From youngest to oldest, all enjoying the sea.
29 June 2010
28 June 2010
This baby found her inner beach bum this past week - not even leaving the shore to take a morning nap. I've looked through all three billion photos from our vacation, and this might be my favorite one. Total surrender to rest, sleeping to the sound of the surf.
I've hit that post vacation slump on this day after our return. Not quite into the swing of the routine and missing that afternoon snooze in the pages of my book. So I'll sign off for tonight and post more tomorrow.
27 June 2010
26 June 2010
25 June 2010
My new bike arrived a couple of weeks back and other than my camera, I can't remember being so excited about a new gift. I've wanted a bike for a long time. I borrowed one during grad school and it came in handy in those months when I was car-less. After that we always seemed to have other priorities - the house, family, etc. When E got her new bike a few years back I was tempted to get one. But pregnancy and a new baby pushed that once again to the back burner. When I opened that silver helmet on Mother's Day, I was pretty jazzed about having a new mode of transportation. There are about a billion things that I like to do within a couple mile radius of the house, and I'm already looking forward to hopping on this to get to them, rather than hopping in the car. There may be a kid seat or a bike trailer to follow soon, but for now I think I'm okay with just getting on and heading off on my own for awhile. Nothing wrong with that on occasion, now is there?
23 June 2010
22 June 2010
It's a banner year for lillies in our backyard. Tonight, at dusk, they were lighting up the back yard like flames so I grabbed the camera to take a few photos. I got up close and personal with one of them, and then suddenly had the strange sensation that I was not alone. Bees are very curious about cameras.
Thirty seconds later I looked down and my legs were covered in mosquitos. It shouldn't require so much effort to get out and enjoy a piece of the evening. Spray down, or not spray down? I came back into the air conditioning.
21 June 2010
My parents sent these flowers years ago to M when his grandmother died - they were in the chapel at her funeral, and made the trip back with us when we returned home. They rode alongside a very young E - a fortunate little girl who was able to meet and know three of her four grandmothers. We transplanted them from pot to garden immediately, the flowers slowly faded, and the plant itself didn't seem to appreciate the move. For a few years we kept looking for signs of life beyond a few green leaves, but it wasn't until last year that the flowers appeared - just a few, and just a few weeks before the new baby arrived. This year we discovered that the tiny little hydrangea plant had actually been growing more sideways than up - it still appears smallish, but when the flowers burst through they appeared throughout the planting bed - intertwined with the much larger neighboring plants. They are stunning this year, and abundant. Margaret's flowers, the baby's namesake, have come back just for her.
20 June 2010
We'll spend a lot of time today with Dad. We'll start early, and end late, and tell him how much we love him and appreciate him and enjoy him. I'm sure he'll enjoy every minute of it (and those minutes that he has to himself as well!) but I know that I've enjoyed the whispered conversations with this girl over the past month or two much more. Some of her Father's Day "ideas" have been more far-fetched than realistic, but he's been on her mind, and she wants to do it up right. For a few weeks she's begged me to let her wrap his presents in the morning before school and camp, and each day I've put her off with the excuse that she still has time but we just don't have any more of it that very moment. Yesterday morning he was out for a bit and she didn't even bother to ask. She gathered up those items and her notes, tape, scissors and wrapping paper with birthday-hat-wearing fish and a roll of my trace paper and got to work. She hummed the entire time she worked, and when she finished she carried it all downstairs and arranged it on the hearth and announced that no matter how hard she worked, she could never make as many gifts as her dad deserved. And I think she's quite right.
Happy Father's Day - we've got a family full of the swellest Dads you could imagine.
19 June 2010
18 June 2010
17 June 2010
I apologize for the lack of stimulating content lately here. The older child has not in fact, moved out. She is, however, a bit elusive in front of the camera. How is it that we can be so busy in the summer, with no school and more sunshine? But we are, and we have no one to blame but ourselves. And no matter how much we delight - or try to delight - in the mundane and the ordinary, there is still just so much that is mundane and ordinary. We rise, there is breakfast to be made, breakfast to eat, breakfast to be cleaned up and before we know it we start the ritual again with lunch. Throw dinner into the mix, a couple of baths to wash off the summer grime and in the blink of an eye we're a couple of chapters into our latest read and trying not to doze off before 8 p.m. And the rains continue, popping up and thwarting plans for snowcones with friends, bike practice and gardening.
Tonight we'll attempt to dodge the showers once again in our front yard with some live blues and friends (Stop by!). Maybe with camera, and maybe without. And my bike is here!!! So I'll squeeze in a ride of my own and take the camera along. What are you up to this summer?
16 June 2010
15 June 2010
F's room is particularly nice to be in during a storm. The rain beats down on the roof and outside the windows, and there is a window at just the right height for watching. From this window you can look across seven or eight rooftops - it looks like an outdoor set for Mary Poppins. This storm brought with it gigantic drops of rain which bounced off the parapet and chimney tops and glistened in the western afternoon sun. She watched until the rain stopped.
14 June 2010
13 June 2010
Some little cutie that we know had a rough time Friday night, and mid morning Saturday, after a long morning nap, woke up with a draining ear and a bad case of the grumpies. Less than an hour later we knew we had two infected ears, one eardrum had perforated and the explanation behind the near constant drooling. She rallied nicely for the circus, and is certainly on the mend. But look at this face. It hurts just to imagine this little one in pain.
For all of our friends from all over the place running under the blazing sun in the Race for the Cure... nice job! That pink ribbon in her hair was for you.
12 June 2010
Usually the bigger one is running full steam ahead, into the fray. Last Saturday her little sister joined in for the first time, and suddenly someone was very protective. The baby loved those shiny brass plates in the ground, even though we warned her repeatedly that water randomly shoots up from them. And when the water came (strong, and without warning) she backed up with fear - and straight into the arms of her big sister. That morning was the turning point I realized. For the first time the little one needed the bigger one, and the bigger one has wanted nothing more in this world than to be needed.
10 June 2010
Alas, I did not take any photographs of the "before". I'm sure I could hunt through the archives and find one (too lazy), or you could just take my word for it - there was ten years of ivy growth in this spot that is now dirt and straggling roots. You can see the rusty sections of fence that were underneath all this ivy. It was time to do some general maintenance on the fence - clean it off, re-prime and paint it for another decade. Before we planted the ivy we had hostas, and daylillies and even some tulips under the dogwood tree, but every year those plants got a bit more choked out by the ivy. We pulled the ivy out in the blazing heat of this past Memorial Day weekend - not a task for the faint of heart - and within 48 hours the other plants bloomed for the first time in several years.
Like I mentioned last week, we're sprucing up the front yard this summer and making it a more pleasurable place to hang out and enjoy the music that is played across the street on Thursdays and Saturdays. And each weekend we'll do it a bit more to get it that way. I'll try to post a sketch of the landscape plan for the yard soon.
09 June 2010
This is what the homestretch looks like and I must tell you that it's leaving me a bit sad and wistful. You delight us in each moment that you are awake and asleep, but each day you shed a bit more of that dependence on us as you feed yourself, turn your own book pages, motor around the house from one object to another, dive out of our arms and into your bed before we are quite done snuggling your delicious sweetness.
Always a kid that loves food, you've taken your appreciation of good eats to new heights this past month. I have enjoyed cooking for you for the past five months - you've let me try everything from the basics to the bizarre, gulping down every last bite and begging for more. I no longer have to puree those lovely dishes to within an inch of their life - you pick up each bite and transfer it in, making short work of it with just two teeth a few weeks ago to now eight teeth in the past few days. Even your smile looks older this month.
Your personality comes through so clearly in your face - a sour blueberry won't stop you - it's just a good opportunity to get a laugh out of the crowd. Your smile comes easily to friends and strangers alike, and your wave is on auto-pilot with the gray-haired crowd in any room.
08 June 2010
On the subject of raspberries, here's a very simple and yummy sorbet: just raspberries, sugar, water and a pinch of salt. The hardest part of the recipe is straining the raspberries. You can achieve this fairly quickly if you sort of mash the juices through the strainer with a spatula. Or you can just leave it to drip through slowly while photographing it, playing a round of pirate snap with your daughter and chopping up a watermelon. Chill the raspberry syrup for a bit and then pour it into your new found love...the ice cream maker.
There it is, spinning around in its near freezing state. A watched pot may never boil, but three people standing over an ice cream maker watching it work its magic hasn't yet seemed to halt the freezing process.