Wednesday, August 29, 2007

It's Almost Official

We're very close to declaring Molly a crawler! She's now sitting up on her own and crawling several steps at a time. She's still a little wobbly and resorts to scooting if she's in a hurry, but she's nearly there.

Round One of Sports Team Indoctrination Goes to:

The Florida Gators.

I have failed my alma mater and allowed my parents to successfully infiltrate Josh's young mind with their UofF propaganda and sports gear, and now Josh pitches a screaming fit if he can't wear an "alligator shirt" every day. His summer uniform has become royal blue Crocs, a pair of shorts and one of his many Gator t-shirts. I feel like somewhat of a parental loser, as my own child is much more in tune with the Gators than the Tar Heels. To my fellow alumni, I apologize.

There is some consolation, however. At least Josh is championing a team that is enjoying unprecedented dominance in college sports. And even more importantly, he may be wearing royal blue, but it's not DUKE blue.

Go Heels.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

A Prayer for Our Food

When Josh volunteers to say the prayer before a meal, we always know we're in for some good entertainment. Usually we have no idea what he's praying for because he mumbles and talks so fast. However, tonight he's come up with a new prayer that we couldn't stop laughing over. If you're ever in a hurry to eat, here's one for you:

Eat up!

This is most effective if spoken loudly, slowly and with a lot of enthusiasm.

The Creek

Because we moved so much when I was growing up, I don't have many geographic places attached with my childhood that I can revisit. So I was very excited to take Josh and Molly to Holmes Creek in Vernon, Fla., this weekend. My mom and her sister swam here when they were kids, and my brother and my cousins and I spent many summer afternoons swimming in the creek and stopping by the gas station for a Nestle Crunch ice cream bar afterward. It was a lot of fun, and I'm sure we'll be back many times in summers to come. The water is usually so cold that it takes your breath away, but this year it's been so hot that even Molly didn't complain about the water.

Josh was desperate to try the rope swing (it's in the background), and we even tried to get him to do it, but he wouldn't hold on to the rope long enough to swing out over the water (it takes some coordination to swing out and drop into the water where it's deep enough). We compromised instead, and Mom just tossed him off the side where people usually catch the rope. It was about an 8 foot drop, but he thought it was great.
Granny (my grandmother) couldn't bear to watch us throw Josh into the creek, so she took Molly off to the picnic tables.

We stopped by the creek again this morning for a quick swim before returning to Gainesville, and Dad tossed "Air Josh" into the water for awhile. Josh then slept for three hours on the drive to my parents' house!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

It's a Hard Life II

Molly and I made it to Florida today without any mishaps (and miraculously with our luggage). Josh seemed very happy to see us, and we got to witness firsthand all of the pool craziness that's been going on here as soon as we arrived at my parents' house. We had an immediate violation of Rule #7, as Josh spit a mouthful of water all over my legs, but we curbed that and otherwise enjoyed pooltime. Molly did a little skinny dipping (I forgot her bathing suit) and had a good time slapping her hands on the water and splashing herself in the face.

Here's a stealth picture of Josh taken after he fell asleep tonight. I ran out of the room as soon as the camera flashed, but I'm pretty sure he was sleeping too hard to notice.

Time to Lower the Crib Mattress

We've been waiting for this to happen, and today when I went into Molly's room to get her up from her nap, she was happily grinning at me from over the crib rail. She's been pulling down the bumper to look out of the crib (as you can see in the middle of the bumper), but today she pulled herself up on her knees to look out. She may think she pulled one on us, but we're still bigger and smarter and we know how to lower the mattress! (Or at least Chris does).

Just for fun, here's a picture of Josh's adventures in the crib when he was about the same age. He wasn't as crafty as Molly and never figured out that you could just pull the bumper down to look out. I often went into the nursery to see a pair of eyes peering over the bumper instead.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Rule #7

Don't spit water at Granddad in the pool

You Might Be Taking Too Many Pictures

When your 7-month-old baby already does something like this every time a camera is pointed at her.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

It's a Hard Life

Josh is spending the week with Gran and Granddad in Florida, and so far he is showing no signs of missing home, which we are trying not to take personally. I mean, how can we compete with a pool, a sandbox, a swingset and undivided attention? My phone conversations with Josh (when he is kind enough to take a break to talk to me) go something like this:

Me: Hi Josh!
Josh: Hi Mommy!
Me: Are you having a good time?
Josh: Yeah.
Me: What have you been doing?
Josh: Have fun. OK, bye!

Needless to say, it's been pretty quiet around here while Josh is living it up in Florida. Molly and I are flying down on Thursday to join him. Hopefully he'll be glad to see us!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Molly's New Buddy

This is Jeremie Vrignault and his new biggest fan, Molly. She was quite taken with Jeremie, who spent a few days with us along with his parents, Thao and Eric, and brother Gaspard. Jeremie is our godson, and we are grateful for any time we get to spend with him because he lives in Angola! Molly has increased her scooting speed this weekend trying to keep up with the boys, but we're still waiting for some real crawling.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Aging and live music

This picture is only possible because I talked a security guard into letting me take my camera into the Alison Krauss concert tonight under promise that I would not take it out during the concert. So there's no picture of Alison Krauss, but here we are with the Finks and the Murrays post concert.

The notable "you know you're getting old when" moment occurred as I was debating whether to break my word to the security guard during the concert. I looked to my left, and a bouncer was beckoning to a middle-aged woman across the aisle to get out her seat. He then escorted her out of the building--busted for taking a picture! Not that I'm a veteran of crazy concerts by any means, but even I have to admit that we may be showing our age a bit now that we attend concerts where the height of crime is a 50ish lady snapping a photo with her cell phone. Thank goodness Chris didn't break out into any wild clogging.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Rule #1

One of our somewhat successful techniques to teach Josh to remember rules is to list them out and assign each one a number. We started this summer with the three rules he learned at speech therapy camp, and Josh has been adding to them as misbehaviors arise. The list is now getting a little out of hand. Josh will yell out the number of the rule he's currently breaking, and we're supposed to respond with the corresponding rule and then tell him not to do it. Perhaps this technique is not as successful as we think.

For example, in this picture he is following rule #1, which is "Share with your friends," but he is breaking rule #5, "Don't touch people." He also is about to break rule #6, which is "Don't bend Molly."

Here's the list:
1) Share with your friends (this wording of this rule currently is being amended because of the obvious loophole that Molly is his sister, not necessarily his friend).
2) Raise your hand
3) Keep your hands and feet to yourself
4) Don't throw things
5) Don't touch people
6) Don't bend Molly

I'll post future rules, which are sure to be increasingly bizarre, as we add to our list.

Having a Drink with Granddad

Molly is into everything these days, including whatever she can get her hands on on the table. Here she is trying a drink of water with my dad.

What a Good Wife You Would Be

Here's Josh taking a stab at the domestic arts this week using a hand mixer as an iron. I was ironing (a rarity around here), and he got the mixer-minus the beaters-out of the cabinet and ironed his shirt himself. It apparently was a lot of fun, as he's been ironing all week. Today he tried to iron Molly with the mixer, but we had put a stop to that.

Sunday, August 12, 2007


Before dinner tonight, Josh came in and yelled, "What's shakin' Daddy?" We have no idea where that came from, and we're a little afraid to ask. Either way, that's our new favorite Joshism.

The real purpose of this post is to respond to some people who are trash talking via blog. This is for you: The zeniths of the upcoming basketball season will be when Carolina beats the Dookies at home and away!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Gratuitous Molly photo

For the Truly Devoted Josh Fans: Josh on Video

Josh got to see Auntie Em and Uncle Randy twice today, and he was the subject of Randy and Emily's inaugural taping using their new video camera. Unfortunately Josh did not provide any riveting dialog, but if you'd like to see him eating ice cream, looking at balloons and congratulating Randy on a good job taping, check out the Finks' blog at


This summer we have been the frequent target of drive-by tree cutters who cruise neighborhoods looking for work. The two 50-plus foot tall dead trees in our backyard have made us a beacon for these lumberjacks, and we finally hired one this week to cut down the dead trees. He seemed nice and wanted to charge us only an arm rather than an arm and a leg for the work.

Three men spent about three hours in the 100-plus degree heat felling the trees. Josh got somewhat distressed and yelled "THAT'S MY PLAYGROUND" when the men moved his swingset temporarily out of the way of the falling trees, but he otherwise was fascinated with them. It was quite a show!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Friends, Purple Dinosaur and a Tooth

We had a great visit this week with Melanie Bruce, my dear friend from Wilmington who I worked with for years on the notorious church book project. We all went out for ice cream after dinner--one of the few things we want to do outside in this crazy heat. Molly is a big fan of Auntie Mel!

Melanie also was here for the big discovery I made when Molly started chewing on my hand yesterday--her first tooth! It's coming in on the bottom, and I'm glad there's now something to show for the gallons of drool she's produced over the past month.
Josh wanted purple ice cream (?), and luckily Bruster's was serving "Purple Dinosaur" last night. We ended using a pile of baby wipes to clean up Purple Josh by the time it was all over. It was so hot the ice cream was melting faster than he could eat it.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Molly, Upright

Here she is, standing on her own (sort of), for the first time. This is a total set up. She didn't pull herself up, but she did hold herself steady when we leaned her against the bathtub.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Just because . . .

as Josh says, "Molly's so cute!"

Just the Three of Us

We took this picture because it was funny watching Josh trying to sit in Emily's lap. He had to arch his back to accommodate Baby Fink, but he didn't seem to mind. Emily is reading him one of our books in lieu of the selection he came home with from speech therapy camp (his "homework" every night was to have us read him a book checked out from camp). That day his camp book was called something like "My Friend and I Wear Pink Tutus." I'm not kidding.

These are a few of my favorite things

Here's Josh with his current favorites: Molly, cupcakes and his power strip.