Friday, December 25, 2009

Here are a few pictures of Emma I've been meaning to share from Brody's 2nd birthday. Brody is a friend's son.

This was a fun playgroup on Tuesday that I hosted. About 10 kids from 1-5 played in the leaves for hours.

Christmas is Here!

Stay tuned for Emma's unwrapping video!

Merry Christmas!

We are having a lovely Christmas day! Although I have missed out on being home when everyone else is there, we are partying til the reindeer come home...

I wanted to mention out loud the people we are missing this year. Christmas seems to be when we feel extra-joyous, and, so, extra-sad that some loved ones are not with us. Know that I am thinking of you "up there" and especially of us here without you. Andy Brown, Angie, Glo (I don't want to leave out a very special dog, Tomo, too). Looking on the bright side, I am so grateful for Aunt Lorene's continued recovery.

Now I'm off to make mashed potatoes for my part of Christmas dinner!

Much much love to all my friends and families

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Latest

Almost a month has past since my last post. Where does the time go? 8 weeks until D-day.

Thanksgiving has come and gone. We had a great time touring New Mexico in the RV. The first night we stayed in a lovely state park just south of Alamagordo called Oliver Lee. I am positive I saw an antelope grazing. The next day, Cloudcroft was lovely and cold. It had a neat museum of things that had basically been held onto by families until someone realized that their remote little town was old enough to warrant a museum. I love all those personal things: someone's baby clothes, a hat, a love letter. It told about a Baby Sanatorium that had been built to nurse infants who were suffering from illnesses related to the extreme heat in the valley. What a concept! No families allowed, just leave your baby there until they're well. Some rich guy tore it down in the 60's to build his own house, rather than renovate it. What a jerk. The best part for us was seeing a tree trunk that Dwight D. Eisenhower carved his full name into when he was just a cadet at military school. He was visiting on a break and did what all kids do to trees! Eventually the tree fell and the landowner donated the signed portion. That was cool to see and touch.
Then we went to Hobbs where we met up with that clan at the music rehearsal. Emma had never seen a grand piano before but really enjoyed "playing" it. Also, she had a great time with Dante (2 years) and baby Violet (4 months), who belong to Alan/Emily and Art/Sarah, respectively. Mom and Tim came in and we met them at the hotel, where Emma got a proper bubble bath and presents! We parked for the night down the street from Ruth Ann's house. Saturday was play time and then lunch which Emma slept through. (That's when the RV really comes in handy! Nick gallantly volunteered to hang out with her while I partied.) At a wonderful concert for and by Ruth Ann and Joshua in the evening, Art and Alan performed a new tune, we saw a slide show loudly narrated by Dante (very cute!), and Joshua sang. It was really nice and well-attended by their friends and colleagues. Then they treated us to a private party at a chinese restaurant. Sunday morning we took off for Carlsbad caverns, which was spectacular, of course. Mom and Tim came too, and we all stayed at the KOA north of Carlsbad. In the evening we went to the Pecos River in Carlsbad for a pontoon boat cruise to look at the Christmas lights. Emma hated every minute of it, but I dreamed of a time when Nick and I might have enjoyed this on a date, and tried to ignore the screams...In the morning we parted ways, heading back home. Snow was predicted for all of southern New Mexico, so no mountain passes for our parents' RV! We stayed at Leasburg Dam/Fort Selden state park, home of some of the Buffalo Soldiers and also home to Douglas Mac Arthur as a child in the 1880s. Tuesday we made it home watching the thermometer climb from 30s to upper 60s as we approached beautiful sunny Tucson. And that was our trip!

Now we're into the Christmas swing of things. I did a cookie swap this morning with my playgroup. I brought peanut butter cookies. (1c pb, 1 c brown sugar, 1 egg -that's it! no mixer, no gluten) I did make it to Mass last night thanks to Doris. It was nice to go without the fuss of bringing Emma. This weekend we're getting a tree. Last year we went all over town to find one that satisfied the artist and the arborist, and ended up getting a beauty from Target! So that's the (less than Christmas-y) tree destination this year. Mel's big company party at her house is this Saturday, so that will be festive too. I'm hosting a very casual Christmas Eve dinner, Mel will have the usual potluck brunch in the morning, and Doris will host Christmas dinner at her house. All the same family, 3 parties. Is this overkill?

I just found out that my old friend Josh and his wife Annalise are expecting a boy, but I'm not sure when he's due. So, for those of you who know Josh, give him a pat on the back. The fun part begins!

Nick went camping with a couple of guys and his brother Chris last weekend on Mt. Lemmon. All downhill hiking, 12 miles-ish, so he came back with calves that had just given up. I've never (really, never!) seen my superman done in by physical labor, so it was quite funny to watch him try to walk downstairs! The man is human...

I think that's all the news.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Sentimental Me

Now that Emma's room is almost ready to move in, I'm getting sad about changing the room she's in now. It's the scene of all our bedtime rituals and it's so darn convenient right there by the kitchen. So, we broke out the video camera for bedtime, just to have for the day that I can't remember what it was like having only one child! Here's the resulting footage...

Thursday, November 5, 2009

If I Had a Hammer

Emma was puttering around outside when I hear, "bang...bang...bang." I go to the source and she's swinging this hammer with two hands against the glass door! This is why I laugh at child-proofing products. When she saw me, she pressed her face against the glass, fogging it up. Posted by Picasa
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Nick and I have a date tomorrow. I'll let you know how it goes...I think I really like him. ;) We're going to the matinee of Surrogates and a nice restaurant for lunch while Alex and Beth look after Emma. Sounds like 3-4 hours of bliss to me!
I made a huge chocolate cake today. Just trying out a new recipe, but it's three 8" layers with my favorite fudgy frosting. You know how some people say, "Oh, that was the alcohol talking."? Well, this was my uterus baking. It was obscene. I'll see if I can get a picture up. I also made a yummy lamb curry.
I'm working on a chest of drawers for the baby. I bought one from the Salvation Army for cheap and thought I could fix it up. Little more involved than I originally thought... I bought a palm sander, which is wonderful, and I don't know how I lived without it. To sand out some of the damaged or discolored areas brings that area down to a lighter color than the rest, so I'm trying to get it even. There may be no wood left at the end of this project! The bottom was water damaged, so I took off the decorative front, and we'll cut off the bottom inch of feet. Diane's husband, Joe, made a replacement for the facade. Nick's going to attach moulding for the decorative bevel edge. Then I'll stain it all to match. The chippendale-style bail pulls left an impression, so, in the end, whatever pulls I use will have to cover the original hardware area. Hardware is more expensive than I could have imagined, so, all in all, I figure I could have saved a lot of work and bought a really nice dresser from the antique store I love for the price of re-doing this one. Oh well, this is one lesson I keep learning over and over again. I'm such a cheapskate that I nickel and dime myself! And there is no reward in the project itself. This isn't a hobby for me, so the flaws of the finished project will shout at me. But, it will do, and it won't be in my life forever. We hope to finish up tomorrow.
Emma did the cutest thing at bedtime tonight. When I'm calming her in her crib I rock her side to side palming her bottom and work my way up and down her back. Like patting, but more rocking and light rubbing. So tonight I put her in and turn her onto her belly and she started rocking her bottom back and forth! And she said ni-ni, for night-night, with my exact inflection. It was unbelievably cute. Plus, I don't know if I mentioned this before, but she can give kisses now. When she kisses Nick she giggles because of his stubble. It's the best. Nick said when she was upstairs with him in her one-piece jammies, she was trying to put on shorts that were on the floor up there. He asked her if she needed help and she nodded emphatically like she does these days. So when they found me for bedtime she was wearing jean shorts over her red-striped long johns. Another priceless moment. Lately I've been enforcing that bath time is Daddy time, and she gets really upset right up until the bubbles and her new doll go in the tub. Then she's all smiles washing baby and playing with the bubbles. We love the Burt's Bees kind that smells just like the lotion, milk and honey.
Plans for Hobbs at Thanksgiving are now in the works. Thurs: Cloudcroft; Fri night, Saturday and Sunday morning: Hobbs; Sunday afternoon and Monday morning: Carlsbad Caverns; Monday night: Silver City; Tuesday morning: Gila Cliff Dwellings; Tuesday night: Home again! This will be our biggest RV trip yet. (Les and Doris have a really nice one and they are travelling right now up the CA coast!) If anyone has advice on our destinations or things along the way please write. I'm thrilled that Nick can take some time off and hit the road for parts unknown (to us).

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Rough Day for Emma

Saturday was a day-long celebration of Civano, as I mentioned, and Emma was participating in the festivities. Well, mostly she was eating the pastries. Anyway, she fell and scraped the nail of her ring finger on the right hand. Part of the nail peeled off and took skin with it. That's very painful to anyone, but especially so to a toddler who has little experience with pain. Nick carried her all the way home and we bandaged her up. Distraction is the best remedy. She learned to hold that hand fisted up to protect it. So smart, my little girl. After her nap she was back in the game. We went down again to hear the band play and let her run around and dance. While playing on the grass she tripped just close enough to the concrete border to raise a nice lump on her head. Poor dear. We were looking for signs of head trauma as we headed home in the stroller. Kept an eye on her for a few hours: dizziness, balance, lethargy, nausea, no appetite, eye movement, etc. But she had no symptoms and no change in her usual self. Back again for the dinner show; she had a great time dancing with the other toddlers and no injuries!

Nick and I both woke up with colds today. He's on the Sudafed and I'm waterboarding myself with sinus cleansing. Emma woke up an hour early so off they went with the wagon. I scrubbed the kitchen floor. Just can't get it looking good. Concrete stains; who knew? Doris and Les just left for a month of travelling the west coast in the RV. Should be good for them to get away. What will we do without them? What will Emma think happened to them? In a couple of years she can join them...Gram and Pappy camp in Monroe, roadtrips with Nana and Pops.

Blogging is kind of addicting, like you're all in my head! Have a great day :)

Friday, October 16, 2009


Let me get you all caught up with our newsy items and happenings. I am 24 weeks pregnant with our second child, a boy. He needs a name and we are open to all suggestions, so please comment with those. I have gained 18 # and the doc says I'm looking good. Belly length is on target, heartbeat is strong. "He who shall not be named" is perfect according to the sonogram from a few weeks ago. I feel good and am in the "good" trimester. Nausea and fatigue are behind me. Rib crushing and the inability to lace my shoes are still far ahead. If Emma's noticed my belly, she has the good manners not to mention it.
Nick is at a talk and reception in the town center for Civano's 10th anniversary. There is a full day of activities planned tomorrow to celebrate our special neighborhood. I've never heard of any other development that is so involved. Always something cool going on here. I would've liked to go, but it started too late for Emma. As I often brag, Nick was here salvaging the trees from this land 12 years ago. So he needs to go and schmooze with the folk. People often tell me that he's the only Shipley they haven't met. Nick, man of mystery.
Emma has a few new tricks. Last two nights she was playing quietly in her room before bedtime (7pm) as we always do, when she walked over to her crib and waved goodnight at us. Basically saying, "Put me in bed, I'm done for the day." Love it! She also says bubble and ball very clearly. Today in the car she pointed out an old gas station sign (something 76, you know) and said "ball". Plain as day, and correct, of course. In the afternoons we have a new routine to catch all the family's homecoming action in our circle. I bring out a couple of toys and chairs, a snack, and traffic cones. We set them up at the perimeter to let incoming cars know that kids are in the street. The only people driving in there are neighbors coming to garages, if you remember how it's set up, and no one comes in fast. But it makes them make eye contact with me so I can let them know that I have Emma and it's safe. Plus, she's learning that those are her boundaries. Emma runs around and gets dirty, the neighbor's kid comes out, all guys come home. When Les comes home, Emma wants to sit in the driver's seat of his truck and pretend. That's his special time with her. Then Nick comes in and takes over for me and gets to visit with everybody. The weather has gotten so nice now that it's a great time to be outside.
I think I've reached my computer limit! I'm going to get a brownie (new recipe, easy and the only scratch brownie I've made that tastes better than box mix) and veg out on my reclining couch. mmm, aaahh is what that sounds like if you're wondering!
With love,

Jumping In

I have enjoyed reading the blogs of family so much. I like the details of their daily lives as much as the big news. It reminds me that everyone's life is made of details; knowing those details make me feel closer. My life isn't very exciting as a stay-at-home mom (or SAHM), but the details may be a mystery to those who haven't lived it. So, I thought I'd join the club and blog to expose my everyday routine. (Is this why people twitter?) Also, Emma does something new and funny everyday. Not necessarily something to write home about, but this is the good stuff, and it passes too quickly. I want you to know about her news, too.
My siblings' blogs are a joy to read if only for the beauty of their writing. Funny, poignant, perfect in composition...This blog will not sound like that. I will probably end more than one post, "Emma's up, gotta go." But I hope it sounds like a phone call from me, that my voice comes through and you feel like you're here. Because that's why I'm doing it.