Tuesday, June 30, 2009

June 30th: Wake Up Mommy!

IMG00388.jpg, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

Every day, at some ungodly hour, this is what I see. It's hard to be angry at such jubilation, even if it isn't really all that welcome at 5 AM. He's chatty and inquisitive at that time of day. Our moods don't exactly match. Once in a blue moon, I do manage to get him to go back to sleep. And then, I drift off to the sweet sound of a binky being quietly sucked next to me.

JUNE 29th: What Happens...

IMG00378.jpg, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

When it rains and is gray for all of June...and then it gets sunny and blazing hot? You get dry mud like this that curls up and dramatically heaves a dusty last breath.

In a related story, I walked yesterday in 80 degree heat. I, too, felt parched and withered. Totally unaccustomed to the summer heat, I was ridiculously hot by the time I returned to my icebox of an office. Made me grateful (for an hour or two) that they keep my office temperature around 52 degrees! By the late afternoon, I was chilled and cradling a cup of tea to warm up again.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

JUNE 28th: Shelf Genie Car

IMG00335.jpg, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

See anything funny about the "wrapping" on my dad's Shelf Genie car? Here let me zoom in for you:

Saturday, June 27, 2009

JUNE 27th: Taking Pictures with Mom's Camera

Liam with Camera, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

Last night I let the kids take pictures with my camera. I swear the camera was about as big as Liam! I had to capture a picture with my cell phone camera to show how cute it was...such concentration...

Elena's pictures from her photo shooting.

Liam's pictures. Remember he's TWO!!!

Friday, June 26, 2009

JUNE 26th: Crocodile Tears and Two's Swan Song

June 26 011, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

We seem to be having a lot of these moments as the terrible twos exert their last bit of control over Liam. His feelings are so easily hurt. He crumples into a puddle of tears whenever he doesn't get his way. It even has us questioning whether he might be sick with Lyme Disease or something. Poor baby!

June 26 010

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

JUNE 23rd: Enjoying Each Other

landl, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

Finally, after years of angst and hate, my two children love each other. Liam's class clown personality is the perfect foil for Elena's contagious giggle. It's wonderful!

favorite of elena and liam

JUNE 22: Dismembership

IMG00309.jpg, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

Some time ago, I was walking at work and I passed a random doll's arm on the ground. I had to photograph it (named "Thumb's Up). Now, I find the matching head. Something fishy's afoot, or a head...or an arm.

Thumbs Up, Baby

Sunday, June 21, 2009

JUNE 21: Puddle Duck

IMG00288.jpg, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

Liam loves to get dirty, muddy, wet and puddly. So, yesterday as he walked through puddle after puddle on our walk, his sister nicknamed him "puddle duck." "That's our little puddle duck!" "Here, puddle duck, try this one!" "Oh look, puddle duck, here's a BIG puddle up here." I still remember how I loved puddles as a kid. I remember stripping my shoes off my feet and feeling the silty mud at the bottom squish between my toes...lovely.

See how Elena stands on the sidelines as he experiences the visceral or daring. She lives vicariously through this little gift of a brother she has. It's really quite sweet.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

JUNE 20: Language Acquisition

IMG00279.jpg, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

Sometimes the words that two-year-olds come up with need to be kept forever. Elena, for example, at this age, coined the term "Cooray" instead of hooray. We still use it in excited exclamation as a family all the time. This one is Liam's.

"Look Mommy, doze people have a fire hydranger in their yard."

Fire hydranger will stick in my mind forever.

Friday, June 19, 2009

JUNE 19th: A Toilet for Every Occasion

IMG00275.jpg, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

When I was in high school and college, my parents had some really cool friends. They had met them through newcomers in Ridgefield and, actually, they remain close friends to this day. But, this goofy bunch had road rallies and scavenger hunts for fun. They had theme parties with dressing up. They had senses of humor that rivaled, in my young mind, comedians on TV.

Anyhow, one day one family redid their bathroom and were throwing out a toilet. Instead of a run-of-the-mill trip to the dump, this toilet got the royal treatment befitting a once throne. They dressed it up in baby blue and took it over as a welcoming lawn ornament for a baby's birth. This triggered a series of increasingly complex and artistic toilet productions. The final one, I remember, was a life size palm tree, sunk into concrete in the bowl, surrounded by a jungle scene. I don't even remember the occasion, perhaps to welcome home from a vacation?

What good friends to keep it light and creative with something as mundane as a toilet. Needless to say, when I was walking and came upon this jettisoned porcelain in my office park, it brought instant memories flooding back. I have to admit, I also had an urge to go get my car, load up the toilet and festoon it on the front lawn for Father's Day!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

JUNE 18th: Two Peas under an Umbrella

IMG00271.jpg, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

Yes, it's STILL raining every other day. Yes, it's gray and depressing most days. The kids are antsy everyday to get outside. Usually, I am of the mindset that a little rain won't hurt anyone. However, this rain has been torrential. Puddles, mud and mess. Oh yuck.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

JUNE 17th: Cup Bouquet $2.99

IMG00263.jpg, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

From Holbrook Farm, one mile from my office. Beautiful fresh perennials. I love spring...even when it is rainy and dark.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

JUNE 16th: My Crush

Susan Werner 011, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

We went to a wonderful show on Tuesday night. Ridgefield has, what we call, CHIRP concerts for free in the summer in Ballard Park. This week it was one of my favorite singers, Susan Werner. I have a real crush on her. She was wonderfully engaging and just so cute. There are more interesting pictures below from the night, but I just had to confess my crush here.

First of all, here is how we roll...we get there early and we bring picnic fare. This time it was sushi and wine.
Susan Werner 006

Picnic with Wine

So, there was a red-tailed hawk who landed on the fir tree behind Trina and Susan in the middle of a song. He hopped from branch to branch in time with the music. It was just as the golden sun (which was made more special by the fact that we had not seen it in days) was setting. Look at the sun-kissed picture I caught...I felt very blessed:
Susan Werner 013

Then, there was this funny photo essay I captured of a pizza guy who showed up at the park with a pizza to deliver. See if it cracks you up like it did me:

Um...did anyone out there order a pizza? Pretty sure this was the address I got...Yup...this is it.
Um...Anyone order a pizza?

Feeling a little bit like a jackass here...
Pizza Guy

No, but seriously, don't you see me standing here by the stage with this here pizza?
Tired of holding this here pizza

Um...hello? Where ARE you?
Hello? Did you WANT this Pizza?

Monday, June 15, 2009

JUNE 15th: Mushroom

June 14 045, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

Not much more to this one. Notice it's gray out? It sure has been rainy!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

JUNE 14th: The Most Narcissistic Girl

June 14 020, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

Need I say more? I am kind of obsessed with taking self-portraits. There's not another way to put it except I kind of like the way I fit into the world.

I still remember the first time I caught sight of myself in a BIG mirror in a grocery store in college. Instead of my large frame filling to the frame this mirror like it did my full length mirror at home or the slightly more generously-sized mirrors in dressing rooms, this one allowed me fit inside and walk around. The thing that was different about this mirror in our grocery store was not just its BIGness, but also that that it was housed in such a massive space. High ceilings, large fixtures, wide hallways. I walked by the yogurt section where this mirror was and glimpsed myself. I was immediately enamored with the way I fit into the world. I wasn't as big as the mirror, I didn't have to bend down to see my whole self. There I was, life-size dand large. I didn't mind myself. I actually liked the way I looked. To this day, I stop and gaze at myself in any large mirror or mirror-like space. Some may say it's narcissistic, but I actually think it reminds me of my smallness in a world that is really big...so much bigger than I am.

June 14 058

Avatar Kiki

Saturday, June 13, 2009

June 13th: Our Shelf Genie

June 14 005, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

Dad bought a franchise in Shelf Genie. This is a picture he asked me to take on an "emergency" basis last week. Apparently, The Ridgefield Press is putting in a write-up on him and he needed a picture of him in action to go with it. Fun assignment, right? ;-)

Friday, June 12, 2009

June 12th: Wow...in this Traffic?

YIKES, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

That, right there, is a toddler girl, riding in the front seat on her mother's lap in NYC traffic. In THIS traffic:

DC and Phila 042

June 12th: Driving Home Across the GWB

IMG00189.jpg, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

It always feels like home. It's the last 45 minutes of the trip...any trip from the West or South...unless, of course, I opt to take the Tapan Zee Bridge. But that always also feels like a homecoming. Maybe even more of a homecoming since my godparents live at its foot, in Nyack. They live on the Hudson. It's beautiful there. I love bridges. Phewshew...talk about rambling!

June 11th: Driving North From DC

DC and Phila 026, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

This just instantly took me back to my childhood. We used to make the trek from Sugarland Run in Sterling, VA to Chappaqua, NY all the time. As I drove through this tunnel last week, I had a memory come flooding back of driving through this tunnel as a six-year-old, riding in the back of my parents' Pacer (or was it a Datsun, at that point?). I remember sitting backward, hanging over the seat desperately craning to see the harbor we had just tunneled under. It always seemed amazing to me. I thank God (in retrospect) for giving me parents who instilled in me such a sense of wonder at things like tunnels under bodies of water, or new vocabulary words. A weird family, but a wonderfully smart one.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

DAY June 10: Driving to DC

IMG00149.jpg, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

Driving to DC for a business trip. Cool bridge in the fog shot in the rearview mirror. I have to be careful using the camera phone while driving...for obvious reasons. ;-)

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Best Birthday Gift Ever

So, first we went to Action Animal Park for the birthday girl. It was there that we saw this mother deer and her fawn with whom I fell in love. Here they are, mother leading, baby gambling along behind her. My only regret, as I stood there perched on the driver's seat with my shutter arm extended out the sun roof, was that a fence stood between me and the deer.

Baby deer with momma, through fencing:
Laneys Bday 096

Close up on the fencing:
Laneys Bday 089

Laneys Bday 101

So then, we go home to Daddy's house. Satisfied and happy that we had seen all the Family Cervidae has to offer. We have a lovely birthday dinner. We remember the first birthday. We tell stories about that day. That arduous process. That c-section. Then, we head home to have yet another birthday celebration. As we are on our way, we pass much wildlife, a purple finch, squirrels, some beaver-like thing I couldn't quite see...and then, the piece de resistance.

A mother deer and her fawn! I stopped the car, put on the hazard lights and jumped out of the car. I grabbed the birthday girl, who happens to be obssessed with deer and took my camera. We spooked the mother, but the baby did what every good baby fawn is supposed to do and dropped and hid in the grass. We got within inches of the little deer. Can you believe this?
Laneys Bday 160

Sunday, June 07, 2009

DAY June 7th: Drag the Blanket

June 7th and 8th 051, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

My kids' favorite game is called "Drag the Blanket." It involves, well, dragging a blanket all over kingdom come. It's fun inside and, apparently, out. Here's Laney playing Drag the Blanket with my quilt at the Lake two days before her fifth birthday. You can't see him, but Liam is following behind trying to dive on the blanket. That's a key component of the game, one dragger and one diver.

Friday, June 05, 2009

DAY 151: There's Going to be a Huge Harvest

IMG00073.jpg, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

In about a month and a half, there are going to berries ALL over my complex at work. As I go on my daily walk, I am in awe of the number of raspberry brambles that are in bloom. I should be able to collect enough for jam, pies and fruit salad!!! I can't wait! I love berry picking season...

(Ironically, last year's blog about berry picking season was posted on June 6th...today is June 5th. Guess I get excited every year when the bushes bloom.)

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

DAY 150: The Eve of Pre-K Graduation

June 2nd Concert 010, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

Look at this goofy girl! Remember her here?

DAY 149: Tum With Me to My Womb

June 2nd 004, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

Liam, it turns out, is a baby kid. We had a playdate and a little one-year-old named Joseph came over with his big brother John. Liam wanted to show this little guy his room. He was adorable with him! But, no Liam, there will not be any of those in your, er, womb...

DAY 149: Make Way for Goslings

June 1st 002, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

On my lunchtime walk. I was just glad they didn't turn tail and chase me. Geese bite.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Not a 365 Photo...

May 30 and 31 023, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

But, there is a story. Many of them, actually. First of all, this is beloved Grammy and her grandchildren. It's a replay many other grandkids' playtimes on many other party boats past. It's a replay of many other grandmothers hugging grandkids and, even this same Grammy as a mother, hugging her three girls.

Monday, June 01, 2009


IMG00039.jpg, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

Man, this kid is a pain. NO, I SAID NO! MOMMY SAID NO! is my new refrain. He won't listen and is, let's say inquisitive about everything. While he's challenging as a son, he is just plain traumatic to have at the lake. Every move he makes seems to end in the mind's eye with him careening off the rock wall or drowning in the cold water. I wish he could see how scared I am for him...maybe then he would be more careful. I wonder where all that trepidation from the day before at the Greek carnival scampered off to!

Just yesterday, Elena looked at me quizzically and said, "Mommy, why do you think God gave us such a wild one for a boy?"

DAY 147: Do Not Force Your Child...

IMG00029.jpg, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

See that rule down there at the bottom of the list? That one about not forcing your child? I broke that rule. I forced both my children up on the platform of the world's most inocuous ride at a Greek Festival in Bridgeport. When I tell you this ride was the carnival equivalent of being pulled slowly in a wagon, I am not exaggerating. However, the trepidation that seems to strike my children at the age of almost three hit Liam and he would not do it. Forget that these were WHEELED VEHICLES riding in a circle on a platform. Forget that there were steering wheels with which he could mime driving (his FAVORITE thing). Forget also, that his sister was going to ride in the same car with him. Nope, there he was clamboring over the rail.

I had to sigh and pull him out. I then had to offer his sister the same repreive. "Elena, if you don't want to go, you don't have to." Much to my surprise and delight, she sat fixed and insisted that she was going to go and be brave (yeah, brave...right, ok). And she was! So, perhaps that trepidation that moves in like a dark sky at almost three, moves out at almost five?