"She refused to be bored, chiefly because she wasn't boring." Zelda Fitzgerald

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Pie and Company

FINALLY....made that blueberry pie this morning. And since, we also have blueberry cheesecake ice-cream to use up I put this in the freezer to pull out and bake later on a cool day when we're running low on sweets.

I love pie. Did I ever tell you that? *sigh* I really love pie.

And look who we collected today! We have cousins! In-house. A's brother Miq (of previously featured video fame) is off in Iraq and although we aren't going to be able to have him visit with us we have his sweet short girls and his wife, Penny. (much joy! yay!)

              I think they'll fit right in. Two minutes in the door and we're already effortlessly manifesting idyllic scenes like this.


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A Sheaf of Painted Papers

Just sharing more of my latest paintings with you all today...been a while since I posted any of them. I'm still swishing away with my brushes on Tuesdays at my art group and loving it just as well. There is nothing that can replace community...to do things that you love in the company of others who love it just the same will give you a power not to be underestimated. I am quite addicted.

These ducklings are what I was working on today. 
My sister Foxy's ducklings to be exact...and I'm not done yet but I thought I'd share 
because I'm so excited with how they're coming so far. I like the composition a lot.

And here is a genuine framed painting of mine. See! 
This is actually the one I entered in the church art show I mentioned.

And in other news, today was our 8 year wedding anniversary! Hooray! Very hard to believe we have been married that long. Our marriage is in 3rd grade. Lovely. Told A tonight, during our stroll around the grounds of the New England inn where we had dinner, I think this has been our best year yet. Barring the euphoria of the year we were only dating, I think we've had no better time. And even the euphoria probably only brings that year up to a tie with this year. Pretty good stuff. Am enjoying marriage very much these days and feeling very bullish on the whole concept of another 8..... or two or three 8's as the case may be. Bring it on!

After our dinner we were driving back and woohoo!!! The periodic lobster special at one of my favorite little grocery stores was on! And we dashed in for a late night lobster run, you can never have too much lobster and when its only 5.99 a lb....why dawdle.

In some ways I feel made for New England.


Monday, June 28, 2010

Beauty In Small Places

So many lovely moments today somehow.

Nib is smiling away all the time now and just tip-toe edges from those wonderful first giggles...he's just teetering on the edges over and over. Big open mouthed grins where his eyes twinkle madly and he makes the very smallest of "ha ha ha" noises. I am quite preoccupied with catching his eye and trying to push him over the edge. Makes it a little hard to focus on the laundry or the receptionist I'm on the phone with.*sigh*

Other lovelinesses:
  • Was blazing hot today but in the middle of the scorching 94 degree (35C for those in Europe) heat we had a sudden torrential rainstorm. There was a beautiful moment when we were sitting in traffic alongside road construction and the rain came slanting in sideways and bouncing like miniature ping pong balls off the hood of the car and all the sweltering construction workers stopped their work and just stood there in their hard hats and day glo orange vests and grinned up at the sky and got very gleefully soaking wet. Then the rain swept on somewhere else and the temp was suddenly 83 degrees (28C) and the blacktop was billowing rolls of round, swirling steam into the air. Beautiful.
  • The cornflowers are all frothing along the side of the road and they are set off stunningly by the creeping bird's food trefoil that's glowing brightly up from the ground. What an amazing color combination! Wish I stopped and taken pictures. Maybe tomorrow.
  • The woman at the UPS factory where I stopped to pick up a missed package had terrible, terrible teeth and frankly, there a bit of an ick factor initially  (I am that shallow folks) but, then she started talking to me and she was so incredibly nice.We ended up standing there talking about where we were from and how a home shapes you and how many children we were both meant to have etc. etc. And I left waving fondly over my shoulder and glowing all the way back to my car. Truly, I almost asked her for her name and number. People are so lovely sometimes.
  • This morning at breakfast I made blueberry pancakes with the blueberries we picked over the weekend with friends and when I uncovered them in their basket this morning, and filled my hands to pour them in the batter, I was just struck by the beauty of that very fine, misty film that lies all silvery across the navy base color on each berry. Somehow they look purple and silver and grey and blue all at once...like they were all dipped in a fog first before picking. I love a good dose of beauty before breakfast.
  • I took the car to have a handwax job at the local discount car wash this morning. And wow. The most incredibly friendly gents whisked through the whole job in a half and hour and when I opened the door and slid back into my seat I found that they'd not only waxed the outside, they'd also vacuumed the inside (better than I ever seem to be able to), washed off the dash and all the little plastic crevices like the cup-holders etc.) and also washed the windows, inside and out.....for 60 dollars. I could have kissed the forehead of the sweaty, grinning Hispanic man who told me go "Have a good day now!"
And since I don't have pictures of any of those things....I'll share photos of our berry picking outing instead.


Friday, June 25, 2010

Newborn Portraits

And on down the line! In keeping with yesterday and the day before...here's a little focus on Nib day. (Yes, I've decided on an online nickname for the little one.) He is already a month old and I'm working on his one month shots but, before I get those all ready to share and do so....I have to make sure to give the brand new stage its due.

And for the record, I still cannot believe, even sort of that this baby is ours. I say that at least once a day out loud. A may think I'm nuts. He's the sweetest, most happy, and easy-going baby. I still wonder if maybe the stork somehow switched packages on us. I'm sure not taking him back to correct the error!
Anywho....here you go. Our latest addition, in all his sweet, sweet glory!

Happy Weekend All! 
We're off to blueberry pick, bright and early tomorrow morning with friends!


Thursday, June 24, 2010


Since we covered his little brother yesterday, (and it has been requested) it only seems logical to follow with Ru's latest deep loves so that we cover the subject thoroughly and make sure we've got everyone all analyzed and duly recorded for posterity.

Ru Likes:

  • Water...the boy can drink it by the gallon...at every meal, and every snack and pretty frequently between eating sessions. He always asks me if I have the water bottle when we're getting in the car, even a ten minute jaunt down to church isn't safe from "the question."
  • Books of endless variety. He has an insatiable appetite for "story" and spends hours every day thumbing through books cross-legged on the floor by the bookcase. I am a very happy mommy.
  • Sweets. He's our sweet tooth...just like his daddy. Chocolate? YES! Cake? YES! Pie? YES! Ice-cream? Oh YES! He is after all the same little boy who learned the word "doughnut" before he supposed to even be talking according to the official time lines.
  • Skateboarding. I honestly wasn't sure if his little affection for the sport would last beyond the novel purchase of his board but I needn't have worried. He skateboards every single day. It rivals reading. And frankly, for a four-year-old, he's pretty darn good!
  • Hot Dogs. Did I mention that he's not terribly health conscious?
  • Parks. He loves parks for one of the same reasons I drag my heels about getting up the gumption to go to them. All the other little kids. He loves all the play equipment too and the change to be outside and the novelty of going somewhere different but, when it comes right down to it...its all about socializing. He loves people.
  • Showers. One of the only things that will get him out of the pool or out of bed in the morning with any sort of cheery speed is the promise of his own shower.
  • (speaking of which...) Swimming! A bought him a mask and flippers for his birthday and at the tail end of last summer he learned how to go underwater smoothly and that was it...he was off. He swims until his lips are purple and he's rattling like a set of castanets every time we swim.
  • "Babysitting" He loves it when I let him "watch" the baby while I cook dinner or rotate the laundry or answer the door. Nothing like a little responsibility to make your chest swell.
  • Cooking. He loves to cook, bake, cut things up, or even just stand there and stir something I do the rest. Get that boy in an apron and he is very happy which makes his Mama happy too!
  • Dogs. He still loves dogs just as much as he did when he was a tiny tot. This boy is destined to have his own romping, sweet-hearted little mutt to play with someday. House first, kids second...dog third. Its on the list.
  • This song. I have no idea why but, he's wildly, madly attached to it. I'm not sure where in the world he heard it first or how he got the affection all cemented in his little brain but, somehow it happened. It goes on all of our mixed cd's now and he has memorized Ray Charles little vocal tricks and habits.
  • Ben P_______. Speaking of illogical love.... Ben is one of A's coworkers and Ru overheard his name being mentioned in end-of-the-day discussion at the dinner table and decided he thought Ben (of whom he knew nothing and whom he had never met) was wonderful. His name became a chant around the house that Ru worked into any number of playtime pretends and then when A decided to invite Ben and his wife over for dinner the obsession reached a fever pitch. Meeting the man in the flesh did nothing to cool Ru's ardor (thankfully Ben is a charming, funny, kid-loving kind of chap) and he still asks A almost daily about if Ben saw such-and-such or knows about such-and-such or "Could you tell Ben....." 


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Dee in Detail

Highlighting my middle son today. I like to do this from time to time. Helps those relatives and friends from afar get to know my kids and also is a good way for me to both document the small things as they pass and notice myself who each of my children has become individually. Good stuff, noticing.
Dee Likes:
  • Fish, in any form: smoked salmon, sauteed trout, grilled shrimp, canned sardines, whitefish pate, or steamed mussels...he loves it any way he can get it (he's his mother's boy!)
  • Whipped cream. Its his dessert of choice. He's not big on sweets and if given a sliver of pie or a small wedge of cake, he'll scrape and lick the whipped cream off and leave the dessert all naked. We have taken to keeping spray whipped cream around so he can have a ramekin full when the rest of us have dessert.
  • Frog and Toad. His favorite stories at the moment.
  • Banjos and pianos (how's that for a great honky-tonk pairing) This is what he answers when you say "What instrument are you going to play when you get bigger?"
  • Fishing. Every stick is a pole and every puddle is a lake. (Not that we actually take him fishing....that's what we plan to do at my parents this summer!)
  • Digging. He has his own small plastic trowel and spends forever gouging a hole in the turf at the edge our fence and delving around in the bark mulch at the side of the next unit. Kid needs a sandbox badly.
  • Pretending to be a kitty-cat. The boys often spontaneously turn into cats when A comes home. Somehow this seems like a good greeting-plan to them. Its kind of bizarre.
  • Staying awake. (Yet again, his mother's son I'm afraid) We are having, find-some-freaking-way-to-get-the-toddler-to-stay-asleep-issues lately...pretty much every night and I've taken to sitting next to his bed with my hand physically on his body to help him slow down and go to sleep at naptime.
  • The Zacchaeus Song. This is how I get him to calm down when he's hysterical or when he has a nightmare...I sing it over and over and over. Its endlessly loved by the little man. Not sure exactly why or how he got attached to it.
  • Milk. He loves all milk but holds a special place in his heart for the milk we pick up from New Pond Farm. He holds his little cup out and tells us that he'd like "milk of fahm, pease!"
  • Rocks, sticks, leaves and other natural ephemera. I have to check his pockets carefully before I wash his pants because there's always a load of treasures. There are often rocks in our dryer. I keep saying he might end up a naturalist with this kind of penchant for collecting.
  • Wearing his rubber boots. Every day is a rainy day!
  • "His" baby. Always lots of kisses to give out and every day starts with a dead run for our bed where he says first thing, "Good morning Baby!"
  • Play-Doh. The answer is always yes.  
  • Scrambled eggs. The boy loves my scrambled eggs. My little mommy heart goes, pitter-pat.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Busy Lizzy

 Cherries ripened so fast that we missed the picking season window! Oops! On to blueberries and peaches!

Here I am late at night, finally blogging for the first time this week. We've had a real doozy of a week beginning so far. Nothing terrible. In fact, nothing bad at all...just a whirlwind of activity. We've had home inspections, I had a visit from a friend, I've been painting with my Tuesday art group, the boys have been to the park and every night when we drive A home from work he's on a constant stream of phone calls. "Hello, this is A calling, I'm: looking for a stone mason, checking on the results of the radon test, wondering what paperwork you still need form us, wondering if we can arrange a walk-through, returning your call, trying to see if we can get a reference, hoping you can meet at 4, wondering why the document never showed up, and leaving you my fax number." Etc.


Yeah. And that's pretty much what it feels like around here. Panic, rush, run, dash...and yet somehow, things are remarkably cheery. We all wish that Dee would take notes from the baby on sleep habits and work through this latest round of nightmares he's cultivated but, otherwise, life is pretty great. A bit over manic but great.
The boys, unimpressed with the endless stream of phone calls in the car
on the way home.
Today the landlord did that walk-through of our apartment with his realtor that I was stressing about and the house is frighteningly clean and orderly. Mostly orderly, don't look too closely at the mirrors or the cupboard doors and please don't inspect under any of the beds but, hey...it looks a whole lot better than it did. We haven't heard anything from him so we're hoping we passed muster and that things continue to move on well. The home inspection on our prospective white colonial went very well so from our end of things we're chugging right along on the moving process. Just before I let the landlord into our place he told A on the phone that he wants to start setting up showings with hopeful residents so, that means he's planning on our August move being real too. And I am saying over and over to myself..."I can keep this house orderly enough for impromptu showings non-stop from now until the end of August. I can." (Tell me you all believe in me...even if you know me well enough to know better.)
Our prospective home!

Planning big urns of annuals on those from steps in front of the pillars, a flag in the 
flag holder and a big excavation of those tired crew-cut yews!
But yes, life ticks on. The baby is one month old already...two days ago. I can't believe it. I am planning to take his one month portraits tomorrow...acne or no, my conscience wouldn't let me rest if I didn't give him his photographic due. And um...I'm getting some of the birth announcements all addressed and am hoping to mail them right soon. After I take said one month portraits I will share with you all the newborn portraits that I never did get around to posting because I was hoping to get the birth announcements (on which a few are featured) out first so as not to spoil the effect but, we're about to get quite behind if I don't just share. So, yes...I will.
Smiling for Daddy at his Father's Day meal
And also...the baby is smiling. Really, responsively, gurglingly smiling...(first daddy-grins were on Father's Day, no less!) And he's grown out of newborn clothes and I really, really need to figure out what I'm going to call him here. Need inspiration.

Listening to the rain dribbling blackly outside my bedroom window and feeling very cozy and as it is now the very late hour of 9:38 in the evening, I think I will retire. "The early bird....etc!"

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Newborn Line-up

I own very few photos of myself as a baby. Two I think? (Note to self: Scan childhood photos when home visiting) And also not a whole lot of A as a tiny infant but, one was all I needed for this little project that I've been wanting to do for some time.

Today we get a side-by-side comparison of A, myself and our three boys at the same age. We'll settle that whole "who looks like whom" bit once and for all. What do you think? Do we look related to you?

Here's me.

Now a very serene Baby A.

And then our boys....
Ru, first.

Dee....number two.

And our latest Baby Bird.

I think Ru looks amazingly like his father except his head seems like it has a less square and broad shape. Taller somehow. Our new little one looks lots more like me than like A to me and I'm surprised how much I think Dee looks like me too. And who knew I had dark fuzzy hair when I was born! I actually was stunned to see that. Our boys get it from both sides and all this time I'd been telling people that I was born shiny bald.

Tell me what you see....I'd love to hear it.