a girl, a guy, a tomato, a bean, and a bear

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year's Eve

Ok, you caught me. My header already says January 2009. I put it up yesterday on the 30th. I'm cheating. I'm so ready for 2009 though, it's ridiculous.

Somehow in my head it's not just the start of another year, it's a real turning point. In 2009 I will once again LIVE WITH MY HUSBAND. We will be within the actual calendar year of that impossible, unfathomable, wonderful reality. Also, barring crazy unforseeable circumstances, we should (FINALLY) be returning to America. After four years of living in Germany we'll be moving back home. I don't regret coming here at all, but for me, Europe is for visiting, not for living. I miss home. 2008's been just fine, as great as it could be without Justin here for 3/4 of it, actually, but I'm ready to say goodbye.

This year I turned 25, gave birth to our first child, deepened friendships, started drawing more (still working on that one), tried to grow, and waited. Oh, the waiting. I really shouldn't go down that road because it's a whole post unto itself, but the deployment has shaped so much of this year. You try not to dwell on it because it will consume your every waking moment if you let it, and so you go about the difficult balancing act of trying to move forward while remaining the same, holding onto the pain of being separated because letting go of the pain would be far, far worse.

But like I said, that's for another post. As this afternoon turns to this evening, we don't have any real New Year's plans. I imagine Evie and I will continue listening to Harry Potter on audio book, eat some rice cereal (Evie, not me) and roll around on the floor (probably both of us). And as I've never been much of a party animal, this suits me just fine.

Bring on 2009. Every day brings us closer.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Silly old bear

Chokydar got a rawhide bone for Christmas. It was a rather large one, but true to Chokydar fashion, by evening on Christmas Day it was well on its way to dismemberment.

By this evening it lies in three pieces, barely recognizable. As we began our bedtime routine, Chokydar gleefully chewed on what once was the knot at one end of the bone. I lay Evelyn in her crib so as to quickly take Chokydar outside and called Choky over to put her on her leash. She brought the gnarled stump with her.

Shaking my head I said, "You can't take that outside with you." But being rather unwilling to touch this chicken-broth-soaked-puli-spit-saturated-stump-of-yuck, when she wouldn't put it down I finally just shrugged and snapped on her leash. She trotted down the steps clutching it protectively, as if had she left it in the nursery Evie surely would have claimed it.

Now, I didn't witness this part, but for all I can assume, she deemed it in poor taste to have the Stump of Yuck in her mouth while she took care of business, because when I bent down to take off her leash once we were again inside I realized it was gone. She no longer had it in her mouth. As soon as I had unhooked her, she ran first to the nursery, to the last place she'd been enjoying it in the house. She circled the room expectantly and, upon not finding it there, ran to the living room, where she'd had it previously. I could hear her tearing around the room, searching for it fruitlessly.

Shaking my head again, and because Evie was, thankfully, happily engaged in a conversation with her feet, I called Choky back to the hallway, snapped on her leash again and led her outside once more, where, after a few moments of searching the grass in the dark, she found the beloved Stump of Yuck and brought it back inside, tail wiggling in triumph.


Evie- December 2008 07 002a

Evie- December 2008 07 003a

Evie- December 2008 07 005a

On Saturday we entered into the brave new world of "solid" food. This is slightly a misnomer as the rice cereal "solid" is only slightly moreso than plain ol' breast milk. Trying to avoid super bulky gear, I opted for this tabletop latching high chair, and although it ended up not working on our table, it fits nicely on the counter in the kitchen, which will probably make for easier clean up anyway.

Evie is really enjoying sitting in her new chair, and even more, enjoying this new experience of eating something from a spoon. I had been waiting to start her on solids, more because of my nervousness and the convenience of self-produced food than anything else. The last couple of weeks I thought she had started to really show signs of being ready to try some solid food. She eyes me intently as I eat, sometimes moving her mouth and lolling her tongue longingly. It's the same sort of look I get when I think about chocolate (mmmmmchocolatemmmmm)...

Ahem. That, and she has started assisting me with the administration of her daily vitamins. She gets a ml dropper full daily and lately she's begun to guide my hand to her mouth. Quite clever. So, on Saturday I got everything ready and we set off. I think she's actually far better at eating than I am at feeding her at this point. We spent a while experimenting...spoon straight on? spoon to the side? hmmm... I think it confused her most when I tried scooping up the excess around her mouth with the spoon. "Now you're missing my mouth entirely, mother. That's my chin. You're not even close. Come on, now."

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Boxes. More Boxes. Even More Boxes.

Evie- December 2008 06 130a

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Evie- December 2008 06 180a

Most likely only Justin and Jake get that title. It's a reference to very corny (but VERY wonderful) science fiction, but in this case is basically it's my introduction for even more Christmas pictures of Evelyn. I took tons of them and so many of them are even quite similar, but I love each of them because they've captured slightly different looks. A moment. A precious moment.

I was just musing on this and realized how grateful I am for the technology that makes this possible. Before digital cameras, every picture you snapped counted, and you had no idea how they might have turned out. You were limited by the amount of film in your camera and subject to the cost of developing the roll if you wanted to view the resulting images. I just know I wouldn't be taking anywhere near the number of pictures I am were it not for the ease of the whole digital process. As it is now, I know immediately if I've gotten a good shot, and am almost instantly able to pull them up on the computer and share them with loved ones literally around the world. Amazing.

Even more amazing is to think that Evelyn will never know life before this level of technology...digital cameras, the internet, blogs...and I'm sure SO much more yet to come. I'm reminded of a conversation with an elementary school student when I was working in the library on post. Somehow the idea of a card catalog came up, and I struggled to explain the concept in a way that this child could grasp.

"Instead of all the information being on the computer, you had index cards with all the data written on them. The author's name, the title, all of it."

"Didn't that take up a lot of space??"

"Yeah, I suppose a bit of space. Much more than in a computer."

"But how could you find what you're looking for?"

"Well, they were organized alphabetically, so you could find things because they were in a specific order."

"But...that would take FOREVER!"

I was totally amused and taken aback by the reality that this child could scarcely imagine a world before search engines.

Anyway, all that to say, I'm really glad that the number of images from Evelyn's childhood I can capture are only limited by how quickly she moves, how fast she grows, and the size of my hard drive.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

More Christmas pictures

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I did this without permission...

Kellen, Julia, and Eric--please forgive me, guys, but I was simply compelled to do this. I think you'll find it as funny as me, because you're you.

As a side note, I did not choose the dance partners, but I feel they are surprisingly pretty appropriately matched. :)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Evie- December 2008 06 031a

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Merry Christmas--even though here it's now the 26th. Just got the girl to sleep...well, in her crib that is. She was sleeping on my lap while I watched "It's A Wonderful Life." That movie gets me every time, and now it fits in with the growing list of things that are hitting me harder now that Evie is around.

This is just the first batch of many more pictures to come. We played around last night and some today taking some "official" first Christmas pictures. Evelyn's been getting better everyday at sitting on her own, or with very little assistance, and so when she had herself propped up tripod style--using her arms to keep sitting upright--I backed a little further away than I should to try and take the picture. She didn't realize that her arms needed to stay in place to keep her face from having an impromptu date with the floor, and thus, down she went--face first into the carpet.

She was really alright, but the shock was definitely jarring and I felt awful because it happened while I was busy trying to take her picture. She cried for a few minutes until I was able to calm her down. Although it was the first, I know it won't be the last time she takes a nose dive, and it's something I'm going to have to work on dealing with. My tendency--I think it is so with many mothers--is to try and save her from any pain, any frustration, any failure. And while, of course, some protection is good and even necessary, I must let her live outside my little bubble of safety, or I will be doing far much more harm than good. Anyway, it seemed noteworthy that it happened for the first time, and we both came through it unscathed.

Justin was able to watch us open presents on Skype. Evie enjoyed the wrapping paper and thought it looked tasty. We got lots of fun things--new music, books, and even a pair of thick woolen socks (yay!). It certainly wasn't the same not having Justin here in person, but all things considered, it was as nice of a Christmas as I imagine it could have been. Evie and I hooked up with the family back in Texas, again via Skype, later in the afternoon which was fun.

Chokydar got a new bone, but hasn't quite figured out what to do with it yet because it doesn't appear to have any stuffing to pull out.
More pictures to come...

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Decembers Past III

Here is the last set of pictures from our past December trips while in Germany. These are from Nurnberg, which we visited in 2006 right before Christmas:

Nurnberg & Rothenberg ob der Tauber 12-23-06 003a

Nurnberg & Rothenberg ob der Tauber 12-23-06 007a

Nurnberg & Rothenberg ob der Tauber 12-23-06 011a

Nurnberg & Rothenberg ob der Tauber 12-23-06 018a

Nurnberg & Rothenberg ob der Tauber 12-23-06 022a

These are from the small village of Rothenburg ob der Tauber, in which we stopped on the way back from Nurnberg that same day.


Rothenburg (2)a

Rothenburg (3)a

Rothenburg (5)a

Rothenburg (13)a

And these are from Strasbourg, France. We visited Strasbourg last year--the only Christmas market we made it to last year for some reason or other...I think the weather was especially yucky on the weekends and we didn't venture out. Even on the day when we did drive down to Strasbourg, the weather was nasty. It rained full out while we tried to enjoy the market and I had left the umbrella at home. Chokydar was soaked by the time we got back to the car.

Strasbourg Dec 07

Strasbourg Dec 07b

Strasbourg Dec 07a

Odds and ends

Baumholder 12-20-08 (3)a

Baumholder 12-20-08 (2)a

Baumholder 12-20-08 (5)a

Baumholder 12-20-08 (8)a

Baumholder 12-20-08 (9)a

Just a few pictures I've been meaning to post. The first three are my finds from our trip to Trier last week. Was that last week?? I can't believe Christmas is tomorrow. The magnet, very roughly translates to "I've been on a diet for two weeks and have lost 14 days." The coasters are also from Trier. I LOVE the one with "wine stains."

Then there's my infamous Pottery Barn modular linen tiles. I have two hung together to the left of my desk and the other four above a bookself. Now I just need to find things to pin on them...
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