Saturday, July 28, 2007

Heading Home

Well, we're heading home today. I'll miss the peace and quiet and clear water and white sand. I'll also miss "Ninja Warrior." This is a Japanese game show where people go through multiple obstacles in an allotted amount of time. Justin tells me we can find this online at home. I hope so. I haven't seen this much exciting TV in years! ha! Seriously though, I am looking forward to getting home and seeing my sweet little Duncan. We sure have missed that little guy. Mom and Dad have emailed us some super cute pics of his stay with them. I just know he's grown while we've been away. We've missed that smile and his little kisses ("mwah!") So, we are very much looking forward to seeing, holding, and smooching Duncan.

I'll post some vaca pics when we get back.

Monday, July 23, 2007

It's Finished

I finished reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows this morning. Overall, I was very pleased. I have to wait for Justin to finish it (which means he'll be ignoring me for a couple of days!) I'm trying really hard not to spoil anything, but he keeps telling me to go away. Or is that just marriage?

Our luggage arrived yesterday afternoon...yeah! So, we have snacks and, more importantly, swimming gear! We hung out on the beach this morning, and swam in the pool. Very nice.
Having fun...not burned, yet!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Potter Madness

On Friday night Justin and I set out to Borders to pick up our copy of the latest Harry Potter book. We got to the parking lot shortly after 11pm, and were astonished by the hundreds and hundreds of cars. There were people of all ages, some dressed up, all headed to the book store. We could see the line snaked around inside the store, and numerous people standing outside. I said, "Justin, I don't want to stand in line for two hours or more for this book!" I guess I shouldn't have been surprised by the huge outpouring of Potter fans, but I guess I had some silly idea that I would be able to get my book and get out pretty quickly. Silly me! We circled the parking lot, and Justin said, "My co-worker told me that Kroger is selling the book, too." Disappointment in my voice, I said, "But my reserved copy here will be 40 percent off!" Then Justin says, "I heard the one's at Kroger are going to be 40 percent off." So, we went over to Kroger, and we saw about 30 cars in the parking lot. We went in line, and got in line behind the 5 others that were there standing next to the boxes of books. And we waited until midnight. The crowd grew to probably 150 people by then. These were mostly disgruntled bookstore shoppers. A person in line said he got to Borders at 9pm, and he was number 533! I think had we stayed at Borders, we would have been there standing in line for hours! At Kroger we were in the mad rush (and the silly countdown beforehand), and we were home by 12:15! And then we got up around 5:30 to head to Turks and Caicos, where we are now. I've read about 400 pages so far. I saw a kid in line yesterday in the Immigration line who probably had about 50 pages left! He must have been reading all night. Not me!

I'm enjoying the book so far. We've mostly rested today. We can't go to the pool, because our luggage went missing, and it's still not here. Thankfully, we have extra clothes, and a washing machine in our room! Hopefully, our luggage will come today, so my hair can be less dull and lifeless, and I can swim! Justin is going out now to get toothpaste, and other necessities. Ahhh..life in paradise! oh yeah, the book was for sale at the airport, so we needn't have stayed up so late the night before. Live and Learn!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

In the Butterfly Garden


I consider this to be my first real container gardening success. I've got Persicaria "Red Dragon," Sweet Potato Vine (which is obviously very tasty to some insect), Dracena, and a volunteer Spiderwort. In the little pot in front is what I call the Eye Ball Plant Spilanthes, and a groundcover Sedum.


I believe this is Echinacea "Razzmatazz." Quite a difference from the usual Coneflower form found below with Purple Coneflower.


Purple Coneflower


I looked at my Butterfly Garden and decided I needed more red. I found this amazing Gaillardia and had to have it. I'd never seen a solid color Gaillardia.


Orange Crocosmia. I don't think this picture does it justice. The color is so bright. I would definitely recommend this for a hot color garden. And it has the nice grassy spearlike foliage to boot. (Evan's Garden is in the background across the creek.)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Just in case there was any doubt...

Duncan at 13 months

Me as a little squirt

In spite of all of you who always say, "He looks just like his Daddy" (insert Southern drawl), Duncan clearly takes after his Mommy! I think people look at Justin and see that he's all cheeks. He has a boyish sort of look about him. Evan had chubby cheeks, too. I have one picture of Justin as a boy, and Evan really did look just like his Daddy in that one. My mom displayed Justin's and my childhood photos at our wedding, and I do remember that we looked a lot alike at a young age. So, who knows? Maybe Duncan looks like his Daddy, too. Maybe LaLa can send me a baby picture of Justin, and then we'll be able to have a fair fight. Until then...He Looks Like Me!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Five Days and Counting



That's when the new Harry Potter book Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows arrives. I'm still planning on going to the midnight Potter Party at the local Borders Bookstore. I've recently read that people sit outside the bookstore and shout out spoilers to the Potter fans as they exit the bookstore. I think this is just mean. I know Justin was listening to a morning radio show a day or two after the last Potter release, and they played a little jingle about the character who died. It basically said the victim's name over and over again, "So and so dies, so and so dies...." So, I'm hoping to block out radio and TV (and meanspirited shouters) while I'm reading and hopefully the ending will be unspoiled for me. Hopefully it will be easy to go without media, as we'll be at an island paradise. That's right. I haven't forgotten that we're also taking our anniversary trip this weekend. Although, I have to admit the buildup to the last Potter book has been a little more exciting. It doesn't help that when I ask Justin questions about the trip, the usual answer is "I don't know." Do you want to go snorkeling? I don't know. Should we take snacks? I don't know, etc. Despite this lack of excitement on my hubby's part, I'm really looking forward to getting away. The one thing I'm not looking forward to is leaving without little Duncan. I know he'll have a blast with Grandma and Grandpa (they just installed a new playset and sand/water table--a little kid's paradise!) On the other hand, we may actually be able to sleep in for several days. Sleeping, relaxation, reading, beach...ok, it does sound pretty darn good.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Adventures in the Kitchen, Part 3 - The Toaster Oven

Justin surprised me for Valentine's Day 2006 with an ugly blue pitcher, some cool plant seeds, and lots and lots of chocolate. He emptied out two bags of Dove chocolate into the blue pitcher, and placed the seed packs on top and put it unceremoniously on the kitchen table. When Evan and I came down for breakfast, I thought, "What is this weird pitcher doing here?" I looked in and saw all of the goodies. Evan and I shared some chocolate throughout the morning. I went upstairs to take a shower, leaving Evan to his own devices downstairs (watching Sesame Street.) I had placed the pitcher out of reach on top of the toaster oven. After my shower Evan came in. I gave him something that he usually liked to play with, but he wouldn't hold it. He seemed to be favoring one hand. I looked at his hand, and thought his finger looked a little strange. We went downstairs, and it smelled like the toaster oven was on. I knew I had not used it for breakfast, so I thought this was very strange. I looked at the toaster oven and it was off. But it had clearly been on recently. Then I noticed the kitchen chair pushed over to the counter and put two and two together. Evan had pushed over the chair, and climbed up on it in order to reach the chocolates on top of the toaster oven. He had inadvertently turned on the toaster, heated it up, and burned his little index finger. I immediately placed his hand under cool water. I made an appointment to get him checked out, and sure enough, he had a minor burn. All for the love of chocolate!

Last fall Evan received a goody bag for Halloween from school. It had all kinds of yummy candy and little toys in it. One of the toys was a little whistle. It was a cheap little thing and didn't make a great noise, but he liked it. One day Evan came in and said to his Daddy, "The whistle will be ready in five minutes." And he walked off. Justin sat there for a minute, and then decided to see what was up. He walked into the kitchen. Evan had placed his whistle in the toaster oven and turned it on!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Adventures in the Kitchen, Part 2 - The Doughmaker


Evan in his firefighter costume on Halloween 2006 goes for the Doughmaker

Justin, our resident chef, regularly made pizza from scratch. He made his own dough, tweaking the recipe each week to try for the perfect blend of flavors and texture. Sometimes he was successful. Sometimes...not so much. Justin would put the dough into the free standing mixer to knead for a bit. Evan was transfixed. The sound, the motion, everything about the mixer was cool.


Evan and Daddy makin' the dough

When the dough had risen Justin would let Evan help him knead it some more, and form it into the desired shape for a pizza. Sometimes a circle, sometimes a rectangle. We also used the mixer to mix cookie and bread dough. It was always making dough, so naturally Evan called it the Doughmaker. Justin made homemade pizza about once a week. When he announced that we were going to have pizza for dinner, Evan would say, "Makin' the dough!" and run to the kitchen to help.

Since Evan died we have eaten frozen pizza. I'm not sure we've even pulled out the mixer. Last week I made Lemon Ice Box Pie for the Fourth of July, and used my hand held mixer. Duncan came running in to the kitchen to watch. The sound, the spinning, it was all marvelous to a little boy. And now we have another little fellow who's interested in the Doughmaker. I guess we have an excuse to start making pizza again.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

"Hold on, I Gotta Take This..."

Evan, like most kids, really loved to play with the phone. We gave him an old cell phone, and he pushed the buttons and "talked" to someone on the other end. We got him a kid's toy phone, that looks a lot like a real cell phone, except it says things like, "Do you wanna come out to play?" and "I love you so much!" There are also a couple of musical selections that sound like they're fresh from Windham Hill. But even more fun than the pretend phones, were the phones that had useful lives as something completely different.

The calculator looks kind of like a phone, so it's only natural that a kid would treat it like one. Remote controls, too, have buttons to press and a certain predictable size. But our favorite "phone" of Evan's was a part of a set of toy dogs. There's the big dog (later named "Barky") attached to a small dog by a detachable lead ("Teeny Weeny Barky"). These toy dogs could be led around with a short detachable lead with a little bone for the handle. One day Evan picked up the bone when it was disconnected from Barky and Teeny Weeny Barky, and held it up to his ear to make an important call. We said, "Evan, that's not a phone, it's a bone!" And he said, "Bone Phone!"

Even though Evan was quite talkative on his pretend phone conversations, when it came to the real thing, he usually suffered from stage fright. I would hold up the phone so he could hear his Daddy speaking on the other end. I encouraged Evan with, "Say hi to Daddy." But he mostly just looked at the phone, as though he couldn't believe Daddy was boxed up in such a small package. As he got a little older Evan became a little more chatty. Not yet knowing the "rules" of conversation, he basically told Grandpa (or Daddy, etc.) on the other end of the line about the items he saw in the room. "My chair, tractor maw mower, Mommy...."

When we tried to introduce the idea of a banana phone to Evan, he just thought we were being silly!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Adventures in the Kitchen, Part 1 - The Refrigerator

Duncan has taken an interest in reorganizing the refrigerator. If the fridge door is open, he'll have a seat on the floor and start shifting things around. It's mostly condiments, but sometimes he's more daring. He'll pick up (and usually quickly set down) a whole gallon of milk. If Duncan is in another room, and sees me getting something out of the fridge, he'll hotfoot it to the kitchen, so he can play. If he gets there after the door has closed, he's not a happy camper. Once he's strong enough to open the door, he'll be in hog heaven.

Evan was also a refrigerator junkie. I remember when he finally was able to open the door on his own, the fridge was open more than it was closed. I tried to explain the merits of using the air conditioner to cool the house instead of the fridge. I also tried to talk to him about how our food would spoil. After some frustration over this, Justin and I decided to purchase a lock for the fridge. Justin installed it, and for a few days, Evan was the frustrated party. Instead of letting this get him down, he observed his Mommy and Daddy as they opened the lock. In no time at all Evan figured out how the lock worked, and started to demonstrate that he could use it, too. The funny thing was that after unlocking the lock, and opening the fridge, he'd close the door and make sure the lock was back in place.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Family Raspberry Time





Blowing raspberries on a little one's belly is always big fun. When Duncan was just a few months old, I started this family tradition. I placed him on the changing pad for his diaper change. When the diaper change was complete, and Duncan's bare belly exposed, I blew a raspberry, and said, "Oh Duncan!" like he did something very naughty. Duncan would giggle. Evan loved the show, and came running over saying, "Do me, do me!" He would lie down on the pad (aka Duncan's briefcase) and lift his shirt. I blew a raspberry on his belly, and said, "Oh Evan!" Then I said, "Do me!" I lifted my shirt, and Evan blew a raspberry on my belly. He always looked a little bashful, but then he'd giggle and say, "Oh Mommy!"

Duncan has grown quite proficient at blowing raspberries. He uses Mommy's leg, arm, face. He'll even use furniture, toys, and balls to achieve the desired noise. And as always, the more spit, the better the sound.