Nathan in pool

Originally uploaded by marymompics.

I don’t think I realized when my kids were small what hard work it is being a baby. But babies have to learn so much! Everything they do seems to be getting them ready for the next step. We have been enjoying having Nathan here in Utah this week. Yesterday we took him to the pool.

First he had to become adjusted to totally new surroundings. Plus there were gardeners there making loud noises with blowers and edgers. Then Ryan and Nathan sat on the steps of the pool. So many colors, so many noises. And what’s going on with the water?

It seemed kind of scary at first. Then he reached down to touch the water with his hand. Then he sat down in the water. Methodically he touched the pool bottom. Next the tiles and then the edge, again and again feeling the texture of each. Then he would reach down and try to catch something in his hand – maybe bubbles or maybe shadows. He’d close his hand and then bring his hands together. But there was only wetness, So he tried over and over to pick up the elusive bubble/shadow.

Finally there was splashing. But not just random splashing. Splashing to see what the water would do. He checked out the colors of splashing, the noise of splashing, and where the drops went.

On the walk back home, he almost fell asleep. No wonder! Being a baby is hard work!


One of the reasons that I haven’t posted is that after I wrote, ROAD TRIP!!!!, we actually took a road trip back to Utah.  The second reason is that I have been very busy getting ready for a visit from Jon, Ryan and NATHAN!!!  They arrived today.  Nathan was a super boy on the airplane taking a nap the whole time.  Then on the two hour trip from Las Vegas to St. George, he mostly sang in the car.  He obviously takes after his parents because he has a wonderful baby voice.

For the next week, they will be visiting us so long posts will be difficult.  Though I am sure I’ll manage to find time to post a picture or two and extol the great virtues of the best baby ever (rev. 2).



Are we becoming a nation of cynics?  Out here in our little corner of the U.S., it would seem so in the matter of falling gas prices.  Last week I read online several letters to the San Jose Mercury News questioning whether the government was manipulating gas prices so they might receive more votes in the upcoming elections.  Sounds feasible.  After all, the Bushes and the Saudis have been close friends for years.  And “big oil” might be willing to do some favors for their favorite political party.  But in investigating further this is what I found.

Demand for gas is always low at this time of year.  People are done with their summer travel and it hasn’t gotten cold enough yet for the demand for heating oil to rise.  Add to this the slowing American economy and the declining threat of hurricanes this season and you  have the perfect non-storm for lower prices.

Of course our gas in California is still way more expensive than most of the rest of the nation.  I paid $2.85 a gallon on Friday.  But I have seen a few stations offering gas at around $2.70.  It’s funny how a price that would have seemed unimaginable a few years ago can be viewed with such pleasure.  I have only two words to say, ROAD TRIP!!!!!!!


Spatula in space

Originally uploaded by marymompics.


Eureka! I’ve found it! (I know, redundant) It’s the missing spatula. A couple of days ago NASA reported that one of the astronauts had lost a bolt in space. As reported in AP “Space debris can be dangerous if it punctures space station walls or spacesuits and can jam crucial mechanisms. However, spacewalkers have a long history of losing things in space. In July, Discovery spacewalkers lost a 14-inch spatula that floated away.”

What were the astronauts doing with a spatula during a space walk? Was the outside of the Shuttle so hot you could fry an egg on it? Anyway, as you can see from the picture the danger is over. The spatula floats harmlessly in my kitchen.

POST 9/11


I don’t like movies being made about 9/11.  I don’t like people making money off the still-fresh grief of this nation.  I don’t like the idea of having a national holiday on 9/11. 

The commercalization and trivialization of this horrific event is horrific in itself.  The last thing we need is a holiday where we get flyers for 9/11 sales  and ideas for your 9/11 picnic.  Don’t think it could happen?  Look at Memorial Day.  Just in case you didn’t realize it, Memorial Day is a day to remember those brave people who died for this country not just the kick-off to summer.

Maybe in the future we need some documentaries about the event for the sake of the people who were not born yet or were too young to remember that day.  But for the rest of us, I am sure that you remember exactly what you were doing when you heard the news about the planes and the images of the day are emblazoned in your memory without the help of docu-drama TV shows and movies.


Utah Backyard

Originally uploaded by marymompics.

Hey, I am so happy that I figured out how to store and insert pictures. Did you see that great picture of Nathan in the last post?

Hopefully, I’ll be posting lots of great pictures in the blogs to come. Lots of great trail scenes, beautiful scenery, impressive travel pics and, of course, wonderful Nathan pictures.

Here’s a picture of our backyard in Utah taken from our patio. There are lots of great koi in the pond. We’ve got names for most of the big ones. The two biggest are Edgar and Chauncy, smaller ones include, Sam or Dave, and Andy and Mike, the White Brothers.



Anyone who has taken at least Latin II knows that the correct exerpt from Caesar’s Commentary is “Omnia Gallia est divisa in tres partes.”  So today I am talking, in part, about chickens not France.  And more precisely “pedes galli.”

I don’t think of myself as a particularily adventurous eater.  Sure, I’ll try ethnic cuisines and eat something hot and spicy occasionally but I usually stay with foods that are pretty mainstream.  I have eaten wild boar and I like foie gras and I have mistakenly eaten sweetbreads.  (See The Couple and the Unfortunate Choice, a modern fable)  And a couple of times in Europe when I’ve tried to eat something local, I’ve had a whole fish on the bone and knussperllen which were whole tiny fried fish.

This brings us to how I managed to raise such an adventurous eater as Sarah.  Recently Sarah has been bemoaning the fact that she’s been eating out so much that she has nothing new to post on her site, Braisin’ Hussy.  I suggested that instead of only posting recipes that she comment on her eating out experiences.

Now when she was younger she had very definite dos and don’ts when it came to eating.  Only mustard on hamburgers, no ketchup.  But mostly her choices were very limited.  There was a Kraft macaroni and cheese phase.  This was followed by spaghetti with butter.  And that was followed by Caesar salad.  For months on end, wherever we went  she would only order her current phase food. 

A couple of years ago, John, Sarah and I took a trip to Italy.  It was a wonderful trip.  We all got along so well and saw amazing things.  Instead of needing to eat at McDonald’s or Pizza Hut as we had in the past when we traveled with her, Sarah was interested in trying new things.  She ate fried little fish with their eyes staring at her, tripe and assino which is donkey!  She’d really changed her eating habits.

So I guess it should come as no surprise when she told me that she went out for dim sum and pedes galli or chicken feet.  And they come as whole feet, not cut up or anything.  She explained that the texture was chewy.  What a long way from macaroni and cheese!