Saturday, July 08, 2006
Saturday with Noni
We spent the day doing a little shopping. Shocker, I know. We hit TJ Maxx, the mall, Wally World and Costco. I didn't even spend all that much. Yay, me! Popi was off with his motorcycle group on a ride to the D-Day Memorial at Bedford, Virginia. Emma asked about him throughout the day. He got home shortly after she woke up from her nap and all was well.
Chick-fil-A for lunch
We hit the new food joint in town. It was gooood. I got their #1 combo, chick-fil-a sandwich and waffle fries. Emma had the nuggets, and by God, they were nuggets of real chicken. No mincing and pressing and reconstituting, just real meat nuggets. The best part was the awesome indoor play area for the kids. When we went in we were the only ones. By the time we left 8 or 9 kids were in there. Emma did finally venture beyond her comfort zone; I could tell by the panicked cries of "Mommy, mommy!" A nice older kid led her down from the tubes. But hey, how else will they learn their limits if you don't let them try. We'll do it again when her cousins are home and she can be up there with familiar kids.

It's Emma's World
We just live in it. Emma pulled the giant bag of toys into the middle of the floor. Then she set up her chair in front of the bag. Her intention was for Noni to pull the toys out of the bag and show them to her one by one. Of course Noni did it. Here's Emma enjoying the show.

Shot Glass of the Day
Our second day in Massachusetts we hit the road and headed for Salem. We did a bit of a self-guided tour and then broke bad and took the Duck Boat tour. We did see the House of Seven Gables, Marblehead and the Customs House from the water. That was pretty cool. We didn't really do any of the witch stuff. We were pretty unmotivated tourists that day. Oh, we saw the Bunghole Liquor Store, even took a picture of it.

Friday, July 07, 2006
Shot Glass of the Day
When we got to my friend's in Taunton we had three full days to run around sightseeing. The first day we spent in Boston. We got the pass for the Metro (I can't remember what it's called in Boston) and jumped off at stops all over the place taking in the sights. I know we did the Prudential Center Skywalk, Faneuil Hall, a walk along the Charles, Quincy Market, Harvard Square, Newbury Street and the Cheesecake Factory ;) It was an action-packed, fun-filled day.

Update: M. got a look at this and informed me that it was not the Pru we went up in but the John Hancock Building. OK, we went up a building and looked at things far below.

Comfort Zone
On our mommy board we've been discussing pacis and lovies and when to put them aside. Usually Emma only relies on hers when she's in the crib. Sometimes she wants to bring it with her when she gets up in the morning. I guess she wants it most when she's tired. She asked for both "passes" and "tigger" on the way home from dinner tonight. She seemed pretty wiped out so we had an early bedtime.

From the majority of opinion on the board I'm thinking I'll just leave her be for now and let her have her comfort. We may wait till she's old enough to make the decision to set them aside herself. I'm told that her odds are she'll need braces anyway so try not to worry about the dental implications of the paci. Sigh.

Special day for Mommy
I received my very first compliment from my daughter. She pointed at my shirt and said, "preddy."

Poor Daddy
It's the Cruelty of Nature, or the Circle of Life, or whatever you want to call it. These are his sunflowers he planted for Emma. As you can see, every scrap of leaf has been eaten off of them so they are basically dead plants walking. We're not sure if it's rabbits or something else. He had a live trap set for over a week but no luck catching anything. The good news is they're not eating his pumpkin vines or the other two small patches of pumpkins and sunflowers he planted by the stump. This picture is so sad...

Super Thistle
Remember when I said thistles around here could get to eight feet tall? I wasn't kidding. This one's already seven feet and it's not close to the end of growing season.

Thursday, July 06, 2006
Guess what?
It's supposed to get down to 47 degrees tonight. Isn't that special?
The trip
On the trip to our destination across and down the road Emma insisted on bringing her shopping cart. This one is so much harder to push than her little cart. We live on the third most traveled road in the county. It's a testimony to the amount of traffic that factoid actually signifies that was let her bring the cart along.

The tractor
Some of you may notice that this is actually a bulldozer. Emma calls 'em as she sees 'em. This was parked across the road from us where they're working on digging a pond for the stupid bovine beasts. M. thought Emma would get a thrill sitting on a "tractor" and he was right.

More flowers
I know nothing about flowers so someone else can tell us what these are:

Shot Glass of the Day
This is where we stayed in Atlantic City. It was pretty nice, and central to all the action on the boardwalk. So saying that M. won enough gambling to cover our hotel expenses was actually saying something ;)

Wednesday, July 05, 2006
Independence day with friends
We went to The Compound. That's the weekend home of our friend who has a Class 3 firearms dealer's license. That means he can collect automatic weapons. I shot my first Uzi (made popular by Miami Vice) there, and a 1919 tripod-mounted .30 caliber belt-fed Browning automatic machine gun (the one in the pic is semi-auto). You may have seen one of these in Rambo ;)

Anyway, Doug, the owner of The Compound has a fun Independence Day gathering. His crazy family comes in from long distances to attend. Mostly just the men. They are craaaaazy. They like to get liquored up before shooting off the fireworks, for extra excitement. They have bottle rocket duels. You can count on multiple people getting burnt. It really is ridiculously funny though.

Doug's wife feeds everyone dinner, then comes the liquor, then after dark the fireworks. Last night was the first time since Emma was born that I was sorry I had to leave somewhere to take her home to put her in bed. I knew what fun I was missing. But we were good parents and had her home in bed by 8:30 p.m. No fireworks for us.

Here are some new decorations to liven up the place...

One of Doug's brothers who comes from South Carolina for this...

Here's Grace climbing into her chair. They had just laid a stone patio and put up a canopy over it. There was tons of dust where they had swept limestone dust into the cracks between the stones.

Here are my daughter's dusty footprints on the picnic table seat.

Reason #3312 why I hate cows
They disabled our satellite television by eating the cable that goes to the house. M. spent at least half an hour running diagnostics from the box before we went outside to have a look at the cable. Apparently the cows had broken in that morning and chewed it up, but we hadn't watched any TV all day so we didn't know. M. headed out in the dark with a replacement fitting and was able to recut the cable and fix it. It really is nice to be married to a handy man.


Shot Glass of the Day
In honor of the inept legislators of the fine state of New Jersey tonight's featured shot glass hails from Atlantic City. In 2000 we headed north for our vacation for the first time. Our destination was my friend's place in Taunton, Mass. Along the way we spent a couple of days in Atlantic City. In 1998 we had visited Las Vegas and M. turned out to be quite lucky at gambling. I wanted to show him the differences between Atlantic City and Las Vegas. Here is a shot glass we picked up in one of the tourist shops on the boardwalk. M. hit on the slots and basically covered the cost of our accomodations. Now if he could just get me to quit gambling we would come out way ahead. I'm not that lucky.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006
Happy Independence Day!
As Popi likes to remind us, every country has a 4th of July, but in the United States we're celebrating Independence Day.

Monday night slide
M. took off from work after lunch and the three of us rode over the mountains to Costco. I bought some laminate flooring for our living room. That's means we have a big project in our near future. Anyway, we invited Noni and Popi to meet us after work for supper. We ate at O'Charley's. It was my first time there and I was impressed; the food was good and the prices were right. One lesson that we learned was that it's time to start ordering Emma her own meal. She pretty much wiped out my french fries and we had to order more.

After the meal we went to Noni and Popi's so Emma could blow off some steam before the drive home. In these pictures she's all over the neighbor's slide again.

FYI, she did not sleep one wink on the way home. It was the longest trip home of my life. Of course we get to the store and transfer her to my car for the last few miles home...and she falls asleep. Sigh

Giant Independence Day Parade Post
In a little hamlet about 25 minutes up the road they have an annual Independence Day children's parade. The kids show up and parade down the road with whatever they want. At the end everyone is treated to lemonade, cookies and ice cream. It's sponsored by a little book bank in the town. Today was our first time there. We decorated Emma's cart and crossed our finger and hoped that she'd push it through the parade. It's a pretty short route and the parade is over in about fifteen minutes.

Emma did pretty well but she was distracted by everything going on around her. She fell off the pace early and if we hadn't picked her up and carried her ahead a bit she'd have ended up behind the horses. She was as cute as a button and Mommy was quite proud.

Here's one of the parade participants getting ready to go:

This is Cameron and Emma. They were born a day or two apart and we bump into Cam and her Mom at events a couple of times a year. Unfortunately they don't live here full time, she just visits Grandma here.

Here we have the tail end of the twirlettes and the mob of walkers...

As you can see it's a very casual parade. It's really about the kids having fun and showing off their colors...

The chihuahua momma and more walkers and bikers...

There's my baby!

She's proud of her "preddy" cart.

This is Stu, he loves a good parade. Any excuse to put on his loincloth and pull out his sword.

And we have Uncle Sam...

The video shows you most of the parade in a minute and a half ;)

Sunday, July 02, 2006
Look out for the crazy lady
This is like the game she wanted to play a couple of weeks ago where I'd cover her head with the dish towel and spin her around and she'd walk away blindly and half drunk. She's a bit of a nut, if you hadn't gotten that already.

Another Sunday pool day
She had a great time with Daddy. They did the usual Ring Around the Rosie and 1,2,3, Splash games. Every toy she has outdoors made it into the pool.

For some reason every time she leans back like this she meows. I think you even get to hear it in the video...

Brief glimpse of the morning outfit
Once it became saturated with water and sand it was done for. We even had to hose the sand off her body in the shower.