Friday, September 30, 2011

Apple Picking

Thursday, our friends took us to a nearby orchard to pick apples. Nate enjoyed picking and putting apples in the bag, and insisted on carrying the bag himself. When he finally decided it was too heavy, he enjoyed running back to the barn (it had a fan) and the pumpkins.

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor, and remember. Thanks to Soule Mama for the idea.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Our hosts

We are so grateful for the hospitality and good company of our friends. Tom and Hannah, along with daughters Lili, Kate, Grace, Lucy, and Siiri, have fed us, entertained Nate, and been excellent tour guides. This is especially impressive when you consider their many family, professional, and community commitments. We hope we've absorbed some of Tom and Hannah's gentle, respectful parenting skills. We are certain that Nate has absorbed some of the girls' enthusiastic spirit. And quite a bit of Lucy's mothering:


On Tuesday, our friends took us to Camden. We enjoyed the historic buildings, gorgeous harbor, and some ice cream, before heading to a local beach to explore at low tide.

After the beach, the Salty Dogs went for another schooner sail, this time aboard the Schooner Appledore. The sunset sail into Penobscot Bay was a real highlight of our trip. Nate had fun watching the crew, the lines, the bell buoy, and talking to other passengers and another boat dog.

Acadia National Park

On Monday, we made the short drive into Acadia National Park. Nate and I froze our toes at Sand Beach, one of the only sandy beaches in Maine. We marveled at Thunder Hole, and drove to the top of Cadillac Mountain, taking in the views of Bar Harbor and the neighboring islands.


Bar Harbor

Again this year, we planned a vacation around a continuing education conference, this time in Bar Harbor, Maine. We flew to Portland, staying with friends overnight before heading north. We took a lazy route to Bar Harbor, stopping in Freeport at the flagship L.L. Bean store and in Wiscasset at Red's Eats, billed by a friend as having the best lobster roll in Maine. It was divine, well worth the half-hour wait in cold rain, and we warmed up afterwards with fresh cookies from a local bakery.

The boys explored the town and the hotel grounds in the mornings while I attended the meeting. One of their best discoveries was the soda fountain at the Rexall drugstore.

Nate charmed the clerk, who recommended a local playground we'd never have discovered on our own.

Nate checked out all of the equipment, and did extensive testing of the slide. Luckily for him (and us) a sweet 9-year-old girl took him under her wing.

The fountain in a park downtown was another big draw. "Nate belly all WET!"

At low tide, you can walk across from shore to Bar Island. We didn't make it all the way across, as there were too many diversions along the way. Rocks, shells, seaweed, puddles, birds, and a few dogs kept Nate very busy. At one point, fed up with the several days' lack of propellers, he declared that he was going to go see the propeller of the huge cruise ship across the harbor (picture, top middle.) Thankfully, an interesting tide pool persuaded him to stay put.A special treat this time was that a colleague attended the same conference with her hubby. We adore S. and J., and had fun exploring the tide pools with them, as well as dinner Saturday. Nate dressed and acted particularly adult, for the occasion:

On our anniversary, we sailed aboard the Schooner Margaret Todd, with her 151 feet, 4 masts, and 2 Newfoundland dogs, followed by dinner at the lobster pound

Friday, September 23, 2011

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor, and remember. idea courtesy of Soule Mama

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Hump Day Nuggets


"Drive da boat." This is the new addition to the daily visits to the propellers across the street. And he never fails with the reminder that "Daddy need to fix da motor."

Nate's sandbox replacement-kidney beans. Also a daily routine.

Stay tuned for our next adventures, in Maine!

hump day nuggets: little bits of the season in photos and words about the last week.  Shannon's definition of Hump Day is flexible. Thanks to Dig This Chick for the idea.

Friday, September 16, 2011

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo -no words- capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. via SouleMama

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Geaux, Dog, Geaux!

I headed to Louisiana this weekend, solo, for a reunion with old friends. My first discovery was how great it was to travel light again-one carry-on bag, no sippy cup/diapers/wipes/carseat/stroller/stuffed animals. Also, no laptop, giant camera, power cords, card readers, GPS, MP3 speakers-you know, the big boy's toys.

I met up with these characters:

I met Gannon in the summer of 1985, and Scott (in the purple shirt) soon after. The handsome younger man is Xander, Scott's son. I'd been hearing about Xander from his proud dad for 13 years, but had never met him. When I did, Xander asked me, "You met my dad when you were MY age?" and I almost fainted. Could we have been that young?

Scott had scored tickets for us to the LSU-Northwestern State game- a night game in Tiger Stadium, aka Death Valley, a first for me.

We stayed up far too late, looking at old pictures, reminiscing, and catching up with Gannon's parents, who generously hosted us in Baton Rouge. On Sunday, after a brief visit with his family, Scott drove me to New Orleans, where I played tourist for 24 hours, before heading home.

But of course, I missed these guys terribly (the big two, anyway. Baby Bruce and I aren't really close.)

So home I came, with an armadillo puppet for Nate, pralines for Mark, and fond memories for me.
And Nate learned an important lesson:


Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Hump Day Nuggets

We had a fun long weekend with all the grands and great-grands. At Honey and PopPop's, Nate played with lots of great toys from Mark's childhood. I had this FisherPrice village, too, and it was one of my favorites. Choking hazards aside, this toy really stands the test of time. It has so many things to keep a child's interest.

Honey's magnifying makeup mirror also saw lots of action:

There was also lots for Nate to help with:

At Happy and GrandDad's, Nate recruited ball players:

Happy taught Nate his family name, which just hadn't occurred to his parents, somehow. He also amazed us by learning (and retaining) the different last names of his maternal grandparents and great-grandparents. If I weren't so worried about his motormouth, I'd teach him my passwords and PIN numbers. That could help a mutha out one of these days.

On the homefront, pretend play started in earnest this week, delighting Mama. I couldn't begin to tell you where "cat sit on a chair, watch a movie" or "doggie go off-a diving board-splash!" came from. Simply amazing to watch that happen.

Nate is really excited about "Nate's boat," along with "Nate's propeller on a motor." He visits it in the driveway at least twice a day, rain or shine. In the boat, he proclaims "one hand on the wheel; one hand on the throttle. Not POTTY {impish grin}, throttle." His sailor-at-heart parents are a little chagrined that he likes powerboats so much, but at least he's accepting the lifejacket. And we can't resist "sit in Mama's lap; boat go fast!"

Cooler weather this week reminded Mama of the impending need for socks and shoes. A quick try-on of all available hand-me-downs showed nothing suitable, so we braved the mall. Nate was amazingly cooperative, and we got a cool retro pair of kicks once Mama got over her shock at the measured size. Surely my little baby doesn't need those big boy shoes?!?

But PopPop has a theory about why Nate's growing so fast. He thinks it's all the time he spends on this kid-stretcher on our deck:

Time to put that thing away.
hump day nuggets: little bits of the season in photos and words about the last week.  Shannon's definition of Hump Day is flexible. Thanks to Dig This Chick for the idea.