Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The True Life Adventures Of Bock And Conway

If only he'd wear his own hats. I put a baseball cap on him a few weeks ago, and you would have thought I'd set his head on fire. He looked so adorable, though, for the half-second before he threw it across the room in hysterics. I wanted to buy it for him anyway - use some desensitization techniques to get him to like it (i.e. duct taping it to his head for 10 minutes at a time), but Phil was opposed to spending money on something that might put his boy in therapy. (There are so many free ways to do that, really.) But The Precious loves Phil's straw hat, and he went wild over this big, floppy, multi-colored number at Target. He'd put it on and peek out at me from under the brim with a huge grin, then try to put it into our basket to take with us. I kind of wish now that I had gotten it.

I decided to do some swim lessons with Andrew this year - we finished up our last one on Saturday. Here he is modeling his swim diaper from last year - still fits!

They weren't exactly what I thought they'd be. Not that I was expecting Andrew to be swimming laps by the end, but I did anticipate something more than some college kid standing around smiling at the babies and squirting water at them. Oh, and the gym with the indoor pool where we received this glorious instruction? A pit. You had to go through dingy corridors with flickering fluorescent lights, then through a locker room and finally through more dingy corridors to get to the pool area. Band-Aid stuck to the floor. Creepy guy in yellow capri's staring at us from the sauna. I felt like I was in a super-hero villain's lair. Fortunately Two-Face did not spring out and take us captive, and the yellow-knickered man eventually went on his way, but the water was ice-cold which really helped ease Andrew into the idea that pools are fun. Our last lesson was taught by someone else, and she was great! I think we could have gotten beyond the filth and actually learned some good stuff had she been there the whole time. Blast.

We're now gearing up for our big Dude Ranch Adventure! At the beginning of June, Phil's parents are flying the whole family out to New Mexico to spend 5 days at a dude ranch. Isn't that so splendidly wacky? I tried Andrew's cowboy boots on him a couple days ago and was vastly amused by the reaction.

His namesake, my brother Andrew, was an enormous fan of cowboy boots, so I can't help but hope (albeit with a lump in my throat) that The Precious enjoys them as well. So far it's looking good.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Old York, Old York, We Got The Spleen

This week we got settled back into our old routines and decided to show Melvina some of our favorite haunts, like the zoo. We met up with my friend Jane and her adorable little boy, Tybalt.* I'm such a sucker for sweet, blue eyes ....

Melvina found the elephant so intriguing that she threw caution to the wind and leaned precariously over the muddy water hole for the best view. Made me nervous, so I finally had to insist we move on.

Jane secured my respect and admiration after charming a Dasani from Large Bald Man.

As ever, the petting zoo was a hit.

I loved the way this goat posed for the picture.

Actually, all the goats here are really quite agreeable. This friendly fellow let MPB take a quick snooze on his back.

And though he initially found the idea degrading, this gentleman finally agreed to give her an official goat ride (after we slipped him a fiver).

Upon spying Oreo here (his actual name), Melvina was overcome with emotion thinking she had stumbled upon Great-Aunt Fanny Pork Bag, sold to the circus years ago after a rumor circulated indicating she had acquired a taste for ham biscuits.** Melvina handled the disappointment as well as could be expected, and she and Oreo decided to become pen pals.

I think this was Andrew's favorite part - trying to climb into the bin of animal brushes.

With such fun to be had in Atlanta, it really is a wonder that people move to ridiculous places like Minneapolis, Bangkok, Franklin and Siloam Springs.

*Name changed to protect the innocent.

** She was eventually exonerated - it all being a cruel joke played by an ex - but too late. Her whereabouts are still unknown.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Thank You For Voting For My Polyp

There's no place like home, but boy did we have a good time! I took a few pictures to document our adventures over the last week. Might I suggest a trip to the bathroom and acquisition of a snack before you begin ....

Milk? Check. Kitty? Check. Ready to hit the road!

First stop, Fountain Place to visit our dear Sandersons.
Andrew fell in love with all of them, as would be expected.

Andrew took what I hope to be the most disturbing picture of me. Ever.

Also during our visit, we had the pleasure of discovering a new family member. May I introduce to you Melvina Pork Bag.

You would not believe the hours we spent anguishing over her name. The process went into the nighttime hours, so the names just got better & better. Here's a sampling:

The Chivalrous Giblet
Jennifer Lopez Dispenser
Scurvy Rickett
Vandy Stick-Noodle
Odious Vapor
Lucifer McNut

Ultimately Melvina was chosen - the intriguing name of one of my mom's 3rd graders. And how do you pass up a last name like Pork Bag?

Melvina enjoyed the Fountain Place hospitality...

...attempted to nest in Brent's hair ...

...and found out the hard way that wandering alone down a
dark mantle at night isn't as safe as it once was.

Andrew feasted upon Auntie's amazing cooking (in this instance, a freshly baked banana muffin).

He fell asleep within 15 minutes of being on the road again
(even though it was only 10:30 am).

We had the joy of stopping at my Nana and Papa's for a wonderful lunch.

Then on to Johnsonville we went for some sweet time with
my parents (Andrew's Nana & Grandpa). Andrew adored the
wide open spaces to run & play.

We got to have dinner with my Mema on Mother's Day.

Andrew taught Nana the art of playing "crash," a game that involves flinging yourself dramatically on the bed. It became part of the evening ritual.

He also honed his somersault skills. Look at that form!

We visited Nana's class one afternoon, and Andrew
was a big hit on the playground.

Miss Pork Bag thoroughly enjoyed the chips at the Mexican restaurant. We're still working on manners.

One afternoon we went strawberry picking with Nana in the fields
only a few miles from my parent's home.

And Grandpa took us to the beach on his day off.

Though warned about the evils of excessive sun exposure,
Melvina insisted on laying out sans sunscreen.

Precious loved the pier, both below ...

...and above.

Grandpa took us to Sam's Corner for hot dogs and onion rings.
It was biker weekend, so just crossing the street was an adventure.

A generous soul, Grandpa shared his footlong.

The day came where we had to load up again and make the long trek home. Fortunately Uncle Jeff and Aunt Jessie left us a key to their house, which made for a wonderful pit stop. I think The Precious could have spent hours admiring his reflection in their guest room mirror.

Here he is brushing his hair with one of those foot scrubber/pumice stone things he found in the bathroom.

He also took full advantage of their back yard. Pine cones are the best!

And he was determined to play on their haunted swing set.

Though glad to be home with Daddy, we're missing all of you loved ones we were so fortunate to visit. Thank you for making our trip so much fun!