Monday, December 28, 2009

Ho ho ho!

I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas!

More pictures will be posted soon. To whet your appetite, here's a link to a video card that Rob put together for Anna and Mark.

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

It wasn't just hype

I'm always skeptical when the local weather people forecast lots of snow, mostly because (1) people get way too worked up about things down here (e.g. one of the local weathermen, Topper Shut, has developed a loaf scale of how severe storms will be, as in how many loaves of bread you should buy beforehand. Enough said) and (2) they're usually absolutely wrong and we get an inch or two at most. But by Friday afternoon the National Weather Service was predicting 10-20 inches, so I was at least thinking we'd get 5 or 6 inches.


Perhaps they knew what they were talking about. It snowed for more than 24 hours and we got a lot of snow.

Our poor neighbor's Mini Cooper this morning.

I took a walk yesterday morning before too much had accumulated (about the 5-6 inches I'd originally anticipated). Wasn't the stream beautiful?

And this little guy? He's a trooper. Here he is yesterday before we ventured out, and then after we'd been out for awhile. He was really excited about the snow, but couldn't walk in it very well--it was up past his knees yesterday and up to his waist today. But he still wanted to explore. And he's been having lots of fun watching the birds and squirrels at the bird feeder.

We made soup and Zack brought his stool over so he could supervise.

This afternoon I walked into the kitchen and found that the stool had been repurposed as a part of this installation piece.

Rob went out this afternoon and said the main roads are fine. Our street used to get plowed pretty quickly, but whatever important person used to live on our street seems to have moved because we only got plowed late this morning. We should be all set for getting out tomorrow and going about business as usual. It's going to stay cold, though, so i think we'll be stuck with this snow for awhile.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

1 year, 43 weeks (or whatever week we're at now)

What a fabulous weekend we just had!

I had left my umbrella and Mark and Judy's house over Thanksgiving and they wanted to return it. Thankfully, they don't believe in the US Postal Service, and they wanted to deliver it in person, instead. We had no plans for their visit, other than that we wanted to get our Christmas tree and that it would be nice to get together with our other friends, Joan and Mel, as well. (By way of a little history, Joan, Mark, and Rob are friends that go way back.)


They arrived Friday night with their dog, Gus, in tow. Zack was so excited to see his partner in crime again! One thing led to another and we decided that Saturday would be a day for cooking and getting a tree and drinking some lovely wine with friends.

After a good breakfast on a beautiful Saturday morning, the guys went grocery shopping and Judy and I took Gus for a long and chilly walk on the trail. We had a delicious warm lunch of soup and grilled cheese (yeah, food is going to feature prominently in this post), after which we set about getting the tree, baking and starting some short ribs roasting in the oven for dinner.

Once Mark and Rob got the tree situated (which went MUCH more smoothly than whenever I help Rob with this job), they started working on the rest of dinner while Judy and I decorated the tree. Sadly, all of my Grandma's old Christmas ornaments will be staying in storage for another couple years until a certain small person gets over his fascination with pulling glass balls off the tree, but I think we still ended up with a fine looking tree.

All of the tree decoration happened while Zack was napping. I didn't get many pictures of the weekend because I was enjoying it so much, but I do wish I'd captured his reaction to seeing the tree for the first time. I brought him down from his nap, and right about the time we walked by the kitchen, he saw the tree. His whole face lit up, he pointed and he yelled "LIGHTS!!!!!" and looked at us as if to say "You people clearly don't appreciate this situation to its fullest. There is a TREE. With LIGHTS. Right over THERE." He has been absolutely fascinated by the tree, pointing out all the things he knows words for. I've had to do a little redecorating by moving the balls to the top because he's figured out how to take off the caps to the glass balls which he then proceeds to run around with.

Joan and Mel ended up coming over for dinner. Zack took a shining to Mel and wanted to show him Gus and the tree and all sorts of things. I'd never seen him do that before. After Zack went to bed, we had quite a feast. It was really fun to catch up with old friends.

Mark and Judy and Gus left Sunday morning, but not before we shared another yummy breakfast. All in all, it was a great weekend, just what we needed to relax and take a breath and get in the Christmas spirit. I'll have to remember to leave my umbrella at their house again next year so that they'll have to come down to return it.


And just in case you needed a little comic relief:

Monday, December 07, 2009

1 year, 42 weeks: Snow!

It snowed on Saturday, Zack's first snow. On Sunday it was nice enough to go check it all out.

Rob and I were taking too long, as always.

We walked all the way around the block...

...and then took a breather when we got back home.

He thought it was pretty cool and didn't want to go back inside. A fact that he broadcast to the entire neighborhood.

On the other hand, I was freezing and headed inside before the guys, so that I could start the hot chocolate, another first for Zack.

I think he enjoyed it.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

1 year, 41 weeks

Happy Belated Thanksgiving!

We had a really nice time visiting our friends Mark and Judy. Zack had such a good time that he absolutely refused to take a nap on Thursday. Energizer bunny, that kid!

You may recall that he hasn't been much of a meat eater. Maybe a little dark meat chicken, but it mostly gets spit out. We discovered that we've been offering the wrong kind of meat. What he's wanted is ham. Ham. Who knew? He didn't eat much all day, then later on Rob couldn't give it to him fast enough!

This picture pretty much sums up his day--constant motion!

This was his partner in crime--Gus. Gus is really the perfect dog for kids, and Zack was really good with him. Zack gave him many hugs, and offered to share his juice and his grapes with Gus. Gus politely declined, though he did help himself to one of Zack's crackers.

They saw things nose-to-nose.

The words just keep coming! Upstairs, downstairs, trash, mess (this one is used a lot), stuck, rain, cold, hot, warm, books, oh no!, spoon, pepper, fox, socks, bag, birdie, squirrel.

And what a little snuggler he's becoming! Especially when he wants a book read to him. He'll climb up in bed, arrange the pillows the way he wants them, then look at me and pat the pillow next to him so that I'll come and read to him. A heart-melter, that one!

We've started all sitting in bed and reading to Zack before he goes to bed. Tonight Rob was reading him a book and it was apparently going on a little too long. Zack got Green Eggs and Ham, handed it to me, and said "me." He kept pushing it towards me, but I tried to get him to finish listening to Rob's book. Finally, he took matters into his own hands--he took the book from Rob, handed me Green Eggs and Ham, and said "me" again. Point taken.

Like the bag that Rob brought back from London for me?

Yeah, me, too.

You'll never guess...
...who else does, too.

He is now a pretty much self-sufficient eater. There is much protesting if we try to help (and will gently but firmly remove our hand from the bowl we're preventing from falling on the floor). He uses both a fork and a spoon (the former a bit better than the latter). I'm still not sure about his handedness--the fork goes in his right hand and the spoon goes in his left.

He has also discovered the water dispenser on the fridge. He is surprisingly good at filling a cup and (usually) not spilling too much. But he's not 100% accurate yet, and the look on his face when he gets doused with ice cold water is precious!

How embarrassing!

I've got a strawberry stuck to my shoe!


....can I get a little help here?

Another indicator of how active and curious he is.

He also climbed on the dining room table the other night and Rob caught him just as he was about to put his hand in the flame of the candle that was lit on the table. Sigh. Never a dull moment.