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Thursday, April 26, 2012

A Hint of What's to Come

Its crazy... in the last couple of weeks I've watched Emily go from struggling to roll over to sitting herself up on her own.  She's lifting her belly off the floor and darn near doing the official crawling motion.  Until now my baby has depended on me to get from A to B for every moment of her life.  That's about to change very soon.  I am not sure I'm ready for that. 


Now to start baby proofing the house...

Any tips of things to do when readying the house for a mobile baby?  I know the obvious, outlets, cords, and chemicals in cupboards, but perhaps you have some inside advice from past parenting experience worth sharing! 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

What My Daughter and I have in Common


On a Saturday afternoon as the rain clouds gather and the summer-like breeze wafts through the open windows play time has gotten the best of us, especially Emily. 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Adventures at Bedtime

I love this time of year. The evenings are long and warm. Things are budding and the sunsets seem that much more amazing. Before miss Emily arrived I would just hope in my car and go for a drive across backroad, ending up in bizarre, but beautiful, places.

However, as the days push later Emily's bedtime does not. She quickly fades into crankiness around 6:30pm. We are lucky to make it to 7pm with a bath, book, bottle, and bed. The routine leaves me exhausted, tired, and tied to the house with a sleeping infant in her crib. Watching the sun fade into golden and then red prettiness made me sort of resent my responsibilities. I'd then close all the curtains in the living room as if it were already dark out to block out the golden hour proceeding sunset.

Then I decided that maybe every once and a while cutting a corner or two at bedtime was okay. So, at Emily's cranky time pajamas were donned and a warm bottle was made. We packed up the car seat and hit the road.

It seemed odd at first, violating the sanctity of the bedtime routine in favor of heading out onto the back roads, but Emily didn't care in the least. Since she can hold her bottle she lazily propped it just enough to slowly drain it and then drift off to sleep. As she slumbered Shawn and I felt free. We could drive aimlessly, explore new back roads, and talk just like old times... only now there's a cute little sleeping person in the back seat.

Something about turning bedtime into a field trip for Shawn and I made us genuinely happy. The countryside seemed more alive and scenic than ever. It's the next best thing to happen to bedtime since Emily starting sleeping nearly the whole night!



Tuesday, April 17, 2012

How Things Work Out

Sometimes it amazes me why things happen the way they do. Take this little situation for example...

Shawn, Emily, and I were driving around the back roads outside of town. It was a beautiful afternoon and the sun was getting low in the sky. Emily babbled as we took in the sights of the fields and farms passing by. Only this drive we were going extra slow. Slow, because, well, it's nearly turkey season and we just scout the fields for the birds. As we created this one particular hill we came across a surprise....

There was a big dog laying in the roadway, smack in the middle, and just exactly in the blind spot of the crest. After a good sixty seconds of sitting stopped in the roadway the dog sauntered off to the side. I was so glad that we didn't smush the poor mutt. If we had been going any faster we wouldn't have been able to stop in time and we wouldn't have been going so slow if we weren't looking for turkeys. It's amazing no one else hit the dog either.

Funny how things work out...

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Only Reason I Love Turkey Season

After the snow has melted and the world begins to turn green my husband begins to dream of beards and Toms. That's turkey lingo if you aren't familiar.

Personally I loathe Turkey season. It's dangerous. I've been on ambulance calls where a hunter is shot because another hunter mistook him for a turkey. It's easy to do. Lots of inexperienced and over eager hunters "stalk" turkey calls made by another hunter thinking they are chasing a real turkey only to end up finding, and every once and a while shooting, another hunter. No one wears blaze orange like other seasons due to the turkey's great eye sight, which only increases the risks of getting shot. When Shawn heads out I spend all morning worrying, not about him, but about those unknown hunters who might mistake him for a Tom.

But, there is one thing I do like...

The pre-season prep means lots of hiking and walking through the woods, and there's nothing I like more than some quality time outdoors. Add in burning some calories and I'm ready to go. So, as part of preparing Shawn, Emily, and I hit the trails. Shawn is concerned with looking for turkey sign and occasionally using a turkey call. Me, I have Emily strapped to my back and camera in my hands as I plod along the trails. While we may not always find turkeys we always seem to end up somewhere scenic.

Emily LOVED the hike.  My back, not so much. 

We ended up in a clearing with spectacular views

Nothing beats feeling like you are on top of the world.  (that's Shawn in the right corner)


And that is why I love turkey season.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Not so Proud Mom Moment

I am learning that motherhood equals a lot of not-so-proud moments, like the one I experienced the other night in a store...

It was late evening.  Emily was slightly cranky, but managable and we were in a sporting goods store looking for a turkey call.  I should clarify that it was more of a 'Shawn was looking for a turkey call' while I carried Emily around the store.  Her and I played airplane, looked in the mirrors in the clothing section, and just wandered around looking at different, colorful merchandise.  Everything seemed to be copacetic. 

Then, out of nowhere, Emily began a quite unhappy baby.  Shawn gave me a look that indicated he had not yet found the perfect turkey call and didn't want to abandon his mission.  I sighed and began to head toward the front of the building in search of a hasty and dignified exit.  ...as if exiting a store with a screaming and writhing child in your arms can be dignified.  A few of the other customers in the store stared from behind clothing racks and shelves as I passed and couple women gave me a sympathetic glance. 

Suddenly, as I was switching arms with Emily, since she is heavy and over sixteen pounds right now, to my horror she decided to spit up.  White formula straight from Emily's stomach landed on my shoe and on the white linoleum floor.  I had no way of cleaning up either spot at that moment.  Emily continued to cry and struggle in my arms, so, as if trying to not miss a beat, I continued to walk out of the store with a half dollar size of spit-up left on the store floor. 

I met no employee on my trek out the door, no one to tell about the spit up on the floor.  Emily continued to cry well after I reached the car.  Changed diaper, bottle, toy, cuddle, nothing consoled her.  In exasperation when Shawn arrived after purchasing the perfect turkey call we headed down the road back towards home.  We were rewarded with an hour long drive of an inconsolable and screaming baby. 

The only thing that sparked a smile during the entire ride was when I looked down at my shoe and saw the little spot of spit-up.  I remembered that there was another blob still on the floor in the sporting goods store.  Oops.  

Can't believe this little face would be so cranky can you? Ha.  :)



Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter with Emily

This year there were no egg hunts or chocolate bunnies.  Emily's a tad bit too young for the complete funness of the holidays still, but I didn't let that stop me from introducing Easter to her!  With excitement I picked out an adorable basket and a couple little things that I lovingly put together for Emily this morning.  Even an infant gets visited by the Easter Bunny... aka... Mom.  This is how Easter morning went...


Everything was set up cute as can be before Emily woke up. 


The basket was a big hit.  Exploration had begun!


Hmmm... this purple stuff is clearly the most entertaining thing in the basket!


And making a mess is mandatory


But  she wanted nothing to do with her giant bunny.

It's okay Emily...  I'd be a little freaked out by a big blue bunny that was more than twice my size, too!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Sweets of the Week

While most of my days are the same there is always a pile of good things that stand out.  This week is no exception.  Sometimes I think my life is pretty darn dull.... apparently its not that dull. 

1.  I continue on the weight loss track.  Another couple of pounds down...  the total stands at 8lbs in five weeks!

2.  Shawn and I went out for a drive with a sleeping and dressed in pajamas Emily only to get a little off course and end up a good hour from home.  I may or may not have been navigating....  at least the ride was scenic!


3.  I sold thirteen necklaces to a few people at work!  Now I have to make some more, one of which I will give away on here very very soon!

4. A friend gave me an old, torn, and scribbled on photo to try and correct.  It was the first photo editing I've done in a while, probably over a month, and it turned out great. 


5. The financing for the land continues and looks to be lining up the way it should.  All our paperwork is done, at least.  Once everything finalizes we stand to close on everything in mid-May. 

6. I went to the movies, something I rarely ever do, and saw the Hunger Games.  It was great to have a few hours out to see it, but I will say the book was better. 

7.  Emily is seven months old!  She's really trying to move, but hasn't quite figured it out. 


Don't worry... I don't let her try and wobble around the couch.  She doesn't have much get up and go... yet!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Why we are Buying Land

When we first moved down here to the "big city" Shawn and I were adamant that we would one day return to the North East Kingdom.  Its where our hearts are and where we belong.  The plans were far off, distant, and something we weren't really attempting to fulfill at this moment until, by accident, we discovered a piece of land that fit us perfectly.  

The first thing people say when I mention that we are looking into buying land is that we must have a heck of a lot of money.  "You guys must be rich!"  "It must be nice!" people exclaim.  In all honesty we aren't rich.  We work very hard and, frankly, it is nice to be able to see the rewards of that.  But, we definitely aren't wealthy.  

Our financial plan is a little different than most, which is why we are buying land.  Thanks to Emily's birth we are getting a hefty tax return.  That, combined with a little bit of savings we had squirreled away, we had a good chunk of change.  Shawn and I tossed over many ideas of what to do with the money.  Should we redo the kitchen?  Should we pay off student loans?  Should we save it for a rainy day?  

Then, when we thought about savings, a couple of things came to mind.  First of all, the interest rate for savings accounts is appalling.  Inflation is ten times greater, so overtime our money would actually be worth less.  Stumbling across the land around the same time we were discussing uses for the tax return money was a fluke that created a huge idea. 

What can you invest in that will only increase in value over time?  Land.  Real estate prices, especially up here in Vermont where the housing collapse was never experienced, land has been unaffected by the fluctuating market.  I can't think of a better way to use a lump of money than on something that would one day be absolutely ours?  Its the one investment we can make that will not only cost us money (except interest) and give us something in return.  A place to retire.  

It seems odd thinking about retirement when I've just begun my career, but if I wait until I'm getting ready for it then its too late.  Shawn and I always talked of returning to the North to retire and live out our later years enjoying the best of what the Kingdom has to offer.  Now its so much more tangible.  In a weird way I am actually excited about the idea of retiring.  Granted its two decades at least away, but we have a plan and its a good plan. 

So, that's why we are buying land.




Not because we are rich.  Not because we are moving back (this decade anyway).  Not because we are going to be loggers and enter the timber industry.  Really, we just want a little piece of Earth to call our own back in the town we love where we can live out the last of our years.  Yup, that's it.