Monday, November 28, 2011

Another good day on the trail

 It was a gorgeous weekend here, so Zack and I took advantage of it and went hiking on the trail, but on the other side of the creek. Just to mix it up a little.

This ended up being a good thing, as in the first 5 minutes of our hike we saw a snake. Well, Georgia spotted it first. It was just a harmless brown snake, taking advantage of the Indian Summer.

 Of course, after seeing this snake, Zack wanted to find more snakes. I told him that in the 10 years I'd been walking this trail, I'd never seen a snake before, so I wasn't too sure that we'd see another one and perhaps we should look for other things. He thought for a moment and decided that he'd like to look for "frogs, fish, and sharks." He also claimed to see crocodiles in the creek.

If he was disappointed in not finding any other wildlife, it didn't show. He quite happily played in the water for awhile, fishing digging, and exploring. He's quite a good hiker; this side of the trail is hillier and a bit rockier, but it was no problem for him. He was rather proud of himself for walking on rocks to cross a little rivulet. I love watching him exploring and taking in the world.

And what is it about a pile of leaves that draws kids in like a moth to a flame? With no prompts from us whatsoever, he dove in and must have been running, jumping, and swimming in this pile for a good hour.

So if you're looking for Christmas gift suggestions for him, just box up some leaves and send them our way.

Saturday, November 26, 2011


Note that he isn't doing this in our yard. Oh no. He'd rather go help Cessy.

Friday, November 25, 2011


Some belated pictures from Rob's and my trip to Milan. We had a lovely time, particularly since we knew that Zack was having a great time with Grandma and Papa back home. I'm pretty sure we missed him far more than he missed us

This first picture is from the Duomo, the third largest cathedral in the world. The irony here is that I wasn't allowed in the first day we tried to visit inside because my shoulders weren't covered---but there are fashion posters hanging on the outside.

This is the outside of the aquarium. We didn't go inside, but the outside is a lovely art deco building with lots of animals all over it.
Rob popping out of a lovely outdoor market.

A view of the Duomo from the new modern art museum. The swirly lines are part of an art installation reflected in the glass.



A very belated Halloween post. Zack wanted to be a skeleton for Halloween, so Rob went to work while I was away on a business trip. I knew it was going to be a great costume, but I was really blown away when I came home to see this. What you can't see in these pictures is that it also glows in the dark.

Zack really loved his costume and proudly told everyone that his Daddy made it for him.

The pumpkins were done by Rob and by Uncle Geoff, who had mentioned early in October that he thought he'd like to try his hand at jack o'lanterns this year.

Zack LOVED Halloween this year. He was so into the ghosts and monsters and skeletons and pumpkins and witches. He loved trick or treating--he went out with Rob while I manned the homefront. They ended up getting together with neighbors while trick or treating and Zack got a huge kick out of "tricking" me when he rang the doorbell with his two friends.

Monday, November 21, 2011

The face of tolerance

We have totally lucked out with Georgia--she is so very tolerant of Zack and his shenanigans. She's only protested her treatment two or three times. And believe me, it was warranted protest and was done very gently. Regardless of having to put up with this boisterous boy of ours, she's clearly attached to him. She sits for Zack, takes treats ever so gently from him, and sleeps in his bed nearly every night.

What I was surprised at was how Zack is behaving a bit as if he has sibling rivalry with Georgia. Little whacks here, squeezes that are a bit too tight there. Followed by a very gentle hug, kiss, and an "I love you, Georgia" 10 minutes later. And a reminder that we have to take her for a walk/feed her/let her out. This sibling rivalry, combined with other rascally behavior he has been exhibiting lately (more on that in another post), is enough to drive us slightly batty.

At least he's cute.   

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

And this is the pit.

Why yes, that WAS our backyard and garden. And yes, Dad, they did go through the flagstone walk you just put in (though they pulled up the stones first). And yes, that is as much of our backyard as it looks like--probably more.

And yes, it is raining today, so the workers won't be here and all this will drag on even longer.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

There is large construction equipment in our yard.

And also a big pit with an accompanying large pile of dirt.

That is all.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011


I thought I'd downloaded Halloween pictures, but I seem not to have. Those will be forthcoming. In the meantime, I thought I'd share some pictures of the activity that Zack and I have taken up on the weekends: hiking. We take Georgia over to the Northwest Branch Trail near our house and spend some time outside. This past weekend had the added benefit of being a beautiful autumn day. There's lots to explore for both humans and canines alike. Zack always manages to find the biggest leaves that have fallen, while Georgia is more interested in chipmunks and other dogs. This past weekend had the added benefit of being a beautiful autumn day, and Zack wanted to do some exploring by the water. He didn't manage to fill in the creek, but got a pretty good start on it.

Zack continues to be a cheerful and funny and a joy to be with--when he isn't being possessed by a demon who blatantly ignores his parents, does the exact opposite of what he's been asked, and openly searches for things to get into, break, and harm himself with. In an interesting juxtaposition, he is also becoming increasingly aware that other people have some sort of opinion of him, an opinion that may be different than how he sees himself. This realization has resulted him being much shier in unfamiliar situations and with unfamiliar people. He'll often warm up, but not always. Rob and I find ourselves aching for him in these situations. Despite being a very shy child myself, I have trouble figuring out how to help him negotiate these times when he's unsure. That said, I don't think he's nearly as shy as I ever was, thankfully.

The other interesting consequence of his realization that others have different opinions than him is that he's started....let's say "fabricating reality." I don't want to say he's lying because I'm not sure it's quite as sophisticated as that (though Rob might disagree). So for example, he tried pulling something off the counter the other night and it fell and broke. Now when we ask him about it, he says that it fell off the counter all by itself. Or he'll tell us that he didn't have a vitamin yet when he definitely has had one. Or he'll tell me that Rob said that he could have X, Y, or Z, when I've just heard Rob say the exact opposite. We're not quite sure how to deal with this because when he's questioned about it, it's as if he really believes his version of events.

So long story short, he's still keeping us on our toes.