Friday, September 26, 2008

Bath Time

Yes, we still bathe him in the kitchen sink. But, our kitchen sink is large enough to bath a 5-year-old, so this practice does not qualify me for Worst Mama points. Besides, see that kid-stuff drainboard in the background that is chock-full of bath toys? Yeah, he loves them.
Zane at 8-1/2 months.

The bath toys are great, Pop, but what I REALLY want is that camera!

He has a crooked smile like his Mama.

Such a sweet face!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


A longer update about our Z is in order, but these shots can't wait for my writer's block to subside. These are some of my favorite current pictures of my baby:

Sitting up like a big boy, playing with his favorite toy.

Oh, please don't ever stop doing this...

Silly Mama

Silly Baby

Adapt-a-Baby asleep in the rented infant seat traveling through Canada

Friday, September 19, 2008


When Ashley and I were growing up, we spent a lot of time in the Florida Keys. Our dad spent his high school years in Homestead and loved everything about the Keys: boating, fishing, spearfishing, snorkeling, diving, lobstering, drinking green-bottled beer after a great day on the water, everything. Our mom fell in love with the Keys, too, after going there with our dad.

Our parents are really cool people. They took us pretty much everywhere, including most vacations. Every summer, after returning from our annual 6-week stay with Grandmama and Grandaddy in Fort Deposit, we headed to Marathon for three weeks of swimming with angel fish and sargent majors; tickling lobsters from their lairs; eating cuban crackers topped with squeeze cheese; drinking ice-cold Chek-brand flavored soda from Winn-Dixie; boating; lots of sun; fish, dirty rice and beans for supper; one day-trip to Key West; and always one night at Pizza Hut.

Until our parents built the house at Quiet Water in 1985, we spent our three weeks at the Valhalla Beach Motel - a 12-room efficiency motel on a spit of land that is a child's dream come true. There is a big beach, a small beach, a lagoon, a mangrove forest with intersecting canals, and nowhere to get into trouble. Our parents always let us roam free, and we had a blast. So it's really no surprise that Marathon, and all that goes along with it, has been the fabric of our lives.

Now that we both have families of our own, Marathon has become even more hallowed ground as we pass down the traditions of our parents to our children. Quiet Water is our family haven. It is "Pappi's BIG house" to the little boys, and it's a landmark of memories for Ash and me. Memories that are the loom on which we weave the fabric of our children's lives.

My little pirate baby. Zane at 5 months.

At Ryan and Kylene's favorite sand bar.

Chiki-Tiki Lounge at Burdine's Waterfront.

This just cracks me up.

Summer Farewell

I don't buy into the idea that summer ends on Labor Day. It must be a by-product of living in Southwest Florida where daily high temperatures remain solidly in the 90's until mid-October. Even so, tomorrow is the autumnal equinox (the forecast high in Fort Myers is 90 degrees...) that marks the official end of "summer." This summer has been really special for me because I vowed to do nothing this summer except spend time with Zane and PG. It was a lesson in letting go.

Pre-baby and, to a great extent, during Zane's third - fifth months, my life was a whirlwind of Junior League, work, Session, travel...Always more "stuff" and always go-go-go. Last summer and fall, despite being pregnant, I worked my tail off. I kept a regular schedule at work, and I filled every spare minute with coordinating the largest fundraiser of the year for the Junior League. I was managing everything pretty well, but I was not spending any time on ME, or basking in the wondrous pregnancy I enjoyed. And I was not spending any time with my growing baby. It still makes me a little sad to think about all the time I spent doing other things until my doctor ordered me to bed for the remainder of my pregnancy. It was hard for me to accept bed rest: I had too many things to do! I had to let go and slow down.

I thought of that lesson as I drove home from Tallahassee after Session, emotionally and physically exhausted. Something had to give. I did not want to spend this summer as I spent last summer; I did not want to spend so much time focused on work, or on planning Taste of the Town (a full-time job in itself) All I wanted was to just be a mama; to spend lots of time hanging out with the two loves of my life and, frankly, myself. The biggest impediment was ME: me giving myself permission to let go and slow down.

Now that summer is coming to an "official" end, I wonder where the time went. But I'm not sad this time around. It was a wonderful, fun-filled summer*. And, best of all, I learned how to let go, slow down and balance this tricky thing we call life.

*Pictures of all the summer fun are forthcoming in subsequent posts...

Adventures in Eating Solid Food

One of the most fun adventures of the summer was getting Zane to eat. Compared to stories we had heard, we think he is a very good eater. However, at first, we tried very, um, creative, strategies for getting food into his mouth (read: using a pacifier as a spoon) In these photos, Zane was soooooooo tired and he was a hot mess; but, he ate!

First Father's Day

PG's first OFFICIAL Father's Day
This photograph makes me smile.

Zane at 6 months. PG at 42 years.

First Mother's Day

My first OFFICIAL Mother's Day*
PG and Zane treated me to the most excellent Mother's Day ever. PG let me sleep in while he and Zane made my favorite blueberry pancakes for breakfast in bed. We spent the remainder of the day chilling on our back porch and enjoying the pool and jacuzzi.
Mother's Day 2008 was also Zane's 5-month birthday. After we enjoyed blueberry pancakes, Zane wowed us with his rice-cereal-eating prowess. He ate like a champion from the very first bite of solid food!

Zane at five months. Paige at 37 years.

*(yeah, we're not going there about last year...when I didn't KNOW I was pregnant...and was recovering from bronchitis...and enjoying MANY pina coladas with Myers floaters at the pool at, no, we're not going there...)