Sunday, October 30, 2011

Another sad goodbye

Yesterday we traded in the Jeep for a more family-friendly vehicle.  [insert uncontrollable sobbing]

Normally the scariest thing about buying a new car is spending the money... but this transaction made me sick to my stomach over giving up my very first Jeep, aka my lifelong dream fulfilled.

We went to the dealership planning to just take a look around, at this one vehicle in particular, and ended up leaving with it.  And leaving Jeep alone in a car lot just before the big snow storm.  Oh, my heart.  I was not at all emotionally prepared.

In a way it's exciting having a fancy schmancy new car, with power locks and windows and heated leather seats and a sunroof and a rear seat entertainment center and parking assist and a hundred other features I will probably never understand... but in another way it's just so so sad.  Feels like I'm giving up a part of myself.  I'm a total mom now instead of a totally cool mom.

When I took Bobby out of the driver's seat for the last time he cried and said, "I can't even steer this Jeep anymore.  I can't even ride in it anymore!"  Luckily Ben was able to hold it together and keep us positive.

A little photo shoot was a necessity, of course...

Not the greatest view of our new ride since it's just the back...

I asked the car salesman to take a couple of the whole fam, but he wasn't the greatest photographer...

Also, when I see photos of myself I sometimes wonder, "Am I a total freak?"  Seriously, do I even know how to dress myself?  Green Airwalk crocs, pink striped sweater under long brown sweater under black vest, hair in a messy bun off to the side.  Do I pull it off or do people see me and think, "yikes maybe one kid is enough, lady."  I really don't know.  Nor do I usually care.

Anyway, Jeep is gone from the family, but not from our hearts.  I think I'll have to stop by and visit occasionally until she's sold.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Goodbye, Tiny Edward

Tiny Edward is gone.  He died earlier this week.  I've been too sad to write about it.  I'm pretty sure he was murdered.  By Panther of course.

I got Tiny Edward at Camp Marion White in the summer of 2004 -- some campers found him and I took him home.  His shell was the size of a nickel; he was the cutest thing ever.  I didn't even have a digital camera back then, so I don't have any pictures of his earliest days, at least not on my computer.

T.E. was the sweetest friendliest turtle; he loved to be held and loved when I patted his tiny head.  He'd stick his neck way out and look up at me with his snappy little face... oh I miss the little guy.

I'm sure some of my Gordon pals will feel the loss, too...  T.E. was really a friend for all he met, especially since he was pretty much the only pet allowed on campus.

After Bobby was born Tiny Edward didn't get as many photo ops.

But we all still loved him.

Goodbye, Tiny Edward.  You were the best turtle and you won't be forgotten.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

San Diego Zoo

Last month while in Cali we took Bob to the San Diego Zoo.  Just because we love him and we want to show him the world when we can.  Bobby doesn't give two craps about Disney, although he is familiar with Mickey Mouse because of some vintage toys around Gram's and my mom's -- and plus Disneyland whacks you about $110 a head to get in -- so the Zoo was our natural choice of excursion.

I did a lot more videotaping and less phototaking than usual, but will I hook up the videocam anytime soon?  Doubt it.

Koalas are so cute.  So tired and so cute.  They sleep in the -- sorry, there's no better word for it -- cutest poses.

Bobby was pretty darn cute exploring.  He likes to walk everywhere.

The statue animals were actually more exciting than the real things because Bub could just get right up close and personal with them.

He had some moments.

This one's real, but she's behind glass...

This is the only photo in which I appear, so I'm including it even though it's basically a picture of a lady lion's privates.  Also the reflection makes my legs look super skinny and it sort-of seems to imply that I am the spirit of a lioness, so I think this is my new favorite photo of myself.

When we asked him what he wanted to see at the zoo, Bobby said, "a baby ewephant."  And what do you know?  He got to hug one.

When I was just a year and a half old or so, I went with my family to a place called the Petrified Creatures Museum out near Cooperstown.  I haven't been back since, so my only adult perspective on the place is second-hand from my mom, but I never did forget it.  Throughout childhood I remembered it as a dream, standing at the feet of dinosaurs -- it wasn't until I was a little older that I realized it was a memory of something that actually happened.

Point is, Bob is of the age now that there's a chance he could remember these experiences forever -- even if it's just a short glimpse of the sun's bright rays as they break from behind the trunk of the mammoth towering above him -- and that is pretty cool.

It inspires me to try and fill my boy's life with those, "that couldn't have been real" moments of childhood that will one day feel like just a dream.

I believe it was somewhere near the zebras that Bobby finally gave in to his need for a nap and started relaxing in the stroller.

He didn't even bother to shift his gaze toward the flamingos...

And very soon he was passed out.  Snuggling his blankie in the 90 degree heat.

Ben and I continued to walk the monkey trail and the tiger trail (we never did see a tiger), and by then we were pretty much all zoo-ed out ourselves.

Before we left we browsed the multitude of plush animals available in the gift shop.  Bob was sleeping soundly so we had the difficult task of choosing for him.  We went with the koala because that was the very first animal we saw and Bubbs was so cute saying, "Hi, toe-ah-wa!" and also the leopard (which is actually a snow leopard) because he had a very cute encounter with one (which was captured on tape  but which you will probably never see).  When he finally awoke from his nap hours later in the car, his two new buddies made him super happy.

And so did the ice cream we stopped for on the way back up north.

Really fun family day.

Really fun reliving it through the photos.

Time for bed.  Or, "Time for beddie-bye," as Bob would say.

Friday, October 14, 2011

October weekends

Last weekend we went out to the North Shore for our friend Joe's wedding and I took almost zero photos.  Lame.  But here's a quick synopsis:

1.  The Zobas are awesome for putting us up and letting Bobby play with all their stuff.
2.  Cass and Kara are the best friends ever for taking amazing care of Bob all day and staying with him until 1:30 in the morning after I finally got him to go to sleep.
3.  Bob used a Spanish word for the first time without prompting: zapatos.
4.  Apparently Bob loves dressing up in high heels and trying to walk around.  "I'm so pwetty wight now."
5.  Seeing cool faces we haven't seen in a while is amazing.  (Hence I kick myself for not being the paparazzi and coming home with face souvenirs.)

This weekend we went camping out at Pop-Pop's.

Can I just interrupt myself and say, This little face makes my heart ache with love?

Ben and I still enjoy most of the same things now that we're parents, except now those things are even better, because we're sharing them with this amazing tiny little person whom God used us to make, and for him every single day is a great big discovery, and we get to be the ones to guide him in beginning his journey, and to witness the miracle of every single moment that exists if you just open your eyes and ears and look and listen.

Bobby was totally into camping this time around -- I think he finally was really able to get the full experience.  When we went in the summer it stayed light so late that by the time it was dark he was exhausted and missed out on all the playing with flashlights and watching the campfire.

Ben and I have an awesome super romantic two person sleeping bag that makes camping twice as fun.

Bob of course had to get up super early...

... so we got some special mother-son time before the men joined us, eating blueberry muffins and apples straight from the tree at our campsite.

"I want wide vuh toad pwease."

Bob and Bailey are pals for life.

Tractors and headphones.  Pop Pop's place is a wonderland.

Bubby loves the woods.  He loves walking himself, stepping over (and often tripping over) sticks and pine cones and saplings and whatnot.  He was on the lookout for bears and deer and bobcats and chipmunks.  Every noise -- "Did zou he-ah vat, Mommy?"

Gramps is expanding the pond, so right now it's surrounded by dirt and rocks.

Throwing the rocks into the water was absolutely Bob's favorite thing about camping.  He woke up in the morning and said, "I have fwow tons wocks.  Pop-Pop needs me fwow vose wocks in vat pond."

He kept trying to pick up rocks that were sitting on the edge or over the edge, and almost falling over but miraculously catching himself.  Making me a nervous wreck.

Grabbing an apple from the tree whenever we felt a little hungry was delicious and fun.

The weather was absolutely perfect for camping.  We couldn't have asked for better days.  It actually helped  me appreciate fall quite a bit more than I have been... I guess it's time to quit hoping for an Indian summer.

The guys love playing disc golf... I usually sit out because the frisbee doesn't usually go where I plan for it to and even if it does I can only throw it about 15 feet, so... I'd rather take pictures or read.

The toad is another of Bobby's favorite things about Pop Pop's (and mine, too).

While Bobby threw rocks and played trucks I took pictures of him and the cool reflections in the water.

Dusk came and my battery died and that was the end of my documenting.  Sometimes I suppose a dead camera is a blessing in disguise though, because otherwise I have trouble putting it down.

Bobby's been begging to go camping again ever since we came home.  I'm afraid for this year he's pretty much beat... but hopefully we can squeeze in a campfire or two at least.
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