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.


Holiday Retrospective

It's true, we do have a new camera on the SB ranch, but for tonight, we still only have old pictures. So even though we went up to visit Maw-maw and Grandaddy B this past weekend and took a ton of pics and had a great time, there is, as of yet, no way for us to prove it. Instead, I'm posting some older holiday roundup type photos...blahblahblah...

Here's Ro with wheelyBee, plucking out his souless black eye (or is that an antennae?) Either way, he has moved past excitement over the box that wheelyBee came in, and is now excited about wB himself.

R is getting so big that his toys are all taking on new roles. He doesn't need his red walker (Crazy-Driver) toy to take those 20 or so steps from one oasis of parental leg to the next, and we have now lost hope that he will spend any significant time in the otherwise lovely Jumparoo or Safari Swing from here on out. This man makes an enemy of anything with a strap or restraint of any kind.

Here's a scene from our last visit to the 'ville. L is getting Ro in on the garden party at an early age. The book is the beautifully illustrated and pleasantly rhymey Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox and Helen Oxenbury. Ro is starting to really like other kids. We went to a neighborhood playgroup when T and Amy were in town--R tackled kids with hugs! Much more placid kids! Kids halfway to twice his age!

Anyway, he hugged them.

A pretty new development over break was putting things in containers and taking them out. R has since coupled this passion with an abiding interest in adult-sized glasses of water. If we're not careful, he just plunges his arm in up to the elbow.

Failure to allow the man to plunge his arm in your water ma result in some old fashioned hollering.

Additionally, he climbs stairs. Up at Granddad and Mawmaw's he was up to this same trick, and the dog just didn't know what to do...

Here's a shot representative of the Christmas melee we got ourselves into in GA. I think there's something oil-paintey about it.
Next time, some new pictures, (we promise...)


we likes to party.

So much has gone down in the last week-ish! It would be so much easier if I could get up the motivation to post more frequently, but that never seems to happen. Plus, my folks gave the S-B household a new camera for Christmas (thanks, guys!) but I have not yet downloaded the software and am too tired to do so right now. So this is going to be one of them boring will-post-pix-later posts. Yawn! (Typing that actually made me yawn).

I don't remember anything that went down between the time the awesome foursome departed and last Saturday. But last Saturday Mercer, Ro and I set out on a walk that was supposed to be a couple miles, but somehow I visualized the trail we had been on ending in a different spot and . . . long story short we ended up taking quite a hike. Mercer got very grumpy and I got a little loopy and Ro was a trooper. Our flagging spirits were revived by the sight of a new noodle & sushi spot on the way back. Yum!

Then Sunday stuff got even iller and sicker, and I mean that in, like, the best possible, Beastie Boys sense of the word(s). T and Amy came down from Farmville, where they had arrived the previous day. I'll admit to having an unquenchable curiosity about the oft-spoken-of but never-seen Amy. Well, now, having met her I can't say enough good things about her. She made a big impression on everyone in the household. Even the usually recalcitrant Lemmy was sitting on her lap within an hour of her entering the house. And of course Ro loved being passed back and forth between her and Uncle T. They left today and the house feels empty. It also feels more put-together than before, because between T & Amy, the shower drain got unclogged, my busted car got jumped, the dangerous carpeting on the stairs got nailed down, the floor got mopped . . . I could go on and on. But we'll miss them bunches! After all the fun guests we've been having as of late, he's going to be so bored with just Mercer & me. Luckily, we're headed to Maryland this weekend, so he'll get to bask in the presence of more family! We can't wait to see everybody.

In Ro news, the ability to walk has come on super-fast. He's regularly walking across rooms now and it's hard to remember that he took his first steps just a few weeks ago. He's also getting so communicative, which is so exciting! He's signing and learning new sounds and showing comprehension. Every day he seems more aware of how to make his needs known. Yesterday, we were playing one of his favorite games, where he points to something and says "this" and you have to fill in the name of the object. He pointed at different things on the table--doughnut, paper towel, and then at a carton of milk. When I said "milk," got this really perplexed look on his face, like "no it's not," and turned to me and tried to nurse! Ha!


I got so very excited about talking about Christmas in that last post that I totally neglected to do any bragging--er, updating--on the baby developments front. In the last few weeks, Ro has developed from a crawler to a communicating walker (okay, kinda). A few weeks ago, he took a few first halting steps, all of which Mercer missed and thus doubted ever happened. Every day, though, Ro adds more steps to the repertoire. Yesterday it was four. Today it was seven, and I'm the one who missed it! Yikes, our little boy is gonna be running so soon. He's also chattin it up. He's expanding his palate of sounds and also says several words to refer to actual items--dada, mama, cheese, and duck. We got some artisianl cheese in Georgia that was just that good--it inspired a first word. He actually says it very clearly--we didn't tell his daycare provider about this new development, and when Merc picked him up Monday afternoon she reported that he had busted out with "cheese!" I think he's excited about being able to communicate, too. The other day he was sitting in his highchair playing with some yogurt when I opened the fridge and started talking to myself about the whereabouts of the cheese. Ro jumped up, stamped his little feet, and said "cheese! cheese! cheese!"

Okay, enough about those shenanigans--on to New Year's! In an awesome turn of events, four of our not-so-nearest but ever-so-dearest descended up GSO to ring in '09. Abs, Alyssa, Andi, and Carrie rule! Despite the fact that both Ro and I had contracted some flulike junk that kept me out of work for the week, I had the best time. Merc cooked a lot of amazing food, like the ribs Alyssa's digging into below. Abs dazzled us with her wine-opening abilities and photographic memory of every book ever written, Andi sneezed at the cats and got blissed out on Benadryl, Carrie tried to lock Abs in a headlock, Alyssa and Abs made amazing brownies and cleaned the kitchen, etc, etc, and fun was had by all, even the catbrains lurking in the background. We rung in the New Year with party blowers and varying amounts of libations and blankets. We cooked and watched movies and wrote a screenplay plot and everyone helped out around the house and . . . well, yeah, it felt great to be around such wonderful friends. Sadly, everyone has now departed. Andi's safely back in Rwanda. Hope those anti-giardia meds are doing their thang!


catchin' up

Oh my, so how can I even begin to cover the events of the past several weeks, especially with a thumbed tabby kitten nibbling at my hand? Poor kittens--they're so attention-starved. I still love 'em, but they get their pats between baby care and dishwashing.

ANYWAYS, where to begin? Well, to sum it all up, we hit Georgia, came back, got sick, saw some amazing aunties, and now it's back to life as we know it (read: insanity).

Ro did amazingly well on his first set of plane flights. I just nursed him on takeoff and that seemed to distract him nicely. He spent most of the remainder of the time popping up and peeking at the folks behind us and trying to rub the bald pate of the gent in front of us. Georgia, as always, was amazing. It was my first week off since maternity leave, so that made it all the more wonderful. It was a happy blur of long walks through some of the prettiest landscape I know, time spent with family, and more delicious food than you can shake a stick at. I should've been much more diligent about documenting the whole trip, but here are a couple snaps from Ro's first Christmas. It now appears I took photos on about two occasions during the vacation, but I captured a few of the motley characters that make up my family. Ro was truly entranced by everyone. I have these two cousins who are between Ro's generation and mine, and Ro was watching them very closely to see how the big boys roll. Actually, they're hilarious, smart, and very sweet--about the best adolescent role models you could hope for. Okay, all this picture downloading and typing has proven too much for me to handle for one night. But fear not! In the next installment of this blog: four amazing Aunties descend upon Greensboro, delighting Ro to no end! I get the flu! Good food is eaten, noisemakers are blown, and Alyssa and I please a scavenger hunting couple! Okay, that was kind of a spoiler.