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Monday, July 30, 2012

Unsupervised use of Fig Newtons

Call it a parenting fail of sorts. I am sure every mom has done it. A crying, irritable baby in the back seat, a 20 minute car ride home, and a little bag of fig newtons brought for a snack.

What to do?

Why not hand one or two to little miss fussy pants in the back seat to help quell the noise for a headache free drive home?

Well, this is why...

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Outdoors Baby

I have no idea if Emily is even old enough to have preferences and a real personality, but so far the one that I see and the things she prefers are as perfect as can be for me.  She's a girl that definitely knows what she wants and what she wants happens to be exactly what I like.

To be outdoors.  

To be active.

To explore.  

I am taking full advantage of it in hopes that when she is more ambulatory and able to more willingly go on adventures with me she'll choose to be outdoors with me rather than cooped up inside.  Right now Emily could be the crankiest baby in the world, but if you take her outside she babbles away in happiness.  She smiles and laughs at nothing in particular, just the enjoyment of nature, a cool breeze, and trees passing by as I carry her. For her the world is perfect if she is out enjoying it.  

Could I be any luckier?  

This is why I always have my carrier pack in my car.  I can't count the times I have just popped Emily in the car seat, gone for a ride, and decided to stop and go for a little hike.  She's so convenient to carry around at this age, at least.  Not to mention, carrying around an extra 18 or so pounds helps burn the calories. 

Its just a win win all around.  For Emily and for me.  

This weekend I am hoping to go on a bigger hike with her since Shawn is working all day at the fire station.  Now begins the fun of planning a hiking destination!  If you're familiar with any great trails in the Vermont/New Hampshire area with mild-moderate hills that I could carry Emily up in a pack then let me know! 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Letters to Grandma

From telephones to cell phones and books to kindles so many things have upgraded over the last decade.  One thing hasn't changed, however.  I still happily write letters to my grandmother.  

Since I moved to this far corner of northern New England I've been over five hundred miles away from my family, every single one of them.  And, some of you know, I am not a big "talk on the phone" kind of person.  I have no idea why, but I despite phone conversations.  I'd much rather have them in person or via text, in some format or another.  My grandmother is the same way.  So, for the last decade she has been diligently sending me letters and I returning them.  

Whenever I pick up my mail and see a hand addressed envelope from her I smile.  Sometimes she sends me cookies.  Sometimes she sends me photos.  All the time there is a letter filled with details of her life, the weather, family updates, and even family history on people that have so many "greats" in front of their relationship to me its hard to comprehend.  

These letters are something I cherish.  I actually have started keeping them, because while they don't say much they have meaning to me and maybe will have meaning to future generations of my family who won't get to know what a selfless and lovely woman my grandmother is.  

Despite all the advances, the connectivity over wires and wireless I still prefer to pull out the stationary and pen a nice long letter to my grandmother.  Its so grounding and personal.  My hopes are that this sort of connection between people and family members won't disintegrate over time. Everyone needs to write a letter to someone, and, in turn, be excited to receive hand written envelopes in the mail. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Before and After

I seem to have returned to my niche of photographing.  Perhaps its the new camera, but either way I have been making time to explore the back roads and storm chase just like I did pre-motherhood days.  It feels great to return to something full force that I used to dedicate so much time to.  People have told me that all too often when they become parents they forget who they are, were, and what they loved.  The thought scares me, and frankly I don't think I have to worry about that.  

The only thing I hope is that Emily enjoys all the back road adventures with me as she grows older.  At least now she is fairly portable and can easily fall asleep in a car seat.  Perhaps even one day she will take interest in photography herself.

Oh, a mother's dream!

Then I have an even better excuse to always be out snapping photos...

Thursday, July 12, 2012

I Miss the Explosives

Last weekend was the first time that I had ever watched the fireworks show in Island Pond instead of being part of those who get to set up and light them off.  I always loved the day where we spent the entire moment from sunup to well past sundown preparing for a pyrotechnic show.  

Nothing beat the moment where we donned our fire gear and  began handling the explosives.

Then came the moment when we lit the flares in preparation to light the fuses one by one and dazzle thousands of people all around the lake.  The smell of sulfur filling the air in anticipation of touching the first fuse is still strong in my memory and fills me with excitement. 

However, this year was not like the years past...

The fire department no longer puts on the fireworks show, and what's more is that Shawn and I are no longer members of the fire department since we moved.  Politics changed who and how things are done.  Now a company is paid to do the show so this year Shawn and myself became like everyone else and searched out a great spot to be a spectator for the first time. 

We selected our spot a full two hours before the show.  As the last light of the night faded we waited with anticipation for the first salute to go off, a small firework that goes off with a bang and indicates the start of the real show is near.  

From across the lake we could see the flares light up when the show was about to began.  It was at that point I ached to be where they were, where the boom from the fireworks resonated in your bowels and you feared the number of auditory cells you'd lose.  Where the ka-thunk of a firework just lit blowing out of a tube skyward made you want to cover your face 'just in case' something went awry and it exploded before reaching the desired elevation.  Your heart pounding the entire time.  

Then, the best part, was the cheering of the crowd at the end of the show when the last fireworks faded from the sky and the show was over.  A crescendo of adrenaline rewarded by the sound of celebration from thousands of friends and strangers alike.  

God I miss it, and the sad part is I will probably never get to do a fireworks show again.  At least I can say I have done that even if it was once upon a time...

And even though we were spectators its still a great show, near or far from the tubes!

About Time for an Upgrade

I mull over big purchases for weeks, if not months, even if its something I really really want.... like my brand new Canon 7D for example!

Yup, I finally upgraded to the league of professional cameras.  It took me months to actually decide to go through with the purchase, but I figured it was about time now since I have had my 50D for a good couple of years.  My photography is been progressively getting more and more serious as time goes on and with an engagement session coming up this weekend and several other shoots filling up my late summer calendar I figured it was a perfect time to make the switch.  

Now the fun part comes... testing out the new equipment.

It feels good to feed my hunger for capturing great photos!  Fortunately the days are still long, warm, and full of beautiful light.  I think I am going to need a new memory card to accommodate all my ambitions, too.  

I know that I don't always share my photography on here, often that's because Emily seems to hog a lot of the spot light, but if you're interested in seeing a lot more of my photos, especially new ones as I take them, then be sure to check out my Facebook page!  ...Northeast Kingdom Photography

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A Holiday Weekend in the Kingdom

Nothing makes a week seem longer than waiting for it to end so I can spend it up in the heart of the Northeast Kingdom.  When my work week finally ends (and boy did it have an awful end... but I won't dwell on this at the moment) nothing is more soul-filling than riding on the windy roads with the wind down as we approach Island Pond.  I swear there isn't a sweeter place on Earth to be, but then again, I am bias and, more importantly, have only been to about 66% of the United States.  There still may be somewhere else awesomer out there. 

This past weekend the whole family, including the dogs, packed up several days worth of toiletries and clothes and headed north.  Thankfully Shawn's mother and father gladly took us all in and fed us, of course.  They also provided baby sitting periodically so we could do things that weren't so baby friendly.  Much of the weekend was spent there as if we had never left.  We walked around town, talked with old friends, hung out by the lake, and had a cookout while sitting on coolers and lawn chairs just like the days before we moved south.  

We also visited our land, four wheeled, fly fished, watched parades and fireworks, and took a trip to the Connecticut Lakes.  I basically try to cram as much stuff into a weekend up there as possible, so it tides me over for the next few weeks until I can visit again.  

The whole time Shawn and I dream about what it will be like when we can finally afford to actually do something with our land.  Maybe purchase a tractor, build a little camp or place to stay, and really start doing some work to the landscape.  There are so many dreams and its fun to think them all up. 

I think I have posted a lot recently about the land and up north... can you tell I really miss it?  

So, enough about the land and such...

Here are some photos from the weekend!

The start of the Fourth of July parade.  I've always been in it... never watched it!

Parade candy!  -- and the last time I leave the house without wipes to combat the stickiness!

Walking around town at sunset, just like when we lived there. 

Golfing with my husband and brother in-law at a sort-of-secret 9 hole course!

Sitting on the lake as the sun sets... waiting for the fireworks to start!  First time as a spectator for this show. 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Never Forget the Bacon and Eggs

I love visiting the fire station when Shawn is working, especially with Emily.  When I planned a visit one day Shawn asked if I could pick up breakfast for the guys on my way over.  Of course I said yes.  Here is a 'comical' portrayal of how it went...

Monday, July 2, 2012

It Wasn't Teething

So I was wrong. It wasn't teething. Well, she still might be teething, but how she was acting last week wasn't due to that. It was due to Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease.

Halfway through the day Thursday we received a call from our daycare provider that the other little girl there was just diagnosed with hand, foot, and mouth. Since Emily had not been there for almost a week at that point I figured we were out of the woods. Fortunately later that afternoon Emily was already scheduled for her 9 month check-up so we could throw the information by the doctor anyway.

When the appointment came the doctor checked Emily over well. She was developmentally ahead of her game and everything, but there was one concern. As he looked in her throat it was obvious...canker sores lined the back of her throat. No wonder the poor thing was cranky!

Yup... It was hand, foot, and mouth.

The doctor told us to simply treat her fever, if she had one, and let the illness ride out its course. He at least reassured us that it was a common childhood disease and she would soon get over it. But, she wasn't teething, or at least that wasn't her main concern right now.

So, several days later we are still without teeth, but all symptoms of hand, foot, and mouth are gone. She never even developed a rash on her palms or feet, which sometimes the child doesn't. Emily is her normal, happy self and back to eating everything in sight.

Except fish sticks.... apparently they aren't interesting enough to even stay awake to eat!