Saturday, July 26, 2008

It's Christmas in July!

I have been accused of being a little overly enthusiastic about Christmas. I would listen to Christmas music all year long if I wasn't sure that people around me wouldn't spontaneously start jumping out of windows and committing other desperate acts. (I do keep a couple of my favorite carols in regular rotation on my ipod).
Since Will was born on Christmas day, we frequently get friendly advice from well-meaning people who have that same birthday- or have a loved one who does- about how to minimize the extreme bummer of having your birthday in the midst of the Christmas extravaganza. I would like to go on record as saying that I personally think that Christmas is a lovely birthday. The whole world (the whole Christian world anyway) is festive and cozy and thinking happy thoughts of peace on earth and goodwill toward men. That being said, at some point someone did suggest celebrating his half-birthday. What a super fun idea! Not to mention a great excuse for putting up Christmas decorations and listening to Christmas music without other people becoming too suicidal.
So we had some friends over for the Third Annual Smiley Christmas in July. We played a snowball toss game (actually marshmallows wrapped in plastic wrap).We played Pin-the-Button-on-the-Snowman using a Santa hat for a blindfold.
The kids changed into swimsuits and ran through the octopus sprinkler...
...then lounged for a little while in the sun.
The finale was an exciting game of Pass the Parcel. The game is sort of like hot potato: there are several little gifts all wrapped in layers and you pass the parcel around until the music stops. If you are holding the parcel when the music stops, you unwrap the outer layer of wrapping paper and keep the gift! I got the idea from our great friends the Williamsons.
It seemed as though everyone had a good time. Traditional Christmas in July fare was served: Santa's Favorite Chicken Nuggets, Elf Rolls, Reindeer Chow, and Candy Cane shaped Sugar Cookies. Yummy!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

First Trip to the Dentist!

Okay- So I know Will sees a dentist every day (me), but I wanted him to have a 'real' dental experience and I wanted to get a professional opinion of his prospective need for orthodontia. Though dental school was 10 (!) years ago and I haven't actually practiced as a dentist in about seven years, I know enough to know that primary teeth are not supposed to be perfectly lined up and touching a la JonBenet Ramsey. Spaces are a good thing because the permanent teeth that will come in are much wider than their primary predecessors. Will's teeth, unfortunately, came in beautifully aligned with no spaces.
Anyway- our good friend Dr. Bobby agreed to see Will for his first dental checkup. Rick brought him to Children's Hospital after we were done seeing patients. Will did a great job. His favorite part was when Dr. Bobby "painted" his teeth with fluoride. And No Cavities! (Sadly, that's not a always a gimme for a 21/2 year old).

"Thumbs Up!"

Sunday, July 20, 2008

"Joanna made my hair crazy!"

I've been getting my hair cut by the same lovely woman since I came to Columbus to interview for residency in November 2000 (I was coming from Iceland where I was never able to find a good place to get a haircut. Honestly- I let Rick trim my hair once because I was so desperate). Now she also cuts Rick and Will's hair. Going to her salon is a fun family outing and people always marvel how great Will does with sitting patiently while Joanna trims his hair with scissors and the clippers. Will has been sporting a snazzy long-on-top 'do but on this last visit to see Joanna we decided to try something new. The jury is still out on this new spiky haircut. A couple of times Will has told me that he's not a little boy, he's a "turkeypine". The true test will come when Grandma sees it this weekend.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Concert on the Square

On summer Sunday afternoons, in Bedford's charming little town square, there is a concert series. People bring lawn chairs and sit under the shade trees and listen to live music. This past weekend an orchestra played patriotic music and since we were still at grandma's house we got to go. My favorite part was when they played a medley of all the Services' theme songs- 'The Caissons Go Rolling Along', 'From the Halls of Montezuma', 'Wild Blue Yonder', and 'Anchors Aweigh'. Before they played, the conductor asked that anyone who had served in the military stand when the song for their branch was played so they could be recognised. It was a very proud moment when they played 'Anchors Aweigh' and my father, my mother, my husband, and I could all stand. I literally had tears in my eyes.
My dad is a 1969 graduate of the Naval Academy and a submariner. He was the captain of a Trident nuclear submarine and served at the Pentagon. Just as impressive, my mother was a Public Affairs Officer at a time when females in the military were scarce, not to mention a female officer . My husband enlisted when he was 18, got a direct commission eight years later, and retired after 27 years as a submarine qualified Supply Officer. Me, I let the Navy pay for Dental School then served the three years I owed them as a Dental Officer. If my grandfather had been there, he could have stood up with us. He was a Navy Supply Officer.
Navy pride runs deep in our family. I can't wait for the Army Navy game in December. Go Navy! Beat Army!

The Road Kill Cafe. Really.

On Saturday morning, grandma was really excited to take us to the Road Kill Cafe in Artemis, PA. It is only about 30 miles from my parents' house, but because we had to drive winding, narrow two-lane roads it took about an hour to get there. If you drive by too quickly you would assume it was a little country gas station, but tucked in the back, behind the displays of shotgun shells, turkey calls, and doe-in-rut scent are six or so picnic tables. The menu has dishes with names like Chunk of Skunk, Shake-n-Bake Snake, and Poodles & Noodles, which of course are not really those things, just creatively named normal food. We ate off of paper plates and drank sweet tea from plastic cups. The general consensus was positive. Of course Will had to have a T-shirt.

On the way home we had to stop so that Rick could save a turtle from becoming road kill.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

A Festive, Soggy Fourth

Every year for the 4th of July my parents' friends, Carol and Ken, throw a cookout on their farm. We usually grill and feast next to a beautiful spring-fed pond on their property. This year, however, it rained steadily all day long. So we had cook-in instead, which was still very lovely. The food was yummy; the company was entertaining; it was an all-around nice day.
During a brief break in the showers, we all went outside to see the animals and prove to ourselves how un-farm-savvy we city folk are.
Moments after this photo was taken the rooster jumped straight into the air and thumped Will in the chest with his feet- a move straight out of one of the Matrix movies. The rooster hit Will hard enough to knock him down and left some pretty dramatic bruises on his shoulders. I guess I shouldn't have encouraged Will to get so close to the rooster for photo purposes. Remarkably, Dundee the farm dog ran right over, grabbed the rooster, and shooed him away. We're sending Dundee a little 'thank you' treat.
Will recovered pretty quickly and got busy feeding the goats "bamboo". It was actually leaves from nearby trees, but for some reason Will is under the impression that all wild animals eat bamboo.
Ken and Carol's son, Jeremy, showed us all how to milk a goat. We didn't get to drink the milk, though, because at the very end the goat stepped in the bucket. Darn.

Will had such a rich, full day that he didn't make it to the end of their lane (or the end of his cookie) before he fell asleep.

All the big fireworks shows were rained out, but later we had our own front yard amateur display: giant sparklers, little spinners, and shooting tanks.

The front walk looked like a lilliputian war zone when we were done. We celebrated the truce with old fashioned rootbeer floats on the front porch.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Endless... er...Halloween?

Yes, this is the pumpkin that we plucked from the patch 9 months ago. It started out variegated so that splotchiness you see is not vitiligo. Until recently we also had a tall orange pumpkin, but Rick noticed some mold and tossed it. We tease my parents that they never get rid of anything (they still have a TV that is older than I am!) but maybe in this case the pumpkin doesn't fall far from the vine.