Saturday, May 24, 2008
These were all taken by M with the telephoto lens.

Quiet and restful Saturday
And, boy, did I need one! I've been looking forward to my opportunity to sleep late for several days now. I did a little bit of cleaning. At lunchtime M brought home some sand and the pool stuff so we can start prepping the ground to lay the pool down. In the late afternoon I did 55 minutes on the treadmill while watching "Breach" from the DVR list. Now Emma is tucked in bed, M is snoozing on the couch and I'm posting this to hold you over until Monday. Tomorrow we head into the mountains (ha ha, like we don't already live there) to an even more remote place to hang out with our friends who are camping. Yeah, we're wimps now. I'll be in my warm bed while they're sleeping in their tents in the cold night with temperatures in the 40's. Suckers.
M comes in the back door and says...
"Will you bring the camera and come take a picture of the nutjob in the driveway?"

Friday, May 23, 2008
What's on my DVR?
Reno 911! (31)
My Friends Tigger & Pooh (22)
Backyardigans (43)
Transformers HD
The Wonder Pets (11)
Little Einsteins (36)
Go, Diego, Go! (23)
Dora the Explorer (34)
25th Hour
Open Range
Deck the Halls HD
Ni Hao, Kai-lan (11)
Pop-Up Video (5)
Dreamgirls HD
300 HD

(Represents number of episodes)
Zoo Animals
The star attraction. We were watching them from a deck overhead. We had to hang over it to get the photos.

Contemplative bird in the outdoor aviary.


Now Emma will know...
...who to blame for the Buddha belly she inherited.

Answer to Angie's Question #2
Five things I love about M.

1. He lets me be me. That's the #1 reason I know we're meant to be together. I didn't have to change anything about myself to be with him. He's very accepting of me, warts and all.

2. He completes me. Ha, ha, not in the sappy way. I joke that he's a left brain and I'm a right brain and together we make one good brain. He's very mechanically and technically oriented so he can take care of that aspect of our home life. In other words, he's a great handy man.

3. He has a good sense of humor. I don't have to explain any jokes to him after I tell them to him. He's slightly warped, just like me. OK...more than slightly.

4. He makes me feel wanted.

5. He's a terrific father. He genuinely puts Emma at the top of his priority list. He loves to spend time with her and they make great playmates. I think a great deal of her intellectual development is owed to the conversations they have together. He's a very soft touch where she's concerned.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Book Festival
On Saturday we went to a children's book festival on the grounds of the local university. It was a big festival and there was tons of stuff for kids to do. Emma got a free new book and a free gently used book. She got lots of stickers, a picture, a fireman's hat and a necklace made of cross-cut wood suspended on yarn. I think she was overwhelmed by all the activity (and our quail-driving) and wanted to stay in her stroller. I still think she had a good time.

Standing as close as she would get to one of the mascots. Also in attendance were Clifford the Big Red Dog, Curious George, Smokey Bear and Cubby the Bear.

Emma and Noni show off Emma's necklace while enjoying free hot dogs.

On our way out, listening to the music being played know...

An overview of about two-thirds of the set-up.

Zoo animals
This meerkat was on guard duty while the rest of them ate their mealworms.

I'm not sure what this bird was. The birds in the aviary didn't wear handy little labels for us.


It's a mystery...
Emma was playing with a hair clip. She put it in her hair and said,
"Daddy look, I have curls in my hair. Can I put it in your hair?"

Daddy replied, "I don't think you can put that in my hair, I'm missing some hair on top."

"Daddy, we can look for your missing hair. This calls for a mystery."

"Daddy, the Supersleuths can find your hair."

"I'm going to tell mommy we're going to find your hair."

Daddy interjected, "Uh, Emma, that hair's been missing for a long time."

"Don't worry Daddy, we can find your hair."
Emma's favorite joke
She'll sing a sweet song...

Rock-a-bye baby, on the tree top.
When the wind blows the cradle will rock.
When the bough breaks the cradle will fall
And down will come baby, peanut butter and all.

Insert any nonsensical word you can think of in place of peanut butter and you get the idea. It's our duty to laugh convincingly.
Gone fishing
Saturday afternoon Popi and Emma wanted to go fishing. We went to the lake down the road from Popi's house. They fished a little while with questionable success. They caught a fish, but it wasn't much. Emma also learned one of those hard lessons about why you don't play in Popi's tackle box. I'm glad Popi was able to remove the hook from her finger so easily. A lesson learned the hard way.

Sunday, May 18, 2008
Remember this little girl?
Yep, she's still around.

Behold my family in all their 1973 sartorial splendor! Popi had just completed his college degree thanks to the G. I. Bill. We left North Carolina soon after.

His parents brought two of his sisters down for the graduation ceremony. Look at Popi's mom with her awesome matching handbag and purse. Then Noni's mom had a handbag that matched her outfit! Everyone looked quite spiffy.

I was working on a bottle of 7Up. In almost every picture that day.

Zoo animals
We got to see a falcon enjoying his meal. Ah, the circle of life!

An owl watching everything from his spot in the corner.


Answer to Shawnie's question
Shawnie asks:

What is the best change you have made since becoming a parent?

I think the best change I've made is that I have a lot more compassion for everyone, particularly other parents and children. Now I know how difficult being in public with children is; I don't make snap judgments. I know how many factors can contribute to a child's behavior at a given moment. I have more appreciation for grandparents, who have survived the whole cycle of raising a child and sending them on their way. I think being a mom has made me a better human.

(I know I have several more questions to answer. I promise I'm not forgetting anyone. I really am working on answers.)