Friday, December 28, 2007

Gus in 2008

It's a bit early to start talking about this time next year when Gus will be 15 month old, but because he has two very cool twin friends, named Cole and Graham, who are exactly 1 year older than him, we get a preview into whatever he will likely like and want to be, when we visit the Hinds Family in Springville.

One word and a digit for Christmas next year: 4-wheeler!

Gus' Dad is soooooo excited about that, Mom will do whatever she can to compete with that....piano lessons anyone?

Gus' first Christmas

We had a blessed and relaxed Christmas here at Granna and Pap's in Locust Fork, Alabama. Gus got the biggest present (a new car seat) as well as lot of littler ones (all in primary colors with one sound effect or another).

But the best present is the constant cuddles and attention from everyone around. Gus can never have enough of those!
Merry Christmas

Friday, December 21, 2007

Gus's buddy Boone

Yesterday our dear friends Drew and Leah Baldwin called and agreed to stop over at our house on their way from Wake Forrest to Tennessee...we're so glad they came and spent the night...the last time we saw them, Leah and I were both at that akward stage where you are pregnant but nothing shows or is cute yet...only your pants are really they have a wonderful little son named Boone who is 2 months Gus' senior...we hope they'll be great friends someday...because their parents really like hanging out with each other.

We hope we'll get to see them again real soon for skiing in the swanky (not) ski resort of Sugar Mountain North Carolina.

My beautiful bowl

Our dear friend and accomplished Wood Artisan, George, brought us a wonderful present yesterday - it's not a Christmas present, but that's because giving gifts on a schedule doesn't agree with George's creative nature - nevertheless I am so very excited about this beautiful bowl made from Hickory wood...I walk by and touch it and it makes me here adore it with me (and if you want one, look up George on his Web site at

Early Christmas

Auntie Say-Say and Uncle Will stopped by the other day and brought Gus his very first Christmas present - Tiny yet completely authentic Carhartt bib overalls and a Union suit complete with a rear trap door...he and his Daddy can now wear matching outfits...

For now, Daddy is content to demonstrate how his favorite brand holds up (literally)

Thank you Sara and Will for thinking of us! We love you! Rook and Dinner is in the Future, I promise

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Seeing Santa - at the bank

With temperatures hovering in the high 60s it's been a (sweat-inducing) chore to get in the spirit of the tonight we packed up our little bundle of energy and walked on over to our bank, where Santa and all our friendly tellers were waiting with free barbecue, a bad 80s band, and as much coffee and cider as you can drink.
Gus wasn't so sure about Santa, but he gamely hung on for the ho-ho-hos...
Everyone was jolly at Mountain First Bank in Brevard - if only Santa could get a bit of a cold front to come through here, we've been suffering through all the snowy reports filtering back to us from Colorado.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Gus - A 3-month review

Friday, three months ago, Gus, our son, joined our little family.
It's an occasion simultaniously momentous and minimal.

It seems like yesterday that we first held, felt and experienced him, and yet I feel like a veteran mother, seasoned through hundreds of dirty diapers, tell-tale spit-up stains on the shoulder and sleepy nighttime feedings...
Here is what I've learned so far:
- Babies, no matter how perfect, are not impressed, by to-do lists, comittments, schedules, and aspirations to effiency.
- Gus is his father's child. He loves the simple life - as in "hang out with me..spend time with me, sit and be still with me"
- He is the ultimate sleep aid (I rarely make it past 9 p.m.) but at the same time can cheer me out of a near comatose state with the mere flick of an eyelash (3 a.m. chat anyone?) and I don't even mind

- Despite his parents questionable hygiene habits (we shower at least twice a week) Gus is a sucker for a dry clean makes him positively giddy to be cleaned up, it must be the ultimate payback...the two slobs get the tidy kid
- His happy place? On the changing table, under his mobile, in his Daddy's arms
- His favorite thing? The ceiling fan, his paci, story books
- His best trick? Shoving all four fingers sans thumb (that would be so common) into his mouth and slobber all over them
- His favorite state of being? Neked, nude, no clothes, nada none
- His least favorite thing? His car seat, despite the fact that it is stylish and European

- His words so far? Ru, ra, ba, da and any combination thereofs
- The weirdest Gus thing? He can roll his "Rs" better than either of us
- His favorite time of the day? Waking up in the morning, he usually bursts with sheer exitement for a new day...using all his words at the top of his lungs...HE...IS...READY!!!

- His next big accomplishement? To roll, he the verge...
- Mommie's favorite thing? "Milk drunk Gus" that's when he falls off the nipple and has to contract into a tight sideways curl to wring out a burp, so he can at least breathe...

- Daddy's favorite thing? Balancing Gus sitting on his outstretched hand...please, don't call social services...he has another hand to catch him!

- Neither of us can imagine life without Gus, at the same time we keep offering him to friends and strangers for's funny as long as no one says yes

- He is the best baby is know and that I know for sure...

- He can melt my heart and steal my breath with a single gurgely giggle

- I have never had a male companion quite like him. He is so loyal, so gamely in shopping malls, so handsome we can't help but collect compliments. He wears whatever I pick out and he makes me look good even on the worst hair day.

- He has the bluest eyes of anyone - and his Daddy has VERY blue eyes.
- He is wonderful and a wonder to us.

American I (finally) am...

Hard to believe this was me 5 years ago, when I started on my path to citizenship...

It took 5 years, a mountain of patience, 3 sets of fingerprints (that I can remember), one divorce, 12 wonderful letters of support from friends and family, two interviews (one grueling, the other pleasant), at least 4 different forms, two lengthy questionnaires ("have you ever been, employed or otherwise engaged a prostitute...have you ever spied or conspired against the United States...etc.", one bossy lawyer, who charged $250 an hour and $17 per page faxed, and at least 2000 miles in driving time and gas...

...but here I am American as apple pie! (I baked two this past weekend, just in case)

Yep, yesterday after living in the US on one visa or another for the past 16 years I was told I no longer needed to have a stamp in my foreign passport, or carry my resident green card...but that I could apply for the American-the-Beautiful blue passport myself...I'm star-spangled and stamp-approved, a genuine Naturalized Citizen!

I can't quite believe it all yet. I registered to vote today...Obama, Hillary, Rudi and all you presidential-wanna-be's watch I opinion finally counts now!

The ceremony was a let-down, hastyly conducted in a drab conference room, me and my "fellow American" (that's what Bush called us with a thin smile in a special canned movie bit for us new citizen) got to raise our right hands and pledge away - to carry arms if asked, to help our government if asked, to conduct ourselves with dignity and lawfully all the time - so help us God.

We didn't even get a paper flag...just an ugly certificate....but nevermind, I am an American now

After almost two decades of pursuing...I not have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness...

Monday, December 10, 2007

Second Advent

Images from our "tree-raising party" yesterday evening. ...which made me realize...all I want for Christmas I already have...

Ho Ho Ho!

Ho-ham, not ho-hum...