Saturday, November 26, 2005

Playground Of Dreams

playground 1 We took Chip to the Playground of Dreams today. Even though it was chilly, and even though we didn't get out until almost dusk, it was a really nice day.

playground 2

playground 3

Friday, November 25, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving!

  1. We are thankful for the family that's been there since we were born.
  2. We are thankful for the family we've created, and for the responsibility of raising Gabriel.
  3. We are thankful for our friends, old and new.
  4. We are thankful for our health.
  5. We are thankful for the fact that we no longer have to budget to buy milk.
  6. We are thankful for our beautiful new house and the country around us.
  7. We are thankful for Matt's great job.
  8. We are thankful for the great meal we had yesterday. Here are some photos:

Chip helped us pick out good potatoes to mash.

The little guy got a bath, a hair cut, and looked sharp for Thanksgiving dinner.

We had a great spread: turkey, corn, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, rolls, and Toasted Head Chardonnay.

The turkey was the best we've ever had. It was stuffed with aromatics like apple, onion, rosemary, sage, and cinnamon, and it was covered with a chardonnay-soaked cheesecloth while baking. It was so moist and tender that you can see where we pressed it with a fork.

The rolls were made from scratch and were delicious, too. It was a great meal, and will be great leftovers for the next month and a half!

Sunday, November 20, 2005

There Goes Another Hour Of Laura's Week

...a new series of The Bachelor starts after the holidays...

After a make-up tutoring session today, we went to the North Georgia outlet mall because Gabriel needed some things. He is now nicely stocked. He got three shirts, one of which is for next fall, a sweater, two or three pairs of pants, and two pairs of pajamas. We didn't get anything, but not for lack of choices. They just opened J Crew and Restoration Hardware outlet stores. It is now the best outlet mall anywhere and rivals Birch Run.

Here is Chip in some of his new PJs:

Friday, November 18, 2005


It's getting cold here in north Georgia. Yesterday was the coldest day yet, and that's the day Patty decided to take Gabriel to the top of a windy mountain. That's outside, folks. It turned out that poor Chip was underdressed, because it was colder on that side of the city than on our back deck, and we'd inexplicably put his warm vest in the coat closet where it belongs. There will be no Mother of the Year awards delivered to our front door.

Patty and Gabriel arranged a hiking date with one of the moms from the Dallas Mom's Club, Wendy, and her son Ty. They met up at Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park and attempted to summit the mountain with the children on their backs. It was supposed to happen first thing in the morning, but even though both adults are Yankees, neither wanted to go out in the cold, and it was postponed until later in the afternoon.

The trip up the mountain was pretty strenuous thanks mostly to the steepness of the trail. No, wait! It was the pack, Patty didn't have the pack adjusted correctly! Okay, so that's true - the pack wasn't adjusted very well, but the fact that Patty couldn't make it all the way up with Gabriel in the carrier was mostly due to the fact that none of us have been doing any physical labor these days. Chip did a good bit of hiking on his own but in the end he made the last part of the trip in Patty's arms because his hiking speed was less than... measurable.

Gabriel and Ty ran around a bit up at the top and then they all headed down. It was just too cold to be dilly-dallying around. After saying goodbye to his friend Ty, Gabriel and Patty went to pick up Matt from work.

Yesterday was also Moms' Night Out, sponsored by the Mom's Club. Patty headed out to Los Palmas to meet up for some child-free time with the other moms. Chip and Matt decided to have a Boy's Night In at home and had a lot of fun playing with Chip's toys after he finished taking a late-day nap. Patty had a really great time watching the suckers at the restaurant do some serious karaoke. She missed us and couldn't wait to get home. Since Moe's was closed, Patty stopped off at Starbucks to bring Matt a treat, which was really, really good. A good night was had by all.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Sundays Rule

We had a great weekend - yesterday we relaxed, and today we went to church, cleaned, and had some fun.

We went to the Playground of Dreams yesterday, except we got lost and didn't get there until after the sun went down. Its main feature is like a gigantic wooden castle with all of the typical playground stuff (slides, monkey bars...) and then some (net ladders, chain steps, a rubber bridge...). It must have been good, because we stayed there for half an hour in the dark!

This evening, we went to Moe's for dinner and Starbucks for dessert. We decided to make at least Starbucks a Sunday ritual, because it's such a nice way to wind up the weekend and reward ourselves for straightening up the house. Also, we start the week relaxed and with a clean house, so it's perfect. Anyway, Chip made lots of friends everywhere we went, as usual, and we lucked out at Starbucks because they made a frappucino that someone didn't want, so they gave it to us. Score!

When we got home, we watched The Simpsons, Desperate Housewives, and a repeat of Extras that was so funny we've now seen it four times.

Here are a couple of photos from this evening, one with Mommy and one doing something he shouldn't (playing with the computer):

G and P Don't touch the computer

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Chip and the Giant Peach

Chip and the giant peach

We knew the last set of pictures would buy us a little time before we had to blog again, but now we’re stretching it. Actually, we’ve all been a little under the weather with various and not totally identifiable ailments - mostly colds and allergies - so we’ve needed all the rest we could get.

Last Saturday, we didn’t do much except tutor and go to a new church, where we all three made new friends. P invited the mommy and Gabriel’s new friend to MOMS Club, and they joined on Tuesday, but we’ll get to that. The church was tiny but very nice. It had beautiful chandeliers and an all-wood ceiling. The music was the kind we grew up with, and the cantor was a little shaky, unlike the professionals at the Cathedral, so we liked it a lot. The only problem was that the priest's microphone wasn't working, so we couldn't hear very much of the mass out in the cry area/narthex. Gabriel behaved really well, thanks to Cheerios, a book, and people-watching.

On Sunday, we did a lot of housework and earned an outing to the toy store and Starbucks. We got Chip a puzzle ("things that go in the air") and toy (a Winnie the Pooh airplane, of course) with his Halloween money, and we used our Starbucks gift certificate to relax and people-watch for a while. While we were there, Gabriel decided to age 18 years. Here he is with his coffee at work sweeping the store:

Starbucks sweep

On Tuesday, we had our MOMS Club new member breakfast at IHOP. There were probably over 20 babies there with their mommies, and we had a great time. Gabriel’s friend Ty made room for us so we could sit with them, and his new friend Christopher was there, too, and joined the club. Mommy ate chocolate chip pancakes for the first time at IHOP since she was a kid, and it was a special treat. Later that day, we went to a new park called Laurel Park and had a great time before we picked up Daddy from work.

Fast-forward to today. We went to the members-only preview of the expanded High Museum, and it was fantastic. We got to see the Andrew Wyeth exhibition, the relatively small African art section (briefly, until Chip tried to climb onto a throne), "Balzac Petanque", aka "Peaches and Pears" (by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, who did that crazy flag thing in Central Park among other, er, interesting things), and the Renzo Piano (he designed the new section of the High and is an amazing architect) architecture exhibit. We also listened to a great jazz band, where we waxed jazzy with an ivy league jazz professor. Gabriel played (who are we kidding, we all played) in the awesome new family art center, which is like a giant playground of art, where kids can draw with markers on glass while looking at their subject on the stool on the other side of the glass (see the photo of him drawing a "peaches and pears" still life, below - those things were everywhere!), build forts out of architectural pieces, dress like their favorite character in a painting, play with puppets, and create magnetic art on a metal wall. They can also build the High Museum from small blocks, and they can read books. We could have spent all day in that one room, but we moved on to a family workshop, where we all three pitched in to create a folk art angel, which is our first Christmas decoration this year. We had a great time. Oh, and we brought Flying Biscuit home for dinner. Woohoo! Here are a few photos from the museum:

the master at work

artwork fini

a peach, a pear, and a noodle

Friday, November 4, 2005

The Old Gang

[Thanks, Diana, for the title] The little rascals got together again today at Jake's house, along with a new friend, Sophia. Gabriel gave his buddies kisses, and they all played very well together. Jonah and Chip seemed to have a conversation (although we'll be darned if we could tell you what they said), and they all three used the slide at the same time: one going up, one going down, and one sitting in the middle. Jake is very good at sharing his stuff with his friends.

After playgroup, we came home and made the hottest curry ever made. It nearly burned a hole right through the wok, and we're pretty sure that we will need to undergo gastric bypass surgery because of this, but it was darn worth it. If it weren't for the Thai jasmine rice and the beer, we would also need tongue transplants.

What we're watching right now: the first season of Lost, Extras, My Name Is Earl, How I Met Your Mother, No Reservations, Kitchen Confidential (both of which are Tony Bourdain joints), and Everybody Hates Chris. For Patty, add Trading Spouses, Wife Swap, My Fair Brady, America's Next Top Model, and the View. She's getting stupider by the minute.

What Chip's up to: He's finally getting the hang of sign language. He knows more (which also means "no more" and "eat" to him), the sign of the cross, bird, dog, plane, and he knows where his toes, feet, belly, belly button, and nose are. We're working on "thank you" next. "More" and "bird" are the only ones we've taught him; the others he's just picked up or invented.

He is also good at following directions. He will throw away things when we ask him to and turn off the lamp on Daddy's nightstand, and he turns on and off wall switches when we ask him to and also opens and closes the garage door even though there are two other switches next to that one. He sits down on the bottom step when it's time to put on his shoes, and he always brings us matching shoes for us or for him, depending on who needs the shoes. It's getting hard to keep track of everything!

May The Force Be With You

Sorry it's been so long, but we've been so busy doing Halloween stuff that we haven't had much time on the computer. It would have been impossible to pack more into this Halloween. We had a party at a retirement community, went to a fair, went on a night hike, and trick-or-treated. We're all Halloweened out! Here are some photos from our week, and the rest are at Shutterfly. It's password protected; please contact us for the password.