Oh, by the way, I saw NINE last night. Here are nine reasons (look who's clever!) I liked it:
1. You all know how I feel about dance. (I've even included a photo of me from a dance recital to get you in the spirit!)

2. Penelope Cruz was amazing. I don't usually love her in American films, but she was terrific.

3. I have a girl crush on Marian Cotillard.

4. The costumes. (Better than the one featured in this photo.)

5. Italy is a beautiful back drop to any movie.

6. Musicals make me happy.

7. I'm still thinking about the movie and Daniel Day-Lewis, who was awesome.

8. I don't like Fergie, however she didn't completely ruin the movie for me as I thought she might. (She was alright.)

9. Loved, loved, loved the credits at the end. (Stay and watch them, people!)

Obviously there is tons to love about this movie, but some of the people I saw it with found it to be slow and just seemed to want more. I get that, but all in all, I was pleased.

What did not please me were the movie-hopping teenagers who sat behind us and played with their cell phones while talking the entire time. You better believe they received a "shhhhh" from me. They then hit the road when the manager came in to send them on their way. Stupid kids.

The #1 issue I have with living in this area: The teenagers run the joint. Seriously, it's getting really old. But that's another post for another day...

Mambo Italiano

As you may know our little guy is obsessed with Mambo Italiano. This has been going on for months. First thing in the morning he asks to "Mambo." The instant Grandma B comes over, he's ready to "Mambo." All day long, the kid just wants to mambo and tells you so again and again.

Until now he has been a Dean Martin loyalist. However, we've strayed. Aunt Danielle found this little gem, which is the first thing I have ever seen him sit still and watch. He's captivated.

The guy singing is Gerard Darmon, a French actor, and his back up comes from puppets. What more can you ask for? Take a looksie, it's fabulous.


Merry Christmas!

Last night was our first real Christmas Eve with William. Last year he was four months old and besides looking at the lights, he didn't get any real joy from the day. This year, he thoroughly enjoyed the always fantastic Baumrucker family Christmas Eve celebration. We went to my aunt Jan's whose three boys have tropical birds, snakes, frogs, turtles, lizards, fish, and a few dogs, so our animal lovin' little guy was in heaven. Not to mention all the attention be received from his great aunts, great uncles, and all of my cousins. (Being the first of his generation has its benefits.)

We didn't get home until after 10, so the kid was beyond tired. Stuck him in his crib and then played Santa for a while. I'd been warning William all day that Santa was coming and would bring gifts, so really thought that this morning would be a crazy frenzy of wrapping paper.

Not so much... He was up around 5:30, which meant he was still exhausted. He opened a few gifts and then lost interest. But, here's the good news: I didn't buy him any of these gifts, so I don't really care. I re-wrapped gifts that he received for his birthday. There were some that I was waiting to give him because of age and the ridiculous quantity of stuff. Plus, I know that today and tomorrow will be full of gifts from his Grandparents. So, there's my mom confession. (Go ahead, judge me, I don't care.)

Now we're off to my parents for brunch and then up to Wisconsin for some Hanneman family Christmasing.

Merry Christmas to all! Safe travels!


Santa's Lap

We finally brought William to see Santa today. He learned how to say "Santa" over the weekend and something about the word just makes him giddy. He squeals, smiles, and runs around chanting "Santa," so we had to bring him to the real thing. What is it about Santa that inspires awe in even the youngest, most clueless kiddos?

Matt and I planned it out well. We left work about ten minutes early to beat traffic and make it to Northbrook Court by 6:00 when Santa arrived. Grandma B and Aunt Christina would meet us there and we'd exchange the kid. Timing was perfect.
Our wait only lasted about a half hour and William pointed at Santa while shrieking his name again and again and again. And you know how malls echo? He was the picture of true Christmas delight.

So, here we are in Santa's line surrounded by Christmas decorations and kids all dressed up to see Santa. William is radiating glee. We're next in line. I pull out the camera and Matt puts William on Santa's lap...



Sometimes happiness is a little yogurt and the ability to feed yourself.

Man vs. Toddler

Watch this. I find it to be hilarious.


Haircut Time?

I really don't want to cut the little guy's hair. I think his mop is super cool, totally cute, and, as a hair cut every six months kinda person myself, I just don't think it's at "that point." So, maybe it kinda looks like a mullet. So what if people might think he's a hockey player. It's cool, right?!?!

OK, so then someone says, "She is adorable." SHE! This used to happen a lot when he was a baby and it's hard to tell boys from girls. But, he was wearing a green shirt and brown pants. It was clearly a boy's outfit. Is his hair that long that he looks like a girl? So much so that someone would override his clearly boy-oriented clothes and assume we just dressed our girl in a boy's shirt?
I'm scared this means I have to get it cut. It's not that I care that he was called a girl. Really, I don't. I just feel like I'm being an irresponsible parent if I know it and don't do anything about it, you know?

Family Festivus... It's a Christmas Miracle!

Our friends Angie and Jamie host an annual Festivus party. Historically, it has been an overdecorated, packed house with lots of drinking, eating, and holiday debauchery. Considering a number of their friends (Hannemaniacs included) now have kids, they decided to invite the kiddos and start the party at 6:00.
All the families arrived at the decent family time and William was surrounded by five other kids within months of his age. He skipped his afternoon nap, so quickly morphed into a bull in a china shop and did an incredible amount of hyper running and screaming. While all the other kids were mellow, trying to feel out the environment (perhaps be good at someone else's home), William was all over the place. He's so rarely around other kids, he could hardly contain himself. (Translation: Invite us over for a play date.)
Around 9:00 the non-kids people began to arrive and the families with kids in tow started the transition. The baby gate came down, toy trucks were packed, and kids buckled in their car seats. William, so overtired, chattered to himself the whole way home, went down at 9:45 and slept until almost 8:00 am. The kid who can hardly sleep past 5 am... It's a Christmas miracle!
Thank you Family Festivus, you allowed the Hannemaniacs a couple of hours of extra sleep.
We've thoroughly enjoyed Festivus over the years, but now William can too! I thought it might be fun to compare a past Festivus with Festivus 2009. Both equally fun, just in different ways...
Here I am at Festivus 2006 when I would have been arriving at 9 pm:
And here we are this year around 6pm getting the party started:


Extraordinary Dancers

I'm busy catching up on So You Think You Can Dance and came across one of the most amazing things I have ever seen. The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers. Are you kidding me?

If you never thought break dancing could make you cry, think again. Seriously, you have to look at this.

Now I have to find everything else they've done. I'm in love.

Ten Things William Figured Out While I Was Away

For the last month I was completely overwhelmed with work. IF I saw William, it was for about a half hour in the morning when we'd watch the news and munch on Cheerios and I'd anxiously watch the clock to get in the shower and get to work.

Now that I've been around him more for a few days, I've noticed how much he's changed. Two weeks in toddler life is a really long time in terms of development.

So, here are Ten Things William Is Up To These Days:

1. He runs (although like a drunk person).
2. He can count to two. You say "1," he says "2."
3. He says words like "animal" and "number" and "cookie."
4. He climbs on everything... And then stands. In his shopping cart and on his car.
5. He can tell us when he poo poo'ed.
6. He thinks he's getting over afternoon naps.
7. He points out "shoes," "socks," and "boots" with tons of enthusiasm.
8. He has molars!
9. He lets you put a hat on his head (previously impossible).
10. He ripped up every pop-up book he could get his hands on.

I thought he was going to be mad at me for being MIA, but I think I've been officially forgiven. Nothing makes you realize how fast they're growing better than missing a good chunk of it.


Post Gala Release

It's over! The Gala was last night and was the culmination of a very long month. William and I have been busy reacquainting ourselves with each other. My back and brain both hurt and I'm crazy exhausted.

However, it was a very successful event... $2.9 million raised!

More details to come. For now I have to lay on the couch and veg.


And Then December Snuck Up On Me

It's December. How did we get here? December scares me. For me, it starts off with the busiest two weeks of my life. The major event that I work on falls on the second Saturday of December every year. So at this point I work constantly. It's always been this way, but now it's taking a toll on life since I could easily go two weeks without seeing William.

Tonight I forced myself to leave the office at 6:00, so I could put William down. It was the best 20 minutes I had today. Although going home early will cost me tomorrow night and through the rest of the week, it makes me feel better right now. (So would a chocolate chip cookie... But I digress.)

I also realized that with all this focus on work I forgot to do something for William: I never made his 15 month appointment with the pediatrician. I know, I know. Go ahead, judge me. I'm probably going to Mommy Jail, anyway.

I'm just frustrated that I let myself and William down. If it were something at work I'd be frustrated that I let myself and my co-workers down. I guess something was bound to give. I just wish it was neither and I could be on top of everything, like the perfect working mom should be in my head.

Ugh. So, yeah, the little guy will be closer to 16 months than 15 months for his 15 Month Appointment. Not a big deal in the long run, but I hate to have that crack in the facade that I've got it all covered. Thankfully Matt is all over being #1 Dad and my mom is pitching in with laundry and making sure we always have milk for the little guy. What would I do without them?