Thursday, June 28, 2007


That's "dada" as in Mike, Henry's daddy, not "dada" as in a hobby horse, or the modern art movement, i.e. Marcel Duchamp. Henry has been speaking for several weeks now, and his first word was "dada." When he was very, very tiny, he heard "I love you" so much that he mimicked the sound of the phrase in one long garbled pronunciation. Usually on the changing table; as in "I love you, thanks for cleaning my tush!" Then came the regular "ahh goo goo ga ga", which gave way to more intricate sounds that sounded like something, but nothing exactly identifiable. When "dada" was deliberately and pointedly announced, the verbal floodgates began to give way. "Dog" "Duck" "Kitty Cat" "Quack" "Cup"... We read together all of the time, and his books are his favorite toys. I cleared out all of our lower shelves and filled them with his ever growing collection of board books. By 8:30 am the floors are smeared with Eric Carle illustrations, Dr. Seuss's silly rhyming and Margaret Wise Brown's simple but meaningful prose. All day long I point out and verbally label everything in our path. I sneak in ways to get him to associate words with colors, feelings, and other abstract things. I also try to get him to say that one word he should be MOST familiar with, even giving him plenty of choices on how he might wish to say it: mom, momma, mama, mommy, mere, madre... but to no avail. The little bugger knows this word means 'me', but he refuses to indulge. I'll run through the options, all beginning with the letter 'm' and he just laughs, and says "dadadadadadadadadadda". hmph. Henry, can you say "hmph"?

Monday, June 25, 2007

summertime rolls.


The stars aligned perfectly on Saturday, allowing us to have the most perfect day. Earlier in the day Mike got to take his belated father's day motorcycle ride. We had a relaxing late afternoon, lazily rocking on Thom and Beth's porch. Later that night Henry had a sleepover at the grandparents house so that Mike and I could have a night out on the town. We bumped into Heidi and Shane, and headed over to Cruzer's for some late night karaoke. T&B are about to embark on a month-long journey around the world, so we are trying to get as much fun time in with them as we can...

i try to be cool about the whole motorcycle thing, but really, each time he rides that thing i feel like i'm gonna have a stroke...

porch fun...

sushi and the most filthy conversation...

that sign really does say "eat my nuts- only $5.00" huh?

my song got hijacked by some stupid frat boy... not cool. but thom finally got to sing.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

wednesday is free museum day!

a little impromptu picnic in front of the chrysler with some family folk... watching it rain over the hague. i hope that nam jun paik exhibit isn't, er, too over-stimulating for babies. henry looks so BIG in these pictures. he is growing so fast!

is it time to potty train?

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

journey of the radiant baby.

One of the things I find most thrilling about being a mom is the opportunity to share all of my favorite things with Henry, and to see how he responds to them. I love to show him the pictures in all of my art books, and play songs for him that are by my favorite bands. When his reaction to such things is full of delight, I can't help but to beam with satisfaction. Certainly I can't make him like those things, per se, but I can certainly try to inspire him. Mike and I always joke that he probably won't get our creative gifts, that he'll end up like Alex P. Keaton from "Family Ties." Let's hope it is never that extreme. But Henry does seem to have a natural propensity for music and art- as much as a nine month old could show. If we leave our bedroom door open, he crawls straight for Mike's bass and guitar stands, and will sit there an pluck the strings. I showed him one of my Keith Haring books- K.H. is one of my favorite artists of all time. When I opened up the cover, Henry was so enthralled with what he saw before him that he actually crawled inside of the book. When I turned the pages to some of Haring's "radiant baby" paintings, Henry began a chorus of excited baby-talk and smacked the images with his hands. I can't help but to think of all the fun we are going to have together, all of the places we will go, all of the great, amazing things we will see.

Monday, June 18, 2007

some flowers.

Last weekend I put together the floral arrangements for my brother's highschool reunion. For the better part of friday it was smooth and steady work. I didn't watch the clock, but the nine hour playlist I was working to on the ipod ended a couple of hours before I was ready to throw in the towel. I was quite pleased with the results. I love big jobs like this when I get to work with a lot of flowers. There is nothing better to me than to see bunches of flowers grouped en masse. I love flowers so much, it is a thrill just to be around them for a short while. This job included 100 long stem roses, bunches of white stargazer lilies, the most gorgeous hybrid blue delphiniums, and about 100 stems of red and white alstroemeria (the school colors were red and blue). When I had all of the smaller arrangements spread out on the kitchen table I couldn't help but to laugh- it looked exactly like some decadent design I could see at say, Elton John's wedding or something. Ahhh, flowers.

Sunday, June 17, 2007


tonight is the last night of mike's two week-long vacation. we have had a wonderful time; restful at times, however busy predominately. i am mourning these last moments of vacation as if they were my own- but they sort of were- another set of hands makes a world of difference when you are dealing with a curious nine month old who is trying to walk and also succeeding at tasting everything. tomorrow henry and i are back on our own for the better part of the day. and the following week. and the following months; at least until mike's next vacation in september. i will miss mike's constant presence and attentiveness DEARLY. our first father's day was the perfect punctuation to these weeks of family bonding. we had yet another cookout, exactly one week past the last. i absolutely love to entertain, but twice in a mere seven days was a bit of a long-shot in the endurance department. i am a somewhat of a perfectionist when it comes to my home and the institution of The Party, and i never know when to say when, when it comes time to take responsibility for hosting festivities..i.e. when to say "uncle"...when to say "mercy, please." today I felt wiped out- h was up at 5am, and i let mike sleep in for father's day. we caught an early morning at the zoo, and came home to prepare for our families to arrive. i don't think i stopped moving until now. but all in all a most wonderful day (please, please excuse the whining). the food was terrific, the company was awesome (i'm related to all of them in some way- my best friend married my brother almost five years ago, so her family is also my family- how cool is that?). my grandmother brought henry a bubble machine as a gift- i think mike and i are way more excited about this than he is. i envision many, many days filled with blessed was the perfect evening, as the sun was setting, and the croquet match was winding down... the shooting glow of the fireflies illuminated in hundreds of floating bubbles... like our sweet restful time, about to pop, but so worth it, and memorable just the same. tonight i rested my head in mike's lap as he gave henry his goodnight bottle in the rocking chair. as i traced my fingers along henry's toes, i felt the satisfaction of a billion happy, successful lifetimes. i a m s o t h a n k f u l.

Monday, June 11, 2007

sunday cookout fun.

We had a cookout on Sunday, and it was a real blast. Great weather, good food, and fine folks.

give me some JOOSE!

one of the ice bowls I made- awesome, even if they melted sometime during the second hour...

a budding Andrew Goldsworthy.

a friendly game of croquet.

late afternoon conversation.

wink, wink.

I finally got my hair cut, and boy do I love it. Thanks to Sassy Matt at Wink salon.

trying to walk.

Here's Henry trying to walk- he has been doing this bear crawl for several days now.

He looks so funny with that cracker in his mouth.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

hump day.

the three of us have had such a great time goofing off these past few days. during an ordinary vacation week i'd be lamenting at this point that it is already wednesday, and that the rest of the week is just gonna roll on by. but not today, because there is still a whole week of fun after this one has ended. bring it on.

Monday, June 04, 2007

ahhhh, les vacances.

mike is FINALLY on vacation, thus i have the time to devote to endeavors greater than updating my netflix queue and conking out for the night. Cheers!!!! many images to be mod-podged into collage, and many squares to be painted over the next two weeks, hopefully. YES!

it's like rainnnn, on my wedding day...

isn't it ironic, dontcha think? no, not really, but I couldn't help but to hum that song all day this past Saturday. My cousin Jessica got married that day, and it poured buckets and buckets. She lives on an island, to make matters worse- worse, because, well, the weather is just an altogether different entity when you are surrounded by water on all sides. She got married in a beautiful old church (circa 1911) with the most amazing stained glass windows. Unfortunately the garden party ended up becoming a basement party (or 'under the house' party- their house is raised because... that whole island thing). There was a keg. And exposed insulation. Almost reminded me of my Radford University party days. Except I was wearing pearls and a party dress. Really a lovely day though; and Jessica was a beautiful bride. She an T.J. are so splendid together- the kind of couple where it would be obvious to even a stranger passing them by on a crowded street that they are deeply in love. My Mom and I did the flowers for the wedding, except in the rush of the day, and the rain, etc. I did not get a single photograph of our handiwork. The professional photog. did though, so perhaps I'll be able to upload from her site later. All in all, a wet, but most wonderful day. One of my favorite things is to drive through the country, by the sea, through fields and fields of corn... I am from the country on my mom's side, and this soil is in my blood. when you are in love and have a beautiful life ahead to share... who really cares about a change of plans, a damp dress and hair, or muddy toes? That's life, right? Just perfect, and beautiful after all.