Monday, October 29, 2012

Scenes from the weekend

Another busy weekend in the Golding household.

We did some yardwork.

We prepared gourmet cuisine.

E: "Would you care for an appetizer, ma'am? Does your little one need a kid's menu?"
We were appreciative of the culinary efforts of others.

Daddy, cook this every single night... ok?!
We supported the local retail economy.
3 generations in search of Elle's Halloween costume. 3 generations ended up on the toy aisles instead.
Since childhood, I've referred to dirty bare feet as "Kmart feet". The above photo has been submitted to the Urban Dictionary to be listed under the entry:
Kmart feet: Dirty bare feet. Originally used to describe the appearance of redneck babies' feet after being allowed to roam barefoot throught the aisles of small-town Kmart stores.
We did some more yardwork. No leaves were actually harmed (or removed) during this event.

We laughed raucously on the swings.

And remained a bit skeptical about the allure of the highly touted curvy slide.

We discovered discounted ice cream for those wearing costumes, and assembled this Dorothy ensemble last minute to take advantage of the savings.

Like her Mama, the girl loves a deal. And ice cream.
Most importantly, we spent lots of time with those most important to us.

Happy weekend!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

9 months

At 9 months:
-You adore finger foods. I picked up on your impatience with being spoon-fed early on, as you inevitably grabbed the spoon just before mouth entry and we both ended up covered in green bean, squash, and yes your favorite squaccolli puree.I jumped right into giving you chunks of food of your very own and you've loved it. Mostly you eat what we eat, or at least the baby-friendly components of our meals. You love broccoli, and it is hilarious to watch you wield the little trees with your sweet chubby hands while you nosh on the florets. You are touch-and-go with avocado, devouring it once and totally eschewing it on future offerings. In keeping with your sister's gourmet palate, by far your favorite meal is salmon and roasted butternut squash. You somehow manage to consume more than the average adult of both of these items and still protested when it was all gone. 

-You continue to have the sweetest of temperaments. As long as a familiar face is nearby, you are content and happy, and we never tire of your constant smiles and infectious giggles. 

-You are becoming  more and more adventurous. Just before 9 months you became fully proficient at The Speed Crawl, and now there is really nothing standing between you and the object of your affection. Which, generally means the object with the highest choking/electrocution/concussion/laceration potential. 

-When you're not crawling towards outlets and trying to eat dirty shoe bottoms, you are often chasing your sister. You don't seem to mind her bossiness and very narrow definition of what may be classified as your toy. Yet. Your dad and I think you are going to be the strong silent type, who quietly observes all the injustices done to you and then when the time is right, very calmly exacts your revenge. 

-You have two little bottom teeth, which you tried to use as weapons against me a few times after they appeared. However, with some firm redirection I think you realized that biting your food source was not a good idea and you've saved those chompers for noshing broccoli and cheerios ever since. 

-You mimic actions like clapping and blowing bubbles. You wave hello and goodbye intermittently, but always in a very distinctive Miss America kind of way.

-You've only worn shoes one day in your life, and I don't think you enjoyed it very much. 

But since your sister insisted that you wear them, you tolerated it. 
-I showed you once how to dunk a basketball and you immediately did it yourself. Pretty sure you drew the foul too, as your sister quickly decided the goal should double as a hoop through which all My Little Pony friends needed to gallop through regardless of the you-sized obstacle in their way.

-Sleep is still a moving target. You are doing ok. Typically I put you down around 7-7:30, and you'll wake up between 4 and 5 to eat and go back to sleep. While I'm not the biggest fan of the 4am wakeup, it certainly could be worse. And to be honest, some of my favorite moments are those spent in the dark with you snuggled up close to me. I may not miss the sleep deprivation, but I certainly will miss the smell of your freshly shampooed baby head and the weight of your almost-but-not-quite asleep body in my arms.

-You think it is hilarious when I hold you upside down and tickle you. Another favorite activity is climbing Mount Mommy. And although you have millions of toys at your disposal, none seem to hold your attention as much as (preferably dirty) shoes, (also preferably dirty) diapers that I've removed from you and fashioned into nice little balls ready to put into the Diaper Genie, and (yes, dirty) grass/sand/dirt. 

-You do well at school, even occasionally napping a little.One of the highlights of my day is the dance of joy you do when you see me come through the door to pick you up. You bounce up and down and flail your arms about with this huge smile on your face. I love it. I think subconsciously I expect to be greeted with a surly "why-did-you-leave-me-here-all-day-you-rotten-mama" affect, and there's always a sense of relief when you don't seem to hold a grudge. 

-You may have said your first word. It may have been Not Mama's name. I am still in denial, but there may be a video to follow. Keep in mind who controls the milk, kiddo. 

 Your first Halloween is right around the corner. And then your first Thanksgiving, and your first Christmas. 

You are 9 months old, far too close to a year than I'd like to think about just yet. I actually caught myself thinking about what kind of cake to make for your first birthday, so I guess I should start getting used to the fact. I won't like it though. 

Monday, October 1, 2012


We've been incredibly blessed to have spent many long weekends this summer at our house in Cherry Grove, or BeachLand, as Elle affectionately refers to it. I must admit that I am sometimes less-than-appropriately-enthusiastic about owning a beach house. Dirty rotten ingrate, I know. But I occasionally become overwhelmed with the maintenance, upkeep, projects, an inevitable things-to-do that come with home ownership. There is something not quite so vacationy about replacing filters and spraying for bugs during your stay. Not to mention the cleaning your own toilets and showers before departing for HomeLand. Let's face it, one of the highlights of my time away from home is knowing someone else is responsible for removing the hair from the shower drain. Yes, I know it's 99% mine. But still. Ew. 

However, this summer we've really made an effort to get down to the beach frequently, and minimize household tasks/projects while there. (Unfortunately I can't minimize the inevitable pre-dawn Mommy wakeup call which also seems less than vacationy). We've allowed ourselves to just relax, and be ok with doing nothing. This is not my strong point, and requires great effort. But it has changed my perspective on our beach trips, and between that and seeing our girls have an absolute blast on these mini-getaways, I've realized how incredibly blessed we are. 

It has been awesome watching Elle fully embrace the sand-digging, wave-jumping, seashell-hunting, and seagull-chasing this year. No longer my prissy little baby who screamed bloody murder protested when her tiny toes got besmirched by a grain or two of sand. I can't help but smile to see her watch diligently out of the car window for the first "Coconut Tree" so she can proclaim us officially in BeachLand. 

My heart has smiled so many times watching Elise experience the beach for the first time this year. She instantly loved wiggling in and attempting to eat the sand, splashing in the water, and playing on the porch with her sister. She had the pleasure of hanging out with her cousins during an extended-Golding-family beach trip over Labor Day.

Over the course of the summer she went from a stationary infant, barely able to sit with assistance, to a fully mobile crawler whose solitary purpose in life is to find the most dangerous object on the planet to put in her mouth. This transition is all the more conspicuous when manifest on the primary crawling surfaces of slate-floored house and sand-floored beach.

Some trips we don't even make it out to the beach. Sure we could go to Costco at home. Or Mellow Mushroom. Or Target. But there is something inherently more fun about a Costco landscaped with Coconut Trees. And now that summer is officially over, I realize one of my favorite moments has been a morning cup of coffee on the porch watching the girls play. Even if morning means the sun is barely up. And even if I have to clean my own cup.