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Sunday, August 30, 2009

It rains so much....

Up here in the mountains of the Northeast it rains. A lot. And this is coming from someone who grew up in Oregon. Especially during the spring and summer months. This year from May through most of August it rained at least three days of the week. And not just drizzly, wimpy rain. This is crashing thunder, exploding lighting rain. This is inches of water in just a couple hours rain. So much rain in fact that the puddles in the drive way became permanent fixtures. And not only that, they have become eco systems! The largest of the puddles had enough aquatic life to call it a pond. We even had frogs this year:

This one with the car is just for size reference. Not really that big of a puddle, but it's never empty.

Just this evening we saw a couple frogs hop away as we returned from our walk with Asa. It may be the mountains, but it's a jungle out here.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

5 Months

Dear Asa,

This has been a month of new tricks and new discoveries. You are becoming aware of your body - your tiny limbs and digits, your mouth and tongue - and using them all the time. You roll and stretch and kick and swing. You grab and taste and wiggle and throw. You are moving ALL THE TIME. It is constant, kicking and swinging your legs, tossing your arms, thrusting your tiny fingers this way and that. You wiggle while you're eating, you twist while I change and jump while in my lap. You want anything (and everything) to be in your hand so that it can then be in your mouth. If there is an object too big for your hand, you simply bring your mouth to it, slobbering it up nicely. Sometimes this results in a face plant on the floor as you desperately try to suck on a piece of the pattern on the carpet, but usually you don't mind. So long as you get a good taste of that bright red square.

(Or, in this case, one of dad's CDs)

You can balance yourself (only for a few moments though) with your arms out in front of you while you sit on the floor. It's not quite sitting, but it's close. And the surprised look on your face as you lean, a little too far to the left, tipping all the way over, all the while in the exact same sitting position, is just too funny. And funnier still is the fact that you suck in your bottom lip while trying to balance. You are tying so hard, with all the might you can muster, and sucking in that bottom lip really seems to help.

(sucking in that bottom lip)

(Mostly sitting)

Really what you'd prefer is to be on your tummy, doing the inch worm. It goes like this: You can get your head and shoulders up way off the ground, doing the mini push up with your palms on the floor. And you can get your knees up underneath your body, (sometimes even straightening them and adopting a sort of 'downward baby' pose). But you cannot do these two things at the same time. As soon as one end is up, the other is down, as if they, these two parts of your body, cannot exist in the same airspace at the same time. As your little butt shoots high up into the air, your head comes down, face buried in the carpet. Then, moments later, your butt is down, legs stretched flat again and your head pops right back up. Now with a cat hair stuck to the drool on your cheek. This repeats over and over (and over and over) until you have inched your way across the room. It looks extremely tiring, but you relish your new ability. Every third or fourth scootch you search the room, looking for someone to look back at you and acknowledge your achievements. Your dad and I sit near by, removing things from your path, and sometimes setting you on a new one entirely, cheering you on and watching you go.

(Downward Baby)

I'd say the biggest development of the month has been (ba dada da!) solid foods! You spent weeks looking longingly at my plate. Your eyes would dart from the bright green salad with those tantalizingly red tomatoes, to the inviting pile of golden yellow squash or mashed potatoes. You'd reach your little arm out, grabbing at the air but hoping to come back with something (anything!) from that plate. Your face would be all shock as you watch me bring a forkful to my mouth and chew. Amazed, you look for the food that has now disappeared. Then back to the plate for the next bite. You've also begun to get good and frustrated while at the breast. Grunting and clawing, you try and pull more milk down nearly every time we are finishing up a meal. This does nothing but upset you and aggravate me. So, while we were in Canada I gave you your first taste of apple. You were so desperate to get at that Fuji that I finally just gave it to you. You could hold it in your hand and press it against your face. Your little tongue flicked about, no doubt thrilled by it's sugary goodness. You played with that apple for at least an hour, gumming and licking, slobbering it up good. I don't think you actually ingested any, but got the taste for sure.
(delicious Fuji apple)

Next came peaches. The softer flesh appealed to you much more. You gnawed away at it, juices running down your cheeks, bits of peach smeared all over your body, for quite some time. To hold it in your hands, squeezing and squishing, was obviously such a joy to you. You brought it to your mouth over and over again until there really wasn't much left but some fuzzy skin, some peachy pulp and a pit.

(a very messy peach)

And now we have begun rice cereal. This has been different than the others and has taken a bit more work. Since this isn't something you can hold yourself, I have to feed it to you with one of those adorable plastic coated spoons. This does not appeal to you much as you would like to hold that spoon all by yourself thank you very much. But once the spoon gets to your mouth, loaded with that delicious gruel, you forget about grabbing and think only of tasting. At first you just pushed it around with your tongue, spitting most of it out and just sort of playing with the rest. But mommy persevered. After a few days of attempts you started to get the hang of it. Your little mouth would open in anticipation (mine open too as it is physically impossible not to do so), when the blue rubber end of that loaded spoon came near. With half of it in your mouth and half on your chin you'd let it in, push it around a bit with your tongue and - YAY! - swallow! After that first bite went down you finished the whole bowl (only two tablespoons of food, but c'mon, that's totally a lot) and then half of another. I was amazed. We've added one meal a day to your diet now, and usually it is cereal.

(Mom's view)

Every time you eat solid food your eyes light with excitement and I can hardly believe it. This is my tiny newborn here, my small 7 pound boy. Only it's not. It's this big baby, this little man. It's my growing son. You are no longer a spectator, you are a full time participant. You are in the game, scoring big points. You are a part of it all and only want more. It's true, it goes fast, and every single day, you are just a little bit bigger.


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Papa John's poppies

This past winter my dad sent me a package with TONS of poppy seeds from his garden. They came in miniature manila envelopes, each individually marked and labeled by color - red, dark purple, pink, lavender and more. I scattered all the seeds in the front yard and the back garden just before the snow melted in March (as instructed). Papa John even brought more with him when he visited in May and planted them along the side of the house. I had visions of a front yard that was a field of poppies ala Wizard of Oz and large bunches of them in a rainbow of colors on the dining room table. But as luck (and my not so green thumb) would have it, not a single one flowered. None even grew higher than my ankles. I had given up on my poppies all together.

And not three weeks after resigning to a poppy-less yard, we returned from Halifax to these:

Now, it's no Wizard of Oz field, but the few we've had are just gorgeous. So delicate, the paper thin petals fall after only an afternoon's bloom.

These little beauties don't last long (and certainly wouldn't last on the dining room table) but they're a small gem in our yard.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Our Northern travels

We are home now after two and a half weeks on the road and I am pleased to say we had a great time! We took three days driving up through Massachusetts and Maine, into New Brunswick and Nova Scotia Canada.

(picking flowers at a rest stop in New Brunswick)

It was a tight pack for us - what with dad's musical gear, clothes for two weeks and all the baby accoutrements. Asa just fit into the Tetris-ed in back seat.

(Can you spot the baby?)

Though we had toys galore ready for play, Asa mostly enjoyed a good chew on the seatbelt strap. He'd gnaw away at it, muttering to himself until he fell asleep.

Despite a few moments of unrest, the little man rode happily more often than not.

Halifax was a beautiful city to visit
(Even in the rain)

Dad played for 10 days at the International Busker's Festival

and in between shows we walked around town, up and down the harbor,
played in the hotel room,

and hung out with Uncle Drew.

We had such a great time on our adventure. Eating out and swimming in hotel pools, walking through the shops and watching the festival. It was a wonderful time. There are moments that are a lot of work, but we can have those moments anywhere, so why not on the road with dad? Already Asa is so well traveled and ready to roll with the punches. I am happy that this new family is so adaptable. To be able to be on the road with Angus is invaluable. And together, we keep rockin.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

International baby

Canada is officially Asa's first international destination. We arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia just in time for his 19 week birthday after driving up the coast through Maryland and Maine. Asa was such a trooper through the whole car ride, amazing really. So far he is pretty much thrilled to nap in the giant bed or take in the sights from the stroller as we walk along the waterfront and watch dad play.

Sleeping in the car
Rest stop in New Brunswick

Hanging in the hotel room

New trick

More of our Canadian adventures to come...



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