Monday, September 28, 2009

Birthday Boy!

So one year ago tonight I was hanging out in our swanky hospital room, IV needle still stuck in my hand... probably about ready to send Henry off to the nursery for our one night of "rest." Post-delivery, without getting into too much detail, makes it hard to get really comfy in that bed and sleep well, but at least I was on a bed, which is more than Ron can say... then again he wasn't the one who just delivered a 9 pound baby. Not that I'm complaining, it was one of the two most exhilarating events of my life.

Anyway, Henry was born at 4:19 PM. Contractions started late-morning (at least that's when I started feeling them with a pattern), and I still remember the walks we took the night before, and the morning of his birth. I was relatively calm and excited (if those two things don't contradict each other), and the delivery experience seemed so much brighter than Lucy's. The fact that he was born during business hours (as opposed to 2 AM) might have been part of that, but the epidural that got me through the last couple hours of labor probably made a difference as well ;). We stayed for the minimal amount of time (the required 24 hours after his birth), being sure to blog, watching Evan Almighty and snapping photos, packing up our stuff, and making a few more phone calls. I couldn't wait to get home. Just like when Lucy was born, we drove home on a rainy fall day and put him in the bassinet my dad made, wondering what it was going to be like now that we were home, "on our own" with two kids to take care of! Some blurry days and nights followed, but we got through it gracefully and confidently, only crashing into the bedroom door jamb in the dark a couple times. Now when I hold my big 1 year old son (who is following in his sister's footsteps along the growth chart), I can barely remember how tiny he was.

Looking back at those photos I took at the hospital of him, he has changed so much! Lucy has too, she wasn't even 2 years old (quite yet). Our daily life seems a bit chaotic at this stage, but at the same time I feel like everything is going according to plan! Tonight we went to the Rainbow Grill for dinner, and Lucy was extra chatty and inquisitive, and had her volume turned up to 11. Henry sat nicely and looked cute, but spliced in random shrieks that definitely turned some heads, while we both scrambled to give him another spoonful of mashed potatoes or applesauce, while Lucy started getting extra upset at how messy our table was! And Where did that lady go? I need to tell you something! My fork keeps sliding off the bowl! What's that? Barbeque sauce? I like barbeque sauce. Look at me (drinks milk then spits it into water)! Is that guy happy? Is she your friend? (because I had been talking to Katie's mom; she and Katie's dad sat in the booth across from us!) [Henry whips sippy cup to the floor]. We were both cracking up - they weren't being bad, but it was just... how can I put it?

I know I ate my meal, but I don't remember it.

Anyway, Henry has a personality not unlike Lucy's, but for now it's dialed down just a bit. I'm sure he will turn it up soon enough. He has been taking more steps on his own, but still prefers to crawl - he's super quick and disappears into Lucy's room, usually to try to climb onto her bed, which isn't the best thing because he will fall off, so that means I have to go get him, and that means he gets angry. He loves food of all kinds, especially PB&J sandwiches, and tends to hit and shove more than Lucy ever did at that age (uh-oh). He's just so cute and happy, and I won't even attempt to explain the love we have for him and his big sister. I think Lucy is even starting to think he's pretty cool too.
Happy 1st Birthday Buddy!!!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Wild Thing

Last night we had one of our regularly scheduled birthday/anniversary parties at my grandparents' house in Grandville. My parents took the motorcycle there since it was a nice day, and my grandma Myrt had mentioned she wanted a ride... so after dinner she put on some shades and climbed on)...
Meanwhile we all hung out in the front lawn and driveway waiting for them to come back. The wrong motorcycle drove by (with a man and a woman) and we were so ready that we all started shouting and taking pictures and video.. only to realize as they came into focus we had the wrong people. The confused look on the guy's face, and then awkward smile and wave, was pretty unforgettable, and we all had a pretty good laugh about it. Maybe we're easily amused, or maybe you "had to be there," but it was hilarious.

Lucy took it upon herself to lay in the grass and look at the sky. She's trying to find shapes in the clouds, so Ron joined her. Since I had my camera out already I took a couple snapshots...They came back (eventually) and Grandma was all smiles :) Love it. Well, this isn't really that surprising - the fact that she's 80 and did this - because she is blessed with health and vitality and definitely does not act like an old lady at all.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Sunday we visited John Ball Zoo, which we hadn't done yet this summer. The crowds weren't bad, either. The Siberian Tiger roared a lot, and we actually got to see the snow leopard, which is usually hiding - this time it was sleeping in the front corner of it's area, only about 6 feet from us. Lucy rode the camel, and loved it! Henry looked at animals, and seemed to be pretty interested in many of them, but for the most part he was along for the ride in the stroller. It was the most fun we've had at the zoo with the kids (well, last year one of our kids was still in the oven, and we went during a major heat wave - at least that's how I remember it). Lucy walked a lot, and asked a lot of questions, and was saying "hi" to all the animals. We stopped at the bear and she looked at it for a while - it was standing right there in front, being all awesome and bear-like, and then she said, "Okay, let's go look at some different animals." She'd repeat that phrase several more times when something wasn't exciting to her.Of course monkeys were a big hit, and frogs and snakes. She pet stingrays (although as soon as one would swim up under her hand she'd pull her hand out and giggle) and the pygmy goats. She fed a parakeet with a stick with bird seed stuck to the end of it. When I purchased the food-stick for a buck, and handed it to her, she immediately put it in her mouth. No! Then on the 5 foot walk to the door of the giant bird cage, she picked off half of the food! Stop! Some was still on it though, and a birdie came right away and perched on her stick for quite a while, eating what was left, so she thought that was pretty amazing. Then she chased other floor-scavenging birds around with her seedless stick for a minute, until I could no longer stand the smell of the bird droppings-slash-disinfectant and got us out of there, straight to the Purell dispenser! Phew! Good times!

Much of the time I was doing the zoo activities with her, while Ron handled the photography and stroller pushing duties (we brought along the somewhat less extravagant camera with us for this trip).

I got these ones of her on the camel, however, while he took a video clip...
I'll admit I was slightly nervous that she'd freak out and launch herself off the camel, but she held on tight and smiled the whole time... I've never ridden a camel. Pretty cool.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Stop and Hear the Music

This is interesting - from a forward I received that was actually worth reading. The video clip is really well done too.

Washington , DC Metro Station on a cold January morning in 2007.

The man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time approximately 2 thousand people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

After 3 minutes, a middle aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried to meet his schedule.

4 minutes later:
The violinist received his first dollar: a woman threw the money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk.

6 minutes:
A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.

10 minutes:
A 3-year old boy stopped but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. Every parent, without exception, forced their children to move on quickly.

45 minutes:
The musician played continuously.. Only 6 people stopped and listened for a short while. About 20 gave money, but continued to walk at their normal pace. The man collected a total of $32.

1 hour:
He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days before Joshua Bell sold out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100.

Joshua Bell playing incognito in the Metro Station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste, and people's priorities. The questions raised: "In a common place environment, at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?"

One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be this: If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments ever made.... How many other things are we

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

It's the First Day of School...

Saw this posted on Facebook by a relative - I thought it was pretty funny. I'm not so sure if the boy in the video would agree!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

3 Year Blogiversary

I can't believe I forgot my own 3 year Blogiversary: It was September 5. Here is what I had to say back in 2006 (and a glimpse of a tiny little Lucy still a bun in the oven). In three years, I have posted 621 times, more if you count posts that I've gone back and deleted. I even had a blog before this one, but it was deleted entirely. Anyway, thank you to all my loyal and occasional stumble-upon readers. Here's to another great year talking about nothing in particular.