matt knows well. They were excited to meet him and gave us a kid's Kellogg hat! It is purple (Northwestern's school color) and not the most masculine...but he seemed to like it:)

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Good Ol' Southern Barbecue

Some friends of ours told us about this great barbecue sauce that was on sale at Whole Foods this weekend, so yesterday on our walk home from church we stopped by to get some. Matt asked the guy at the meat counter if they had boston butts, and the guy had no idea what he was talking about (is this a southern thing?). His manager told him that he thought it was the same thing as a pork shoulder, so that is what we ended up getting.

This morning I started cooking it at 9am in the crockpot. It smelled SO good cooking all day!

When Matt got home tonight, he poured off the fat and shredded it with two forks.

And then we tried out the barbecue sauce. Notice on the bottle it says "Blazin' Hot". It was awesome! It is definitely hot so you can't use a ton, but it is really good. We made sandwiches with it, and served it with baked macaroni and watermelon.

And for dessert I made a buttermilk pie. Yumm!!

And here is a picture of the little guy today. We try to do "tummy time" with him every day so he can build some strength in his neck muscles. He doesn't like it too much and usually tries to lift his head, which is good for him, but today I guess he was just too pooped and fell right asleep...

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Friday, September 18, 2009

Two months!

Will is two months old today!

And he got fussy every time I tried to take a picture of him today, so this is the best I could get!

We went for his 2 month doctor's appointment today and he got his first vaccinations. He had to get 3 shots in his legs, and boy was I dreading this! I held him and tried to comfort him while he was getting them, and it really wasn't that bad. He only cried for maybe a minute or two.

Matt has a nasty cold, and we are crossing our fingers that Will doesn't get it. We have several bottles of hand sanitizer around our house and are trying our best not to spread germs!

And to my sweet baby boy...

  • You are so much more alert than you were a month ago! You sleep less and cry more, but you are such a sweetie!

  • You weigh 10 pounds and 4 ounces and are 23 inches long. You are in the 25th percentile for your weight, so you are on the small side, but you seem to be growing bigger and bigger by the day!
  • You have slept through the night four nights now! You go to sleep around 11:30 and sleep until around 7!
  • You can still wear most of your newborn size clothes, but they are getting tighter and your 3 month size clothes are not quite so big anymore!
  • Your eyes are still dark blue and your baby acne has completely cleared now and you have beautiful skin!
  • You've started smiling and you do it more and more everyday! You have no idea how excited your momma and daddy get when you smile!

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Tech game and a haiku

Tonight was the Tech/Miami game - we watched the first quarter with some other Tech alumni who go to Kellogg while we ate dinner at a local bar. Then during half-time we went to a welcome-back bonfire by the lake with other Kellogg students. We had a good time - we made smores and got to show off Will to some of Matt's friends. We came home to watch the second half of the game and feed Will. Matt was sitting next to me during the game and at one point I looked over at him and he was counting with his fingers and moving his lips. Assuming he was doing homework or something, I ignored him, and then a few minutes later got the email below with instructions to post it here (check out the subject in red).

Ladies and gentlemen, I present the genius of my husband...

fromMatt Dart
dateThu, Sep 17, 2009 at 11:33 PM
subject posting BY WILL - don't change a word! I'm warning you!

A Haiku Trio by Will Dart

Delicious Cuban,

Miami’s lovely sandwich,

Won’t pass through these lips

Anymore because

Of the painful Georgia Tech


Harder and Faster,

Smarter and stronger than us,

Those Miami thugs

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Monday, September 14, 2009

First day of school

Matt's classes started back up today. Actually, his "real" classes start next week, but all the second year students have to take a week long class for 3 hours a day on crisis management. Interestingly, this requirement just started a few years ago after Enron happened - apparently the CFO of Enron went to Kellogg. Not their most esteemed alumni ;) Today they talked about the AIG compensation scandal from earlier this year.

Anyway...Will slept 8 hours last night! He woke up at 7 this morning and since it was already daylight Matt decided to take him on a walk. It was cool outside and he took this picture of him after he got his little bear jacket on. I thought it was pretty cute - and maybe the first time he's looked directly at the camera:)

Also, apparently this week is Invisible Illness Awareness Week and I thought this article about diabetes was really good. Kerri blogs about diabetes and I think she has a lot of insight into the disease.

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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Photography and dad's birthday

Today is a big day - my dad is turning 60!! My mom surprised him with a trip to the Ritz on Lake Oconee with some of their friends. It sounds like they had a lot of fun. Happy birthday dad!
Last week I pulled my old Nikon SLR out of the closet and dusted it off and attempted to try and take a few pictures of Will. This is the old-fashioned kind - remember when you had to go out and buy film and you never knew if any of your pictures actually turned out until you picked them up at the drugstore? This is that kind. I got into photography in college and enjoyed using this camera, but I haven't used it since digital cameras came on the market. I have forgotten EVERYTHING about photography now that I just use a digital point-and-shoot.
We took Will to the park to try out the camera. There was still film in the camera from 2001, so I used that. Not a good idea. It was black and white film and apparently your pictures will come out sepia and blurry if you use film that old. Regardless, the pictures turned out surprisingly good - much better than my point-and-shoot. So, I have decided to give photography another try. I've been scouring the internet to learn as much as I can. I am going to practice with my old Nikon and hopefully if I still enjoy it after a few months, I may look into getting a digital SLR. I would love to be able to get good shots of Will any time I want, and I've been reading a few blogs that have inspired me.
Here are a few of the shots from last week, along with a random shot of Coco. I framed the first one for my dad for his birthday, and we gave some of these to Matt's mom as well. I realize I have a LONG way to go, but I am excited!

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Saturday, September 12, 2009

A rundown of our week

This week we had Matt's mom and his sister Jessica come to visit! They got here on Tuesday and we went to Tapas Barcelona to celebrate Mrs. Dart's birthday (her birthday is next week and Jessica had given her this trip as a gift). I love Tapas Barcelona, especially this baked goat cheese dish I always get (in fact, the goat cheese is really all I want when I go there so I don't like to share!). Of course, we all ate too much and then shared three desserts amongst the four of us...we left stuffed!

Wednesday night Jessica and Cathy offered to watch the little guy for us so Matt and I could go on a date. They did a great job giving him his bath and getting him to sleep. Matt and I went to see Extract, which I thought was pretty funny but not the greatest movie ever (apparently it's directed by the same guy that did Office Space). Worth a rental but probably not the $25 it costs to go to the movies nowadays. Going to movies is one thing we can't really do anymore with a baby, so it is fun to do when our family offers to babysit:)

Thursday Matt made brunch at our house - blueberry crepes/cheese blintz, potato hash, bacon, and fruit. It was SO good!! Seriously good. I don't know how Matt comes up with his ideas - I think he was deciding how to make everything as it was coming together in the kitchen.

Thursday was Will's first Georgia Tech game day - we got him all dressed up in his game gear to watch it, including the jersey with his name on the back that his Aunt Jessica gave him. We completed our week of good eating with Jessica's delicious buffalo dip and deep dish pizza during the game. Jessica and Cathy went downtown yesterday afternoon to explore the city a little bit before flying home this morning. We had such a good time with them this week!

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Area Infant Disgusted, Elated by Jackets

"I'm just tired of this BS", 7-week old Will Dart said as he watched his beloved Jackets squander their 17 point halftime lead over Clemson. "This is just freakin' ridiculous. I admit that I was as hot on this Johnson guy as anyone, but sometimes I wonder if he can get our players up for the big game."

Although technically not yet living during seasons past, Dart has enough white and gold blood flowing through his veins to recognize the bittersweet rhythms of Tech football - the team is always good enough to surprise you and beat someone they shouldn't, yet inconsistent enough to drop at least a couple of games a season to teams that they have no business losing to.

"I know better than to let myself get emotionally involved like this", Dart said in a moment of clarity and maturity that was well beyond his 54 days of life, "but then Dwyer or Nesbitt breaks off a 35 yard run and my heart leaps to my throat and I just know that life is good again. Of course, the other shoe usually drops and I'm left devastated again, the groom left at the alter of bad pass defense and dumb penalties."

Of course, that wasn't the case today. The Jackets pulled it out and all was well in the Dart household tonight.

As Dart readied himself for his last diaper change of the evening, he was reflective. "I'm feeling pretty good about the Jackets tonight. We showed a lot of guts out there towards the end, and you know what? This may just be the year of the Jackets."

- Matt Dart reporting

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Will's first day at church

We took Will to church for the first time today. He sat in his car seat next to us during the service and he slept through the whole thing! I had his pacifier ready just in case he woke up but he never even opened his eyes! We did a lot of visiting afterwards though and he woke up and let a few of our friends hold him. It was so good to be back at church...I hadn't been since before I was put on bed rest at the end of my pregnancy, so it had been a long time. And of course I had to get a picture of the three of us before we left this morning!

Not much else has been going on the past couple of days. Matt has been cooking up a storm - today he made split pea soup (I didn't get a picture, but it wouldn't have been too pretty!), and a few days ago he made low country boil and blueberry cobbler! For those of you not from the south who don't know what low country boil is - it is shrimp, sausage, corn, new potatoes, and onions boiled in a cajun seasoning, and it is SOO good!! And we use Matt's grandmother's cobbler recipe because it is SO easy and good. Basically it is around 4 cups of blueberries (or any fruit), a box of yellow cake mix, and a stick of butter. You just put the fruit on the bottom of a 9x13 dish and pour the dry cake mix right on top (don't stir). Then you drizzle the melted butter on top of that and bake it until it is bubbly. Pretty easy and oh so tasty!

And finally here is Will and mommy taking a much needed nap this afternoon!

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Thursday, September 3, 2009

Paranoid parents

Last night we decided to let Will sleep in his own room for the first time! He did a great job and slept 6 straight hours! I was worried to not have him right next to me (he's been sleeping in his bassinet in our room), so I wanted to make sure we had a good monitor.

We ended up exchanging the monitor for which we had originally registered for the Angel Care monitor from Graco. It has a sensor pad underneath the mattress that detects the baby's movements. It is so sensitive that it can even detect the baby breathing. It sounds an alarm if the baby doesn't move for 20 seconds. It also monitors sound, and even the temperature in the nursery to make sure it doesn't get too hot or cool (it is cool enough outside that we don't use the air conditioner).

Our first night went pretty well. The alarm went off once, around 5am, and Matt got up to check on him. He put his hand on Will's chest, but Will must have been in a deep sleep because Matt couldn't feel his chest going up and down, so he picked him up. After Will made a move to let him know he was ok, Matt put him back down to sleep. I'm not sure exactly what had happened, but it made us feel good to know that it is working, and it helps ease our mind a little bit about SIDS.

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