Archive for the ‘memories’ Category

Photo catch-up

October 1, 2011

It’s been a while, so I have lots of photos. Click on the links below to see:

The First Day of School: Charlie is entering the 5s class (kindergarten) at Greene Hill School with Robin and Anna as his teachers. And the last day of school from the 4s class this past June. (Yes, I’m way, way behind.)

A few random photos from the summer. A play date with face painting and Charlie dressed up in the cow costume that Nanny made for him. He wore it for Animal Day at summer camp; it was a big hit. And some Sesame Place pix. Plus pix from our Pigeon Forge vacation with the Boyds and Yearwoods, and our trip to Buffalo/Niagara Falls.

Some photos from our Labor Day trip, before we got rained out. We camped one night at Moffitt Beach Campground and spent the day at Old Forge playing tourist.

And apple picking. We went to a farm in NJ. Charlie loved the farm animals more than the apples, I think.


5th Birthday Party, at the Prospect Park Zoo

April 5, 2011

zoo party

Big Bird’s Birthday Bash

March 21, 2011

Big Bird birthday

I took Charlie to Big Bird’s Birthday Bash today.

He’s been asking about returning to Sesame Place since it closed for the season in October. So when I saw this special event, right around Charlie’s own birthday, I made the plan.

It was a lunch, with birthday favors and lots of character interaction, a show and all the carousel rides you could handle.

We had a nice drive down and back. And Charlie’s face, his excitement, the stories he told and made up and rehashed…well, all of it was worth every penny spent and every minute spared to make the trip happen.

It was like those Disney World commercials that always make me cry. Except it was my kid.

Two funny bits from today:

CW: “Snuffy is 200!”
Me: “200 years old? That’s so old!”
CW: “Yeah! 200! That’s what my tape measure says.”

Five minutes down the highway, headed home from Sesame Place.
CW: “Where is Sesame Place?”
Me: “Back that way a little bit.”
CW: “No. Where is it?”
Me: “Langhorne, Pennsylvania.”
CW: “But where? I want to know because I want to drive there when I get old.”
Me, thinking about him being older and still wanting to go there–it could happen: “Don’t worry. When you can drive, you will know how to read a map and I’ll give you directions.”

Baby pictures

March 14, 2011

bouncy chair

Since Charlie’s birth, five years ago this month, we’ve had five computers go kaput. We kept them all, hoping to have things recovered. So far, we’ve gotten things off three out of four. The fifth is still in waiting.

I keep thinking the next recovery will have the baby photos and videos we seem to be missing. I have some photos from when Charlie was about six months old, because that’s when I went part-time and began this blog. From that point on, most of my photos are backed up on Flickr, and most of my videos are backed up on YouTube. But our time at the hospital all the way through the first six months are lost, for now.

This past week, though, I happened upon a few images that I’d sent around the office and stored on my work computer. Baby pictures! So I opened a new Flickr set, hoping we’ll find more to add to these when we recover that last hard drive.

Gina’s Farewell Concert

June 29, 2010

This weekend, we attended Gina Samardge‘s Farewell Concert.

She held a sing-along on a hill in Prospect Park and many of her students and fans came out to say good-bye. She’s just moving up the river, to Beacon, and she’ll be back every so often, but it’s the end of her regular seasons of sing-alongs and classes.

We’ll miss her a great deal. We have both of her CDs, but recordings are not the same as live music. Gina has such a wonderful way of letting kids move at their own pace, and that really comes out when she’s singing right in front of you.

This summer has seen so many changes–no more Musical Stew with Gina, the last summer at daycare before starting school in the fall–we’re all growing up around here.

I guess it’s normal to be nostalgic and a little lonesome for the baby and toddler stages that used to be, even as I am amazed at the new and astounding things Charlie can do, say and ask about.

So, for old time’s sake, here’s a very short video from Charlie’s first season of music classes with Gina. (He tended to spend most of them sitting in my lap.)

And here is a short clip of my tall, tall boy at Gina’s farewell concert. He’s the one in the white T-shirt.

Come back soon, Gina!

Cousins playing loudly, in a tent

June 17, 2010

From our trip to GA for Jenna’s wedding in April.


September 6, 2008

Everyone and their mothers are blogging about Sarah Palin, and it feels like I’ve been reading every post. So, to distract myself from political muckraking, I have uploaded all my pictures from our wonderful ten-day cross-country work-vacation to California. (Click the photo above for more photos.)

Every year, I attend the Romance Writers of America convention as part of my job, and in the past few years Jesse and Charlie have come with me and we’ve tacked on a few vacation days at the end to explore the destination. (So far: Atlanta–where we visited family and swam in the Pine Mountain pool; Dallas–where we took a road trip to Austin and Galveston and swam in the Hotel Galvez pool; and San Francisco–where we visited our dear friends, the Zanklins, and didn’t actually swim anywhere.)

This year, though, Jesse’s cousin Chad’s wedding was the day after the conference, so we put our vacation before my work trip and added a jaunt to PA to the end. The multi-leg journey was not as crazy as it sounds, travel-wise. Charlie was super-fab on the plane. He played, he napped, he ate, then we arrived. And he adjusted to the time difference without a hitch.

We spent most of our CA time hanging out with the Zanklins in Berkeley, where we got to stay in our own Berkeley house (thanks Zanklin neighbors!) and run across the street at every opportunity for food, conversation, and feeding the chickens that live in their backyard. (The chickens eat broccoli! Charlie has not forgotten this.)

The whole gang camped in cabins at Big Basin state park in the Redwoods and took a day trip to Santa Cruz. We got very dirty, hot and happy, in spite of the aggressive blue jays who really wanted our food. And we even managed a short hike to a small waterfall. (Molly walked the whole way! She’s a veteran of the hiking thing already.)

[Okay, short aside here. This was actually the second camping trip Jesse, Sofi, and I took together, and we eagerly dissected every memory from our previous excursion while staying in our rustic Big Basin cabins. Because, see, the first time we went camping, it was at New College, right after a flooding rain, in the swamps of Florida. We hiked five miles into palmetto scrub, through thigh-deep murky water that we tried to pretend didn’t hide alligators, into a backwoods campsite filled with mosquitoes from hell. These things were as thick as rain, and they dive-bombed into our tent all night. We slept five people to a four-person tent, and even in the suffocating heat no one would get out for fear of the gigantic bloodsuckers. Sofi slashed her finger on a can of beans and should have gotten stitches. I tried to wash dishes in the orange water from the pump, but only managed to get a severely itchy rash on my skin. We’d planned to stay two nights–if you can call our lack of foresight planning–and ended up hiking back the next morning. Thank God. With all of our ignorant mistakes we should never have made it out of that swamp alive. But we did. And then we did camping better this time, with tent cabins, flush toilets and running water.]

After Berkeley, I did my work thing while Jesse, Sofi and the kids took in the SF sites. (Charlie is still talking about the sea lions they saw on Fisherman’s Wharf.) After one and a half short nights in the hotel, we took the red-eye to PA, where Charlie made it almost all the way down the aisle at Chad and Jen’s wedding. (After too little sleep, jet lag, no real lunch, and never having seen a wedding before, I was impressed that he was willing to walk down the aisle at all.)

The wedding and reception were lovely. (We’re all still talking about the dozens and dozens of homemade cookies made by Aunt Becky, Aunt Debbie, et al. Ah, the glorious chocolate, peanut butter, cream-filled cookies!) From all my running around, I got sick for the rest of trip. In my weakened state, we missed swimming, but did manage to see some of Pittsburgh and visit with Pap, Elaine and the aunts and cousins on the DeWitt side of the family.

Except for my illness, we had a grand time. As soon as we got home and I could do more than lay around, I began planning our next trip.

(Just because I promised my mom I’d take video of Charlie in his monkey suit, here is all I managed to snag between getting him down the aisle–partway–and trying to keep him from crying on his way back up.)

Gross out

January 24, 2008

Today, on the Daddytypes blog, I read an interview with Elisha Cooper, the author of Crawling: A Father’s First Year. (We have that advanced reading copy in our bedroom, on a big pile of books, but the only one who has had time to read it is Charlie, who likes flipping the pages.) In the intro to the interview Daddytypes said: His stories of taking his newborn daughter to Chez Panisse cracked me up and kind of grossed me out [apparently, they don’t have changing tables].

This got me thinking, remembering the many, many times in Charlie’s first year when I had to get over being grossed out. Granted, I never went to no Chez Panisse. But in NYC, it’s hard enough to find a public restroom anywhere, much less one with a changing table.

When I was still on maternity leave and Charlie was not yet three months, I had to get my drivers license renewed. Sitting in the DMV, waiting for my name to be called, he began to cry. I responded as I usually did to those kind of tears, I fed him. Then he responded as he usually did when being fed, he pooped. I noticed a little bit on his pants. When I lifted him up, I realized that little bit was only the tip of the green, gooey, massive iceberg. Liquid yuck had oozed out of his diaper, all over his clothes, all over my lap and down the front of my pants, onto the floor. We dripped poop all the way to the restroom, which, no, did not have a changing table. The unsanitary options were: walk/bus/train back home with both of us covered in poop or change my baby on the dirty, cold floor of the DMV. On the floor he went, protected by only a flimsy disposable changing pad.

You’d think that after almost two years doing this mom thing, I wouldn’t run into those kinds of situations any more. You’d be wrong. Just this past Christmas, while in Georgia visiting my family, we took a day trip into Chambliss to visit our friend Patrick. We left the car parked at the MARTA station and trained into midtown Atlanta. We wanted to explore just how walkable the “new” Atlanta really is. (Answer: not much.) We had a wonderful day that included Thai food, a thorough stroll through Piedmont Park and playground, and dinner at the Flying Biscuit. We’d already managed one diaper change, on a bench in the park. But at the Flying Biscuit, there was poop. Thankfully, it was the more grown-up kind that sticks together and doesn’t ooze, but it was still stinky and still not something Charlie needed to sit in for the hour or so it would take us to get back to the car. The restaurant bathroom had no changing table, only a chair. So Charlie hung his legs off one end and his head off the other and we managed a diaper change. All was going well, he was even laughing about his precarious position, when his flailing arms knocked off my glasses and I lost sight of what I was doing. That big ball of poop I was trying to control landed on the floor with a splat. All I could do was finish up, clean up, and . . . hope no one had to change their baby on that floor.

Scenes from a play day

October 24, 2007

Charlie slid down the slide at the playground. “Wee!”

Then, after playing hard and falling in a mud puddle, he tried the slide again and got stuck.



Jesse pushed Charlie for a while before realizing that someone had colored the back of the baby swing with sidewalk chalk. By the time he saw the damage he had chalk on his hand, on the side of his pants, and in a perfect handprint across his crotch from where he’d scratched himself. I laughed for five minutes straight.


Charlie knows how to open the playroom door. He wiggles the knob and pushes until it opens enough for his fingers to fit in the space. The front door is heavier, but I’ve been locking it—just in case. (After a very small entryway it leads directly to the stairs.) This morning, Jesse forgot his keys. When he came back to get them, we must have forgotten to lock the door. I heard a snick and turned to see Charlie with his hand on the knob and the door opened just a crack. Terror must have made me super fast, because I nearly threw my back out getting across the foyer to close it.


On a walk through Prospect Park we stopped to see the ducks, geese, cormorants, and swans. “Quack, quack, quack, wawa,” said Charlie. We said hello to a neighbor who was there with her eight-month-old. And then the geese began getting out of the water.

They walked slowly but menacingly toward us. Four on one side of me and Charlie, three on the other side of our neighbor. More coming out of the water. My neighbor and I picked up our kids at the same time and began backing up. Further and further we walked, more geese coming after us. All I could think of was how our old dog Cecil’s father fought a goose to the death. Could these be those kind of geese? Vicious?

I turned and saw that an old lady was pulling out bagels, preparing to feed the birds. (Nanny, does this remind you at all of our first trip to NYC? Beware the pigeons! And, apparently, the geese.) Charlie and I dodged around the lady, narrowly avoiding the not-vicious-yet geese.


Charlie and I sat on the hill, green grass covered with fall leaves. I picked up a maple leaf by its stem. “What color is this, Charlie?”


Could he have really said brown?



“I have an apple. You want to share?”

Nod. Nod.

One big juicy bite later, Charlie grabbed my apple and took off.

Little apple thief.


As we walked around the lake:


“What Charlie?”

Deep breath of awe. “Wawa.”


There are ride-on toys at the playground, and Charlie snagged a turn on the one that still has flashing lights. He liked it enough that he didn’t want to get off, even when he spied a particularly nice leaf.

But he wanted the leaf, too. So he leaned way over…until he slid right off.

He sat on the ground. Looked at the leaf. Looked at the little buggy. Looked at the leaf.

Then he pushed the ride-on toy away. “Bye bye!” And left both goodies behind in favor of the slide.


Normally he crawls up the stairs to the slide. Today, he saw another kid holding the hand rail and using his feet to go both up and down.

After two tries, Charlie was doing it, too. Big boy steps both up and down.


A little girl played in the tot lot today wearing part of her Halloween costume: a tiara and angel wings. (They had glitter and everything.)

Charlie saw her get out of the stroller and he ran over, following her halfway around the playground. “Bublefwy. Bublefwy. Bublefwy. MAMA! Bublefwy!”

I laughed. “Yes, she does look like a butterfly.”

Getting dizzy

October 1, 2007