Archive for June, 2007

Trip chronicle, part 1

Last week Thursday I began packing for a giant road trip. Between Friday of last week and now:
* We drove 1747 miles.
* We visited two separate huge families.
* We visited three horses.
* We petted a sheep.
* We have turned in three indexes–a ridiculous amount of work.
* We have had a party at our house.
* And we met our newest nephew, Riley.

Here is the story of the first half of the trip:

As I was packing, Mary was being super cute.

She has started eating Cheerios, for those of you interested in such things.

On the way to Michigan, we stopped in Pittsburgh to have a late supper at Denny’s with Suz. Mary seemed interested in Suz and sat in her lap for a while. Eventually Mary became extremely squirmtastic.

Mary’s newest expression is a fish face.

When we got to Saginaw, the Negron family reunion got started. Mary modeled her t-shirt:

The night that we arrived (well, we arrived at about 7:30 a.m.; that night, much later) we went to Ryan’s parents’ house to crash their 29th anniversary party. When we got there, beer pong was underway:

Mary practiced for college.

She also hung out a lot with Jill. Mary was quite good considering that it was 1:30 a.m. She posed for a picture with Ryan and Jill:

The next day (after a much-needed but insufficient sleep) we went over to Conor’s aunt Janice’s house for a barbecue. Janice had recently acquired an inflatable backyard pool, which was set up. Conor took Mary in, but she thought it was too cold (straight from the hose).

The temperature didn’t stop the other kids. Noelle sprayed Conor’s pant leg. Conor said, “Great. Now it looks like I wet myself.” Noelle said, “No, THIS looks like you wet yourself,” and suited the action to the words.

I knitted.

Mary made coy faces.

Mary met AJ, another baby; AJ is the daughter of Janice’s stepdaughter, Virginia. AJ is 8 months old and a total steamroller–Mary didn’t stand a chance, especially as her weapon of choice is yelling:

Bella, Genna, and Danielle were in the pool for hours. Brr.

Mary hung out with Ama.

Here is a picture of Conor talking to Mary, because I think it’s so cute.

Then, on Monday, we drove to Climax to visit my family. We arrived midafternoon, earlier than my mom expected, and there was no one home–so we had to call Grandma Swarthout for guidance on how we might get into the house. But then my mom arrived and went into Grandma Mode:

We had cake for Conor’s birthday on the 19th. Grandma Moreland visited with Mary.

Mary went swimming. She loves it.

Here’s an action shot of her swimming.

Linda came over to hang out on both nights we were there. She played peek-a-boo and cracked Mary up.

Before we left on Wednesday, we went to the Harrisons’ house to visit some sheep. The Harrisons were out, so we just let ourselves in and borrowed a lamb. I loved her.

With a lot of encouragement Mary got up the nerve to touch the sheep.

Then we drove back to Saginaw. More to follow…including pictures of the newest nephew!



Yesterday I gave Mary a handful of Cheerios. She licked one and then stuck it to the side of her head. Fifteen minutes later I put her down on the floor to play. She discovered the stuck Cheerio, pulled it off, and ate it.

We are getting ready for our trip. We’re planning a stop en route (probably a food-related stop) in Pittsburgh, so that we can visit Suz (really poor baby-visiter, she). Then we’re headed to Saginaw for the weekend, to my parents’ for Monday and Tuesday, back to Saginaw Wednesday-Thursday, and home again for Riley’s baptism and David and Nina’s visit. I’m tired just thinking about it. Time to pack.

a reminiscence

I was just thinking back to last year, when I was pregnant with Mary and I had this conversation with my nephew Jack, whose sister, Molly, was still very little:

He came over to sit by me, and he said, “Aunt Heather, I know what will happen when the baby comes. Want me to tell you?”

“Okay, tell me,” I said, although I was thinking, I’m not sure I want to have this conversation with someone else’s kid.

“You’ll go to the doctor,” he said, very seriously, “and the doctor will take the baby out. Then everyone will bring presents for Jack.”

In an unrelated story, Mary’s 9-month checkup was yesterday. She is 29 inches tall, weighs 19.5 pounds, and is very advanced. The pediatrician said it was time for finger foods, so she is eating Cheerios. It’s one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. She puts them in her mouth–usually cramming several of them in–and then she seems surprised (“There’s something in my mouth!”). She’s doing pretty well on them today though–no choking episodes or anything (bonus points). It entertains her beyond measure, which is handy because I’m busy today.


It is suddenly–and by “suddenly,” I mean “as of today”–really freaking hot. Washington-in-the-summer hot. (Although I am properly grateful and appreciative of the fact that, unlike last year, I am not pregnant and huge to enjoy it.) Today it was 96 degrees and high humidity. That, my friends, is hot. (Conor said, “It’s like the great big dog of God is breathing on me.”)

Anyway, that aside, we’re moving along toward being ready to go on our Michigan trip. Before then, I must do the following:
* Work on my dissertation
* Clean my house (since there may be a baptism party for Riley here the day after we return)
* Index two books
* Pick up Conor’s laptop from repair (please, God, let it be finished before we have to leave; otherwise we will be traveling with–and indexing on–his old laptop, the screen of which only works when tipped forward or backward to absurd and inconvenient angles)
* Pack (no small thing for two adults and one baby for a week)
* Hold our mail, arrange for plant watering, recycle our recyclables (which I always forget to do on Thursdays…it’s been months since I’ve done it), and clean out my (filthy) car
* Convince the Post that we are no longer daily subscribers, but Sunday-only

This last item is a source of constant irritation to me. I imagine that I should find it funny and sometimes I do, but not always. On April 4 (yes, that’s right–April 4!), I called the Post and changed our subscription to Sunday-only. I don’t have the time to read the daily paper right now; it was cutting into my dissertation-writing time, and I can’t afford that, with all of the other drains on my time (you know, like blogging…ahem). I have, since then, called them every week and pointed out that we are still getting a daily paper. Occasionally, they call us, very early in the morning (always before we’re even awake, much less out and about) and ask if we still got our paper. But they keep bringing it! That’s two months of unsolicited daily papers. I’m not sure what else to do, other than post a huge sign at the end of the driveway saying, “DO NOT DELIVER PAPERS HERE UNLESS IT IS SUNDAY.” How hard can it be to get a newspaper delivery person to cut out one house? As it is, we start our day by driving out to take Conor to the Metro, and he says, invariably, “Good news, sweetie! They remembered to bring your newspaper!” Which, again, should probably be considered funny, but instead it usually provokes me to curse mightily.

Speaking of cursing mightily…has anyone else noticed that it’s really hot?

Open letters

Dear Credit Union: One teller at lunchtime is not enough. And the longer we wait in line, the more of your pens my baby is going to drool on.

Dear Ants: Please leave my kitchen. There is nothing here for you. I know you want the sink water, but trust me, the water outdoors is better.

Dear Mary: Paper is not food.

Dear Jackass in Traffic in Front of my House: Do not honk. It will not solve the traffic jam but it will wake up my baby. I repeat, do not honk. Everyone already knows that they’re going slowly.

Dear Jane Austen: I love you. Why didn’t you write more books?