Saturday, April 2, 2005

All Caught Up

P&G in Piedmont Park

It was a beautiful day Wednesday in Atlanta, so Patty and Gabriel spent it at Piedmont Park. Gabriel spent most of the time examining things on the ground around their picnic blanket, and Patty spent some time reading her book, Atlas Shrugged. Later, we all went to get gelato at our favorite gelaterie, J Ripples. Judd, the owner, told us that he is going to close the store in a month to concentrate on wholesale. He started selling gelato to Whole Foods and is branching out since he's been so successful. It's bad news for us but great news for him.

Thursday, Matt and Gabriel read some books while Patty tutored. Gabriel's pretty stocked up on books since Easter. He got Pooh's Easter Basket from his great-aunt Karlene and his great-uncle Roy, The Story of the Easter Bunny and Guess How Much I Love You (which we've wanted to get him for a long time) from his gramma, and also recently got The Red Book and Barnyard Boogie, which we already mentioned.

ToothThat same night, Gabriel got a new tooth! This one is his top rightmost incisor (or would that be "rightmore incisor", since there are only two on each side?). It's been about to poke through for a very long time, and its counterpart is also very close to breaking through.

Friday was a pretty eventful day. Our second loaf of homemade bread was finished just in time for some darn good PB&J sandwiches, and after Gabriel and Mommy took Daddy back to work, they went to playgroup with Zoe and Jake and their mommies. After stopping at The Cook's Warehouse to buy a pastry brush, P & G stopped at Bread Garden two doors down to ask for advice on storing bread. What they got was a philosophy lesson by a very eccentric breadmaker. It turns out all she needed to say was, "Just set the loaf on its side, cut side down." If only we'd remembered that on our own... It took over an hour and a half to get back up to Lockheed; traffic was gridlocked all the way from downtown to Marietta, and the surface roads were, in parts, even worse.

Gabriel's new shopping cart cover

We had to go to Target, so we got to try out Gabriel's new shopping cart cover that his grammie made for him. It is the coolest thing ever! The fabric on front and reverse are complementary vintage baseball patterns. It has a compartment for snacks and one for wipes, which we used to wipe down the cart handle so Mommy and Daddy were protected, too. It has two toy loops that each have a teether toy attached to them. Gabriel, for once, was a happy shopper the whole time we were there. Thanks to Mom K for working so hard on this for us - we love it!

After Target, we went to church, where they had a prayer vigil for Il Pape. Since the Pope is reportedly on his deathbed, a lot of churches all over the world had special services. We saw the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Detroit several times on CNN, and when we looked it up online, we were blown away by how beautiful it is (we've never been there). We realized that the architect has an affiliation with Eero Saarinen, whose work we love and who has done several buildings on the engineering campus at U-M. Anyhow, when we walked into our cathedral here in Atlanta, there was a news camera on us and other cameras were scattered throughout the church. They weren't there long, which was good, because they were distracting. It was a very nice service, and we stayed for the rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet, with a break in between for Matt and Gabriel to eat dinner in the parish hall. The Chipster was so good in church, but he started to tire after a while, so we left early.

While we were standing in the vestibule, a man came out and thanked us for bringing him. He said that it was nice to hear him while he was praying the rosary (Gabriel had been laughing at a man behind us). It was so nice to be thanked for bringing our little noisy baby, and we were really touched that he had made someone's prayer experience more meaningful. There was another time last night when two girls, one in her twenties and one teenager, asked in broken English whether they could take Chip's picture with their cell phone and play with him because they thought he was so cute. They were really funny. We are surprised by how many people aren't upset by a baby in church - quite the opposite. We get lots of compliments for Gabriel on the way out after mass. It makes us feel really good that he is the special little boy that he is.

We forgot to put this in our last post, but we talked to Jack on Easter. He said that he'd just gotten back from a raid on a city and that they hadn't found any interesting people but they did find some contraband. He said that it was the most disgusting town he'd ever seen. There were dogs everywhere in various states of infirm and feces all over the place, filling entire rooms even. He didn't do any mercy shootings of the animals, but he thought about it. He opened one door, and a flock of chickens flew out at him. Because of their individual duties, Jack had switched guns with another guy and had to carry a machine gun and many rounds, so he had about 50-60 pounds of gear on him. Good thing it wasn't the middle of summer. The Marines published a story about the raid on their web site.

He's also been part of a convoy to escort a colonel places. He said that they have to take turns standing at the crew hatch of the vehicle and that the convoy creates its own little sandstorm. The sand is so fine that it gets everywhere despite their best efforts, and he sounded pretty hoarse. He said that he's so dry he's got a bit of a cold and his skin is cracking. He works at least an 8 hour day, often 16 hours because anything he does other than office work is in addition to office work. He said that he's happy to be doing what he wants to do, though.

Here are a couple of web pages we found in the course of our research for this post that are pretty interesting:

  • Animal group names: did you know that a group of chicks is a peep and a group of doves is a piteousness and a group of ravens is an unkindness? Crazy stuff.
  • Is Bob Your Uncle?: this answers the question, for once and for all, how exactly am I related to Mom's cousin's nephew's daughter? Answer: first cousin, once removed.

Programming Note: We have added a "This Date in History" feature to all of our posts, which links to a site called Wikipedia. It sounds like some kind of pagan site, but as far as we know, it's just an online encyclopedia.