Monday, June 29, 2009

Best. Day. Ever

This past Saturday was probably one of the best days ever. We managed to cram a whole lot of summer into just one day- probably because it was the first day that actually felt like summer.
Aliza and I started with a morning walk, where I finally visited a cute little local coffee shop and discovered they have delicious iced chai tea lattes. Aliza fell asleep during the walk so I parked her in her stroller outside and settled on the grass with a book. She only slept for fifteen minutes once we got home but I'll take fifteen minutes of uninterrupted reading- and in the sun no less!- any time these days.
Once she woke up we headed over to our local Y for swimming lessons. Aliza has gotten over her initial terror and now thoroughly enjoys the pool. Russ took videos, so I'll have to post one later so you can see the little fish she is becoming.
After swim lessons we ate lunch and then headed outside to (finally!) play with some of her fun presents she got for her birthday. Here she is with her water table:
Look! No hands! Daddy put together her special chair from Aunt Cindy, and Aliza had fun exploring it, and even sitting on it:

Next we played catch:

Finally we headed over to her Little Tykes play house:

Aliza, much like my third graders, likes to try to climb up the slide.
And we ended back at the water table for some more splashing:
After a change of clothes and a nice long nap, we headed over to our neighbor's for pizza and then to our local fireworks. It was the first time we had gone to the fireworks in our town and it ended up being quite the expedition. We had to park several blocks away and load up Aliza in the stroller then walk to a huge open field, passing vendors selling all the usual paraphernalia before settling down, a good hour and a half before the fireworks were to start, on our grassy spot. Aliza handled the fireworks like a champ, she whimpered a bit when they first started but then pointed and stared and even said "Boom!" a few times. Russ and I marveled at what an amazing little girl we had, and what suburban residents we had become.
It was a perfect summer day.....

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Here's Aliza, making her Mommy and Daddy laugh as she discovers her foot:

Saturday, June 13, 2009

First swim lesson!

Aliza had her first swim lesson Saturday. I spent the whole week telling her all about it, eagerly anticipating getting her dressed in one of her many adorable bathing suits, watching her splash in the pool....of course, the way I pictured it wasn't exactly how it turned out. Well, parts of it were. Here she is, all dressed and ready to go and just as cute as I thought she'd be in her little bathing suit:

Can you tell that she already looks a bit unhappy? Yup. She woke up Saturday morning a bit stuffy and clingy and wasn't too happy to be put into her bathing suit. I'm sure it has something to do with the fact that she has about four teeth pushing through right now. We got in the water together, Aliza and mommy, and she started screaming immediately. She also started chewing on my shoulder, and I have bite marks from her little teeth gnawing away.

I tried tempting her with some of the pool toys, but she was not to be distracted, and continued to cry....about fifteen minutes into it she finally started getting used to the water. And then she got splashed in the face.
Which of course, set her off again. Twenty minutes into a thirty minute swim lesson, Aliza finally decided to start pointing and playing a bit.

I'm hoping next week she is a little more used to the water, and able to enjoy it a bit more....

Friday, June 12, 2009

I'd have a green thumb if I didn't have an animal problem

You know those gorgeous veggies I spent a weekend planting in my garden? Well, my friendly neighborhood woodchuck has eaten half of them!

Almost all my lettuce is gone- he left behind three lone heads, which I'm convinced he'll come back for later. The cucumbers are mere stalks. And the artichoke plant my dad gave me that I hadn't gotten around to planting yet is eaten down to nubs. He even attacked my herbs! He ate my cilantro and parsley! All that's left are my carrots, buried safe beneath the ground. (At least I think they are left, so far there is no sign of them.) My arugula (just sprouting now), my pepper plants and my tomatoes.

My Dad was talking to me about a humane trap to catch the woodchuck family (probably because there are many times when I've yelled at him for trapping helpless little squirrels that like to eat his bird food). And I considered it for a bit. I mean, I would like my veggies to actually grow so we could eat them. But I just don't have the heart, not even to use a humane trap. The way I figure it, I'm putting out a free buffet, who am I to take a woodchuck away from its home for helping himself to that buffet? Plus, I kind of like that I have a family of woodchucks living in my yard. It's kind of fun watching them scurry away when I open the door. It will be even more fun when Aliza sees them, points and yells "woodchuck!" the way Russ and I do when we see them.

I guess that leaves us: woodchuck: 1 The educators: 0

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Visiting mommy at work

Last week Aliza came to visit me at was so wonderful to see her in the middle of the day, and incredibly difficult to say goodbye to her. She got to meet so many of my colleagues and friends, but not everyone, and I spent the rest of the day explaining to people who heard she was here that she got a little fussy and had to go home. She also got to meet the special education teacher that I work closely with and who used to work with birth to 3 year olds. She confirmed what I already knew, Aliza is, in fact, one smart cookie and incredibly verbal for her age.She also got to meet my students and, even though I am sure they were beyond excited they managed to hang on to their excitement and be incredibly sweet with her. By the end she was tired and a bit fussy, which, of course, is when we decided to take a picture!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Rainbows and butterflies?

"It's not always rainbows and butterflies, it's compromise that moves us along."

Russ and I were walking around our neighborhood with Aliza recently, chatting away....I'm not even sure what the conversation was exactly, although it probably had something to do with how to raise Aliza. As teachers we are both provided with many examples- both positive and negative- of choices parents make for their children. At the end of the conversation Russ commented on the fact that we see eye to eye. My reply? We see eye to eye on many things in our life together.

As I thought about this conversation later the truth in that statement hit me. I can remember, when I first met Russ, how easy it was. There were no games or gimmicks or silly analyzing of what he meant when he said xyz. It just was. We just were. I remember, when I first met him, how all of a sudden all of my past relationships almost seemed like a waste of time. Not that I regretted any of them, of course not, but that they were so clearly not right for me because Russ was so different, and being with Russ was so different.

Now, today, with a one year old and a career that keeps both of us rather busy, I have to say that thank god being with him is as easy as it was. Because if being with him was difficult, then there's no way we'd make it. Marriage is tough. This is something I am learning. Once you get over the rainbows and the butterflies. Once you do the big things together- the engagement, the marriage, the first house, first car.....first child.....well, what you are left with is the ordinary every day stuff. The way he'll turn on your tea pot for you on a weekend when he hears you waking up, the laundry that you fold carefully for him because you know he won't do it, the way he'll rub your back when he knows it is more sore than normal, the meals you cook that you know he'll like, the fact that he knows you hate it when cabinets are left open so he'll close them for you.....and then there are the other things: the empty soda cans that are left around the house, the way he still doesn't know how to put the garbage bag in the can so that when you go to throw something away the bag drops to the bottom, the shoes that I leave scattered over the floor so that he trips over them in the morning when he is trying to get dressed, the clothes he leaves at the foot of our bed, the way I steal the sheets when I'm cold at night.....there are those things too. It is these ordinary things that make up a life together. It is one ordinary day after another that mark the chapters of our lives....
......and it is a blessing to have these ordinary days with a man who is easy to be with.....