Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Big 'un

Not to brag but look out our fabulous globe of a pumpkin. Almost 40 lbs of bright orange plumpness (39.6 lbs to be exact, I actually managed to heave it onto my scale) that we had to harvest yesterday after its vine simply gave out (it had hung itself on a fence, hence the beautiful dimensions). A little early perhaps, but it serves as a bright reminder that autumn is moving in as crisp mornings and dark evenings frame my seasonal malaise that snow will be mostly happening in my imagination. As a transplant from Colorado, I still can't quite quit the ski dreams and the olfactory illusions that snow must be in the air....

After Gus is through exploring our new friend from every angle (and every play possibility) we'll be carving this beauty (any ideas, anyone?) and then cooking the insides down for a couple of jars of pumpkin butter (recipe). Thank you, Maia, for sending us the seeds (named aptly after one big doopey dog in whose memory we planted the seeds).

A blessed & happy autumn, everyone
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Monday, September 28, 2009

Baby & me


Gus is slowly moving into a new phase of his young life - seeing the need to be caring to others. He adores babies and crosses roads (and stops traffic, if he has to) to peek into a stroller or place a well-meant (not always well received) kiss on a bald baby head. He loves his little buddy Rion and shows that through numerous kisses and hugs, which Rion - ever his Momma's socially graceous son - receives with a quiet resignation.

When no babies are within kissable and hugable reach, Gus pours it on thick with Baby (his yet-to-be-named doll, which he himself picked out at the thriftstore almost a year ago). Baby sleeps with Gus, he tucks her in, lovingly, neatly, carefully. A fact that makes me smile seeing how he himself can barely stand having a blanket anywhere near him. He wakes up from naps, clutching her tighly to his little chest as he exits his room. She comes to sit for snacks and sometimes the two of them will have some sort of a tumble fest on the couch (I'm not invited, but I did play paparazzi for the above picture) that inevitably end in Gus cooing to Baby as she takes yet another nap (she is a good sleeper, whenever Gus is otherwise occupied, Baby naps, Gus will tell you that himself.)

He likes to feed her and share his juice with her (her fabulous outfit, by the way, was knitted in a day flat by Osi), she gets lots of kisses and she never refuses them. We count her fingers and toes and marvel how it always adds up to 10.

I remember feeling slightly weird buying my 14-month-old son a doll (shouldn't he have chosen the bouncy ball instead?) but knowing what I know now, I don't regret it. He is all rough and tumble eight hours a day, but he is tender and careful for that hour that he spends with baby every day. It feels good to see that in the son I'm raising to be a good nurturer to others someday - far off in the future.
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Danke vielmal!

Mir hend euses Paeckli uebercho! De Gus liebt sis neue Zuegli, mir sind fliessig am Batterie ersetze, er hetts gern wenns Zuegli fahrt im Hintergrund au wen er oepis anders am spiele isch (jedesmal wenn ich's abstell, stellt er's wieder ah). Danke vielmal au fuer d'Buechli und d'Schoggi und es neus Christbaum Anhaengerli.
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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

All good


See my tonsils, Dr. Myers? Gus didn't mind the nurse prodding him every which way at the occasion of his 2-year checkup, until she got out the contraption for the hearing exam - we will never know for sure if this non-stop talking kid is hearing impaired, but after he matter-of-factly informed us all that there is "blood on it" (repeatedly with a loud wail in between) during the finger prick, the nurse thought we'd let that one slide.

Gus is all healthy and thriving, according to our tiny, cute Misses Doctor.

Here are the stats for those who want to know:
Weight: 27.9 lbs (50 percentile)
Height: 35.5 Inches (75 percentile, yeah!!!)
Head: 19. 5 Inches (70 percentile)
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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Toddler hillarious

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Few words needed. We were outside, Gus playing and me knitting...then suddenly he blew by me on all fours, I ran to get the camera as he quietly and with much focus set out to repeat his feat. He has been experimenting for weeks with that skateboard...next he'll want a pair of skinny jeans...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Merry-go-round, then not merry

I couldn't resist. After he pestered me with the cutest big eyes and lots of "please" (he is persistent but polite, thank you very much) I broke down and bought the required 3 tickets (THREE BUCKS!!!) It's his birthday after all, I reasoned to myself as I handed over what seemed like way too much money for three rounds on a merry-go-round.

So here he is, riding on top of the world (he picked the motorcycle) Waving with the experience of a pageant beauty queen...

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Then the ride stops and tragedy hits. I had to pry my very wiry, strong and spidery-limbed two-year-old off the ride with the help of a mildly annoyed carnie - Gus was crushed...couldn't believe that it would ever end... and that I would let him suffer like that...

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Here he is...crying with all the anger and sadness of his two years of life. All I could do was yank the camera up and document it as the crowds assembled and people began offering up ride tickets (I should have put a hat out for the performance, he could have ridden for the rest of the day) The worst was that he kept sobbing "please" and "firetruck" (there was a fire engine on the ride) which made several grandmas give me the hairy eyeball for not giving in...(sorry for the sideways view, I forgot in the passion of the moment)

A fair day, indeed

Gus poses with the mountain districts' biggest pumpkin at the entrance to the North Carolina Mountain State Fair.
The hefty gourd outweighs him by many pounds...(he did try to lift it though)

Gus has one of his favorite moments - mine too, not too noisy and free - far from the fair's main attractions behind the livestock tent, on one of the working tractors, which reminded him of the one his Pap has... the tent workers thought that was very funny...

It was love at first sight, when he saw the "yawlow hulicoppter" once used to extinguish wildfires. Now they let kids climb all over it. We went back at least a half dozen times...

The chicks and chicken were another source of endless, silent adoration and fascination. We just stood and watched and stood and watched.
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Monday, September 14, 2009

Big kid

I might as well be twittering as I'm updating on our status by the hour on this VERY SPECIAL day for us! First things first: I can't believe how big and boyish my baby suddenly looks to me...for evidence I offer up these two shots...the one above taken yesterday...dressed in his Euro-Soccer gear complete with a pair of size 7 (SEVEN!!!) Converse...he is positively handsome isn't he? Not a trace of baby left. As you can see in the shot below, which features Gus and his best friend Rion (who happens to be the other cute boy in town and the son of my good friend, Heather) today during an impromptu cake birthday gathering this morning (also attended in an earlier shift by Gus' other good friend, Annaly, and her lovely mom, Joy).

Can you believe how HUGE he looks next to the world's cutest 9 month old? OK I'll stop gushing now. But it just dawned on me that I'm the mother of a BOY now, no longer a baby boy.

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A B I K E !!!

Look! What could it be?

Where are the pedals? (He really looked for them, he doesn't know of the months of painstaking research I did on why his first bike shouldn't have pedals)

Final tire pressure check by Daddy...

Push off! (We may need a helmet AND a mouth guard...)
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Two


The sight of a tractor makes your day
and no obstacle seems large enough to stop you
You talk in nouns
the verbs "drive" and "sleep"
working overtime

You are a happy, open, generous and easy-going kid
Almost all the time
You love your Daddy, and your Momma, too
And Jesus and the firetruck, as well.
Wide smiles, waves and funny faces at every turn
Lots of books strewn in your wake
A few favorites fanned in a tight circle around you
Being read to is a great pleasure to you
I adore that in you

You run faster and faster by the day
as if you can taste the adventure that lies beyond
you know hugs, kisses and (ma)ssages are good
and kicking, pinching and bumping heads is bad
but you choose to be a little bit both

You have no fear but freely seek solace and tenderness when hurt
You gamely accept the consequences with heart-braking toddler bravery
You like a good loud song and wild sing-along
You don't dance anymore
but still love the guitar, drums and most of all the banjo

You can't wait to go with Daddy EVERYWHERE
Playing with others is a special treat
and playing on your own is your happy place
Mowing the lawn with Daddy is like a parade to you

I adore your abandon for every minute of every day
I'm breathless at how easy to go from awake to sleep
How carefully you pack Froggie and Baby under the covers with you
And snuggle yourself into dreams

You are beautiful. I've stopped trying to be modest about that
because you just are
inside out, all blue-eyed, blond and bold

Your temper tantrums are as flamboyant as they are clumsy
funny to onlookers, though real to you
I ache for you while I labor to hold back a smile
Your opinions begin to matter, whether I let them or not
That's you beginning to become you
more and more every day

That lower lip hangs slack in concentration
Just like your Daddy's - my love for you both grows with each sight
You bask in a good job done and repeat almost anything I say
"Concession" or "sportsmanship" just to mention the latest
You like your big boy undies, but not enough to mean all business
You continue to win the waiting-game for the No. 2s - still
But you gamely go to pee in the potty for gummi bears - sometimes just for them
Still, I'm proud of that,
I believe in small victories and carefully picking my battles...

You love babies and your cousin Ed(f)ward
your toys, a long car ride and slides of any size
You could do without zucchini but not without ketchup
But you are not finicky and I trust your healthy instincts

You are absolutely without compare
A blessing from God to me
I am grateful
Even when I don't act like it
You remind me that I am special
Because I have you

Two years now.
Happy birthday, Gus.
Love. Momma

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Family Vacation in Alabama

Going out to dinner, all three of us showered and dolled up - it's a photo op!

Searching for treasures in Lake Gunthersville.

Throwing sand with Cousin Edward.

Fishing from the boathouse by the lake house. We all got to play and relax and have fun. A good vacation, indeed.
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Family vacation in Alabama

Our official Dinkins branch family shot at the Thacker Family reunion in Eufala Falls, Ala.

Sweet Edward, tender lover of all animals at the petting zoo.

Gus beyond speech as the miniature train ride begins - this is what he looks like when things are almost too good to be true.
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Birthday season

You only turn two once, so we're going to celebrate it for weeks - and Gus is OK with that. A week ago we took advantage of the scenic Alabama farm setting and a guest appearance by Gus' very favorite farm vehicle - Pap's tractor and also Gus' great-grandpawpaw, Aunt Leah, Uncle Andy, Cousin Edward, Granna and Pap.

Everyone piled on for an impromptu hay ride in Gus' honor.

The John Deere-themed cake was a sure hit with both boys. Gus had the toy tractor off before the candle was lit.
Make a wish sweet Babba.

And then there are the presents. Gus is all business and - phew - a good sharer.
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Saturday, September 12, 2009

Ringel Ringel Reihe

So many pictures and memories to shift through in the days to come - that's the hallmark of a great vacation, isn't it? This little movie is for Osi from Gus....we sang a Swiss-German version of Ring-around-the-Rosy...cousin Edward loved it.

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