Archive for April, 2012

…cocktails around the firepit are as awesome as suspected.

Pre-fire celebration:

Relaxing around the fire (Nellie loved it):

Picture credit goes to Mom’s iPhone.  She is home with Nellie today because playing with her grandma is waaaay better than daycare.  For example, Nellie has not been able to go from a crawling position to a sitting position–a source of much frustration for her.  I mentioned this to Mom, who then spent yesterday’s playtime showing Nellie how to slide her foot under her little butt to sit.

And now the little monkey can sit after she crawls.

It’s unfortunate for Mom that she is such a good teacher of monkeys: I will be ripping up her return ticket home.  Oops!


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I imagined it with brick-lined paths and boxwoods, and it became so much more.  G has worked so hard for the past few weekends, and this morning he met me at the nursery so I could pick out the finishing touches– lilacs and broom bushes.  The backyard is an evolution, and it will never be ‘finished’.  But this project–this amazing remodel–is in the books.

So how’d we do?

Brick paths? Check.  Boxwoods? Check.

Pergola, comfortable seating, slate table with fire pit, bird houses, and beautiful, fragrant flowers? Check.

Remember this mess?

It’s a lot more awesome now.

Here are some shots G took of our new outdoor space.

I’ve got some lemon syrup and rosemary waiting in the fridge, and it’s possible we might be having celebratory cocktails tonight around the new fire table down below.  And I’m tagging this post ‘being fancy for no reason’ because I feel pretty fancy tonight.

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From my window

Looking out the windows of our house is one of my favorite things to do–it’s beautiful year-round. This is the view from my kitchen window today, featuring the cardinal that lives in our front tree.




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My oh May

We’ve got busy times ahead, and it’s hard to believe that, despite being the busiest month every year, we always seem to forget just how crazy May can be.  Mom is arriving tonight on a jet plane to spend some quality time with Nellie (and us of course) and then spend some quality time with Gma in the lead-up to Mother’s Day.  And even though the memories of her last trip out here are still fresh (and a bit stressful), we promise this visit will be lower key (and involve fewer trips to Washington DC).

While I prepare for Mom’s visit (or just entertain Nellie), G is spending some more time on the backyard project today.  It looks amazing already, but he’s not ready for any more photo reveals just yet.

As for Nellie, she just keeps GROWING and LEARNING and DOING.  The remarkable little monkey is pulling all sorts of tricks out of her little baby hat these days.  She’s standing more, taking those first baby steps (pun intended) toward becoming a walker, and the babbles have suddenly turned into syllables and sounds that could almost be words.

She’s so excited about learning to talk that she wakes up in the middle of the night just to tell us all the things on her mind.  We wake up to Buh Bah Buh Beeeeh and Aaah Eh Ooooh.  She’s doing it right now, in fact, as she crawls around me looking for toys or, preferably, things that don’t belong to her at all.

She can play in new ways now, and she’s happy.

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Whew!  What a digital ordeal!  It involved drivers and software and, well, G, but we finally did it!

This video doesn’t really need notes, but you get them anyway:

1. You think she’s going to crawl at the beginning–she doesn’t.  That’s a fakeout before the real crawl.  So don’t get all ‘that’s not really crawling’ on me until you’ve finished the whole video.  I promise–monkey is on the move.

2. If you’re wondering what toy finally grabs her attention, it’s not the rattle balls, or her baby iPod.  It’s the phone.  The real phone.  I have anxiety attacks that she is going to accidentally dial 9-1-1 one of these days.  Girl likes the phone.

And just because you’re patient, and we’re friends: a bonus video!  Not crawling this time, though; no, this video is assorted Nellie silliness, monkey expressions, and a definite attempt to break her exersaucer.

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The grand finale

Editor’s note: this post was written yesterday (Monday).  It was supposed to be posted yesterday (Monday).  There was supposed to be a grand finale with video awesomeness.  But my videos are trapped in devices–my phone, my camera–with seemingly no way to make the jump to my computer.

I imagine them being something like this:

At any rate, there IS a finale to this post, so I think it’s still worth reading.  But it’s not as great as it should have been.  It’s kind of like a party without decorations–still worth attending, but decidedly less awesome than a party WITH decorations.

And I do promise that I will get the videos up, just as soon as I figure out how things work G does it for me.

Okay, back to my previously-scheduled blog post:

I didn’t go to work today.  More specifically, I didn’t really get out of bed today.  I mean, I did at a couple points during the day.  First, to get Nellie dressed and pack up her things for daycare before launching her out the door with G on his way to the office.  And then several hours later, I crawled out of bed to take a hot bath.  I crawled back into bed while the water was running, and at one point I tried my telepathic best to get the water to stop running on its own.  But it didn’t, of course; I’m not up on my wizardry these days.  So I took a bath, and the clean version of me did feel a little better.  I felt well enough, in fact, to put on clean jammies, and get back into bed.

Before you get concerned about the return of the plague to our household or any other horrible possibilities, it’s not even that I am really that sick.  But symptoms and sleepless nights have been stacking on top of each other like dominoes, and I finally just needed a day to rest.  Truthfully, I didn’t even sleep that much today.  I spent a great deal of time looking at the reflection of the shower tiles in the bedroom mirror.  At one point, I wished mightily that I had a magazine (a book seemed like WAY too much effort).  Of course my new Southern Living was sitting in the mailbox.  But my plans didn’t even include going downstairs, let alone to the MAILBOX.

Finally at about 1pm, when I realized that guilting myself into action was going to have no effect whatsoever, I began bargaining with myself.  The only compromise I could eventually reach was that I could stay in bed and fill out Nellie’s baby book, which has been sorely neglected since I started the new job in February.  There was so much to catch up on–her hospital stay, her first teeth, eating solid foods.  I almost felt productive when I finished all of her updates.

When I did finally drag myself out of bed for good, I knew I had a couple errands to run that I would regret not doing while I was hands free–including getting new backup daycare clothes for Nellie.  The poor kid is still wearing the little sweat suits I sent with her when she started in January, and though they still fit, they’re not exactly warm-weather appropriate.  (Of course, when I picked her up today, she was in the buggy for a cart ride outside in one of these sweat suits–sweat jacked zipped up and all–with a SKI JACKET on top and the hood over her head.  It is 60 degrees today–I think the ski jacket was excessive, no?)

After running my errands (and getting hot chocolate, obvi), I picked up the monkey.  I like getting to the center off-schedule and seeing another slice of her daycare life.  I showed up at four, more than an hour earlier than we normally arrive.  All of the other kids were there, which made me happy to see–I hate when she is the only one there at drop-off, and the only one still there when we pick her up.  Her best friend just moved to a different daycare this week, which has made me really sad; however, when I showed up today, Nellie was sitting next to the new baby (who is several months younger), holding his hand like it was her old buddy next to her instead.  So apparently she moves on more easily than I realized…

I was going to wrap up this post, but you’re probably wondering what the grand finale is.  And is it ever!

This little monkey learned to crawl!


(The plus side is that now you have to come back to the blog. Constantly. Just in case the videos magically appear.  Wizardry after all?)

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Lemon Rosemary

G got home much later than either of us wanted, but luckily dinner, cupcakes, and these beauties were still ready and waiting.  And for the record–they were delicious.

(Just make simple syrup using lemon juice instead of water, and add a few springs of rosemary while it cooks and cools.  With about one lemon left to squeeze, I remembered we had a lemon juicer.  Awesome.  Two tablespoons of syrup, two tablespoons of vodka–I used Belvedere Citroen– some ice, and seltzer water to the top.  I added some rosemary and a giant strawberry to the glass–why not, right?)

Obligatory Nellie shots:

See, it was still worth stopping by.

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