Monday, December 26, 2005

Chanukah 2005

First night of Chanukah (well, at least our first night lol) - we made a zillion latkes and a VERY unjewish (or as my friend says, Half-assed jew) dinner of baked ham. It was SOOOOOO Yummy! Just a twinge of guilt, really

Tomorrow we will have our BIG game of dreidle, Thank you Bob for the gelt! And then on Wednesday we are having Chris and Reyna and their girls over for dinner - so another big dinner AND dreidle AND hot tub! YAY!! Here's the yummy Latkes we made:

Looking forward to more nights of candles with the OCL (Official Candle Lighter, not to be confused with OCCL, who is too young to light candles :D) and some days off with Jerry later in the week.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Christmas Day 2005

Woke up at 4:45, nursed Ori for about an hour, fell back to sleep till Beca tiptoed in, around 6:30 I think. She was quite gentle and sweet, not trying to wake anyone. Eventually I told her she could turn on the tube and watch A Christmas Story (which was on for 24 hrs. straight LOL) which she happily did. Ori woke around 7 and we nursed and laid around waiting for Daddy to wake up. He roused around 8am, took a quick shower and then we all went downstairs to look for stockings (and change diapers). Beca found Ori's first, in record time. Mom and Beca found theirs at almost the same time, after about 15 minutes of searching. Daddy took a LOT longer - must've been naughty this year!!! We enjoyed going through and digging out the goodies Santa left for us. Daddy got a beetle tie-tac, Godiva chocolates, sweets, the BIG Lee Valley catalog, and loads of other little things. Mama got some wonderful little gifts, including a powder incense burner w/nag champa incense, wool socks, hot chocolate, and mulling spices. Beca hit the mother load, literally ha ha, and found a knock-knock joke book, a maze book, a find and seek book, a new Molly book for her collection, sweeties, a flashlight (actually we each got a mini mag light), a pretty heart pendant necklace, a wooden 3-level tic-tac-toe game, and more! Ori got little racers and bath toys and a new bib and wool socks and oh ... it was fun to see the children so enthralled with everything. Here's Ori actually motivated enough to go AFTER one of his new toys:

Jerry took the kids into the hot tub just before afternoon nap, which was so nice for them all. I got some straightening up and vacuuming done. We all chilled out for the afternoon, played games and finally motivated out to get chinese food for dessert. Now we're all exhausted from a long day of doing... not much :lol and we're off to bed. Tomorrow we start the Chanukah celebreation with a feast and the menorah and singing the prayers. Looking forward to a good night of sleep...I hope!

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Solstice 2005

Winter Solstice: Dec. 21 2005
What a wonderful day and night!!!

We kindle this winter fire to bring us back around
to remember our ancestors who lived and died by this fire,
and found shelter in it's heat.
May the flame warm our hearts,
and the light remind us of the ever-returning sun

a woman lights a candle
sends off a prayer
she knows in her heart
that winter is ne'er

a man lights a candle
sends off a prayer
he knows the seasons change
of darkness not beware

A child lights a candle
sends off a prayer
winter gets shorter
let long nights be fair.

a baby lights a candle
sends off a prayer
close to family always
winter's not worth a care.

We exchanged our gifts for the year, which is always fun, and had a nice roast chicken dinner.
We soaked long and well in the hot tub. The kids went to sleep peacefully, Jerry and I snuggled on the couch. All in all a marvelous event for us :D

Here's Orin with his Radio Flyer Walker Wagon - shaky steps but becoming more sure every time! Certainly a boy who will walk at his own pace in life, we can see!

Here's the gang showing off their new woolens LOL

And Beca flanked by our solstice candles.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Dragons and Dragonflies

I am a dragon, fierce and loyal
strong and confident.
I love to curl, snug inside the cave of my warm life
protect the golden treasure of my family.
My sweetness lies burried, but I will rescue you no matter where you are.
I love the greeness, but live by the red-brown fire.
My strength may scare you, but my magic will give shelter to your fear.
I can soar, fly high above my reality, or swoop in and snag my meal with dagger sharp teeth.
Fear me, belittle me, you shall never overcome me.

Which Mystical Creature resides in YOUR soul?

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Little steps

We have steps! Little steps that take him from the edge of the table to my knee, from one end of the couch to the other. He is also clapping and playing peek-a-boo with himself (I've actually witnessed him doing this when noone else is around!). He is very sweet and cautious. We are all enjoying having a much more active and mobile little fella in the house :)

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Thanksgiving 2005

Thanksgiving at Mary and Bob Lees was a great success this year. We had a fine dinner with too much food, lots of fun company, and everyone was in their finest form. It was wonderful sharing the meal with our newest member, Orin Clarence, who ate with gusto and was very verbal, fitting right in with the crowd! Rebecca showed everyone some of her new dance moves, Sarane looked wonderful, healthy, and was full of prezzies for the babes. Again. I must admit, though, that she has toned it down to one each, which they both loved opening and enjoying. Well, ok, Beca loved opening both and enjoys them both HEHE HAHA! Beca loves going to Grandma and Poppy's and being in New York City. And Ori didn't punish his old Ma too much by not sleeping at all - one night he did sleep well, but the second night was pretty rough. No pictures of that, please! All in all a lovely evening and a great weekend!
Jerry carved the turkey. Ori enjoyed it!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

My favorite pictures

A Life Reborin

Just my two favorite pictures of my children... for pity's sake, can't a mama brag just a LITTLE!?

Hallowe'en 2005

Ori's first hallowe'en - he was baby Harry Potter. What a cutie!!! a

He loved going door to door, loved the leaves, loved the candy wrappers! Beca was Hermione and had a great time trick or treating with Natalie again this year. Jerry made an impressive Sumo dude, and I enjoyed being Minerva McGonagall. The weather was amazing, the colors fabulous, the neighbors warm and giving and it was overall a wonderful Hallowe'en this year. Orin REALLY loved playing with all the loot!

Jerry turned 54 on the 30th, and had a very nice dinner here with my parents in attendence. It was a nice gathering. He seems older...we are going to try some new approaches to keeping healthy and clean. I am going to get him an air cleaner for chrismakwanznakuh, to keep the air in the house cleaner from dust. Also a mattress cover that will keep out mites and stuff. I'm really wanting to get him onto some vitamins (just something to strengthen his immune system while we get the laundry/dish/air stuff worked on) but he is not very reliable about taking them. sigh. Well, hopefully he'll be feeling good when he gets back from Rochester, where he's planting some new trees and presenting awards to citizens who have really contributed a lot to the pest management world. It would be awesome to have him healthy for a while :-)

Friday, October 21, 2005

Falling in Love

Just a chance to use some of our new pics, and also update, because Orin is now a 9 month old! He's on the uphill side of life, now, and we are so happy for him and proud to have him in our lives. He's an AWESOME little fella.
Other than daily torture from his sister, he's easy to please (just feed him!) and is starting to sleep really well (8-3am, 3:30 - 7am give or take).

Beca is doing super in school. She's learning her spelling words, enjoying her great book stories, and doing a lot of math. She is working on constructs of the solar system right now.

Jerry is now into the $$ applications, which is stressful w/all the time constraints. He doesn't complain about it, but that's not his style. I can tell he's stressed.

The HOT TUB is in!!! It is a wonderful addition to our world. I think we ALL enjoy going in, though life is so darned busy these days, it's hard to find the time to enjoy it as often as we'd like. True of most of the best parts of life : )

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

September days

End of September - we have had a lot of beautiful sunny early fall days in a row - such a relief after the crummy hot humid summer and non-existent spring. This is actually the first run of great weather we've had since we moved back to New York! Whew - just in time for school.

Beca started 2nd grade, and she seems to be doing well. Her attitude isn't too great, I think she'd rather homeschool, but then, she is a grass is always greener kind of gal. She continues to learn the social cues of her peers, and to bring her problems to me in a confident and seeking manner. I do love my snuggle bug girl. She's become very long, lean, and beautiful. Unfortunately, she once again took a scissor to her hair, so now she's long, lean, beautiful and short haired. We both went and got haircuts, and now we're SASSY

Orin is getting stronger and more HIMSELF every day. He is a cautious little fellow. He is spending a lot of time these days playing with toys while sitting up, which is far superior in terms of toy playing satisfaction to the prone playing mode he was in for a long while. He is cutting his two bottom teeth, and not too happy about it, but all in all a good sport. He takes Chamomilla quite happily, spitting out half, but it does calm him down well. Teething, too, has little effect on his appetite. He seems to prefer cold to hot while teething, but this could change in a flash LOL!

and one serious shot - 'cause this boy sure gives us a lot of these looks...

Jerry is working a lot on projects that need wrapping up, data filing, and attending a load of meetings for all the committees in which he is embroiled. This is only somewhat better than the writing grant proposals and collecting data phases which cause a lot of stress and take him out of town more often. He's giving lots of public talks, and getting a lot of recognition for his achievement w/in the government, even from APHIS, which was a real thorn in his side not too long ago. They seem to have come around to his side. Doesn't surprise me a bit :)

Beca and Jerry are getting ready to go to Vancouver for Geoff's memorial service.

Skooker and D'Arcy have put it together, so I'm sure it will be a wonderful event for all who attend. I am very sad not to be able to go, but Orin just does not travel well, and trying to get any sleep w/him there is a fearsome prospect for me. And a week w/out sleep is just NOT an option for me at this point. I gotta say, my patience is pretty low these days. I think poor Beca bears the brunt of it - I just do not have the patience to be tolerant of her learning curve - especially things we've been working on for 4+ years (like putting away things she took out to play with etc.).

So that's what September has looked like around here!

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

End of summer

Katrina has just wiped out the Gulf Coast of the US - New Orleans is under water. It's weird. We watched some footage, Beca got sad, I got sad. Jessi's family is living in a basement somewhere, pregnant. It's scary, thinking how vulnerable we really are.

My Janulicious group is going to move...sad to say bye to MDC for that group, but also the start of something new. It's a nice group...I guess it feels like the end becuase there are other Jan. 05 mamas on MDC that won't be able to join in. : (

Orin has his first real fever this week. sigh. poor fella is taking it very well, and of course it doesn't affect his voracious appetite. Kid poops as much as a horse and eats like ... I dunno...a shark?

One week till school - Beca is both excited and sad. It'll be nice for her to have more stimulation than she gets here most days, but I'll miss her. It'll also be nice for Orin and I to have some quiet time together. So all in all a good thing, I think. And she gets a lunchbox just like Matthew McGuire's. This is GOOD!

Jerry is in recovery from losing Geoff. It's such a devestating loss for us. He has really sad moments, and then times when life seems back to normal (ie: denial). It definately marred our trip to Niagara, which otherwise went well (other than the lack of sleep for me LOL).

Spent overnight on the 27th in Stockbridge with M&D - Orin slept so poorly with Jerry in the bed, but after kicking the big fella up onto the couch, Ori and I slept fine. a good 4 hr. stint, but he was so tired, he slept 3 hrs. in the morning too (but I didn't). I did go shopping and Mary bought me a beautiful orange cashmere stole. I purchased a sunburst pin to go with it - stunning! The kids got a bunch of stuff from a sweet boutique in town, too.

Well, I think that's about it! We're looking forward to a playdate with Sarah Steckel and Brig, on Friday, and a fun weekend ahead!

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Reborin into the Universe

A Life Reborin

Yesterday our best buddy Geoff Cushon died. He died of a heart attack jogging around the lake in Nanaimo. We are just numb. We have to head off to Niagara tomorrow, but for SURE we'd rather be flying to Vancouver and being with everyone there. We are crying and sniffing and numb. I don't even have a decent picture of him to put online. I will have one transferred so that we can share our pal. He was 48. Geoffy is now bigger than us, taken the leap into the Universe so that he can help us with traffic lights, watch Orin grow strong and useful, keep Rebecca safe. He will ALWAYS be our buddy Geoffy. And we will ALWAYS miss him. bye geoffy...

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Mid-Summer Fare

Oh my oh my - summer is just a-flying by! Cousin Sheri is here now, a 4,000 mile visit from such a sweet member of this family! Yeah! She and Beca and Jerry are off in Lake George today, and Ori and I are having a super-mellow stay at home day. Here is evidence:

He's a real sitting boy, but still a bit wobbly. He's not sleeping really well, but his naps are good; 1 2 hr. nap, and at least one, usually 2 one hour naps. He's starting in on solids very well. He LOVES tomato soup, sweet potatoes with breast milk, squash with applesauce, anything with peaches/blueberries. Except green beans. He'll eat them whole, but not pureed. And what am I supposed to do with the baggie full of frozen beansicles??? HA! Guess I'll have to come up with some real mama-creativity for that one :)

Our new backpack is working WONDERFULLY! It's very comfortable for me, and Orin isn't too small for it, like he was in that Tough Traveler. The Kelty fit better than the TT, but I think this one will fit Jerry better (at all!). And it's just got ALL the bells and whistles I could ever ask for. We're VERY pleased. May the hot tub be as wonderful (pleeeeeeeeease!).

Jerry is taking this week off, so we're packing a ton of 'stuff' in, and finishing off the week in Niagara Falls. Time to renew the ole work visa, and get a chance to show Rebecca some really great stuff! Hopefully we'll find a nice place to take some hikes, as well as the usual tourist stuff. More on that next blog, I hope!

Thursday, July 07, 2005

My Dead Friends

Oh my dear dead friends
for what has your life been spent?
What cause, what god, what reason does it justice?
Which children shall become the orphans,
which mothers shall lose their hearts, their souls?
Which doctors shall fail to save a wife, a daughter, a father?
Do live your life, just like yesterday, play and work and build
but do not expect to come home.
Say good bye like you mean it.
Love your child for the last time.
Kiss their sweet baby head and look into the most trusting eyes
god ever made
and say good bye
my dead friends.

Oh, what a start to today...a rainy day w/no tennis. Caroline and Eva are coming over to play today. Lisa and Bart are off to Tulsa tomorrow - give Lisa a little packing time.

My eyes won't stop tearing.

Beca is busy playing with baby toys (never mind the small fortune in big girl toys downstairs LOL) and such a racket! Such a mess! Well, today she gets away with it. I just am not into having bad vibes in the house today.

Tonight we drummed for peace, for mothers, for women, for violence to end. Tonight we drummed into the universe a vibration of love, of tolerance.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

On the road to sitting

Well I sat Ori up at tennis today and he didn't fall over! Well, for a few seconds, anyway... He's starting to sit on his own, but pillows are still part of the picture for a little while. :)

I wish this site had smilies for us.... one does get used to having them around ha ha!

Nice quiet day today. I finally caved and got Beca a kids sized tennis racquet. I figure she'll use it till she's 9 or so and by then Ori can use it. Poor kid - he'll never get anything new at this rate! I think I just wanted her to be able to use a full sized racquet so that she isn't hampered by NOT having a Jr. sized one on some future occasion; I can't really justify it when the thing costs all of $10 and comes with 2 balls!!! oh well...

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

The 5th of July

Day after Independance day, Uncle Mark's 35th birthday. Ori is sleeping well today. Rebecca is cranky. I was tired, took a long nap, but managed to get laundry, shopping and post office done. No cleaning...yet. I'm looking forward to Thursday night Women's African Drumming at Donna's. I'm not sure yet whether to take the baby along or leave him w/some milk. Jerry could kind of use the break too, I think. Hrmmm.

Ori is 5 1/2 months now. He is rolling both ways, passing toys and food from right hand to left, chewing on dried fruid, cold cucumber, some cooked potato and stuff like that. He seems to like most stuff (not quinoa pasta!). I have strictly avoided any wheat or dairy for him so far, as he shows intolerance even when I eat it. sigh. He's is a truly joyful little soul.

Rebecca is enjoying her early summer. We have tennis in the morning for an hour, and she is getting better. We have played on our own a couple of times, too. She is enjoying the lessons a lot, although I don't think they are getting ANY one on one, even with the teens who help out. Oh well. She's enjoying being with all the kids and she's learning SOMETHING, so... Otherwise, she's playing with Laura and Harry a lot, now that Andrew et al. have gone to the beach for July. We miss them!

House stuff is coming along well too. We have put in a bunch of perrenials, which are looking lively and green. Tulips be darned (or deer be darned, I suppose!). Jerry has done a great job getting the attic vents in, so once the fan is in I think that will help a lot keeping the house cool. We're thinking now about 1) expanding the deck somewhat - maybe 8 feet longer into the yard. and 2) a hot tub.

We've got a ton of birthday parties happening these next few weeks. Lots of fun for Beca! Did I mention how grateful I am for my MDC quarrum??? They are the most wonderful women I think I've never met!!! LOL!