Saturday, June 28, 2008

2 and 2/3 Years

I just happened to realize that today is Mer's 2 and 2/3s birthday, which is not an occasion we generally recognize around here, but IS well suited to the random collection of thoughts I've got.

Milestones for 2 and 2/3s years:
* Talking that is so incessant, we're going to have to start some serious disciplining on the interruption issue. Grownups ARE NOT ALLOWED TO TALK. For this reason, I haven't had a phone conversation longer than 10 seconds in weeks.
* Lots of singing. Lots of making up songs on the spot and then asking mommy to sing along.
* The command to "talk about this" (insert topic of interest) is the one activity that does allow a grownup to speak. The command goes like this: "Mommy talk about firetrucks/houses/when grownups fall down/when I was a tiny baby/when Beth's dog ran away [9 months ago]/when I got my hair cut." Each topic command is meant to elicit a long story from me. Sometimes it is hard for mommy to rise to the challenge.
* We've got some activity going on that is beginning to resemble swimming. She wears her lifejacket in the pool and is totally content to move around on her own, with lots of kicking and arm movement. Climbing the ladder is still really the preferred pool activity.

At the Flying Fish before going to a Redbirds game. Just the kids and the moms. Their behavior was so bad, we started acting like we were nannies, not moms. We were saying things like, "Wow, I'm not working with this family again next summer. These kids are completely undisciplined."

Watching the Redbirds. Not for long, mind you.

Running on the bluff. More fun than watching baseball.

Rolling down the hill. More fun than watching baseball. Actually, this ended in tears. I was trying to show Cautious Girl how to do it, cause she was afraid. She ended up screaming. I think we shoul have tried this earlier in the game.

Zombie kids after the game. Well, after about the middle of the 5th inning.

My sweet morning refugees. Aren't they pitiful?

Happy girls.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Bible Stories

So we were reading the kid Bible today, and it was the scene when Jesus is calming the storm because the disciples were afraid. Meredith was offering up her own storm of questions that started with "why" and I finally started turning a few around on her, since I've found that she usually has a pithy and accurate answer prepared. So when she asked "why did Jesus make the thunder stop?" I came right back with "why do you think He made the thunder stop?" 

"Because he's a nice guy, mom." In a nutshell, yes. 

Thursday, June 19, 2008

On the Lake Again

The Lareaus have been spoiled with lake trips this summer. This time, we got to go to Center Hill Lake outside Nashville and see the Huddlestons. It was so good to be with them. Virginia and Meredith talked non-stop. Well, they alternated talking and singing "baa baa black sheep, have you any wool?" At one point they both leaned forward in the their car seats and grinned at each other blissfully and then started chanting "we're really happy." And once again we learn a lesson from kids about how to be in the moment.

Just gabbing away while they wait for breakfast to be served.

The weather was gray on Saturday morning, so we took a walk. It was a perfect walk.

There were lace capped hydrangeas growing in the middle of the woods. See? I told you it was a great walk.

As you can imagine, Virginia and Meredith did a fair amount of Henry-bossing over the weekend. Trust me, Henry is not going to have ANY trouble standing up for himself over the years, but in this picture, Meredith is saying "Henry, you canNOT take your shoes off," as Virginia marches him right back to the abandoned shoes. Poor little henpecked toddler boy.

Just to make all the grandmothers happy, Meredith had on every flotation device known to man. Actually, it made her pretty happy, too. She "rescued" us all afternoon.

Holly has the best laugh.

Why is driftwood so pretty?

My little driftwood.

I had so much fun taking pictures on the rocky shore.

And the obligatory day-is-done shot.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Car Talk

My apologies to Click and Clack, the car guys, cause we're not as funny as them. But when Meredith is holding forth from the back seat at a rate of about 1000 wpm (words per minute), some of it is bound to be amusing.

[Corner of Poplar and Cleveland, 9am, upon seeing a bum drinking from a paper bag:]
Mommy, do you see that daddy?
Well, yes Mer, I see that man.
He looks tired.
He does.
Mommy, I think that daddy needs a break.
I'm sure he does Mer. I'm sure he does.

[Corner of Summer and Parkway, 3pm, upon seeing an incredible car:]
Mommy, do you see that purple car?
I do see that purple car. Wow.
It's FANCY [fancy is drawn out to approximately 10 syllables]....Hey mommy?
Yes dear?
I don't really want a fancy purple car.
I don't either, honey, I don't either.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Cool, Cool Water

We're so grateful to our friends who are our gracious hosts at the lake. Sure, the Rhodes pool is great. But the freedom of the open waters, with Captain Windshadow (known to some of you as Landon) at the THAT's good living. We've always loved the Mills, but when I came upon the little clan dancing in the driveway to Big Audio Dynamite? Well, that's when I knew we were a match made in heaven.

Captain Windshow navigates this dangerous canal to take us to the big lake. This is where the famous calling of the turtles occurs.

After surviving the canal, it's full throttle (does a pontoon boat have full throttle? is that even the right term?) across the lake, with the wind in our hair.

Once on board, we get down to the serious business: that of eating. Here, Walt ponders the nutritional benefits of Animal Crackers. Few, my boy, few.

Mer "driving."

Meredith was all over the place in her pink boat. Anyplace her Daddy would drag her, at least.

Then it's back to shore for the next important activity of the day. Eating. Henry is poised for action.


Thursday, June 05, 2008


As Mer gets older, she gets more imaginative. Wouldn't that be great if that were a lifelong trend? At any rate, I thought it was important to record that a few months ago, our friends Jonas and Hannas joined us, and they're still here. So far, they don't cause any trouble, though I'm sure it's just a matter of time before they start getting blamed for things. They're good playmates, and respond well to Mer's occasional bossiness. We're not sure where the names came from; we think they may be Finnish. Or something. But we've welcomed them into our home. If you encounter them, please make them feel welcome.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Hobbies and Obsessions

Since I was about 12, I've been fascinated with photography, but didn't have the necessary equipment, or give myself the license to pursue it, citing my lack of training and the cost of development as insurmountable obstacles. Thanks to digital photography, I got over all that around 2006, and have taken more than 10,000 pictures over the last couple years. Yikes. So it's somewhat natural that I've been a bit burned out with the photography of late. I need a breather. Some other hapless hobby needs to suffer my ministrations.

So I'm bouncing back to my old standby: food. Believe it or not, this does relate to this blog's namesake, as Meredith Jubilee is a willing participant in most of my food related activities. With the onset of spring came my desire to plant a decent front yard garden (that's where the sunshine is at our house). My main motivation was that of most hobby gardeners: tomatoes. But even aside from the tomatoes, it's just so rewarding to put a seed in the ground and get something entirely different a few weeks later. So Meredith and I started some seeds in the windowsill, and then planted the garden. Now we've staked the tomatoes, and we're watching it all grow. And Mer agrees that a sun-warmed strawberry (even if the harvest is 1 per week) is a delicious reward. I can't wait to see her face when the zinnias start blooming.

But that's just the beginning. My book club is reading Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, and it's getting under my skin. Already a farmers market devotee and a whole foods cook, I now find myself trying to find practical ways to take it to the next level and get more local with our eating. I've spent the last month trying to wean Mer off her standard breakfast of Nutri-Grain knockoffs in favor of homemade, whole wheat muffins. The good news? She loves to make them with me. The bad news? She still choses her "canola bars" most of the time. Oh well, more for me...

At the very least, Meredith is learning that good food comes from the ground, that farmers markets are wonderful places (even if her focus while there is entirely on dancing to the Harmony Brothers), that muffins can be mixed by hand and baked in the oven, and that garlic is stinky but delicious. These are good things; things that make life good. And that's what hobbies are for -- and how obsessions can be healthy.

So for those of you kind readers who enjoy a weekly post, that's what's going on at Mer's house right now, at least from my perspective. I do wish I'd taken pictures of my parents' visit this week, 'cause Meredith had a great time with them. Just keep in mind that the jalapenos and the Golden Jubilee tomato plants came from my brother, and the strawberry plants came from Papa and Keddi. Oh, and there is the fact that they taught me how to put stuff in the ground and watch it grow when I was a kid. So see, it's all related--photography and food--my two favorite hobbies, both inseperable from my other favorite thing: family.