Thursday, June 26, 2008

G&G glamour shot

I have not felt too photogenic lately, the bad hair season may be part of it, but my friend, Heather, captured me & Gus in a way I really like and wanted to share with everyone.

World citizen

Here I am, a bonified Swiss-American citizen, with the passport to prove it.

American-Swiss Family Dinkins.

It's been a big week for us. Stimulus check in the mail (yeah), new diaper bag in the mail (whee), and finally - drumroll - our brandnew, dark-blue, pretty-as-can-be, American-as-apple-pie U.S. Passports!!!

Big hurray...

Me & Gus will travel to Switzerland later this summer, while Jacob heads to Colorado to learn about solar panels, and show off this beauties.

Look's who's visiting...

Granna & Pap are stopping in for a short little visit on their way to the Wright wedding in Virginia. Gus is having a ball with his favorite two big playmates...they'll be back Sunday again, too.
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Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Introducing: My new not-just-practical-but-also-cute diaper & adult came in the mail yesterday...after nine months of shlepping around a practical backpack and a schwag sorry-excuse-for-a-bag sportsac, I broke down and treated myself to this beauty...I'm ready to be a stylish Momma (and hopefully a bit practical, too)
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Monday, June 23, 2008

Go jump in a lake

Guess what we did this weekend - exactly that. We went and jumped into a lake, a very nice lake, albeit a bit low for the season. Our dear friend, Heather, invited us to come to her Mom and step-Dad's fabulous house on Lake Hartwell in South Carolina and Gus and I decided to take her up on it.

We weren't quite prepared for what awaited us there. A private dock, a big kiddie pool and two very wonderful hosts (Heather's folks) who love little kiddies and are prepared for them (hence the kiddie pool). We had a wonderful overnight stay - Gus loved every minute of it and slept like a champ, when he wasn't splashing in the water...
Thanks, Heather, we loved our luxury mini-vacation!
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Saturday, June 21, 2008

Hip hop, baby

Right now, music makes Gus' world go round -

or up and down, depending on how you look

at it.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Afternoon in the cool...

Friday afternoon, we spent some quiet
time inside in the cool.

Gus at play...I love it when he plays by himself - very loudly!

Snack time - this boy (like his Momma)
loves a good apple - at least 20 percent makes it into his tummy

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Better than TV...

Ever since "the mighty Miele" entered our lives and laundryroom, we spend a lot of time there: Me sitting on the stoop with my morning coffee, while Gus closely supervises a small load of his diapers being tumbled about and scrubbed's oddly soothing and embarrassingly fascinating for both of us...just watching the laundry being washed...we may get some TV trays to go with it...

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Saturday, June 14, 2008

Nine months..

Nine months !!!?

At the risk of repeating what I wrote one month ago, I'm still in awe at how quickly we have left infacy behind and how deftly Gus maneuvers his way into toddlerhood. He can't wait to be a little boy and I can't stop him.

- Six teeth, two more pushing
- A new obsession with climbing up on things (boxes, stools, low chairs etc.)
- Loves the banjo, goes looking for it. Gets upset when I close the door to it.
- Loves the Ukulele, almost as much as he banjo, plays it with heart especially in the morning.
- Grooves to the radio on full blast - Techno, Heavy Metal, 80s Pop, he digs all rhythms.

- Has officially licked the toilet brush once (the handle not the bristles), unrolled a full roll of TP twice, tasted toilet water once and sucked on the drainage sieve once. I try, but he is VERY FAST. We keep the bathroom door closed now.
- Loves to ride in the Burley, sings loudly especially on uphills, it keeps me going...
- Dislikes diaper changes and kicks to let you know

- Loves, loves, loves to "drive" the car. If boredom hits we head out to the Suzuki marooned in the driveway and he takes it for an "imaginary" spin while I sit in the passenger seat. He is a good driver and we go all sorts of fun places...
- Adores the pool and all bodies of water - even the sink
- Tries to "catch" a stream of water out of the faucet. It makes me laugh each time.
- Has mastered the excersaucer in the office to a multi-tasking level that is scary to me.

- Can play on his own really well, especially in the morning when it's quiet
- Sleeps through every night now for the past 2 months (keep my fingers crossed)
- Eats everything, spits out what he doesnt' like. Cheerios and raisins are still his favorite, but apple and watermelon are a close second, green beans are good, too.
- Still snuggles with me after naps in the afternoon
- Kisses himself in the mirror, kisses me, but with more tongue and drool.

- Keeps the conversation going at the dinner table, loves to engage his Daddy with burbles, babbles, shrieks and giggles, while we all munch away
- Stands on his own without a hand hold for 10 to 20 seconds at a successful steps yet, but they can't be far (I'm hoping farther than they likely are)
- Can navigate one and two steps of stairs...most of the time

- Shreds things faster than my shredder...only it's usually stuff I still need (like the phone book)
- Loves the dishwasher, loves to crawl into it.
- Hates closed doors
- Loves it when his Daddy plays the guitar or banjo for him, still one of the sweetest things to watch

Friday, June 13, 2008

Sie spricht Deutsch

Here she is - a triumph of German engineering and environmentally-sensitive technology - my new Miele washer!

Thanks to my parents (especially my Dad's tireless wheeling&dealing) this German-speaking (really) front-end-loader sits pretty in our laundry room, ready to go to work and wash hard to my every whim and wish.

Among her amazing list of features:

- the smallest load of laundry is washed on about 2 cups of water
- $15 average use of electricity per year (!!!) for average user
- she automatically adjust water level to size of load
- 12 pre-coded wash programs, including sensitive (for baby), white shirts (?), denim (we got that) and silk (not so much)
- timer button, so I can dream away while she kicks on to do some diapers in the middle of the night (now if she would only change them too)
- Menu selection so I can put together and memorize my own wash program (diaper soaking, workpants scrubbing)
- 1600 rpm high spin cycle (no worries I can adjust it down at 100 rpm intervals - what are rpms anyway?)
I'm washing the first loads this afternoon - after I read and get my doctorate in the 40 page manual that is mandatory reading.

Jetzt wird waschen ein Kinderspiel werden!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Stepping it up...

I can't really
walk yet -
I can climb,

found me
on top of
a file box.

Today, while
she wasn't
I arranged
the stool
and climbed
up on it...

The view
and the
on her face made it totally worth it.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

That's how I roll...

Another notable Gus stunt from this week - he just wanted to make sure it is as many yards as advertised - for the next week or so, our TP comes in small pieces and is kept in a messy pile atop the commode.
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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

What I did last weekend

Watched Momma make pizza from scratch - ah summer Friday evenings are back!

Enjoying the special pizza (crust, organic tomatoes and olive oil) Momma made me...

Making a splash at the local pool Saturday morning. I didn't want to leave...

Jumping and chillin' on the shady porch, while Momma cleans the floors Saturday afternoon (I supervised)...
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Saturday, June 7, 2008

Look Momma!

Look Momma!
No hands

They grow up so quick. I believe it now!
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Friday, June 6, 2008

Summer love

It's far too fabulous and appealing a season to not love.

To dislike summer is like pinching kittens and kicking puppy dogs.

I would be deeply suspicious of anyone who tells me they don't like summer. What, I would think to myself, is your problem? Too many turtlenecks in the closet? Afraid of a bit of prespiration?

Here in North Carolina, summer is an in-your-face proposition. You step outside and it assaults you head-on with scalding, steamy prowess. Within seconds you are drenched either with your own prespiration or the gallon of moisture that seems to be suspended in the air around you. To stay matte and cool requires disciplined ducking between car A/C, shady trees and air-conditioned stores and homes.

I run in the early morning. As a profuse sweater even in drier climate, running any later than 8 a.m. here would be indecent. Yesterday I ran by our Hardware store's electronic temperature sign at 7:20 a.m.

It was 77 degrees.

My shoes and socks and cap are soaked and have to be carefully set out to dry for the next day's run.

The forecast calls for low to mid-90s for the rest of the weekend. In these temperatures even a leisurely ride to the office has to be followed by a sponge bath in the office sink. That's when I'm grateful Gus is my only co-worker, he doesn't mind my sloppy semi-nude appearance. My mind wanders back to last summer when my pregnancy belly prompted everyone to compliment me on my glow - this summer, I'm just the sweaty, frizzy-haired Mommie of an almost 9 month old, wondering how much hairspray and powder it would take to look like the very put-together lady in front of me at the bakery. Wet curls only look good on Gus - not me.

But then there are the lighting bugs' sparkling dances at dusk, the balmy evenings, the shady swimming holes in the forest, the endless chorus of the cicadas, the abundance of shockingly beautiful flower beds around town, the soothing whir of our ceiling fans at night and the utterly peaceful feeling that embraces me when I sit down on our porch in the afternoon, with a glass of ice tea in my hand. Finally the light breeze makes the sweat on my arms feel good.

I miss Colorado in the winter. I love the Southeast in the summer.

Gardener's thumb down

It seemed way to easy to be true - our six tomato plants took to the ground in our backyard and diligently began bearing fruit...we couldn't believe our good fortune...given our less than lackluster veggie growing performance last year...I should have been more cautious before falling in love (and fantasizing about all the delicious ways to eat tomatoes) with my prissy water-loving little green friends out back...

Sure enough the carnage is upon us. Some mysterious disease is claiming one after the other, picking a new one in a capriciously cruel fashion almost every other day. First the third from the left went limp overnight last weekend and didn't ever recover, then the second from the right started looking sad, before going completely flacid yesterday. No sign of parasite, no mildew, no eating holes, no discoloration...just hanging branches and rolled up leaves...and yes, I did water them every day.

After a little reading on the Internet, I decided to harvest the green fruit (recipe for fried green tomatoes anyone?) then pull both of the infected plants up. I didn't even dare to throw them on the compost heap...instead they went into the sad.

Now a third one looks like it will give up its will to live sometime today...I'm profoundly saddened by it all. I know gardening is a life lesson and that me and my greedy stomach don't call the shots...but it does feel like the perpetual tease. Every time I toil in the ground...seeds turn into eager little seedlings, seedlings turn into mature plants bearing tempting fruit...then something comes along and either eats it or fouls it up some other way. Can you tell I'm a wee bit bitter?

Here I am in the midst of a flora and fauna so teeming with energy. Everything buzzes and you can practically hear things grow in the steamy heat of Western North Carolina...people trade in salad greens and strawberries, only I can't grow a thing fit to eat...poor me.

It's the seasonal curse for me. I'm going to mop around my flowers now, go to the farmer's market, instead and hold out some hope that my two Cherry Tomato plants are resistant to whatever is eating up my big tomatoes - oh, and I just found out that my compost heap is home to about a thousand potato shoots, a zucchini and what we tentatively have identified as a water melon - all without me even trying...maybe that's the lesson?

RIP my darling little tomato plants. I'm mourning you every time I look at the window sill.