Saturday, June 28, 2008

I Once Knew A Girl Who Died In Her Sleep After Being Impertinent

Potty training week has gone well! I am very fortunate in that Andrew is currently enjoying his books very much, which has helped immensely with potty time entertainment. The training philosophy I decided to employ suggested three full days of baby nudity. After traveling hither and yon, a few days contained in the house was not so bad. Actually, we had a pretty good time!

A little naked coloring ...

... naked sandbox time ...

... and naked blueberry bush examination. Isn't our little bush cute? It's the daughter of one of my parent's bushes, so we have high hopes for her. Andrew picked his first ripe berry yesterday.

Hey, mommies need to have a little fun, too. :-)

Now we're back to clothes, which are also nice. Doesn't my boy look so handsome in his big boy skivvies? Love that pose.

In fear and trembling, we went on our first outing this morning. I figured the zoo was as safe a spot as any - you're not as likely to notice a little puddle on the walkway if you're keeling over from the flamingo stench. It was a complete success! A potty break before and after the trip, two stops at the zoo, and he stayed dry as a bone. I was wild with delight! Who knew a tiny pair of dry underpants could evoke such pride.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Peaches Considering The Mood

Here's my boy with a blueberry fresh from one of Nana and Pa's many bushes. I had been hoping to return home laden with sacks of the best blueberries in the world (not to mention organic!), but alas, most of them were still green. Fortunately there were just enough each morning to feed my little bird. He'd follow Nana and me around as we scoured the plants for anything blue, then stuff them in his mouth as fast as he could. He even got to pick a few himself.

As always, he spent most of his time running from one end of the yard to the other, often looking for the kitty. He adopted this little spot near the compost bins as his personal hideaway. We kept trying to lure him back out with the promise of more blueberries since the mosquitoes had also claimed this area.

As it is rarely less than a steamy 112 degrees in SC in June, Nana and I set up a really neat baby pool one day during nap time. A storm blew through only moments after we both passed out from blowing the thing up - cooled everything off just enough to make sitting in the pool a bit chilly. It was perfect weather, however, for sloshing through in one's sandals and sitting on the slide.

Nana's thinking about going pro with her new found Giraffe Ball skills.

No trip to J'ville is complete without a trip to the Piggly Wiggly. Being of the Family Porkbag, Melvina found the name of the establishment intriguing and tagged along. She seemed to be under the impression that this was a place where happy pigs hung out, wiggling and such. This turned out not to be the case. We refilled her Zoloft prescription on the way home.

Before we left this morning, Andrew got a wonderful natural science lesson with his Nana. She brought out a couple of abandoned nests with eggs which he found fascinating. I was amazed how long he was able to carry around a little blue bird egg without it cracking.

Tomorrow I'm going to take advantage of the 2 weeks I have at home before our next adventure (Myrtle Beach with Nana and The Aunties!) and work on some potty training, which will probably be quite the adventure in itself. :-)

Monday, June 16, 2008

Mutton Chop Withers

What tremendous fun! I highly encourage all of you to stop by a dude ranch in New Mexico at your next opportunity. If you can believe it, I'm rushing to get this post up since I'll be leaving in the morning for another trip to Johnsonville to celebrate Dad (Father's Day and birthday) while Phil is on a long business trip. No end to the festivities in sight!

We began our NM adventures with a tram ride to Sandia Peak in Albuquerque (longest tram ride in the world, just in case you were wondering).

Melvina declared the ride "deadly" which apparently means "quite good" in Irish. I didn't even know she was Irish. Gil, do you think you're related?

Andrew's first stay in a hotel was a big hit, especially the mirrored closet. I'm thinking of having one installed in the kitchen as meal preparation entertainment.

The next day we drove the 4 hours to the ranch (2 hours past the last gas station). Many things along the way served as reminders that I wasn't in Atlanta anymore.

Naps were hard to come by, so we reveled in the ones we got.

Once at the ranch, we settled into our cabins and relaxed for the evening. Melvina was quick to claim a bunk by the window.

The first attempt to put Andrew in his cowboy hat was a bust.

Here he is warming up to Jack, who lived right behind our cabin.

We all learned the basics of lassoing. Aunt Jessie was by far the most skilled.

The cow and the boy regarded one another.

This shot made me want Phil to leave the business world and take up ranching. Isn't he adorable?

I called this contraption "the bird poop game." The Precious loved to run his hands all over it, especially around meal times.

Melvina watched all the action from her personal garden.

Hike #1 to see some cave dwellings used by ancient Native American tribes as well as cowboys and outlaws. Cool.

This is a pictograph of a pregnant woman delivering her baby while skydiving. She and the baby appear to be enjoying the experience, so really, who's to judge?

Worn out cow poke. Thanks, Gwen, for the awesome backpack!

Some photos from my second trail ride. (I was too busy gripping the saddle horn to take pictures the first time. The fact that my horse, Shortcake, was in heat and determined to nuzzle all the other horses, making them angry and causing them to snort and kick at her, contributed.)

Aunt Sallie looking quite comfortable on Red.

Hike #2 to see pit houses used by another Native American tribe.

There were pieces of ancient pottery everywhere. Andrew thought the rocks were just as interesting.

Melvina proudly displays some of her findings.

Next attempt at the cowboy hat went much better. He loved his boots, by the way, and was quite adept at running around in them despite the heel.

Here I am on Shortcake in the coralle. (Thankfully, she was feeling less flirty that day.) Don't I look huge? She was a pretty small horse, but man, it doesn't even look like I had to jump up to get on. I kind of feel sorry for her now. I'm sure every time she saw me coming she thought, "Crap, there comes that giant woman again."

Our last trail ride was amazing. I felt like I was in "The Man From Snowy River." Unfortunately the pictures just don't capture the beauty of the land at all.

Our wrangler, Meris, brought out the miniature horse Taco for Andrew to meet the morning we left. He loved looking at him, but got pretty nervous when we encouraged him to get up close.

We put Melvina on Taco for a ride, but she had a panic attack and threw herself to the ground, so we let her ride Meris instead.

This a spot only a few miles from Phil's parents' home. Not bad, huh.

Thank you so much, Nannie and Papa, for our amazing southwestern adventure!

(If you only knew how many pictures I wanted to post, then you'd give me some credit.)