Friday, December 31, 2010

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. via SouleMama





Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Nate's First Year




In one year, our little baby boy has gained:
-18 pounds
-10 inches
-6 teeth
-several clothing sizes
-mobility
-dozens of words

His parents' gains over the last year (other than a few pounds we'd rather not discuss)?

Immeasurable.

Happy Birthday, Nate!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Nate's First Christmas


Nate's first Christmas was as relaxed, joyous, and merry as we had hoped. For a couple of weeks leading up to Christmas, he enjoyed the Christmas tree, the snowglobe music box, the decorations made by Grandma Happy when Mama was a baby, the stockings ("sock") the bubble light nightlights ("bubba") and the Fisher Price manger set from Auntie Andrea (the angel apparently has the best mouthfeel, in case you were wondering.)

On Christmas Eve, he dressed up in a Christmas sweater and red corduroy pants that Mama sewed (no, she wasn't going for an MC Hammer look; weird things happen when you work without a pattern.) With Mama and Dad holding his hands, he walked up to the creche at church to place the baby Jesus in the manger. Then it was off to bed in Christmas jammies, after a reading of "The Night Before Christmas. Grandma Happy and Granddad Don spent the night at our house, too, so they could share Nate's first Christmas morning.


Christmas morning, Mama woke at 5:30, and waited impatiently for Nate to wake up. Finally at 7:30 the coos and songs started in his crib. After a change into clean Christmas jammies for Nate, we came downstairs, where Dad was waiting with the videocamera. Santa had brought a big red wagon and Nate went straight for it. He (literally) kicked the tires and then wanted to sit in it. Next, he spied the activity cube. That occupied him until breakfast and naptime, and much of the afternoon as well.



With no schedule to keep (Mama's favorite part of Christmas Day,) we just let him take his time opening gifts. From Mama and Dad: books, a houseboat, a ball, a wooden clacker push toy, handheld jingle bells and cymbals (a HUGE hit), fabric fruits and veggies for his play kitchen. From Grandma Happy and Granddad Don (in addition to the help they generously gave to Santa:) a LeapFrog dog, boat toy for the swimming pool, pots and pans for the play kitchen, books, nesting blocks, and a snowglobe ornament with a light that changes colors (mesmerizing.) Aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends also gave him several great gifts.

In his stocking, he found a shaker made by Mama from items found around the house, heart-shaped crayons molded by Mama from broken bits (hopefully easy for little hands to grab in a few months,) mini M&Ms (sugar is a very rare treat,) animal crackers, bubbles, Weebles, a huge sweet potato (his favorite food) wearing a Santa hat, and an adorable Humbug, who isn't really grouchy; he just doesn't like to come out and sing until Dec. 25th. (We have plans to have a hunt for the Humbug every Christmas morning, but this year we made him pretty easy to find.)



Mama's family has a tradition of a special ornament each year, to commemorate some interest or event that year. We continued this for Nate with a blown glass rubber ducky wearing a Santa hat, since Nate loves ducks, and "duck" was one of his first words. It was the only glass ornament on the tree this year, and had to nest way up high, although Nate was very good around the tree. He liked to sit and rub his head on the bottom branches, and needed reminders to touch gently, but we were amazed at his restraint.




On the 26th, Uncle Bart, Aunt Tracy, and cousin Sara joined us to continue the celebration. Mama made her first-ever pies from scratch (huge thanks to Dig for the world's most forgiving pie crust recipe!) Sara was (as always) great with Nate, and we all enjoyed hearing about Uncle Bart's recent trip to Italy.




Now we Salty Dogs are looking forward to Part Two at Grandma Honey and GrandPop's house this weekend!


Friday, December 17, 2010

{this moment}


Much-needed (by both parties) quiet, snowy walk with my old girl.

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. via SouleMama


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Living Room Rescue

Despite numerous setbacks, and at our usual last minute, we completed the living room renovations in time to put up a Christmas tree. Mark did an amazing job repairing the drywall where the old fireplace insert had been, installing recessed lighting, patching, sanding until his knuckles were raw, painting, and installing a new (electric) fireplace. We can't believe the difference in this room we used to hate.

Friday, December 10, 2010

{this moment}




















The payoff for beating my old sewing machine into submission. I think my adorable second cousins liked their superhero capes.

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. via SouleMama

Friday, December 03, 2010

{this moment} and {that moment}


{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. via SouleMama



and one from last week, when Friday found us in the slow lane of the Information Superhighway. (In-laws have dial-up.)

Winter

Like it or not, temps are dropping, and it's time to winterize and put away our summer toys. Dreaming of warmer months and summer adventures to come helps us get through this process. That and a litte creativity...  ~M

Friday, November 19, 2010

{this moment}


{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. via SouleMama

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Eleventh Month

Nate narrates a typical day:

*6am: Wake up singing and chattering in my crib. Mom or Dad brings me a bottle. If Mom has to leave for work, taunt her by falling back asleep with Daddy in the big bed.



















*7:30 am: Breakfast. Usually fruit and oatmeal to humor the parents, then my favorite: BOBs! This is my word for Cheerios, organic fruit puffs, anything I get to eat on my own.

*7:45-9:30: Play. I have so many toys, it's hard to keep track. But I usually make sure to hit the activity table and bandstand. Sometimes I run both simultaneously, like a mixmaster at the turntables. DJ Drool, they call me.

I also like this car Grandad Don bought me, and sometimes I can catch up to Sandy Dog.



*9:30-9:45: Wind down. This is a good time for books (especially dog ones, ones I can touch/feel, and ones with moving parts) and cuddles.







*9:45-11:30: Nap. I like to cuddle and fall asleep with Goodman. He's the bear my great-grandparents Granny and Papaw gave me.

*12:00-5:00: Wild Card. I like to mix things up in the afternoon. Lunch, play, outings, +/- a nap. Sometimes I nap willingly in the crib or during an outing; sometimes I fight it desperately. Dad and I might take a walk with the stroller to go look at boats and the water, or Mom might take me for an outing in the Ergo. I am fond of the Ergo. It's warm and snuggly, and I have a great vantage point for hair-pulling.

*5:30-6:30: Dinner. I help out in the kitchen while dinner is being made. I have my own cabinet and utensils for tasting and banging.

*6:30-7:00: Bath and Bedtime Routine. Cleanliness isn't all that important to me, but OH BOY do I love bathtime! I get all excited just seeing the bathtub and my toys. I always play with my ducks, and I have a flotilla of small boats. Bath books are great, too, because I'm actually allowed to chew on them.


Then it's a bottle, a bedtime story or two, prayers, and to sleep in my crib until morning, or before, if the mood strikes. I like to keep them guessing, you know?

*all times are Eastern Standard, and VERY approximate.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Downrigging and Halloween



Although we couldn't travel there by boat like we have in past years, we were excited to attend part of the Schooner Sultana's annual Downrigging in Chestertown. Chestertown is gorgeous anytime, but especially so in the fall. Add some photogenic ships and a Family Fun Day, and we can't resist.

After all that fun, we hurried home to get Nate in his costume for trick-or-treating at a few neighbors' houses before bedtime. He humored us, as always, and so far hasn't complained that we've been eating his haul.



Friday, October 29, 2010

{this moment}


{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. via SouleMama

We set out Tuesday in search of ducks to feed, since "duck" and "quack" currently constitute 40% of Nate's vocabulary. They were all on vacation, apparently, but a silly swarm of seagulls in Deale made him giggle. He snoozed on Mama's back while Mark and I strolled around Galesville, enjoying the afternoon light on the schooner Sally B.

Friday, October 22, 2010

{this moment}


{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. via SouleMama



Grandma Happy came this week to help us tackle some home improvement projects. While she scrubbed our much-loved retro bamboo furniture (mildewed after years in storage,) Nate kept her company. He enjoyed the leaves and grass in the backyard, muddying his feet for the first (but oh my, certainly not the last) time. Random thought: If you didn't know what it meant, might you think "mildew" was kind of a pretty word?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Loving Today...



-- Not being at work this week during a stressful transition for the hospital.
-- A phone call from Mark, safe and exhilarated after an exciting Schooner Race.
-- Nate's jacket, a gift from cousin Kinsey. It's French, evokes a nautical feel, its hood covers Mr. No-Hat's bald noggin, its toggle buttons make me think of Paddington, and (did I mention?) it's French.
-- This scarf (and fingerless gloves) hand-knit by a favorite client as a thank-you for taking care of her pet. It matches my favorite lightweight sweater (and hides the grease stain on said sweater) and will always remind me of one of the world's best cats, who was kinda lilac himself.
-- Several excellent yard-sale finds, including this covered (cheese?) plate which, although unnecessary, can be justified for $1.50.
-- Fall cooking.

Not loving that today my dear friend has an MRI and PET scan for recently-diagnosed breast cancer, but praying (as are many, many others) for good news.

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. via SouleMama

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A Day at the Farm

This weekend, we joined Grandma Honey, GramPop, cousin Wes, and the Dinoias at























































































The Dinoias (minus one VIP,) who are pros at Fall Festivals, showed us the ropes:





































Nick and Wes demonstrate the classic toddler "parallel play" in the sandbox. Wes' "eat sand and die" look when he realized Nick had the bigger dump truck quickly melted into busy play.

Wes also enjoyed pushing things,
bouncing,

animals,

riding,

and the cow train.

Watching Nate belly laugh at the goats, I felt it with every fiber of my being. Well, the dirt, yes, but also this: Every rough road I ever travelled has led me to this life, right now. Where the people I love teach me to learn, and live, and laugh with abandon. I wouldn't have it any other way.

Friday, October 08, 2010

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. via SouleMama


We had *almost* forgotten  the sweetness of a newborn. So wonderful to watch A. and M. delight in Lil' G.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Love Shares their Burrito.

Today is our sixth wedding anniversary. We spent the majority of it in a service station waiting room, before finding out they couldn't have the car running reliably until at least Monday. Which led to a harrowing cab ride back to the hotel, with Nate (hungry and tired) wailing all the way.

I couldn't help but think of my grandparents, who celebrated sixty-six years of marriage this year. Sixty-six years of joys, losses, and obstacles big and small, and they are still each other's biggest fans. They didn't get to this point with over-the-top romantic gestures. They got here by loving fiercely, counting their blessings, working hard, not sweating the little things, forgiving, apologizing, praying, and laughing.

We had the following passage from I Corinthians read at our wedding. So did a lot of people, I know. But I just don't think it can be said too often:


Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never ends. 


So, trusting that if we're patient, all will work itself out, we replaced the planned gourmet picnic on the beach with champagne from plastic cups and a shared entree from room service. On my long, long list of the ways I know Mark was meant for me, this makes the top ten: we always pick the same one or two things on any menu. When we're hungry enough, we order two and share both. When we're not as hungry, we share one. And tonight, we really got to share, since they delivered only one fork.

Which reminded me of another pronouncement about love, from a beloved 8-year-old who, watching us share a wrap sandwich at lunch a few years ago, rolled her eyes as if we'd been making out, and said, "Love shares their burrito."

Thank you, Mark, for six years of sharing our burrito. Here's to at least sixty more.

Friday, September 24, 2010

{this moment}


{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. via SouleMama

Friday, September 17, 2010

{this moment}


{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. via SouleMama

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Reunionizing in Memphis

We traveled to Memphis (along with my bestie Jennifer and her youngest child) for Labor Day weekend, to attend my 20th high school reunion:
to hear live music and eat barbeque:

 

 
and to visit with family and friends (pictured are great-grandparents Granny and Papaw, Aunt Bert, and cousin Cat. Bummed that we didn't get pics with cousins Chris and Susie or friends Amy and Rob. They were probably all too busy being the world's best hosts.)

 
and pet Mikey, one of the world's great cats:
and witness Nate's new tricks:

 
Pulling up on something static (Granny's walker)
Wearing "big-boy" jammies (OK, not a trick, but Mark and I both swooned over the cuteness of it.)
Mad face
Staying in the nursery at the Cathedral
Lip smacking when eating something yummy (Aunt Bert's dessert.)

We also enjoyed gorgeous weather, great company, too much good food, comfy guest digs, complimentary babysitting, and a nostalgic playlist of the songs Jen and I always drove around to in high school.

Can't wait to get back to River City!