Friday, July 16, 2010

{mary, mary, quite contrary}


how does your garden grow?


Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket


silver bells and cockle shells & pretty maids all in a row.

or: reckless planting of organic seeds, sporadic watering, and one very curious squash explorer.

sometimes nursery rhymes are full of it. a life lesson.

connor, write that down.
after you take your fingers out of the socket/fan/door hinge/oven/dishwasher/radiator.


Photobucket

Photobucket




video

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

letter to connor {9 months}

chief peanut-


Photobucket


I'd like to say that I deliberately wrote this 9 month post several weeks late in a sort of symmetrical homage to your unusually long, a-few-weeks-past-9-months gestational period. {You know, that time when I was on pre-delivery maternity leave, having completely lost track of the location of my ankles and getting plumper by the day, while waiting and waiting for your late arrival?} But, no, this 9 month letter is getting written just 2 weeks shy of your 10 month-day {what?!} because I have approximately 7-10 seconds of free time per day during which I could update this little blog. But, better late than never! {I mean, you were quite tardy yourself, and we think you turned out pretty great}.

So, big changes since last month. When you were 8 months old, your father and I were like "Isn't this easy!? Let's have 10 more immediately! People are so over-dramatic when they say that having a baby is exhausting!" Then... IT happened.

You figured out how to move.

Like, we put you down, and you don't stay where we put you.

Jeebus, save us.

You first squeaked your chubby knees across the dining room floor on Father's Day-- more of a very slow, lumbering reflection on "the idea of moving forward" rather than an actual crawl. But over the next few days, you picked up speed and coordination and are now expertly mobile, if still a bit Godzilla-like in your four-legged progress. Your curiosity is insatiable, and seems to be directed exclusively at things that can (a) electrocute you; (b) pinch off your fingers; and/or (c) cause irreparable damage to your still-forming skull. {sidenote: you also really wish I'd let you play with the camera}


Photobucket


Within 10 seconds of figuring out how to crawl, you subsequently discovered the marvel of pulling up to standing. On everything. I'm reconsidering my previous objections to your father's wishes to wrap you up in bubble-wrap foam for the next few years.

This month you've also started to demonstrate a much stronger personality than the placid Connor of yore. And by "stronger" I mean: you are a biter. You love biting people. We are going to have to work on that before preschool. When you bite me on the shoulder and I look you in the eye and say, in a low voice, "Connor, no biting," you just laugh in my face and lunge forward, mouth agape, to sink those six pearly whites deeper into my t-shirt. You like to play rough with your dad. When you "play" slap him in the face, your dad makes the "smack" sound effect, which you find endlessly hilarious. I really hope our vision insurance plan covers annual eyeglass replacement. And possible eyeball replacement. You are of the opinion that eye gouging is fair game:


Photobucket


You are a huge flirt. You thrive off of others' praise for you and their interest in your adorable cheeks. Often, you catch sight of a stranger before they notice you, and you pre-emptively smile, turn on your twinkle eyes, and giggle, until they notice you {and, with the exception of one very very serious lady in church, inevitably exclaim profusely over your cuteness}.

You shake your head "no," until you're dizzy and laughing.

Your first word was "Handoyo." Yes, I know this is not a "real" word, but it is the last name of my college roommate. You mutter "doyo, doyo, Handoyo" all day long.

You say "dadadadadadadeee" quite often, but only occasionally in reference to your father, and usually in reference to something like the toaster.

We're pretty sure that you've also said "good God!" and "dirty!"

Mostly, though, you prefer to "rev your engine" with forceful, guttural exhortations of a solid consonant, like "gggggggggggggggggggggg!" --while you pump your fists in front of you, or ferociously wave an object {like a wooden spoon} up in the air.

Photobucket


You usually love your bottle. Always love some ice cream. Occasionally tolerate purees. And never want to see a bread crumb laid out on your high chair tray ever again. We cannot figure out why, when you put EVERYTHING ELSE in your mouth {including shoes, despite our vigorous protests}, you absolutely refuse to put real, solid food in your mouth. You pick up little food chunks and unceremoniously drop them onto the floor, or vigorously wipe them off the table with a rapid windshield-wiper motion until they are flung to the farthest recesses of the dining room floor.

You love swimming. Just the other day, I looked into buying a fun little floatie device for you that we could use in the pool at the beach. The product description read "for babies 9 months and older." Great! I thought to myself. My kid is 9 months old! Just old enough! But before I plunked down the $29.95-- I read on.

Weight Limit: 28 lbs.

Seeing as you weighed in at your 9 month appointment at a stupendous {possibly regional record-setting} 28 lb 11 oz, you'd be about as bouyant as a brick in that thing. So, your tan little legs will be making waves sans infant floatation devices this summer. Which is just fine by you.

Photobucket


You still sleep with us at night. During the night, you roll right to left, headbutting your father and I until we are each occupying approximately 6 square inches of mattress, and you are spread out horizontally across the width of the queen size bed. I'm pretty sure you are expecting your first "big boy bed" to be a California King.

We wake up every morning to your sweet face. Sometimes you wake up crying. Sometimes you wake up laughing. Sometimes you try to rip your dad's nose off while he is still asleep. Mornings with you are the best.

Photobucket


You have no idea why we spent hundreds of dollars on a Pottery Barn Kids crib {neither does your father} since you have absolutely no intention of ever sleeping in one. Or, really, staying in one for more than 6 minutes. Was $400 too much to spend on a teething toy?

Photobucket


You love watching the garbage trucks come up our street on Monday mornings. And yes, you even get the waste management employees to wave and smile at you.



Photobucket

You're the best kid in the world, cp. We can't wait to see what you do next.

Love

Mommy

now, back to work.

Photobucket

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

{mr. and mrs.}

My little brother is...married?!?!! what??? In my mind, he is still the skinny little 9 year old {ok, 15 year old} who shoved peas and grapes up his nose with alarming regularity. but now, he is someone's HUSBAND. {who, for all i know, still shoves grapes and peas up his nose}





Photobucket

photo credit for this amazing shot goes to Deiter Wiselogel, Laura's boyfriend

A few weeks ago, Lizzy flew cross-country out to our neck of the woods and we showered her with love & pottery barn kitchenware {wait, aren't those the same thing?} Our neighbor Mary eschewed the longstanding tradition of elegant gift wrap in favor of enough masking tape to protect the enclosed dishware from armageddon itself.

Photobucket

All of our decor was southwestern & red & blue, in keeping with the couple's july 3 arizona ranch wedding. In exchange for a 6 pack of a micro brew, shawn spent hours stamping and circle punching little "E" medallions {what a guy}. I, for one, learned the hard way that the glue gun manufacturer was not joking when it stamped its product with a sticker reading "will burn flesh." I spent the next three weeks typing 2-fingered {very slowly} at work as a result of that little "life lesson."

Photobucket


The party planning committee & the bride-to-be.

Photobucket

Hugh calls Lizzy "peanut," and of course we also call Connor that. However, it should be apparent that the moniker is far more appropriate for Hugh's petite little bride {please see photo above, wherein I, at a quite average 5'7" look like some sort of hulking polka-dotted giant by comparison} than for our enormous infant {who appears to be on track to reach 7 ft tall, 800 pounds}.

Connor enjoyed playing with the balloon I took home, and enjoyed eating several pieces of the tinsel-wrapped balloon weight before I realized what he was up to.

Photobucket



So, last Tuesday we packed up Connor and flew out to Arizona, which was surprisingly easy.

Photobucket

Moments after touching down in Tucson, Shawn located the nearest In n Out Burger, using nothing but his own fast-food intuition. It was kind of scary. And kind of impressive.

Photobucket

Since we arrived on Tuesday night, we took a few daytrips in the days leading up to the Big Event. On Wednesday we drove to Nogales. Here's how much Connor enjoyed that:

Photobucket

While in the.. uh, lovely.. border town of Nogales, I came within one u-turn of inadvertently crossing the border. I was driving {first mistake} and Shawn and I were reassuring each other, half-jokingly, that it could not be possible to accidentally drive to Mexico. Then, on a whim, I looked at a small sign that I was thisclose to passing by.. and to my horror, saw that it said "last u-turn before Mexico." Thankfully, I jerked the wheel to the left and didn't have to explain to my brother why a bridesmaid, a groomsman & an honorary ring bearer couldn't make the wedding because they were stuck in Mexico without travel documents.

Connor had significantly more fun at a wacky sort of cafe we stopped at in Patagonia, where he enjoyed the centerpieces mightily. And by enjoyed, I mean, of course, that he tore them to shreds.

Photobucket

We really loved having breakfast at Millie's. For one thing, they open at 6:30. Which is really nice when you've traveled across three time zones and your 9 month old thinks it's time to get up at 4:15 am. All of the ladies there were really sweet, and remembered Connor's name. And the regular patrons didn't seem to mind too much when Connor starting hooting like an owl at ear-piercing decibels.

Photobucket

Shawn and I have discovered that, when in a restaurant with Connor, we just have to keep feeding the beast. Whatever it takes to keep him occupied and relatively calm. To that end, we discovered that he really digs taking shots of coffee creamer. He opens them like a human Keurig-- piercing the tops with his sharp teeth, then draining out the cream.
Photobucket

On Thursday, we drove up the winding mountain road to the top of Mt. Lemmon. At the base of the mountain stands an army of desert cacti, standing sentry, with arms raised in a perpetual salute to their ancient roots.
Photobucket

As you travel up the mountain, though, the cacti and the 100 degree heat give way to a 65 degree coniferous forest that more resembles Canada than the southwest. Burned out silhouettes mark the path of wildfires, and signs warn of the dangers of bears. seriously, bears. I doubt they make their way into town very often.
Photobucket

Photobucket

Hugh & Lizzy got married at the Tanque Verde Ranch, which was really fantastic.
Photobucket

Connor put on his party shirt for the rehearsal. It was a hit, but didn't last long, though, since he dumped my rehearsal-dinner margarita all over himself. The rehearsal dinner in the cottonwood grove was fantastic, although I spent the evening wrangling my tequila-soaked baby and shuttling food to Shawn, who was near death with heatstroke/sinus infection back in our cabin.

Photobucket

Then it was the Big Day.

Wedding photos courtesy of the very talented Vickie Lan {who little Jack crushed on big time, asking repeatedly throughout the reception, "where is the vickie!?"

Photobucket


The groomsmen decided to take a "tough guy" sunglasses photo... only Shawn didn't have any sunglasses. So my dad lent him his. You know, the big orange ones that snap-on over your glasses. With the "uv protection" stickers still prominently displayed on the lenses.

Photobucket

The wedding was perfect, in the way that weddings should be perfect. Not everything went according to plan. The bride found out the hard way that a cathedral length veil makes an excellent horse fly trap, and the unity candle wouldn't light on account of the wind. But none of that really mattered. The ceremony was beautiful, and would have been if they had gotten married in a fluorescent-lit city hall office rather than against the backdrop of a gorgeous desert sunset. Because it is impossible to dull down the beauty of two people clearly meant for one another pledging their lives to each other.

There's no way to remember everything about a wedding {or any event, really}. So, I try to take just a handful of mental pictures, or short video clips in my head, when I really want to remember something. In 20 years, when I can't remember what Hugh & Lizzy's first dance song was, or what color bridesmaid dresses we wore, or the name of the ranch, I know I will remember 2 things from their wedding. 1) The first time I saw Hugh's wedding ring reflecting the Arizona sunset as he lit {well, attempted to light} the unity candle; and 2) watching a big fat bumble bee land in Lizzy's bouquet and knowing that her mother was blessing this perfect union from above.

Photobucket


Photobucket

Congrats, little bro. It's a brand new day.