Communiqués from Cowtown

Goodbye Hedonism, Hello Diaper Genie….

Christmas 2008 December 30, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — nickihem @ 6:33 pm

We had a wonderful Christmas this year; actually, we had several of them, all in different places. Because we traveled around, Bee got to open presents 4 times, which doesn’t count opening her gift from her cousins when we stopped by at the end of our journey. What fun! She had a great time as you can probably imagine–all of us did.

 

We are back home wondering what on earth to do with all the toys she received. My dad made her a wood toybox that serves as a bench, which also converts into an art desk when turned on its end. For anyone handy out there looking for a gift for an entire family, this is it. We love it and it’s helping to control the post-Christmas toy extravaganza that is our home. I’m actually sitting on it now as I type since it’s placed in the sun in Bee’s playroom. Hopefully my giant butt isn’t too much for it…

 

The Sunday before the big day we went to my family Christmas party in Ohio and did Christmas morning with my parents and sisters, which was great fun. We then went on back to Cowtown to be with Ryan’s side of the family for Christmas Eve and enjoy some of Grandpa Jim’s traditional fish stew, which was surprisingly delicious–even Bee gobbled it up. Bee played with Avery who is 4 and the two had a marvellous time. She loves being around older girls and luckily, Avery seemed delighted to have a little shadow. 

 

We took off on Christmas Eve at around 1:30 a.m. bound for North Carolina where Ryan’s grandparents live so Bee could meet her great grandparents for the first time. I never realized how amazing the mountains were down in North Carolina. As Ryan slept I drove along with the sun coming up over the hills, both of my lovies sleeping soundly. I wanted to wake them up so they could see the fog sitting in the bowls of the valleys we passed through, but didn’t have the heart to. Instead, I tried to take some pictures on my BlackBerry, which was awkward and did not do the scenery any justice. It was gorgeous. It was also about 20 degrees warmer, which was quite a bonus.

 

We arrived at Ryan’s great grandparents’ house at around 9 a.m. and heard Don call out excitedly, “they’re here!!” … They came out and greeted us and stared at Bee happily. They couldn’t get enough of her and she was well behaved, although was a bit obsessed with all of the glass knicknacks and other untouchables. We had Christmas “dinner” (lunch) and took a walk with Ryan’s Uncle Gary up the steep hill and back down, which knocked Bee out. She took a long nap on my lap and we headed back to the hotel to rest after the long drive.

 

We stayed at a Holiday Inn near Asheville with a pool and Ryan and Bee did some swimming, which is one of her favorite things to do. I got some great pictures of them in the pool. The great part about a 2-year old swimming is that she is guaranteed to sleep at night; she crashed out that night and was snoring.

 

The following are some pictures I took during the week on my BlackBerry. The quality isn’t that great, but I thought they would be fun to post. I will upload more from our actual camera in the coming day or two as they include other moments from Christmas, including our time at my parents’ house.

 

You mean I get to have more than one Christmas?! Hooray!
You mean I get to have more than one Christmas?! Hooray!
Aunt Danielle at my family Christmas party holding Bee and her cousin Seth. Double the cuteness power!
Aunt Danielle at my family Christmas party holding Bee and her cousin Seth. Double the cuteness power!
Bee and Avery having a ball at Grandma Sue's
Bee and Avery having a ball at Grandma Sue’s
We kept Bee up until well after midnight so she would sleep the whole way to North Carolina. This was taken less than 15 minutes after leaving and she slept the whole way; it worked!
We kept Bee up until well after midnight so she would sleep the whole way to North Carolina. This was taken less than 15 minutes after leaving and she slept the whole way; it worked!
Taken out the window as dawn came over Western North Carolina. This really does not do it any justice.
Taken out the window as dawn came over Western North Carolina. This really does not do it any justice.
Bee woke up for the last ten minutes of the trip and put her sunglasses on. That morning light was so bright and I laughed so hard when I glanced in the mirror and saw her just sitting there in her shades.
Bee woke up for the last ten minutes of the trip and put her sunglasses on. That morning light was so bright and I laughed so hard when I glanced in the mirror and saw her just sitting there in her shades.
Great-grandma Alice was so delighted to finally meet Chloe. I love this lady!
Great-grandma Alice was so delighted to finally meet Bee. I love this lady!
Gary, Bee, and Daddy posing after our hike up the hill.
Gary, Bee, and Daddy posing after our hike up the hill.
Back at the hotel and ready to go swimming. She started calling me "mom" instead of "mommy" and said, "hurry up, Mom!" ...
Back at the hotel and ready to go swimming. She started calling me “mom” instead of “mommy” and said, “hurry up, Mom!” …
Having a great time (note the nervous look on Ryan's face as she stands on top of the rails)
Having a great time (note the nervous look on Ryan’s face as she stands on top of the rails)
They had such a great time swimming together!
They had such a great time swimming together!
Wrapped up in her duckie towel

Wrapped up in her duckie towel

She was wound up when we brought her back after her swim. I put her hair in two little braids with bows at the end and she kept running over to the mirror at looking at them and smiling. And THEN....
She was wound up when we brought her back after her swim. I put her hair in two little braids with bows at the end and she kept running over to the mirror at looking at them and smiling. And THEN….
She crashed. Completely. And snored.

She crashed. Completely. And snored.

We went back to Cowtown before heading back home. She's fishing off the stairs with Grandma Sue before heading out to see her cousins.

We went back to Cowtown before heading back home. She's fishing off the stairs with Grandma Sue before heading out to see her cousins.

Playing the harmonica with Connor and August

Playing the harmonica with Connor and August

I love this picture of the three of them; they're coloring with highlighters.

I love this picture of the three of them; they're coloring with highlighters.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Merry Christmas Everyone!

 

What a great holiday! I will be posting more pictures soon. I ran out of room on the camera as the trip went on so most of the pics from my family’s Christmas are on there and haven’t been uploaded yet. I wish the Berry took better pictures, but you get the idea…. 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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Happy 2nd Birthday Baby Bee! November 28, 2008

Filed under: The Bee — nickihem @ 1:46 am

 

bday11

bday2

 

bday3

bday4

And this is not really birthday but I didn’t have a Halloween post so here we go… 

halow

 

A Hasty Summer Summary September 25, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — nickihem @ 3:35 pm
Tags: ,

It’s amazing how quickly this summer has flown by and it wasn’t until today, with the leaves crunching under my feet as I took Bee out to car for another day or daycare, that I realized it was going to be freezing again soon and summer was officially gone.

 

The last month has been something of a whirlwind with Ryan back in full swing, teaching a class and coming home with plans to draw out for new sets for shows coming up this fall and me taking care of Bee, working at any free moment, and for the greater part of the past month, being quite ill with pneumonia. It started out as a weird summer death cold that I thought came from Bee’s daycare germ extravaganza and developed into something much worse. I really thought I was going to die for a few days and that is no exaggeration. Each time I took a breath it felt a bit like I was drowning. Scary stuff, but luckily, I was the one of us to get something so serious and now that it’s gone, I’m thankful and trying like crazy to get my energy levels back up to where they were before it. Every winter I get something awful but this took the cake; hopefully this is all I will have to deal with before the buds come in spring although something tells me that’s not likely—for any of us.

 

Bee started daycare about a month and a half ago and it’s brought about a few noteworthy changes in her personality and our lives in general. I’ve been able to get more work done and have a break, thus no longer feel like 100% of my life is consumed by baby (something I’ve had a love and hate relationship with from day one anyway) but on the other hand, I feel like I am missing something when she’s not here and feel guilty (I know, I shouldn’t and people think I’m crazy when I say it) that I dropped her off somewhere, even if it’s a pretty decent place and she’s getting exposure to kids her age. Instead of her, it seems it’s me that is suffering from an abandonment complex in some weird subverted way. I suppose it’s this that the ladies at her daycare picked up on when they said for her whole first week, “it’s okay, clearly this is your first child”…

 

The first day I took her she screamed and cried and I left in tears. In fact, the first day I went to tour the place and saw all of the art on the walls and evidence of projects done by tiny hands I felt inexplicably sad and my stupid nose got all runny. I seriously thought I was going to break down in front of the director. I knew that Bee was going to be doing fun things, but they would be fun things without me and she would be learning each day; but nothing she learned would be things I taught her. People close to me have remarked on this “control freak” aspect of my personality with her but I can’t help it. I want her to grow up with a balanced perspective but have trouble letting go enough for her gain one. Lately, as the concept of daycare is becoming more familiar to both of us and I see how happy she is when she sees her friends and teachers on most days (some she still has a meltdown) I’m cool with it and come home, make coffee, and am able to, guilt free, sit down on the porch and take a few minutes of me time before I start working.

 

She will be 2 in November and therefore, we can expect even more of a manifestation of the notorious “terrible twos” people keep insinuating will happen, even to our sweet girl. We’re beginning to see traces of this emerge and she’s picked up some rather nasty little habits at daycare including, but not limited to the following:

 

  • Picking her nose. Often.
  • Picking her nose, being told to stop it, and then glaring at me before commencing to picking her nose anyway.
  • The addition to her vocabulary “It’s mine!” which is often applied to things that are not, in fact hers, usually my cell phone, any glass she manages to pull off the counter, and Ryan’s glasses that she whips off of his face in a delighted flash.
  • Tantrums that include a scream with a pitch approximately that of a dog whistle.
  • The refusal to eat anything, for the most part, outside of cheese and pasta.
  • A daily demand, at least once per day, of “ice cream with Daddy” which is her favorite pastime and that does not cease when she knows Daddy is busy and the freezer is depleted of its ice cream supply.
  • Being done with what little food she will eat, she dumps her plate or bowl on the floor as she pushes it away, and then stands up in her high chair and refuses to bend her legs as we try to make her sit down again.

 

There are others, of course, but these are by far the most prevalent, this week anyway. Who knows what next week will bring. Still, she is learning many positive things and her vocabulary has improved even more and she’s added new songs to her repertoire, including ones I’ve never heard. She’ll start singing them and look a little pissed at me for not knowing them. With these things in mind, I thought I’d post a picture of her with a devlish look on her face in a shirt her Aunt Lisa (thank you!) got for her 😉

 

 

I’ve been rather bad at updating lately but hopefully I can stick with it now that I have a bit more time to do so with her being gone a few days of the week. It’s just been a busy summer with being between here and Columbus and then getting settled back in. Being sick was rather unpleasant and we also had to confront the loss of my dear cousin Angie who lost her battle with cystic fibrosis in August. I wish Bee could have grown up knowing her and having her sharp wit to giggle at and her great personality to admire. She will be missed by all of us but I am glad she is no longer in any pain.

 

If anyone who reads my blog regularly would like to contribute to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, it’s a wonderful organization and has helped fund research that extended Angie’s life expectancy from her teens well into her twenties. They have some non-traditional and excellent donation options and if you don’t know anything about the disease, it’s a good place to learn.

 

Here is a link… http://www.cff.org/Gifts/

 

A Summer Day July 22, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — nickihem @ 11:54 pm

 

What a Difference a Year Makes June 12, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — nickihem @ 12:45 am

This is almost hard to believe. Same place at just about the same time last year. For anyone who’s ever heard the expression “they grow up too fast” here is visual proof-positive of that little adage.

 

The Last Month Back in the O.C. (Original Cowtown) June 11, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — nickihem @ 7:10 am

(Above) Just before leaving for nearly a month back in Cowtown, Bee is at her favorite place again making circles and trying to write the letter “A”

Driving long distances is actually becoming fun as she decides that reading is much better for everyone than screaming her head off. How pleasant!

Cousins!!!

Her Grandma Sue and Cousin Auggie all have fun playing in the water.

 Super-Cheese smile over breakfast.

Playing in the fountains at Easton and having a grand time of it. Fully clothed and soaked to the bone.

 

Appa Dooce!

EmoBaby

 

The Last Week in Photos April 29, 2008

Filed under: The Bee — nickihem @ 3:26 pm

The sink has been her choice of locations for fun lately. She demands, \

 The kitchen sink has been a favorite spot lately. She tells us she wants to “wash, wash” (sometimes with a please) and hops in, fully clothed, and has the time of her life. Now if only we could get this reaction to the real bathtime.

This is what happens now when I say \

 On the slide at Columbian Park. I told her to smile and this is what I got…a show of teeth. Cute though 🙂

Bee and her new best friend Shabby (Shelby) .. They were totally inseparable during our fire night

 Bee was completely attached to Shelby (Shabby  as Bee calls her) at our fire night and wouldn’t leave her side. Poor thing, she only had about five minutes Bee-free to enjoy a beer.

We told everyone there were bald eagles around and just as everyone left, what should swoop down on a nearby tree?

 Right before everyone left we were commenting on how we were sure we’d seen bald eagles nearby. Everyone was a bit incredulous. Just as they left and we were out back picking things up, what should land on a nearby tree but a giant bald eagle!

Here is a close-up zoomed image of Mr. Eagle. How cool!

I zoomed in on him here. It was getting and is a bit hard to make him out clearly but you can see the white head and trademark wide shoulders. How cool!

So now we’ve experienced two amazing things in Indiana that are firsts for us. A bald eagle live in person and an earthquake! When the quake hit in Illinois we felt it as it woke us up. Later the next day we felt the aftershock and listened as our house sounded like it has people on roof. Crazy!