Friday, February 27, 2009


Today it rained in Brevard, in that that steady, pedantic way that frays the nerves if you let it. So Gus and I decided to host an impromptu Mom&Kid get together...we put out the calls and my two friends, Heather and Berne came, bearing all the cute kids they could scoop up along the way (that's being cute, because Berne watches two adorable boys in addition to her own daughter, Graysen)....

And we played (the glass door into Gus's room was a particular hit.

And we lined up for diaper changes...
And we enjoyed a little afternoon snack....

Here is Gus just moments after waving bye-bye to tired and so happy...
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His favorite

Pap left this morning, but the afterglow is keeping us warm and fuzzy. RD may be my all-time favorite houseguest; he just fits in seamlessly, arrives bearing food, makes his own coffee, laughs at my jokes and never tires of playing and hanging out with Gus, who just plain adores him and readily invited him into his inner circle of book readers...

Pap come back any time, ya hear? We'll stock the bathtub with trout, if necessary...
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Monday, February 23, 2009

Smelly time

Gus loves this scratch-n-sniff book and he loves the fact that his grandpa (Pap) is here to visit him even more. He is practically hyperventilating at all the possibilities and all the attention he is about to receive for the week to come. It never hurts to have a fresh pair of eyes to read all his favorites with new enthusiasm, somehow his parents' renditions are starting to sound a little flat...this is going to be fun, we love to have RD here.
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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Fast friends

My friend Heather and I ran a 5K in Hendersonville this afternoon under a bright blue sky at a brisk 35 degrees. Aptly, the race is called the Frostbite 5K, put on by the Park Ridge Hospital, incidentially, the place where Heather's adorable son, Rion, was born 10 weeks ago - go Momma! (Whew I know, that's a run-on sentence if there ever was one...but I'm on a roll, afterglow and all)

She says she doesn't like to run, but I'm in awe of her for running a race so quickly after giving birth. We were the only two stroller Moms, so Rion and Gus won their age groups, 0-12 months and 12-24 months, respectively. Gus got lots of attention, which is what he enjoys. In fact, he always is kind of unhappy when he realizes the race/run is over....I guess we'll keep on moving and trudging on.

I'm still at a loss for words when I pass people, I know - from my own experience - that it's depressing when the lady with the stroller pulls ahead of you, but the competitor in me all the while screams at me "who cares about these people and their wussy feelings, go go go!"

So I do and then I feel a little bit bad, until I see another person ahead of me to pick off...Gus is into it too, all he has to do is point and we're off in hot pursuit.

Any suggestions for a polite little ditty I could holler at people instead of "watch out! We got wheels" (that's really what I say...I know, it's bad)

Did I mention that I love this stroller and the freedom and sanity it has given me?

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Yup, I know it's probably a little risque to still blog nudie shots of my toddler, but this is just so exciting I have to share it.
Presenting: Gus on the potty...he loves it and sees it as his duty to visit it at least twice a day and do a tinkle, usually accompanied by us singing or reading a book. Note to grandmas: I might need your help to ween this child, but I think I can at least get him potty trained on my own.
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Saturday, February 21, 2009

Happy Birthday, Granna!

It's been rainy here this week, so Granna I miss you and your sunny spirit. But luckily, my froggy rainboots are keeping me dry and warm until I see you again. Happy birthday, Granna, I'm saving a kiss and a hug for you - Gus

Friday, February 20, 2009

Busy Gus

Eighteen-month-olds are busy, busy creatures....Gus has a tremendous and seemingly untiring capacity for pulling things out and making a mess and an equally enthusiastic zeal for putting things that usually takes up most of our mid-day he resorts to one of his old standbys....peek-a-boo...which he plays with anyone who's eyes he can catch for more than one, the bus driver at the traffic light, the cop in the car next to us at the stop, the secretary at the office next to ours, shopkeepers, Daddy, daddy..."watch me" he communicates with a big smile...then he'll hide...behind his hands, the fridge, the door, a hanging coat, the laundry...pauses for dramatic effect...and...reappears with a triumphant smile at having shocked you...he loves the game enough to play it anywhere, anytime under all circumstances and in two languages ( German, if you must know)

After a good game of peek-a-boo, Gus likes to practice a bit of tennis in the kitchen, usually while Momma cooks or preps he was already a bit tuckered out from a fast game with a balloon and a whiffle ball...the rules are few...use whatever is round enough to roll and bounce and chase it around Momma's legs, the table and anything else in the way...

Here's the crowning moment of the day for Gus (a bit fuzzy, shows you how tired I am around 9 p.m.) having cornered Daddy on the couch after dinner, Gus proceeds to pull out all his old favorites (and I mean, very old, very thumbed over favorites) and have them read to him over and over...Panda Bear, Bedtime for Bunny, Pet the Bunny are a must...recently he's branched out to a few new ones like Wocket in my Pocket and even Goodnight Moon...Gus loves a good book...he loves pulling them out of his basket one by one and bringing them to the chosen reader (we secretely hope we'll be spared) my rule is that whenever Gus comes to me with a book, we sit and read. He's caught on to that way too quickly...
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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Kiss me, hug me, love me

Recipe for love:
- take adorable unfatiguable toddler cupid, fresh from sleep
- cuddle it with abandon, tell it you love it
-then dress it and dump it on unsuspecting and infinitely loving good friends who amazingly have agreed
to watch said cupid for 12 hours
- drive two hours, giddy just at wearing your ski clothes

- Purchase highly overprized lift tickets
- then sit back and enjoy the carnage on the slopes as you ride up the
300-yard-long lift (check out the ratio
of skiers down versus skiers up)

- laugh and ski, laugh and ski and repeat, as many times as possible.
I love you sweet, stylish, smooth husband of mine.
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Love that day

ahhh...skiing in the South... It's truly a special treat for Jacob and me every time we partake in it and this Valentine's Day we decided we should, in lieu, of fine dining, flowers and other love-knackery. So come 7 a.m. we dumped our adorable little cupid Gus with our wonderful and truly amazing friends, Lynne and Mark, and headed to Sugar Mountain about 2 hours northwest of Brevard.

ahh...the mayhem near the ski rentals, the melee of staggering ski-booted people boarding the shuttle bus, the slushy and yet icy man-made snow laid out in skimpy ribbons of death, not to mention hordes of people with no discernible skiing skills happily hurling themselves down the mountain with no plans to all simply goes with out comparison...well, you could try to compare it to, say, skiing in Colorado, but that would be fact, Jacob and I have come to agree that if we could take the Southern skiing scene to the well-groomed snowy slopes of Colorado, we would - and charge admittance. Because here in the South skiing is a lot funnier than anywhere else I've ever been.

Here are some of my favorite nuggets of the day:
- The guy slowly and carefully making his wedges down the mountain, his poles clamped securely under one arm to free up the ungloved hand on the other to enjoy the cigarette he needed to smoke to calm his nerves at the adventures ahead...his pack stuck out of the breast pocket of his camouflage coverall.
- The obviously relieved father pumping his fists over his head in triumph at having managed to get off the lift still on his skis...meanwhile his shrieking daughter - who had not fared as well- became the shrieking foundation of a solid ramp pile-up of least 3 people high before we lost sight of it.
- The guy in the stylish fleece North Face Jacket and Cabbelas hunting cap riding high on his head - style is strictly optional in a Southern ski resort
- At least three sightings of people skiing in jeans - JEANS!!! And one of them had a VERY wet butt
- The pouty Ashley Simpson-look-alike, who slid to a halting stop, after a painfully slow and seemingly frustrating descent on the shortest slope, briskly taking off her board and wordlessly trowing it at the feet of her equally pouty looking and only slightly better snowboarder wanna-be-dude boyfriend, then turning on her heels and wordlessly marching toward the lodge. Just one of the many well-meant Valentine's Day dates we saw go sour before our very eyes.
- Three black ladies - one in saggy pink sweatpants - purposefully walking down the slope with their skis and poles nilly-willy cradled in their arms. They looked like they had no intentions of ever putting their ski gear on...

Needless to say we laughed a lot (to ourselves) and skiied the two double-black-diamond runs (each at least 30 feet long) as others watched in hushed awe...

A powder Day at Sugar Mountain!!!

Jacob drooling at all the powder he is about to rock out on (and some rocks to rock on too, as well)

Our friends Russ, Brandon and Ashleigh, who joined us for a fun and foggy afternoon of skiing. You guys were awesome, keep making those wedge turns and keep working on those hockey stops and make us proud.
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Saturday, February 14, 2009

My Love

Gus loves his Granna, Pap, Grosi & Grosspabe

He loves his Momma, but he really loves his Daddy. "Daddy, daddy, daddy" as he call him and I agree with him. "Daddy, daddy, daddy" is EXTREMELY loveable.
Gus loves the tractor. Really, really loves the tractor.

Gus loves food very hot, so Momma can blow on it. It makes him happy.

He loves yoghurt, it's smackably good and so refreshing. Try it sometime. Gulp, smack, ahhh.

He loves to nurse, still. Depending on the day we either celebrate that fact or act coy about it.

He loves to jump. All day long. No curb too low to not be enjoyed.

He loves black beans, light switches, water faucets, the toilet brush, Momma's cell phone and Daddy's laptop. He loves them all equally and with an unabashed passion.

Gus loves to feed the neighborhood doggies - "doddies" a treat and he loves every cat he has ever met. Every one of them. Shaggy, shy, grumpy or cuddly. "Titty" he hollers and runs after one swifly evacuating feline after another. He hasn't given up yet.
Someday one will love him back.

Gus loves powertools, it's in his blood.

He loves to climb, also inscribed in his DNA.

He loves to dance and has suspect taste in music, may also be a blood thing...I'm not proud of it.

He loves "Panda Bear, Panda Bear," "Pat the Bunny," and "Bedtime for Bunny." He loves them a dozen times every day. Cover to cover and repeat. Momma and Daddy don't love them anymore.
They abhore them, but quietly.

Gus loves to laugh. He can't stand it when others laugh without him. He joins in, even if he has to fake it. He will catchu up to you laughing.

He loves the lady at the coffeeshop, a second at the courthouse and one at the post office. He is a lady's man no doubt. And he knows how to flirt.
We get lots of free cookies, quick deed copies and mail delivery with a smile.

Gus loves a good puddle and being naked can't be topped by anything. It makes him dance and sing even without music nearby.
He loves the potty. Momma and Daddy, daddy, daddy LOVE it too!

Gus loves to pray. Sometimes when the holy spirit nudges him, we pray four or five times during a single sandwich, joining hands, lowering our heads, me speaking he chewing mindfully.
It may lack spiritual sincerety at this early age, but he loves the habit of it.

Gus loves to sign and be understood. He kinda takes after his Momma there. For her first year in the United States, she signed and acted out words too.

He is a boy of many loves, all individually important to him.

He makes me appreciate love with a renewed sense of abandon.
God is good.

And children are a blessing.


Friday, February 13, 2009

To a good home

I just finished my blog post for Valentine's Day, where I waxed on poetically about the many loves of Gus....well, as I look over my shoulderI see this... and this (well that's actually from a few days ago....)

It makes me want to write this:

To a good home.
One 18-month-old, ice-water-veined, blond-and-blue-eyed mini-monster with deceptively sweet manners.
Loves to climb high and knows no hurt big enough not to try again. Lacks no confidence
but may be short on common sense. Amazingly apt to find ways to un-hinge any attempts at toddler-proofing his environment. Interested parties must have the mind of a toddler-felon and keen awareness to mischief happening behind their backs by the minute.

This child is not for the faint-hearted. Almost housebroken, extremly social and
easily entertained by passing cars, unattended toilet brushes and left-on computers.
This child will test your patience and stare you down in almost any contest.

Anyone? Anyone?

Well maybe I'll just go and see if my friend Heather wants to trade me sweet little Rion for Gus.
Where has my sweet baby gone!!! Where I beg you!!!

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Monday, February 9, 2009

Sweet home Alabama

Needless to say, Gus had a great time visiting with his Granna and his Pap. He made bisquits, he spent some time with Charlie (who is our trusted, stylish clothes-hand-me-downer) and he learned how to rest in a Lazy-boy chair from his Pap. He did it all and he loved it all. Thanks for having us!
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C'mon Baby, let's go potty

I sing this silly line (taken from a bad 90s dance tune) whenever Gus and I head for the potty to go do our thing...yep, I'm determined to sacrifice all the time, energy and backstrain it takes to get this child housebroken by the time he is two. It's a Swiss thing for me. Children there don't wear pull-ups when they're 3 and 4. All signs so far point to good progress...Gus willingly "announces" the need to go to the Potty via hand sign (revving a fist next to your ear) and then 90 percent of the time follows it up with a tinkle into the toilet (no No. 2's yet, but I'll keep you all up to date on that...)

To make things easier we've invested in a potty seat for our bathroom...after some research, I settled on a seat rather than an entire potty...figuring I might as well exploit Gus' desire to do what we adults do....yup, going to the bathroom in our household is a very public and celebrated occasion...don't be surprised if you come over and have to go...we all pile in, we all clap our hands, we all help with the toilet paper...what can I say...anything to get away from diapers...

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"Wanderfueddli" that's Swiss-German for someone who likes to go exploring and can't sit still (literal translation is wander butt) and that's exactly what Gus did this weekend as we spent a few sun-warmed days in Alabama. With little traffic to worry about, we let him go farther and farther just to see how far he would go before he'd get scared or turn around...the answer is: My child will go far far far before he ever casts a backward you see that teeny weeny red dot in the field between the garage and the barn? (RD my father-in-law and Oli the faithful dog were respectfully giving Gus space but staying in line of sight)
Here I zoomed in to see what you see...a 17-month-old going on 21 walking purposefully and full of confidence toward the barn where his personal favorite lives: The tractor...
He did eventually stop and allow his Pap to catch made me think of how cooped up he sometimes must feel and how exciting it must be for him to just walk away with no one fussing over him. Mental note: More exploring, less imploring...
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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

New Face

A rare family portrait of us, taken on Superbowl Sunday, plus one. Who you might wonder outloud is that ADORABLE, SWEET, EXTREMELY HANDSOME, AND-OH-SO-CUDDLY Baby on Jacob's lap...

...well, it's quite a sad story really...because....

...he is NOT OURS...!!!

I wish I could say we found him in the park and decided to keep him (my apologies, Maia, I'm not poking fun of you and Sloan) but every time I try to snatch him and run, his Mommie grabs him away from regards for the long-suffering Toddler-Mom who finds herself weighing sleepless nights against rest-free days and feels slighted that babyhood lasts for about half a wink.

So let me properly introduce this little lad: his name is Rion, he is 11 lbs and plus/minus 22 inches and 6 weeks old. He is the offspring of my friends Heather and Richard, half-American, half-Newzealander, and quite possibly the cutest baby on the planet at this moment.

Seeing Rion sitting so happily on Jacob's lap makes my mind, no...don't go there, I could never ever manage two....Gus would have to go live with his grandparents for most of the year...but still it's sweet to just hold and inhale and cuddle...

oh, no, I'm turning into a baby junkie!