dude you guys are the worst bloggers ever

We know...WE KNOW!!! Oh well,
We've been "off" here since we got fambly-married down in GA at the end of May. We are the most untimely of persons, and...well, we just can't do things on time...
here's some pix (some of you, if you're there, assuming you WERE there, may not remember how we look)

"Oh dancing!"

"Okay, okay. That's enough. I'm chugging a water and taking a nap."



Neighborhood Fiesta!

There was dancing in the closed-to-traffic streets last weekend as neighbors and neighbor's babies headed out to Glenfest, our neighborhood goodtime.

Ms. A was there, and was insistent on twirling this man all around. You might notice his hype Carolina Air Jordans, maybe?

R ran back and forth between a stage that was set up in the parking and the "kids corner" that was behind the taco, bakery, and burger food-trucks that lined one closed street.

There were demonstrations etc. from local businesses like the karate dojo next to the bookstore. R ran onto the mat once, and this one guy "swept the leg"...damn Cobra Kai (just kidding).

There was also a pond with the best aminules ever...DUCKS! There was theoretically a "game" with numbers and prizes but that broke down quickly. R is in the foreground, reaching for a balloon.

We got a moonpie and a rice krispy treat. Neither lasted long.

I found out from Liz that Mates of State (a band) have a blog about touring with their childrens. I guess they have us beat.

BUT, how's this for a record cover?...


BABIES in pillow forts

we set up the purple-dinosaur sandbox a few weeks ago, and it has been a hit, esp. as r spends more time in the big big sandbox at the park. he's also learning to throw things, for example...rocks into buckets. or orangeball down the hall.

here he is taking a break from the bullpen.

our garden is coming along. the lettuce is up and the broccoli plants have sprouted. we've hade garden salads a couple of times already.

both r and his neighborhood friend miss A love to water, stand by the leaky spigot and get drenched, and generally get in everyone's business.

Here are the two babies running up and down the hall. A is older, so she took the lead and half dragged a man dressed in a onesie, a button-up shirt, and a single shoe up and down the carpet.

As promised, the kitten's fort has been beseiged, stormed, imperialized, hegemonized, postcolonialized and occupied by sandyheaded little monsters. here you can see them playing the trumpet with the wreckage of the kitten imperium.



The upcoming week is a week of many milestones.

Happy fourth decade to the ladies who brighten my day, every day, just by virtue of their existence.

And happy Mother's Day to all the mamas out there!

el fin de semana

Up-front promise: this post will not even mention bowel movements, even those of babies! Except just then. That was the only mention.

The S-B household is just now wrapping up a very successful set of hours known collectively to many of those in North American as el fin de semana, the weekend, and whatever they call weekends in Canada. I worked Thursday and Friday evenings but took the days off due to work-induced fatigue. Ro and I had a great time going to playgroup and seeing our buddies fro the neighborhood. And the weather was amazing.

I can't really remember much before Saturday, but here's the scoop on Saturday: Ye-Ye and Aunie H. came down late Friday. Saturday am we (and by we I mean Ye-Ye) singlehandedly turned the soil and hammered together the boards to make a raised bed for our summer garden! Then we added topsoil. I planted. Aunt H. watered. Merc graded freshman comp papers. And Ro took the longest nap of his young life--almost two hours! Ro's two-year-old buddy A. came over to play today. Her comments on seeing the garden: "Ooooh! Liz, I like you garden! It so pretty!" We planted watermelon, squash, cucumbers, eggplant, peppers, jalapenos, and tomatoes . . . and maybe something I'm missing.

After gardenstravanza 2009, the whole gang headed to San Luis, my favorite Mexican joint in GSO, maybe in the country. We sat on the patio. Auntie H and I split a head-sized margarita, the dudes got coronas, and Ro enjoyed water with guacamole backwash. We were having such a great time we didn't notice the ominous clouds rolling in. All of a sudden, I glanced through the glass window and noticed a severe weather warning flashing across a screen that had just been broadcasting sports footage. The lightning flashed, the clouds opened, and it started pouring rain. I yelled "run!" The waitress darted out, picked up Ro, and made a mad dash for the indoors. Ye-Ye and Han made it inside. I grabbed my head-sized margarita and was opening the door to the restaurant when Merc tackled me--it was like he was stealing a base and I was the base. I fell on top of him, dumping the margarita on my head in the process. Ro was amused. And it was perfect timing--we had just finished our delicious meals, so no harm done.

Pictures to come--I'm being lazy.



Exito! Success! You-know-what! That's right, we're the kind of parents who tell you all about our kid's poop.

Yesterday, L brought a tiny potty home for the Ro. Today, he used it for the first time!

Over the last couple of days, he's been pulling his diaper off when it is HW (heavy-wetty) or T-I-P ("there is poop"). We thought he might be telling us something. Not to jinx it, but the message seems clear.

OK, I promise there will be no more TIP in this blog post.
L was out testing the public until 8 tonight, so it was the boyz making pizza. Desgraciadamente, R was way tired at, like, 5pm.

Crayons were no good, stacking blocks was no good, books were temporarily good (R read Ramona the Pest upside-down) but yielded diminishing returns.
As we record times of happiness, so we record times of being really tired. I got the camera, I took a picture or two, I turned the flash on and then, in that luminous moment of digital image capture, Ro perked up and got happier with each photo I took. Get this kid ready for the papparrazzi--he'll love them. Why, you ask, will the pappiz be into the Ro?

I TOO FAST!!!!!!!!



No parents should ever have to hear a little grunt from the vicinity of the hall, and look over and see a recently-shucked diaper on the floor, and have to utter the words "you clean his bottom, and I'll get the floor" on a Sunday morning before a single sip of coffee has been consumed.


porchitational sitcheration

We're in the midst of a loooong week here, and Ro is blissfully (and filthily) asleep, having crashed out way way early on an evening stroll. Of course, he went to bed without having much in the way of an evening meal (except for about two mini loaves of pumpkin bread, which he calls bop and inexplicably devours at every opportunity). He is also, as mentioned previously, utterly filty, having taken a faceplant at the park earlier.

We have been taking full advantage of the beautiful 90 degree weather as of late. Okay, so that's a lie--I have seen a lot of fluorescently-lit cubeage this past week and Merc has logged more library time than the librarians themselves, but we have been enjoying the gloriousness nonetheless. How can you not enjoy a front porch scene like this one? They look fake, but I swear they're not concrete gargoyles--they're awaiting a wormy treat from mum.On the flipside, pollen season is in full effect. I hosed down said porch a couple days ago and it is green again. The cars are green. The cats are pollen-coated. Ro is runny-nosed and perpetually dusted with pollen (among other things). Plus the house is in need of some major repairage--an ill-pitched gutter has wrought roofing destruction. Ro, as always, is up to all kinds of rasciality. Most of his words fall into one of several categories: animals and their respective noises, items of clothing, and abstract concepts. He is pretty adept at using hi and bye properly.
However, he is not quite so adept at giving kisses that do not hurt. We're workin on it.


local tiger is NOT playin

This man is out of his backwards-facing infant seat and into a forward-facing kid seat for babies. Also, it is now, like 90 here in the Souf, so R is currently wearing far fewer clothes than pictured....to be exact, he'd wearing a green American Apparel wifebeater and socks. That is all. It's almost tubby time, and the buns are free!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We went to the Science Center today and saw a zoo and a petting zoo, so we saw tigers and meerkats and petted some goats and sheep. Actually, I kind of had a little, let's say, run-in with the tiger. He was pacing around, sniffing, and making a face like he was concentrating really hard. I was saying things like, "Wow! Meow!" I looked at L and pointed at the tiger as if to say "This guy! This guy!" When I turned back, I saw the tiger's, let's say, heiney (sp?). I was then sprayed with a well-aimed jet of glandular fluids and secretions that fell like a summer shower over my perfectly coiffed hairdo. I was, like so many adolescents who think that they're invincible, in a tiger's "spray-zone" (i.e. highway to the dangerzone) and I got got. Eep.

Well, I can hear R winding down (code word for "yelling") in the next room.

Here's an beginning-of-spring shot of R and I. The appearance and disappearance of the tape was pretty amazing to him.

Our garden (courtesy of Ye-Ye and Aunt Han) is starting to come up. R tries to crawl into the planter boxes, and loves watering.

R: Yes, of course I'll lie here peacefully and let you change my heavy-wetty diaper with no complaint, impatience, distraction, irrational hollering or abject writhing. Of course. I always do.

Mama: Thank you, baby. You're being so cooperative.

R: Like I said, there is no reason for you to expect anything different from me, as you are, of course, aware of the proceedings of nearly all previous lifetime diaper changes and have personal knowledge of, well I would guess, at least 50--let's call it 50% of previous changes. Thus, you have little reason to expect something less than nearly "smooth sailing."

Mama: You're being sooooo good. Let's just finish this up. Haaaang in there. Goooooooood.

R: Well, frankly it's starting to agitate me that you're acting as if I never ever sit still long enough for a diaper change...as if there was a single three-day period in which I lay still (and then only because Asha showed me how to be cooperative). That's the kind of thing that makes me want to thrash around! You know what? You know what! I DON'T THINK I CAN SIT--

Mama: All done.

R: Oh, great. You seen the blocks? Smell you later.

Mama: Wheew!



We S-Bs spent Easter up on the mountain with my folks, GG, and GreatUncle J and GreatAunt L (who R was meeting for the first time!).

You can see a big dog at the right...R now imitates both DOGS and DUCKS: ooh-ooh-ooh (woof-woof-woof) and ack-ack-ack (quack-quack-quack). He went to a playgroup with his daycare provider Ms. B a week or so ago, and there was a tiny toy-something puppy-dog, just his size. He must have breathed a sigh of relief after so many fun (but big) dogs in his life!

As evidenced by the photo, there were plenty of eggs to dye and hunt. Speaking of the "dyer's hand," today is (for a few more minutes) Shakespeare's 445th bday.

...By the way, I just rediscovered why I never post. I spent millions of minutes uploading pix that are now gone. As you see, there is just one lousy photo here. I swear, there were five the last time I looked.

To reference my most recent post: ^&%^@##$^%$&^&))&%*^*(^&^%^&!!!!,...


in blogging one day you are in, the next day you are out

well, I can't find the g*d* camera, so we are without fresh pictures yet again...an old one for the memories...but speaking of &*#%$, it seems that we in the pillowfort now need to watch our cussin'. the other weekend, at a friend's *%&$ bday party in #@$@@ raleigh, mama's ears perked up from a rollicking conversation to hear rowan stomping around saying "s***!" "s***!" of course, everything he says seems to be punctuated with an exclamation point.

I'm going to be reading poetry at a Starbucks tonight. The last time I did a reading, R was about 7 weeks old, but blissfully asleep in a loud club. I doubt there will be that kind of peace this time. he'll probably make lots of new friends and try to steal upside-down-nonfat-caramel-macchiatos.

my semester ends in about two weeks, at which point L will be blasting "School's Out for Summer" at top volume, since at that point she can stop hearing about academic prose!


back by sam demand

So what's up? Ro turns one and the pillow fort gets disassembled? There's really too much to cover to make an easy transition back into the blogosphere, so I just figured I'd do a quickie post to break the seal.

For this inaugural post, I'm going to break from all things baby-related to get a little political. North Carolina teens have, for the past decade-ish, received abstinence-only sexuality education--that is, sex ed that teaches that abstinence until marriage is the expected standard of behavior, period. Condoms are discussed in terms of failure rates. Other birth control? Forget about it. 'Cause we all know, despite the fact that the average age of marriage in this nation is in the mid-twenties for women and the upper twenties for men, and some groups are denied access to legal marriage, and the average age of sexual debut (to put it in sex research terms--sounds so debutante-y) is 16 for boys and 17 for girls, it's totally realistic to expect every single teen out there to wait.

Cut to the Healthy Youth Act--now appearing in the NC House of Reps. In a nutshell, it gives parents license to choose the type of sex ed their kids receive: abstinence-based or abstinence only. Here it is in its entirety: http://ncleg.net/Sessions/2009/Bills/House/PDF/H88v4.pdf . Giving parents options about the info their kids are exposed to (or not)? Great! But every time this bill hits the house it keeps getting watered down. And okay, I need to head back to middle school civics class--I don't really remember how the system of readings and votes on a bill works. But at this point the Healthy Youth Act has been through so many changes that its original intent and mission has been altered! It may seem like insignificant little changes in wording, but this latest iteration is the weakest yet.

I think I need to go watch me some Schoolhouse Rock now--didn't they have a song about billz gettin passed?

Anyhow, just had to get the blog chops back.

More later!



Ro has been with us for a year now! We celebrated his first birthday with family and ice cream cake. What a year it has been . . . tonight, just for old times' sake, Mercer & I put on Thriller and reminisced about times spent gently bouncing a screaming, tiny Ro to the beat, 5:20am, before sunrise, staring out the window, seeing nothing. Thinking back to those days, it's hard to recognize the cheery, personable little guy he has become.

We had an awesome birthday weekend (well, hopefully Ro did, 'cause I sure did). Grandmas and Grandpas abounded, as did a Great Grandma and an Aunt Hannah, and others were with us in spirit. Plus, it was downright hot, so we did what we do best: played outside and ate copious amounts of food. R loed his ice cream cake. Okay, so did I.

This past weekend was decidedly less gorgeous. It poured rain, we all went a little stir crazy, so long story short we ended up mall walking Sunday afternoon, which was unexpectly a great idea. What other activities allow you to stretch your legs and laugh at teenagers all at once? Just kidding, I heart teens. In other, even less cheery news, our porch is on the verge of caving in. Long story, but we have been awash in repair estimates. Our life sometimes feels like an instructional manual entitled Don't Do Things This Way. Anyhow, here are some pix from sunnier times:



Alabama started it

Today was a snowday, so we doubled up on socks, fashioned a crude sled out of cardboard and duct tape, packed up one boy, and went to the park.

As you can see, Mama was a great puller. Unfortunately, R has been one sad man today. He's cutting his 8th tooth (!) and has been a tired crank. He didn't sleep well last night, and that means no one did.

Here's the man in motion. You can see the smooth action of the sled as it runs over the crystalline snow. R wore his Toronto Mapleleafs hat, which has garnered more than one "right on" from park-dads we've run into.

Here's the vessel before launch. I think it may have been more fun inside than out. We made a serious tactical error by going through the park. R wanted to get out and play like regular--the slide, crawling up the low stairs, but, man, we don't even have snow suits!

Here you can see us getting "pumped" for the excursion. The other day, L was doing an event at a gym called "The Rush" and noticed that when you leave there is a big sign over the door that orders you to "STAY PUMPED" while you're out in the weak, effete, unpumped world at large.

Oh, and, GR, I want you to know that breakfast today was made of oatmeal. Oats and meal. And NO waffles...(sigh...)


a brief brief

So, what's the deal? A guy doesn't post to his blog for five or six months and suddenly his wife takes the pictures HE wanted to write witty comments on (skeleton sweats! oh, skeleton sweats!) and beats him to it!
I think I have an idea of what went down...
Mama: Okay R, while Dada is busy thinking about the waffles we APPEAR to be making, you go post!
R: Okay, I'll do it. No one wearing oversized lemon yellow diapers could look suspicious.
Mama: You're right!
Oh well...I can only plead conspiratorially orchestrated technical duncery in my own defense. I'm looking at the blogger interface now and I don't have any button icons visible. I only have an empty grid rudely demarcated by dotted vertical lines spread out irregularly. I'm also writing an essay about Ezra Pound, so my prose is suffering latinate vocabulary and nominalizations endemic to universityfication and crumbities.

Here's R charmingly misunderstanding the idea of the "bowl."

His potato masher is his "true Penelope" and bff. Today we were eating bits of spinach and shredded wheat, and R was studiously placing the squares between the serpentine sine-waves of the stainless steel potato masher, staring intently, and then popping them in his mouth, seemingly satisfied at the results of his inquiry.


first haircut/almost one

R & Auntie Quiche
A tiny, pre-mohawk skeleton (he woke up with this 'do--no stylin' necessary) wishing to read Five Little Monkies.
R con Tio y Tia
R & some (apparently) delicious grub.
R & his bff potato masher. Oh, and dada too.

Ro's in bed, Mercer's en classe, so I am taking the opportunity to update. Mercer actually tried to post the other night, but technology did not agree with him, so the night ended in frustration. We're embedded in another hopelessly long workweek--I worked late Monday, Mercer has class til 9:30 Tues and Wed and then stays late on campus to do research, and then tomorrow (Thurs) is another late night for me. The upshot of all this work is no time for play, so I am really looking forward to getting to spend some quality time with Ro this weekend. Maybe we'll go to the children's museum and capitalize on the last weekend he'll get it free (as a less than one-year-old--that's right: next Friday is the big day! I am in disbelief).

Last weekend we went to Blacksburg, VA. Merc presented a paper at a conference. Ro and I came along for the ride. And the motel cable. Hey, we have no TV, so I binge when possible. The change in routine really threw Ro for a loop. He didn't go to sleep til 10:30 and then spent much of the night wandering off his mattress and crying. Poor dude. Other than that, though, he has been a champion of a sleeper--overnight, at least. He's still not a big nap fan.

In other Rowan news: he's soaking up new words. He still has his little repertoire of recognizable words. He talks a lot, and very emphatically--I just can't always pick up what he's throwing down. We gave him his first haircut last weekend--Mercer was buzzing his own hair, and Ro seemed intrigued. He wiggled around, so we had to give up our dreams of a mohawk and settle for something a little more jaggedy.


wall street week in review

Okay, * wince, wince*. It's just me again, no Mercer, and worse, no pictures. On the upside, the weekend was prettier than it was forecast to be (at least for those of us residing in the Southeastern quadrant of this fair nation). Mercer had a blessedly shortlived bout with a very mild stomach bug yesterday (it did not have anything to do with love). So our day was pretty calm (at least inasmuch as a day with Ro can be called calm). Ro's latest thing is not napping, so evenings have been a little tough. I have gotten him to nap in the stroller for a few minutes at a time, but nothing too fruitful. Poor dude has been sleeping from around 7:30 til 6 every night, but at this point he's still supposed to be napping it up during the day, too!

Ah well, anyhow, we had a busy day today. Ro & I took an epic walk whilst Dada worked and then we all went to the GSO Children's Museum. Ro gaped at the big kids, alternately trying to tackle them and following them around. HE also met Clifford the Big Red Dog and wasn't quite sure what to make of him. In the end he just gave him a smile & a high-five and sauntered away.

Dangit, I put my plants out on the porch again prematurely--it's supposed to get below freezing tonight. Booo! I am trying to summon the energy to bring em in, but it may not happen.



I need to upload pix something fierce (story of my life . . . or at least of this blog), but just a post to let anyone who still checks this blog from time to time that we have not all perished of carbon monoxide poisoning. No, but seriously, I am scared of carbon monoxide poisoning. What's the deal? Isn't there some sort of alarm you can purchase? Note to self: check into carbon monoxide alarm so family does not perish of c.m. poisoning.

So I have been on the computer all day and am sitting in a very uncomfortable posture because I am too lazy to move my computer. But yeah, it's 7:45. Ro is, oddly, in bed. I saw him for a couple hours this afternoon and then had to go back to work. When I returned I faced a Very Tired Man. Not much napping going on these days--or not on a regular basis anyhow--but he's doing so well with sleeping through the night. We have been having a really fun time at the playground as of late--the slides and swings are both favorites, as is consuming chunks of mulch. Sigh.

Since we don't do anything fun ever during the weekdays, I'll do a weekend update (unfortunately not the SNL kind). We've had several since I last posted! Last-last weekend we were graced by a visit from Aunite Tokesha. It was so long ago it all seems like a happy blur but much fun was had. Kesha kindly came with me to volunteer at a work event for teen girls and their moms/grandmas/big sisters/female role models. At the beginning of the event, Tokesha did want a daughter. By the time the communication game (a version of the newleywed game) part rolled around, she had decided she'd pass on the whole having-a-girl thing. But yes, it was awesome seeing her!

Then LAST weekend Merc, Rowan and I travelled to Pilot Mountain (where Aunite Alyssa, Ro and I had ventured over the summer) for a little hike. On the way back we stopped in Winston-Salem (yeah, like the cigarettes) for some sushi with Tia y Tio. Ro, as always, was enchanted by them. He was also quite the social butterfly, demanding high-fives from everyone in the place (except, inexplicably, he refused a high five to a fellow patron who stopped by the table after witnessing the flurry of high five activity. Dissed!). Afterwards we went and ate frozen custard, which was a first for all the S-Bs. AMAZING!!! I got some huge concoction featuring cookies and brownies and dough and mmmmm. I blew Mercer's mind by telling him you can get Rice Krispie Treat custard with caramel popcorn on top (his two favorites). We're campaigning for Kernel Kustard to open shop in the GSO. If we suddenly get blimpy in our blog pix, y'all will know our prayers have been answered.


a veritable flood of pictures, in no particular order

Well, to begin, here's a picture of our hike from a couple weeks ago. I haven't been able to convince Merc to take a walk since. Well, that's not true. It has been too daggone cold for me to go anyplace other than a couple inches from the heating vents in my own home.

Here are a few pictures from T and Amy's visit. I miss them--it was so awesome having them around and now their visit seems terribly long ago. It was nice to upload the pictures and have a nice little reminder! Below, Ro walks to Uncle T.
Umm, yes, we consumed more donuts than a stoned cop. It was hard to hold Rowan back. Yup, like mama like son. Uncle T kind of taunted him, as evidenced below.
We spent lots of time sitting around chatting.
Mercer took this picture at 5:30am when both parties depicted had just woken up.
Audie got some love from T and Amy. The cats definitely miss them.
Below, pics from last weekend at the Bufter residence. Note how all the pictures are from weekends. No one wants to see pictures of, say, Tuesdays, when it's just us, sans exciting guests, looking harried.
Below, Maw shows GG her new camera (twas the gift of the holiday season, apparently).
Grandad follows Ro closely up the stairs:
Check out Baby Gromies in his designer duds, courtesy of the Original Gromies.
It snowed an inch or two on Tuesday, enough to close the county schools and delay work for me and Merc. Yay! It was Ro's first sight of snow and boy was he psyched. Then he learned that snow may taste delightful and make the world look sparkily, but it will freeze your digits. Babies hate mittens.