Saturday, July 15, 2006
Need some help here...
OK folks, I'm in the market for a couch. I'm wondering what you recommend for upholstery. I'm thinking leather is a bad idea at this point. Should I just get something with a loud print so the toddler stains will blend in? I'm thinking I need something in heavy canvas or something. The real reason this one was destroyed is because of Beaker. The dogs are not allowed on the couch, but he'll put his paw up and climb half on before you can push him off. His claw marks have made a hole in two places.

So, any suggestions would be appreciated. Do you have anything that is working well for you?
New PSP stuff!
I got the idea to try to learn this from Steph's post on the board. Unfortunately her tutorial didn't work for me. I have PSP 6 and it doesn't work quite the same. I just kept fiddling with it until I figured it out. If anyone else has an older version of PSP I'd be glad to send along my instructions.

Another for practice. I'm not too impressed with them artistically, but I've found I don't have a lot of good pictures to work with for this purpose.

First picture from Noni's
As you can see, it's not like she's deprived or anything ;)

Bridgewater Fireman's Parade and Lawn Party
We took Emma to see the parade. It was Popi's idea a few weeks ago. He figured she'd enjoy a parade, and so she did. When we met up with Noni and Popi we headed to the lawn party area and got some dinner. It was standard fair fare (hee hee), ham sandwiches, pork barbeque, fried chicken, hamburgers and hot dogs, french fries and onion rings. After the meal we headed back to main street to select our spot for the parade. We chose a place right in front of a big Methodist Church so that the sun would be behind the building soon and we'd be in the shade.

Before the parade started we put Emma down so she could run around. There was a two year-old girl playing next to us, but Emma wasn't interested. It's always weird to see your little dynamo being all shy and backward, but here she is...

Emma's Parade
I call it Emma's parade because you couldn't have designed a parade more suited to my daughter's interests (and vocabulary!) The only thing that could have made it more perfect is if Elmo had been riding a tractor.

It's a fireman's parade so it was mostly firetrucks. There were also trucks from businesses, like delivery trucks and tractor trailers. There were golf carts and bicycles and motorcycles. There were a few twirlers and a band or two. There were maybe three decorated floats in the whole parade. But honestly, this is exactly the parade Emma would love. Remember, she'll sit on the front porch of the store just to watch traffic go by. She was completely entranced by all the trucks. And she'd call them out when they came by, and wave and smile. She had a blast! Especially when they'd blow their horn or run the siren. It was lots of fun, only because we were there with her. You know...everything old is new again.

Bluegrass music, wheeeee!
After the parade was over we hit the funnel cake shack before the lines got long. While we were munching away Daddy was bobbing/dancing to the music with Emma on his shoulders and she was giggling her butt off. Then Popi started dancing too and Emma was in stitches.

Sea of Tractors
This lawn party has always included a tractor and steam engine meet. Here is the line-up of tractors on display. I think there were about four long lines of them. Honestly, I don't think Emma will ever appreciate this particular lawn party as much as she does this year. She'll move on to other interests by next year. But this year her heart is with the tractors, trucks and cars.

Noni's Emma Report
Noni and Popi have Emma for the weekend now. My plan is to get a few things done today while M. is working and then we'll start the floor project tonight. I hope to clean Emma's malawi chair and our couch and paint some trim in the living room.

I had this waiting in my email this morning. So there was no need for me to worry. Of course I worry more about me missing her than her actual welfare ;)

Hi Mommy and Daddy,

I just wanted to let you know that I had a really fun ride home with Noni and Popi. Noni sang the "ABC" song for me 2 times. Then Popi started to sing it for me. I kept saying "again" and Popi would sing it another time for me. I don't even know how many times I said "again", but by the time we were almost home I was doing my best to sing along. I got the "g", the "s" and the "z" real good.

Then just for fun I started doing the raspberry noise. When Noni did it back to me I just couldn't keep from giggling. I did it again and she did again, I just giggled and giggled and giggled. When we got home I was following Noni and Popi around doing it and when they did it back to me I giggled some more. One time I giggled so hard I fell back on my butt, but that didn't stop my laughing. It was fun!

I took my shoes and socks off. Popi helped me with my shorts and shirt and I took my diaper off ALL BY MYSELF. Noni seemed so proud of me. Then I ran to the bathroom where Popi was getting my bath water ready. The first time he said "are you ready", I threw my leg up to let him know I was. Bath was fun. Noni put some boats in the tub with me and some more of the characters like I have in my bath at home. I talked to them and Noni made the noises the animals make for me. Popi got me a nice cold cup of water to drink. It tasted really good.

Noni and Popi both helped to get me dressed for bed. Then they took me to the computer where Noni played the "Hamster Dance" for me. That song makes me giggle every time I hear it. She tried to find a good "ABC" song on the computer for me too, but she wasn't having much luck, so she thought I was tired and I should get to bed.

I gave them a big hug and kiss before bed and Noni put Elmo and Tigger in the bed with me. I am going right off to sleep. I've had a big day. A parade, a lawn party, lots and lots of tractors, lots of pretty lights, and so many people to watch and some great country music that made me laugh too. I liked riding around on daddy's shoulders. I could see everything so well. It was a good day!

Goodnight, Mommy and Daddy! I love you!
Love, Emma

P.S. Noni says she is going to teach me the "Bushel and Peck" thing, so I can say it for you some day.


Thursday, July 13, 2006
When they start to love you back...
Emma is sweetly obliging when I ask her "Can I have a kiss?"

But today she gave me my kiss and then said "Hug?"
Grandma's birthday dinner
At O'Charley's we learned our lesson that we needed to buy this child her own meal or she would eat all of Mommy's french fries. So tonight we got her a hot dog and french fries. But Nooooooo. She didn't want her french fries, which were superb crinkle cuts that were perfectly crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. She wanted Mommy's curly fries. We buy her a meal of her own and she eats my fries anyway. I'm not sure she ate a single bite of the hot dog either.

You want some hot dog?

Yummy, food tastes so much better off of Mommy's plate!

Burning off a few calories after the meal.

New shoes
There ya go, Noni. Thanks for sending them. While I'm pretty sure they're meant to be water shoes I can tell you she'll be wearing them whenever, wherever.

P. S. Where's the price tag?

Maybe not warm enough
Last night it was warm enough in Emma's room when we put her to bed that we put a light onesie on her and no socks. A few hours later this is how I found her, with her blanket all wrapped around her. Not sure if she meant to do that or not because you can see that her hair is plastered to her hair with sweat. Still cute though.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006
My excuse
For late/light blogging tonight. We pulled up the living room carpet tonight. Yuck. The good news is that we found a hardwood floor underneath. So that means we won't have to lay down plywood or anything. Still, it needed a lot of work. M. spent several hours on his hands and knees scraping up rotted padding and pulling up old rusty staples and tack strip. We've got everything done that Emma might be able to get to. Tomorrow night after she goes to bed we'll do behind the couch and the beige chair. The floor we found is quite stained and was as filthy as could be. I swept up tons of fine sand-like dirt. I'm just trying to focus on how nice the floor will look when the project is done.

Big suprise here...not
Here's how I rank on the Seven Deadly Sins...(borrowed from Gelbspot)

Wrath:Very Low

Take the Seven Deadly Sins Quiz
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Good news
I got a raise. Woo hoo! Now if they'd just quit raising my health insurance contributions every year. Sheesh.
A bump on her bump
The original bump she got Sunday. She fell over the front of this guy. Obviously her instincts about him were dead on. M. said she was standing on the front wheels and went to give him a hug and he tossed her on her face. Nice horse, huh? That bump was a bruise/abrasion with the vertical scratches.

Today when I went to pick her up from Mary's she had the horizontal bump. Mary said she hit her face on the end of the couch or something. I think that's like bump #12 on that exact same spot.

The garden ornament
Emma discovered the windchime tonight. Daddy let her get right in the bed of hostas and play with it. He said she spent a long time checking it over and playing with it. He took video, but he did the old hold-the-camera-sideways trick so the video can't be shown. Oh well, live and learn. Again.

New slide pictures
For those of you who may get tired of so many pictures of the same subject...
Please be aware that these are for one of the few people in the world who will never get tired of them. And have patience ;)

Monday, July 10, 2006
Shot Glass of the Day
Richmond International Raceway. The NASCAR series comes by twice a year. I attended two races nearly a decade ago. It was fun before the race, but once they start circling the track...ZZZZZZZZ. It's a long race. Some exciting memories include getting Joe Gibb's autograph for Noni and watching some young punk punch a middle-aged woman in the face in the parking lot after the race. The man that was with the woman disappeared for a few minutes and then came back towards where we were sitting toting a gun and looking for the punk. Then a cop comes running with his gun drawn, screaming "Drop your weapon, drop your weapon!" So the dude whose woman was punched got in big trouble and the young punk hid out in some chick's car and got away scot free. We had all been sitting around in lawn chairs drinking and snacking and waiting for our chance to get out of the parking lot when this happened. We had already waited a couple of hours. When the excitement happened we all snuck behind the truck and hid from the people with the guns. We're not stupid.

Self Portrait
Here's Daddy's attempt. He did about as good as I did.

Sunday, July 09, 2006
Watering Can Tonight
The pumpkins were thirsty. Emma is very conscientious about her watering duties.

I watched it last night on WE, which is it's own special torture. Cable channels kill you with commercials because it's the same ones over and over at every break. Anyway, I digress.

This movie was completely fascinating to me. I hadn't seen it since it's original run in 1988. It was definitely a slice of the Eighties, starting with the Big Hair. Big, Bad Hair. Then it was a moment in time in the decade of Greed. Mergers and Acquisitions, Barbarians at the Gate, the workings of Wall Street and High Finance. It actually made me think of Andrea since much of it seem to have been shot around the World Trade Center. There were many shots of the towers throughout the movie.

It was funny to see Harrison Ford in the role of the financial wheeler and dealer. Sigourney Weaver's character didn't seem as odious as I had remembered her. And Melanie Griffiths, well, it's hard to take her seriously at all. She is totally undermined by that voice. If you've heard it you know what I'm talking about, if not, then I can't really think how to describe it.

The most famous lines from that movie:

Melanie Griffith's character: "I have a head for business and a bod for sin."

Her best friend, who was trying to talk her out of the charade she was perpetrating:
"Sometimes I sing and dance around the house in my underwear. Doesn't make me Madonna. Never will."

You were supposed to root for "Tess McGill" to make it out of the secretarial pool because of her smarts and her spunk, and I did. But when I look at what she aspired to...the office with the window, it kind of depressed me. It's depressing enough when you see those giant office cattle pens with everyone working elbow to elbow, floor after floor, building after building. It explains the Dilbert phenomenon. From my sheltered perspective it seems so dehumanizing. If you're in it maybe you find it invigorating or maybe you're just damned grateful to have a job. But I can say this with utter's not for me. Maybe someone can explain to me the allure. If it's $$$ then OK, nevermind my comments ;)
Evening Walk
We hit the old road for Daddy's evening walk with Jake and Emma. M. carried Emma on his shoulders all the way to the gate, half a mile. He let her walk from well over a quarter of a mile from home. It was the golden hour so all the pictures have that golden glow.

Bird's eye view
If you're an indoor bird. This is looking down through the top of her tent. She's laying there with her long-legged bunny on her chest.

New outfit
One thing I have learned is that you should wash these onesie type outfits before she wears them and you should do it six months before it's supposed to fit her. This is a 24 month and it fits. I washed a couple of 18 month ones and put them on her recently and she's barely able to fit them. Normal 18 month clothes fit her perfectly. Carters seems to be especially bad about shrinkage when you wash their new clothes.

Shot Glass of the Day
Our third and final full day in Massauchusetts we spent on the Cape. The Cape of Cod as M. liked to call it. Our first stop was the Highland Light, a lighthouse that is still operational. M. likes lighthouses so we had to take the tour and climb to the top. Next we moved on to Provincetown, where we spent most of our day. I visited my first ever head shop. We had lunch and later some ice cream. We popped into most of the shops down the main street. It was a great little town. Next we moved back down the cape and stopped at a beach. It was June and it was too cold to stand on the shore without a jacket. We then drove on further until we reached a local seafood restaurant. I had fried clams. It was probably the first time I had ever had fresh ones. Very good stuff.