BUSY TIMES




Habitot Museum

Originally uploaded by marymompics

Today Nathan, his mom and I went to Berkeley’s Habitot Children’s Museum. I think the trains were his favorite thing to play with. There were lots of kids there in various stages of cooperative (or non-cooperative) play. There’s also tables of goop to form, water to splash about in, grocery store pretend, and big building blocks.

Nathan’s taking a nap now and Ryan is out exploring her new house. John’s at work. I am sole babysitter. I have the trusty baby monitor next to me for when he wakes up. I am looking forward to an afternoon of reading books, playing blocks and making snacks. Nathan isn’t always so sure he wants to play with his Beeba – Zayde seems like so much more fun. Maybe John is especially loved for being the inventor of spatula ball and for not being the one who changes diapers. I am hoping our one on one time will go well.

BUBBLES!




Bubbles!

Originally uploaded by marymompics

Nathan, his Mommy, Daddy and Auntie Leigh came to stay at our house Sunday for a month while their new house is getting ready. It is so wonderful having them here. Especially Nathan! Since Jon and Leigh had to go to work and Ryan had to go supervise housecleaning and then paperwork two days in a row, we got to babysit!

This is a picture of Nathan enjoying bubbles. John would blow bubbles and get them so they stuck on the table and Nathan would pop them. It was great fun. We also made pretend soup where Nathan would pour water from one mixing bowl to another. After each transfer he would whisk the results. Since we did this in the kitchen there was lots of spilling on the kitchen floor. I figure soon I will have washed the whole floor one tile at a time! What a superior way to get the floor clean.

We also read books and listened to music. Nathan liked to do a strange little goose-stepping dance to the Mozart Horn Concerto. Of course, we also made food, changed diapers, went up and down the stairs a lot, kissed booboos, and did all the million things one has to do to keep babies safe and happy.

How did we ever do it when our kids were small? Taking care of babies is hard work! Kudos to Ryan and Jon for doing such a great job with Nathan.

HOME




Tractor slippers

Originally uploaded by marymompics

Well, we’ve made it back to California as of this past Sunday. We are so glad to get home but we certainly had a wonderful trip. With all the posting I’ve done over the past two months I’ve taken a short blog vacation this week. But I have to share this adorable picture of Nathan wearing his John Deere tractor slippers which we got in Moline many weeks ago.

We were so afraid that Nathan would have forgotten us since we were gone so long. But one look at his happy, smiling face let us know that he hadn’t forgotten us at all. Nathan and his family are moving in with us this coming weekend while they are waiting for their recently purchased house to be ready. We are so excited! Today we are moving things around and trying to make it as comfortable as possible for everyone. I think that Nathan may be the star of this blog for a while!

ANNIVERSARY TRIP, DAYS 55, 56 & 57, TUESDAY, WEDNESDAY & THURSDAY – AUGUST 7, 8 & 9, 2007


Eileen, Jim & Biscuit

Originally uploaded by marymompics

Leaving Gallup at a gallop, we journeyed into Arizona to see our good friends and old neighbors from Massachusetts, Eileen & Jim. On the way we stopped in Sedona, a much more upscale red rock town than St. George, and climbed the Cleopatra Hill up to Jerome, AZ. From there we made our way down to Prescott, AZ.

As usual Eileen had munchies and wine waiting and we sat around eating, drinking wine and talking about our trip, the world situation and anything else that came to mind. After a wonderful dinner of crabcakes and more wine, there was some raucous dancing and guitar playing. As I said we always have fun with Eileen and Jim.

On Wednesday we had a quiet day doing some shopping and taking some naps and basically recovering from the day before. Jim was flying off for work on Thursday and we were heading home.


Vermillion Cliffs

Originally uploaded by marymompics

On Thursday after some final hugs, we started our way back to St. George where the trip all began so many weeks ago. Soon I’ll have a list of bests and worsts but for now I’ll just say that this was the trip of a lifetime. We met so many nice people and saw so many amazing things. We put about 10,000 miles on our little Santa Fe which held up admirably. But now we were looking forward to getting back to St. George.  When we saw the Vermillion Cliffs of Arizona and Utah, we knew we were close and it felt good. (What felt less good was getting into the house in St. George and finding the air conditioning broken. The house peaked at 93 degrees. So we spent one more night in a hotel. Hopefully tonight we’ll sleep in our own bed!)

ANNIVERSARY TRIP, DAYS 53 & 54 – SUNDAY & MONDAY, AUGUST 5 & 6, 2007

Sunday and Monday we spent driving from Dallas to Gallup, New Mexico with an overnight in Amarillo, TX.  On Sunday when we got into our hotel just in time to take a nap.  (Better there than in the car!)  Later we walked across the parking lot to the Texas Roadhouse and had dinner.  And so ends another exciting day on the road.

Monday was a long drive day but we started early and gained an hour going into Mountain Time so we had time to do a little something.  About 50 miles outside of Gallup we turned off I-40 and went to two National Monuments, El Malpais and El Morro.  I had never heard of either of these.  The first was a geologic site with volcanoes and lava tubes, the second, a small oasis next to a towering  cliff where various people from pre-historic Native Americans to Spanish invaders to soldiers had carved there names,

We got into Gallup shortly after 5 PM.  Soon thereafter there was an immense thunderstorm, a real gullywasher.  So we had chips and cheese and bread for supper not wishing to venture out.  Tomorrow we head to Prescott, AZ to visit our friends, Eileen and Jim.  We always have fun there!




Andy and John

Originally uploaded by marymompics

We got to Dallas around mid-day and checked into Bailey’s Uptown Inn. The inn is within walking distance of our nephew, Andy’s, apartment. We schlepped all our stuff upstairs to our room only to discover after an hour or so that the air conditioning was not working upstairs. So poor John schlepped all downstairs to a queen size room (boo). A downside of inns is that there is usually no elevator and no one to help with the luggage.

We walked over to Andy’s and we were so excited to see him in his new life as up and coming Texas Instruments employee. He is very happy and is looking forward to getting married next year and buying a house. We went out to dinner at the Hibiscus Grill. The food was excellent and we spent a few hours talking about his hopes for the future and discussing the world situation. It was fun and interesting.




Book Depository

Originally uploaded by marymompics

On Saturday we all went to the Sixth Floor Museum at the old Book Depository in Dallas. (The window on the end just below the decorative brick is the one that Lee Harvey Oswald shot through.) It was a sobering look at the events surrounding the assassination of John F. Kennedy. John and I were just entering high school when it happened. The country had been filled with the promise of a young president and his new ideas. Young people were joining the Peace Corps. There was such enthusiasm and hopefulness for the future. Then with a rifle bought for $12.75 it all came to an end.




Cattleman’s Steakhouse

Originally uploaded by marymompics

Later we traveled to Ft. Worth where “the real West begins” for dinner at Cattleman’s Steakhouse in the historic Stockyards District. Wow, what a difference from Dallas. Dallas is all cosmopolitan and Ft. Worth is all cowboy.

ANNIVERSARY TRIP, DAY 50 – THURSDAY, AUGUST 2, 2007


Graceland

Originally uploaded by marymompics

This is going to be one of my most picture-filled blogs so there may be only one sentence per picture.

Today as we left Memphis we swung by Graceland hoping to snap a picture. Although Elvis’s house is located on a busy street among gas stations, fast food and hotels, it is nestled in a bunch of trees and impossible to see from the street. Since we didn’t want to pay $6 just to get our car parked, we just took a picture of the sign.

From there we made our way to Arkansas. We stopped in Hot Springs to have some lunch and ate at the Dixie Café. They had a plate called Vegetable Heaven. Since we have been in the land of few vegetables both John and I decided to have it. Our lunch consisted of a marinated black-eye pea salad and three sides. John had turnip greens, fried okra and white beans with ham. I had the white beans and ham, cole slaw and the real surprise, deep fried corn on the cob. This was corn dipped in a tempura type batter and deep-fried. Really good. And there is no question that John and I are going back on the healthy lifestyle plan and get fit when we are back in California.