Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Listicle: Best and Worst of 2013

I probably just have a really short attention span, but I love a good best of/worst of list. So, now that the year is wrapping up, I'm doing my own. Here's my best and worst of 2013. Let's start with the worst:

1. Kimye.
As if Kim and Kanye were not bad enough without each other, together, they are just unbearable. And then, to top it all off, they had a BABY. And made a soft-porn music video for 'Bound 2'. No end in sight for these two, though. At least it made for good 'SNL' material: 

2. Miley's tongue.
I don't need to elaborate here. But really, I don't hate Miley. I don't really have a problem with the way she's acting. I would if she were my daughter, but she's not. She's a 20-year-old girl who's dad is Billy Ray Cyrus, so really, let's not blame her. The girl likes some soft drugs, likes to talk about it, and that's fine. Just keep the tongue in your mouth, Miley. That's all I ask.

3. Gluten-free everything.
I'm not saying we should praise gluten. I'm just saying maybe it's not the evil devil ingredient you think it is. It could be the rest of your diet that's hurting you. Maybe if we just all ate cleaner and less processed, we'd be better off. Poor gluten. It had a really bad 2013. That said, I have considered going gluten-free for January just to see what all the fuss is about. But wine has gluten, so no.

4. Paul Walker's untimely death.
So sad. Not only was he pretty much the hottest man ever, he also seemed to be a really good guy. The only upside was going back and watching Varsity Blues again in remembrance of Paul.
via www.deadline.com

5. Celebs being racist/homophobic/generally ignorant.
I have never been so happy to say that I don't watch Duck Dynasty as I was a couple of weeks ago when Uncle Phil revealed himself to be the dumbass redneck that he is. And when it was revealed that Paula Deen had used the 'n' word? Were we really surprised? I'm all about forgiving people for mistakes they made in the past, but still. She could have handled the spin on that a little differently.

And the best:

1. Netflix Orginal Series.
First was House of Cards. Once you got over the awkwardness of Kevin Spacey as Frank Underwood speaking directly to you, this was TV at its finest. Underwood 2016, y'all.
And then came Orange is the New Black. I binged so hard on this show, and then was so sad when it was over. Every single character is the best. Seriously.

2. Beyonce's unannounced new album
Beyonce pretty much secured her spot as Queen Bey when she dropped an album on iTunes at like, midnight on a Thursday. And of course it was the best album she has ever made. Definitely the sexiest. And why shouldn't it be? She's Beyonce. And she's married to Jay-Z. They will be taking over the world soon. And should.

3. Rob Ford.
It's almost like this guy wasn't even a real person. And have we ever wished more for Chris Farley's resurrection? Rob Ford provided some of the best entertainment of the year. Thanks, Toronto.

4. The rebirth of Britney.
Y'all can hate all you want, but I love my girl Britney, and always will. You can rest assured that I will make it to Vegas in the next two years to catch her Piece of Me show, which is getting rave reviews. From what I've seen, Britney is back. Hotness.

via www.huffingtonpost.com

5. Breaking Bad finale.
When's the last time a series ended and you actually felt satisfied? Breaking Bad tied up every loose end, without making it too tidy, and left us with a meth addict-like craving for the next great show. I could go back and watch every episode 10 more times. And that has nothing to do with my monster crush on Aaron Paul.

6. I was going to stop at 5, but then I realized I have to add the James Franco/Seth Rogen parody video of 'Bound 2'. OMG. As if I didn't love these boys enough, they did this. And it was brilliant. I'd advise watching the original of the video by Kanye, but be warned that it is repulsive.

Let's see what 2014 has to bring us. Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Lumps of Coal

The Grimes kids are well on their way to getting stockings full of nothing for Christmas. December ushered in a whole new level of bad that no Elf on the Shelf can seem to curb.

I think we talked to this guy too early. Especially since he told the kids there is "no such thing as a naughty list." WTF, Santa? Also, he looks too jolly.

A quick rundown of the last couple of days. Let's start with Davis:

Yesterday we were riding home from preschool and I was vaguely aware that he had a pen in his hand. Since I was streaming the new Britney album, I was maybe a little not paying attention. I turned around to find him drawing all over the leather that lines the inside of the door. Luckily, it was Morgan's car, which is pretty much a roving trash can, but still. He knew it was wrong. We had one of his friends in the car, and I guess he was trying to show off. I don't know.

But it didn't stop there.

While Davis and the friend were playing at our house, it got a little too quiet. I later noticed that "they" (Davis) had managed to pour red glitter all over the bathroom, and the carpet in Davis' bedroom. Naughty. Just so you know, glitter doesn't really come up all that easily. So, it's now tracked all over the house, like an elf vomited Christmas glitter on every surface.

Then today, I came to pick Davis up from school. I was met by the preschool director, who was escorting Davis and another boy toward me. The other boy's mom and I had to go in and have a "little talk" about the fact that they boys had mashed a bunch of playdough into the rug in the classroom. All the while that the director was talking, I could see Davis stifling a grin. I was mortified. By the end of the discussion, he had the giggles under control, but he's spending the afternoon in his room, and I'm making him use his money to replace the playdough.

Then there's Ava. She's actually been pretty good, up until this morning, when she tried to fake being sick. I let it ride for a little while, then around 10 told her she was fine and needed to go to school. That led to a massive drama-fest, which included her slamming her door and sliding this note to us underneath it:

Gotta give her props for correct spelling throughout. I think she's lacking a comma or two, though. Maybe I'll red ink it and give it back to her. After all, in her tirade, she did mention wanting to be home schooled.

I'm not saying they're on the naughty list, but I think the Christmas budget just had a big shift to the "Mommy's presents" column.

Monday, November 25, 2013

American Music Awards Recap

It's Monday. It's freezing. But it's a holiday week, so all is good. I feel like I'm still in weekend recovery, especially after a big night out on Friday. I think vodka and I might be on a Ross-Rachel style break. We attended a party on Friday night where there was a really friendly bartender with an even friendlier pour. I was overserved and underfed. Didn't make for the most fun Saturday morning. But, at least it was a good reminder that at upcoming Christmas parties, water and food are a must.

Also, that was the second weekend in a row of big nights out for me. Don't get me wrong - I am having a blast lately. But it does catch up, especially when there are kids to take care of. All I wanted on Saturday was to have some one-on-one time with my sofa and Bravo on the TV. Instead, we went to a birthday party and Davis sang "Wrecking Ball."  Awesome.

Did you catch the AMAs last night? I was all excited to watch but thought they were pretty boring.


Justin. During his performance, I told Morgan that he would have to allow me a celebrity pass if the opportunity presented itself (why wouldn't he choose me over Jessica Biel??). His response? "Gross." Alrighty then. I told him he could have Jennifer Lawrence. 

President R. Kelly and Lady Gaga. Nothing like channeling Clinton/Lewinsky during a performance. Also, if you haven't, please google the track listing for R. Kelly's new album. 

But my very, very favorite performance was A Great Big World with Christina Aguilera. This song blows me away, and I think I could listen to it on repeat for days. 

And, if you maybe want to cry a little, watch the official video for the song here:

That's all I've got. Happy Monday!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

What I'm Loving Now

I know, I know. I never write on this poor blog anymore. I'm afraid of becoming really boring with too much talk about my kids and parenting, and I'm just trying to decide how to keep it fresh over here. Parenting is clearly what I'm most about these days, but I'm kind of working on not letting that define me. That's not to say that Ava and Davis aren't the complete center of my life, but there are lots of other things I'm into, and I don't want to neglect them. So, just working on a little reformatting. We'll see  where it goes.

That seems like a good time to segue in to some things I'm loving these days.


Maybe I'm late to the game here, but I finally upgraded to the paid membership, and it's pretty much rocking my world. The best thing about it, in case you don't know, is that you can save any songs into playlists that you can listen to offline anytime, like, on your phone. And they have about a million times more songs than Pandora. No offense, Pandora. You were cool for a while. So, now I can easily jam out to Jay-Z in the minivan without having to drop a bunch of cash on iTunes.

2)Speaking of music, I'm a little obsessed with Lorde. She's way cooler than I ever was at 16. And that voice of hers is really different. We've all heard Royals about a million times by now, but for me, it isn't really getting old. If you like that, listen to Tennis Court. Great song.

 On that note, if I hear that Avicii song one more time, I might scream. Ava and I share a mutual dislike of that one.


Again, late to the party. This fall I started spending a lot of time on Twitter, but not really tweeting. It's the best source for any news, entertainment, etc. I am better informed than I've ever been. It's a little addictive. Now I'm tweeting on the regular and feeling pretty cool (until I realize I drive the previously mentioned minivan). Follow me if you want : twitter.com/cartergrimes. Of course, you'll find out what a big liberal I am, so don't be offended. Also, don't make the mistake I made when I first joined a couple of years ago. I followed way too many celebs and my feed was cluttered with stuff I didn't really care about. So, follow wisely.

4)Vodka drinks.

Something strange has happened recently and I don't love red wine like I always have. I don't even know who I am anymore. At any rate, whites still taste yummy. I'm not ruling out reds, just taking a little break. I rarely drink liquor, but when we've been out recently, I've ordered vodka tonics. Nothing fancy. Just a good old classic. Of course, it's made even better with Grey Goose, but it does seem sort of silly to water down the good stuff with tonic.

I did have a Slightly Dirty Martini the other night in Chapel Hill (in the Back Bar at Top of the Hill). It was just okay. But the blue cheese stuffed olives that came in it were totally yummy.

So, there you have it. Things I love, so you probably should too.

Until next time.....

Thursday, October 10, 2013

I Ain't Afraid of No Ghosts

Here's my issue du jour: My oldest child, age 8, is terrified of the dark and ruining my sleep. We've had sleep issues on and off with Ava since she was 4. Nothing horrible - just waking up and being scared, or wanting someone to be with her until she falls asleep. We nipped all that in the bud a year or two ago. But in the last couple of months, it's all come full-circle. And it sucks. Like, really sucks.

Here are the issues:
-She doesn't want to go into her room alone at night, even if it's just to get ready for bed
-She is scared once we say good night.
-She wakes in the night from a "bad dream" and wants me to sleep in her bottom bunk.
-She wants every damn light in her room on, including the closet, which she is certain is home to monsters.

Y'all, this is beyond ridiculous. I know kids have irrational fears. I respect that. But we live in a small house, so even when she's alone in her room, we're no more than 15 steps away from her. And our bedroom is directly across the hall from hers.

I'm not sure what's driving this fear. Maybe it's all those Friday the 13th movies she's been watching, or the Stephen King novels she's reading. She says it started with some monster from Scooby Doo.

Come on. We all know that the Scooby Doo villian is really Old Man Winters from down the street, right?

It's only getting worse. She's now back to wanting someone in her room while she's falling asleep. So, the hammer is about to be laid down on Miss Ava. It might be really ugly for a few nights. But when you start messing with my precious evening TV hours, I don't play nice. And I can be a lot scarier than any Scooby Doo monster. For realz.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Where I've Been

Since I've vanished from the blogging world for the last month or so, here's a brief update on what we've been up to. 

Ava started 2nd grade the last week of August. 

Every girl needs a new outfit for the first day of school!

Blue and White Puppy likes to go to school, too.
Davis headed into his last year of preschool the first week of September. Hard for me to believe he'll be in full-day kindergarten next year!

My friend Jill and I took our girls to see Taylor Swift. The girls had a blast, and so did the mommies! I might want to be Taylor when I grow up. Seems like a good gig that girl has going. 

Ava tends to stick out her stomach when posing, giving the illusion that she is in her second trimester.

T-shirts were purchased.

A few weeks ago, Ava and her daddy took a trip to Bald Head Island with their Y Princesses tribe. That meant Davis and I had a few days just the two of us, which turned out to be really fun. We went out to this place called Three Bears Acres, which is kind of a park/nature area on steroids. Case in point? This sledding hill:

We also enjoyed a few meals out. Note that the trim he gave himself back in May is FINALLY starting to grow back in. 

And, to celebrate fall, I decided to go a little darker with my hair. Okay, lots darker. I think this might be close to my, ahem, natural color. Oh, and I chopped about 4 inches. I thought I needed some dark nails to go with the new locks. Essie's new color, After School Boy Blazer is my new fave. Manicure by me. Mad skillz. With a z.

So, there you have it. I may even be back again later on in the week!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Neglected Second Child

Tonight, I was reading to Davis, and he wanted to say all the letters in the title of the book. I know that he (usually) knows the uppercase letters, and he did fine with those. Then he wanted to say the letters in the author's name, and they were in lowercase. Hello, Mommy Fail! The kid pretty much knows no lowercase letters. I'm not entirely sure he knows "M" and "N", upper or lowercase, are two separate letters. And writing? Let's just say he can sometimes make a "T".

With Ava, I was the typical new mom. She was all of a few days old when I started reading to her. We read lots and lots as she got older, and would be content for me to read to her for hours if I had the stamina. (I never did). She was a self-taught reader by the time she turned 4. Obviously, her genius is a direct result of my wonderful parenting. Or maybe she just got it, which is perhaps the more likely case.

Then there was Davis. He was always squirmier. And bedtime was always a little more rushed. As a baby/toddler, one or two board books were fine. There wasn't a lot of extra reading time during the day, either. And, he's an energetic boy. Sitting down for a long period of time has never been his thing.

Anyway, I had a goal early this summer to get him to learn to write his name by the time preschool started back. I think we worked on that about 2 times. He wasn't into it, and I didn't push it. He's a lefty, too - a challenge I've never dealt with.

But now I think I need to do a little more. He's only got one more year until Kindergarten, and while I don't think he needs to be fully reading by then, he could probably use a little more knowledge. Just the idea that he should know some sight words before next August is bewildering to me.

Don't get me wrong - the boy is smart. I'm not saying Ava is smarter. As hard as it is not to, I'm trying not to compare my two kids. We just need a way to make this fun for him.

Anyone have any fun suggestions for teaching a future ADHD patient active and energetic boy the basics of reading? Good apps? Same for writing. Because right now, if the dogs on Nick Jr's Paw Patrol aren't teaching it, he's not interested.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

The F Word

In the last week, Davis has called two people fat. Not behind their backs. To their faces. Bluntly. The first occurred in my absence last weekend. My parents so sweetly kept my kids for 52 hours (not that I was counting) and I had my ENTIRE HOUSE TO MYSELF. That's right, my house. All mine. Morgan was on a golf trip, kids with the grandparents, and my time belonged to me. It was lovely.

But back to the story. My parents and the kids were at a grocery store (The Fresh Market, to be precise). They were buying jelly beans, and apparently, a woman in line, who was perhaps a little round, was talking to Davis about his jelly beans. He told her, "I can't eat too many because then I'll get fat like you." 

Oh boy.

My parents didn't really hear it, but Ava did, and she reported back. Davis did not deny the incident. I didn't want to make a really big deal about it, because with 4 year olds, sometimes any attention is good attention. So, I just said it's not nice to point out to people that they are fat, and kind of left it at that.

Fast forward a couple of days. We were at the pool, and the sweetest ten-year-old girl was helping Ava learn to dive. I don't even want to get into whether or not she was fat. She's ten. It doesn't matter. Davis was sitting with me on the side of the pool, watching the diving lesson. All of a sudden, he says, "You're fat." He didn't say it in a mean way, just very matter of fact. I wanted to dive in and stay under water until the pool closed. I couldn't even look at the poor  girl. I quietly reprimanded my mouthy child, who then quietly said back to me, "But Mommy, she IS fat." 


Luckily, the girl just continued playing with Ava, who (thank God) did not think she any physical trait that needed to be addressed. 

Now I live in terror anytime I'm with Davis and we see someone who is even slightly plump. 

I guess the upside is that I've got someone who will be honest with me if I start packing on any extra pounds.

I'll laugh at this someday, right?

Friday, July 26, 2013

Beach Living

We're back at the beach this week, living the hard life. Morgan got to get away from work and join us, so it's been a fun week. I can't lie to you, though. I still want a post-vacation vacation, sans kids, when we get back. Let's face it, for most of us moms, most beach trips just mean moving your day-to-day responsibilities to a prettier locale. The kids still whine, the laundry still piles up, and meals still need to be prepped.

Despite the fact that the day-to-day chores don't take a vacay, it's still pretty relaxing. Here's how we roll at the beach:

6:45am: Without fail, Davis wakes up.
I give him some Fruit Loops/Lucky Charms/Apple Jacks (a beach treat) and turn on the TV. Then I brew the coffee, and watch an episode of Pretty Little Liars on the iPad.

7:45am: Ava wakes up. Sometimes it's earlier. She is groggy. Always. She can barely open her eyes and looks like she has slept for days. She's not a morning person, but she can't stand it if she knows Davis and I are up without her.

8:30am: If I'm feeling ambitious and it's not too hot, I go for a run. Today, it was a walk. I don't like the bright morning sun burning into me, so I often think it's too sunny/hot/late for a run. Lazy. The other day, I walked, and this was my view:

Tons and tons of pelicans

You can cross the inlet from Litchfield to Pawleys at low tide.
10:30-1:30 Round one of pool or beach. Ava loves the pool. Kind of hates the beach a little. Davis loves both, but as of today, prefers the beach. If Ava tells him to request the pool, though, he does. He's her minion.

1:30: Lunch. We eat a little late here. Then the kids rest. I don't know how this started, but they just assume that they have rest time after lunch at the beach, and they don't even fight me on it. It usually involves each of them having an iPad. Used to be, Davis always fell asleep. Now, not so much. Today, for instance, is our 5th day here, and he has not napped at all. He was falling apart right before lunch, so I am really hoping he sleeps.

2:00 - until my luck runs out: I often head to the beach by myself. Then, depending on how rest time has gone, the kids come on out.

3:00ish-5ish: Beach time with the kids. This is my favorite time of day on the beach with them. This week, low tide has come late in the day, and we've had a great time playing bocce, digging holes, and playing in the ocean. Oh, and happy hour starts around this time, too.

5ish: Bath/wind down time

6:45: Dinner. We usually eat in, but I have no idea what we're having tonight and I don't want to to go the store again, so we may go out. Once again, this will depend on if Davis  falls asleep this afternoon or not.

8-9: Kids in bed. Relax time for the grownups. And then sleep.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Summer Weight Gain

Blame it on poolside drinks. Blame it on the extra wine needed from having the kids home all summer. Blame it on the heat. Whatever I blame it on, I can't deny that these five (or seven) pounds that are following me around are real.

Like most women, my weight fluctuates within the same 5 pounds or so. Some weeks I'm up, but them I'm usually right back down with little or no changes. I guess I'm getting a little older now, and maybe that fluctuation is going to be harder to keep up with. I don't know. I just know that the number on the scale and the tightness of my clothes is not working for me, so now I actually have to do something about it.

I've got the exercise thing down, which is probably part of the problem. It's that mentality of thinking you got a really good workout in, so you can just chow down on whatever. We've all been there. I don't really overdo it on bad foods. It's not like I'm hitting the Krispy Kreme drive-thru on the way home from the gym. Okay, maybe once. The problem I've got is "healthy" snacking. And it's always in the afternoon. It's like, lunch comes, and I don't really like lunch, as meals go, so I'm not really satisfied, and the snacking begins. Three handfuls of Trader Joe's dark chocolate covered almonds can't be THAT bad, can they?

Kind of healthy.

Not fooling anyone.

So, today, I started counting calories. And I'm already kind of amazed at how many extra calories I have probably been ingesting.

I installed the My Fitness Pal app on my phone after hearing lots of good things about it. The thing I like most (so far) is that it seems to have a ton of foods already in its database. Everything I've searched for has been there, down to specifics like "Costco Rotisserie Chicken." The downside is that many things seem to be measured in ounces, and without a food scale, it's hard to figure out how much an ounce is. So I ordered an inexpensive digital food scale. Thanks, Amazon.

Here's a peek at the app:

The other cool thing is that in addition to your meals and snacks, you can input your exercise for the day. Based on your activities, My Fitness Pal adds your burned calories back into your daily caloric total. For instance, I input that I want to lose 1.5 lbs/per week. I also input my current weight, and I was given a daily calorie total of 1200. I about passed out from hunger just looking at that measley number. But then I put in my spin class this morning, which the app estimated burned about 500 calories, so my total cals for the day went up to 1700. Reasonable, but it does go fast.

I think it will help with making better choices. For instance, I was going to add some cheese to may lunch salad. But that was going to add about 110 calories. No, thanks. That 110 calories was saved for a glass of Chardonnay instead.

See? Making better choices already.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Tuesday Randoms

Happy holiday week, friends. Unlike the rest of the world, we are not at the beach this week. We were at Litchfield, SC all last week, and came back yesterday. I love the beach for the 4th, but I'm happy enough to be in Raleigh, too. We're also missing the nasty weather at the beach. We had one day of it, and that was about all I could take. Being cooped up inside at the beach is no fun to me at all. At least not with two young kids.

On an unrelated note, Ava has an iPod touch that she keeps by her side like she's 15. It makes for great ammo when I need to take something away from her. I didn't want to set up her on iTunes account, so I just use mine. She knows the password, though, and although she is really good about asking me before she downloads anything, I still didn't really like knowing that she might be able to make an unauthorized purchase. So, like a good mommy, I changed the password.

What a huge pain in the arse.

I didn't think about the fact that it would impact my iPhone, iPad, laptop, and AppleTV. In fact, I can't currently get my new password to work on the AppleTV. And that's really a shame, because I have big plans tonight that involve watching several episodes of Pretty Little Liars on Netflix.

That's right. Pretty Little Liars. Because I'm 17. Apparently.

When I'm watching, I can't stop thinking that I did not know anyone in high school who looked like these girls.

Speaking of TV, we just got rid of all of our premium movie channels a few weeks ago. But now Dexter is back, so I'm thinking we may have to ante up because there is NOTHING good on network TV now. Also, Apple just added the HBO Go app to the AppleTV lineup, which is kind of big news.

And, for the record, yes, I do have a crush on Dexter's star, Michael C. Hall. I don't think he's a serial killer in real life.

And while we're on the subject of my TV boyfriends, I'd like to mention that when Aaron Paul/Jesse Pinkman got married, I felt like I had been stabbed in the heart. RUDE.

I'm off to drown my broken hearted sorrows.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Bathing Suit Season: In Full Swing

There's nothing every girl looks forward to more each year than trying on new bathing suits. From the fluorescent lights of the dressing rooms to the need to size up in swimwear, it's all just one big ego boost.

Like everyone else, with the possible exception of Gisele, I think I have a strange body, proportion wise. I have no boobs, and lots of backside and thighs. It's how I am. It's how I've always been. And, it's likely how I always will be. At least until the boob job. 

Anyway, these imperfections are what they are, and my summers require lots of time spent in a bathing suit. Although my mom tries to convince me otherwise, I really feel that for the most part, I look better in a bikini. This is not because I think I look great in a bikini. Notice I said BETTER. I attribute it to the fact that my upper body is, for the most part, my better half. Most one-pieces I try only highlight my overall lack of boobage, and in doing so, I think they make my tush and thighs look bigger. Classic pear, right?

But I'm also 36 (for a couple more months), so I walk that weird line between wanting to wear an appropriate suit, but not really wanting to look matronly. 

J.Crew has always been one of my go-to's for swimwear, but lately, they haven't been my best friend in that department. I bought a few this year and they all went back. I also ordered about 6 suits from Nordstrom (love free shipping AND free returns). But they all went back, too. 

Then I found myself searching for suits somewhere I never thought I would: Victoria's Secret. At first, I was like, no way, these suits are not for me. And that may be because it's kind of hard to look past the "do me, baby" poses of the VS models to even imagine what the suits might look like on a real person. Look - see what I mean?

all images via Victoria's Secret
That model in the first photo looks like she's about to take her bottoms off. And also like she might pop one of her implants. But maybe I'm just jealous. Oh, and the girl in the yellow? That's the pose I always strike when I'm building a sandcastle with my kids. And my beach hair looks just like that. Crazy, I know. 

My point is that I couldn't even picture such suits on myself. But then I heard a few seemingly normal people say good things about them, and I was intrigued. So, lured by a big sale and (again) free shipping, I took the plunge, so to speak, and ordered two suits. They arrived, and I have to say, I like them.

The black & white one is great, and is a keeper for sure. It has a little bit of gold, too, but not tacky gold. The multi-colored one is fun and bright, but that top doesn't fit me well. It's sold in bra sizes, so I ordered my usual size, but it's too small. Or at least too little coverage. I think I may trade it out for the same print in the halter top. 

The sale they're having right now is crazy. Like, I got 2 suits for $70. Not bad. 

So, don't be afraid. You don't have to post like a VS model to wear their bathing suits. I promise.