Monday, September 20, 2010

Clumpy travel

Why is it that traveling happens in clumps? It feels like we either have a month packed with travel, or nothing at all. Maybe the "nothing at all" periods are the times we need to rest up for the month that is packed with travel. Sometimes it really does take weeks to get caught up, it feels.

This month, we had my mom visiting, and my sister had her big flight back from Europe. She made it in safely very late last night, and made it back to her actual home a couple of hours ago. Amazing to be able to call her up and talk to her on the phone! With one exception, we'd had no phone calls since May!

Tomorrow, Jim goes on a business trip to Florida for a couple of days. Leaves at the crack of dawn, as usual. Hopefully Miss Annika will stay asleep.

And next week, Annika and I are off to Buffalo for a short trip, and our third joint airplane ride!

Then, finally, a week later, we have our annual family trip to the Adirondacks - and everyone is traveling for that. Laurie is coming here. Mom may meet us there or may fly to Boston - still figuring that part out. We'll be spending the weekend in Keane Valley ... hopefully lots of fall colors, perhaps some hiking, puzzles, reading, and lots of relaxing. So it's good that this last trip is at the end of everything else. It will be our time to get caught up again.

And, for strictly gratuitous purposes, here's a cute photo of Annika with her daddy:

And a bon voyage to all.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Babyese to English

We have returned from our sooper sikrit tour of Quincy Point to analyze an old species, termed "The Baby," in her natural habitat. We discovered that she has her own language, which we will call Babyese. Here are the first words we have discovered.

Mama = Mama.
Dada= Daddy
Yaya = Annika
Mou = more or "I'm thirsy" or milk or "all done."
Up = up or down
Hi or hi ta = hi or hi there
Buh-bye or bye ta = Bye
No, or nononononono = No
Yesh! = Yes
Ish = Shoe or cat
Meow = cat or the sound a cat makes
Moooooo! = the sound a cow makes
Woo...Woo = dog or the sound a dog makes
Moo = Moon
Row, row = usually sung, the first two words of "Row, Row, Row Your Boat"
Eyes = eyes or ears
Ouk = Work (as in Daddy is at work)
Boa = Boat
Ace = sheep
Ba = Ball or belly button or balloon
Ca = Car
Vroom! = the sound a car makes
Da = an all purpose word, loosely translated to mean "that." Sometimes used to mean "I want that," or "Look at that!"

We will continue to study this intriguing new language and report back on new understandings that we reach.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Date night

Tonight was date night. And it was a special date night because it was the first one in which we were completely independent - no relying on family for babysitting.  But even that aside, we hadn't had a date night in a long time, and since we finally found a babysitter, we decided to go out tonight.

We drove to Cambridge on Jim's motorcycle. I hadn't been on the bike in at least 2 years. It was fun. It's one of those things that you just can't do with a baby in tow.  Then we had dinner at Legal Seafoods, drove around Boston and Cambridge on the bike to see the sights, and then bowled three rounds at Olindy's. It was really nice to be out. We were gone about 3 1/2 hours.

Annika had a remarkably easy time with the whole situation. When the babysitter first arrived, she did her normal "Mama! Mama!" routine, and I was getting nervous. Additionally, about 30 seconds before the sitter arrived, she had fallen and bumped her head on the table in our porch - so she had the start of a goose-egg/black and blue mark above her eye and was obviously upset.  (Why is it that Annie seems to be the only toddler I see with bruises on her head? Is she the only one who falls? Or do other parents use cover-up makeup on their children?)  So I was really worried that we were in for it.  But then I kissed her good-bye and sat her down with her crayons and our sitter, and she suddenly seemed OK with everything. She said, "Buh-bye! Buh-bye!" over and over again, and waved to us from the window when we drove off on the bike.  Totally unexpected. The babysitter said that she was very happy the whole time, and went to sleep at bedtime right away, without a fuss. Wow.

And, in a sign of how cool our neighborhood is, our neighbor George saw us drive off on the bike as he was walking Buddy the dog. As we drove past him, he yelled, "Where is she?" (meaning Annika, of course). He loves Annika. So he actually stopped by the house shortly after to check in and make sure she was OK. We have really nice neighbors, and they all love Annika.

Tomorrow we are going to a birthday party for the little boy across the street who turned 1 last week. Should be a lot of fun for everyone.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Day care

Today was Annika's last day at her current day care.  On Monday, she is starting at a new place.  It was a remarkably sad day for me.  I have grown to really like her current day care, and although I really like the new place too, it will be a change in the routine and it's quite a different type of day care. While up til now, Annie has been at a fairly large day care center, we are switching to a family day care - more affordable, and it's also the day care where our next door neighbors go. I was sad to say good-bye to all the women who have cared for Annie over the last year, particularly those in the infant room. It felt very safe there.  I also learned that they have been keeping a little "journal" for Annie since she started, writing a note to her every week or every 2 weeks since she started last September. It made me sad to read it and realize the time that has passed and the love we're leaving behind.  A year ago, Annie wasn't even sitting up by herself yet. She was still exclusively on bottles. Now she's walking and talking!

But I felt better about our decision to switch after we stopped over at the new day care tonight to start getting Annie acclimated. It's a very welcoming place, and the teacher is really, really nice - very nuturing and loving. I have no doubt that next week is going to be pretty hard.  Annie is extremely clingy anyway, and usually made a scene at "drop off time" at the old day care. I'm not sure how much worse it can get, but I worry that somehow it will be. Jim is coming with me next Monday for the first drop off, since I'm going to have a rough time. But I hear that it gets easier eventually.

We also are trying out a new babysitter this weekend. Imagine this - we go out on a date! Seriously! But I'm not sure how Annie is going to do with that either.  She is in such a "mommy" phase right now, where she wants to follow me around and be with me all the time.  In a way, it's sort of flattering, and makes me feel like maybe I'm doing something right, but in another way, it's not good at all. She needs to be comfortable with her surroundings and the people in them, even if they're not Mommy.

Last year at this time, we were going through the big transition from maternity leave into day care.  This year, it feels like we've started all over again in some ways.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

This weekend in a few words

Lots of boating
No storm
Hingham Harbor, Boston Harbor, Quincy Harbor, Fore River
Frozen Freddie's ice cream cake
Slides and swings
Looking for rocks
Hand-painted giraffes
Oh, and tomatoes, cantaloupe, and cucumbers too
Lovely visit from the mama mama

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Dubious warnings

We slept through the hurricane. I wondered, when I woke up, if we would look out our window and realize that the whole neighborhood had been leveled, except for our house, which wasn't touched. But it turned out that nothing was touched. The sunflowers continue to stand. Our boat is still there - we even took it out for a ride this morning. No one else was boating.  It was windy but beautiful.  Most of the big boats at our marina had been pulled out of the water prior to the storm, which seemed kind of funny. I guess those people have a whole lot more of an investment to lose if the hurricane had actually passed through. I wonder if they will be put back in, or if people will just call it quits for the season.

If that's a hurricane, then I'll take one any day over a blizzard! :) But I think the hurricane actually just passed us at sea.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Hurricanes and sunflowers and airplanes

It is finally the weekend again, and here I am, waiting for my mom to arrive from Buffalo and waiting for Annika to wake up from her nap.

Unless you have been living under a rock, you'll know that Hurricane Earl is heading to New England for a Labor Day weekend visit. Notwithstanding the requisite doomsday predictions, it looks like the Cape and islands are going to get a Category 1 hurricane (the Cape is about 50 miles from our house), and we are going to have a tropical storm up here,  and it'll probably all be gone by Saturday morning. My only concern about our house and yard is that my sunflowers are going to blow down. I have a variety of sunflowers, some of which were volunteers from last year and have been blooming since July.  But I'm growing a new variety called "Honey Bear" that has taken a long time to open. One has opened and the rest are almost in bloom. They are cheerful and cute and unusual and I love them. I hope they survive the storm.

Here's a photo of them so far.

...and, OK, here are some photos of the other ones. I love my sunflowers.

Anyway, my mom was supposed to fly in tonight, at 8pm. Which, of course, is when the hurricane was predicted to arrive.  Last night, I went on the U.S. Airways website and learned that because there was now a weather advisory, Mom could change her plane ticket with no penalty. So she moved up her flight to this morning and should be arriving soon. I was pretty sure all week that she wasn't going to make it in, but she really is going to get here. It's cool. She'll be here til Monday.

Why am I writing this blog instead of driving to the airport? Because Annika woke up with a stomach bug this morning. She is down for a nap right now and I don't want to disturb her. She's been pretty listless this morning. Jim is going to pick up my mom from the airport.  One of my favorite things to do is meeting people at the airport, but at this point, Annika needs to rest. Hopefully she'll feel a lot better after her nap and she'll enjoy seeing Grandma! :)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Harvest

All harvested this morning (before the storm):

(Cantaloupe, kousa zucchini, cucumbers, and several varieties of tomatoes). The cantaloupe actually harvested itself - it was lying in the grass this morning when I woke up. I'm assuming that means it's ready?