Monday, March 31, 2008

It's Great to be Home

I was in DC last week for a work conference. Travelling for work just isn't the same for me anymore--I used to be so excited about it, but now that I have James, I just miss him so much that it is hard for me to enjoy myself. Thankfully it was four straight days of flights, exhibits, sessions and running from here to there, so I was pretty occupied.

I got in very late on Saturday night, and asked Chris to just wait for me in the passenger pickup parking lot at the airport. I knew James would be asleep in his car seat, and I didn't want to wake him up. Walking towards the car in the parking garage, I could see Chris turned towards James and my heart swelled up so big to see both of them that I almost cried right there.

I thought a lot this weekend about how difficult it must have been for Chris when he was with Emerson and he was travelling all week, only to come home to his wife and newborn son on the weekends. In those early days, James' growth week to week must have seemed astounding to Chris.

Even just being gone for four days, I was amazed to see the new words, phrases and things that James picked up while I was gone. Now he is making everything plural, calling the cat "Beans" and Gino "Ninos" and his Little Bear show "Bears." He is also consistently calling me "Mommy" instead of "Mama." He also learned how to say his name, which ends up sounding more like "Jeans" than anything.

The other really cute development is that he is saying "no" a lot. Here is a little video of the "no" thing.

I missed Chris and James so much while I was away. I am so thankful that Chris doesn't have to travel anymore, and that we can be a family together every night. More and more I think that the way my parents raised me is the way I want to raise James and the new baby--with a strong emphasis on family time, like meals together and weekends at home.

Oh, and a note on the new baby, we have an ultrasound scheduled for Wednesday afternoon, so we'll see if we can find out if James will be having a little brother or a little sister. All of the nurses that I work with are telling me it is a girl--we'll see! I love my little boy--he is an amazing, intelligent and sensitive little person, so I would be perfectly happy with another one. Chris on the other hand is just dying to have a little girl--I'll keep you posted!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

James, A Garden, & More James!

Soooo . . . technically this could be three posts (and seeing as how I will be in DC for the next four days, I really should make them all separate) eh, hem (Gini), but I have combined them for your reading pleasure. And for those of you who only tune in for the updates on James, I have selfishly sandwiched some extra stuff in the middle, just to force you to look at it. HA.

NEWSFLASH--Yes, folks, that is a HOT DOG on James' plate. For real! Let's all be very, very quiet, so as not to disturb or frighten the child from actually putting a piece of MEAT (although I am sure that is questionable) in his mouth.

He's looking, looking, will he do it??!!!

HE DID!!!!! Yay James!!! This kid might start eating regular food!

OK. The next bit is about my gardening project. For the last four years I have planted perennials out on the patio, with varying success as far as bloom profusion (I know, I sound very garden-y, don't I???) This year, I decided to venture into planting something that I could actually do something with, like PUT IN MY MOUTH.

I attended a tomato gardening worksop on Saturday and listened to the "Tomato Lady" as she is known here in the valley, tell us all the secrets to growing tomatoes that actually will produce fruit. Now, it was an hour talk, and I have four pages of notes, but basically, she said we CAN do it. Even in the desert. So, I did what she said, I planted the type of tomato that she suggested (four Hawaiian Tropics, to be exact), and I also used the correct soil, the correct fertilizer, the correct watering method, and a special trick called "reflective mulch" which is why my four patio tomato plants look like fifth grade science projects.

Here is one of my Hawaiian Tropics tomato plants, (I like that their name sounds like suntan lotion. Hopefully I will get a good tan laying on my chaise lounge and watching them grow.)

I know, I could be in for a devastating and fruitless summer, but I drank the Tomato Lady punch, I bought the story hook, line and sinker, and I am hoping beyond hope that this will work. I will keep you posted.

Just for fun, (and because the Tomato Lady said I could), I also am trying my hand at strawberries,

Bush beans,

Red peppers, pickling cucumbers, cilantro, basil, sweet basil and Italian parsley (most of which I will be transplanting to their own pots in a few weeks).

OK, and for those of you that just scrolled down to see what else there is to see about James, here you go, another pic of me chasing him around the kitchen and him shrieking like a school girl,

And a wicked cute, total accident of a shot of just his back and a foot escaping around the side of the island.


* A special thank you to Chris for setting up all my gardening experiment drippers.
** Another special thank you to Gini for watching James while I am away (boo hoo).

Monday, March 24, 2008

A Busy Easter Weekend

We started out the weekend with a lunch and Easter Egg hunt with the playgroup.

James did pretty good getting the idea of looking for the eggs and putting them in his bucket!

Here he is having lunch with his friend Emma. What cutie pies!

Friday night James colored eggs with his Daddy.

I guess coloring eggs is pretty funny!

Aren't they pretty!

On Sunday morning the Easter Bunny left James a great big basket filled with all sorts of goodies!

Here he is saying "Elephant!" I think these little animals were his favorite part of the basket. He isn't really into candy yet, thank goodness! (That just means more for Chris and I!)

On Easter morning we headed out side to see where the Easter Bunny hid all of the eggs. Can I just say, that Springtime in Vegas is great--especially since my Dad says that he would have been hiding eggs in the snow this year, back in Maine! YUCK!!!!

"Look what I found, Mommy!"

Still looking. . .

Isn't this the best picture? James sure does love his Daddy!

In the afternoon we headed over to Gene and Mel's for an Easter Buffet. A bunch of us misfit orphans with no family in town gathered to eat ham, scalloped potatoes, green bean casserole and PEEPS! Here is Mel, Nate, Natalie and Danielle.

Here is James with his Uncle Sam. Sam successfully taught James how to say "Fageddabaoudit!"

Here is me, Little Betty Crocker, with my Meyer Lemon and Butter Cream-Coconut Easter Bunny cake! Mmmmm mmmm GOOD! (I know, I'm a dork, what can I say??)

Hope you all had as much fun over Easter Weekend as we did!

Saturday, March 22, 2008


Happy FREAKING Easter!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Have A Good Friday!

I can't even begin to express how excited I am to have today off! Thank you Institute for Caregiver Education!

Why am I excited? Because today is the playgroup's Easter Egg Hunt and Potluck! Normally I don't attend these functions because they are at noon, but we will be there today!

Also, I am taking the boy to see the Easter Bunny today! He went last year, and I am excited to compare the two photos together and see how much he has grown in a year.

With a day off, I plan to spend all of my time with James, elbows-deep in trains, duplos, alphabet blocks, toy cars and stuffed animals, and I can't think of anything more fun!

Oh, and here is a pic I couldn't resist taking of the Lidia's Pasta that I made on Wednesday. It was GREAT! Saute smashed garlic cloves, red pepper flakes and halved cherry tomatoes in a pan, boil some pasta and throw in some arugula (I only had spinach) into the pasta water in the last minute, drain and pour into the pan with the garlic and tomatoes, add grated Romano and voila! Instant YUM!

oops, my oven timer just beeped--it is 7:45 am and my fresh-baked banana bread is ready for breakfast! Gotta LOVE a day off!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Spring has Sprung in All Her Glory

Something is happening . . .
The plants are waking up in the warm March rays of the sun.

Our Lady Bank Roses have quite taken over our back wall, providing wonderful privacy,

And are soon to shower us with hundreds of aromatic white blooms!

The Gerberas are reaching for the sky . . .

The Modesto Ash is unfurling its bright, green leaves,

The Fig from Gene and Mel is getting in on the fun,

The little Lime tree is getting ready for its blooms to open,

The Shasta Daisies are out in full force, blanketing the ground in glorious yellow fireworks,

The Sumac is quietly sprouting little green globes of life,

My 2007 Mother's Day Tea Roses from James will be pink and fiery orange in a few short days,

And one of my favorites, our Bottlebrush, is hiding one, small bloom from all of the rest of the party!

Don't you just LOVE Spring?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Sport Shot Setting

Sooo . . . at lunchtime today James and I spent a few minutes playing in the sun. It is a nice way to get recharged after sitting at my desk most of the day! Anyhow, I brought the camera out and discovered a sport shot setting on it. Now, being as I don't have a child that is interested in swimming, soccer, or cheerleading, I haven't even noticed this setting.

It does a great job of catching a toddler on the run!

And then running back!

And back again!

It takes pretty good shots of plumber's crack, too. (Tee hee).

Here is a little video of the running back and forth. "Go, go, go!!!!"

I Took Some Gender Prediction Quizes Today

And they say . . .

92% chance you are having a GIRL!

* * * * * * *

Here is another result from

You have a 13% chance of having a boy.
And you have a 86% chance of having a girl.

* * * * * * *

Here is another result from

You are 39% having a boy

you are borderline but closer to it is a girl!

* * * * *

And here is one more from genderprediction!

of a boy
69% chance
of a girl


The old wives tales indicate that you are having a girl!

(So that means I'll definitely have a boy, right Mom???)

Monday, March 17, 2008

Just Stuff

I have been crazy busy with work, and have missed posting TWO DAYS IN A ROW!!!! I know, you just can't believe it. I guess I am out of the running for the 31 posts in 31 days contest for March. DAMN! I made it so far! Oh well.

We had a lovely, quiet weekend. I am loving staying at home and enjoying the company of my men. Saturday we headed over to a local nursery to check out tomato plants (I am determined to grow patio tomatoes this year) and I found out that the EXPERT on growing tomatoes in the desert is speaking there this Saturday. So, I will be headed over there for a little workshop.

Chris took some fun photos of Rocco. Geez . . . he sure is getting a lot of blog posting time! Here is one of them.

On Sunday we celebrated St. Paddy's with corned beef and cabbage at the Herbst's. They have a new IG addition to their family, so we brought our two IGs and they all had a blast playing. Can I just say, I LOVE puppies!!!

I made out like crazy for the St. Paddy's feast, because a) I didn't have to cook corned beef all day and stink up my house--which is a good stink, don't get me wrong, but it does linger; b) I didn't have to clean my house like a madwoman; c) all I had to do was bring the dessert "makings" -- I didn't even have to dirty up my kitchen with the tiny amount of kitchen utensils required to make these:

These are the Apple Dumplings from the Pioneer Woman Cooks blog. They are FABULOUS (and made with some Mountain Dew) I know--that is just NUTS!!!

While we were over there, I watched James pushing a metal flatbed around, and thought to my self and then SAID OUT LOUD "You are going to trip and bang your head on that thing if you aren't careful." No sooner did the words come out of my mouth but he tripped and fell and hit his head. Which is why he is sporting this big long red scratch across his forehead:

OK, I admit it, you would probably have to click the photo open and then zoom in on it to see the scratch--but it is there and you know that makes me feel like a bad Mommy. I actually just took this pic tonight right before James headed up for bed. He is a little under the weather, pale, and pouty--but sweet as usual.

I am going to be slammed all week with the work that pays the bills, so I may be infrequently posting. I was at my desk at 6am this morning and still working at 5pm, (whine, whine, WHINE) but hey--ya gotta do the work so that you can have the fun. RIGHT??!!!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

For Auntie Kimmy

Hi Auntie Kimmy!

Like my Nalgene?

I stole Mommy's water bottle today, so Daddy filled the
Nalgene up with water for me and I have been carrying it around ALL DAY!

Aren't I a BIG boy?
Is Matthew using his yet?

LOVE and MISS you!