Sunday, March 29, 2009

A day at the sea

We had no plans for Saturday (except for a date for me and A that night - woohoo!), so when we saw that the forecast was for partly sunny and close to 60 degrees, we decided to drive up to Rockport, one of my favorite seaside towns in Massachusetts.

This is the famous "Motif #1" in Rockport

The water was so still, and I loved the colorful boats against the gray of the day

We had such a nice time. It was quite a bit chillier up there and gray and cloudy, but we didn't mind. We explored the little shops, had a delicious lunch at a sandwich place right on the water, and walked on the beach to look for shells and sea glass.

This cool car was parked outside the shops

Interesting statue of a child riding a frog

R LOVED the beach. His only real beach experience was last year in Florida. He's never really explored the beauty of a New England beach with its craggy rocks. I can't wait to get him back there again. Or to Cape Cod. It makes me sad that he's not growing up with the ocean as a huge part of his life like it was for me. But watching him on the beach yesterday -- chasing and running from the waves, climbing on rocks, answering the seagulls' calls, finding interesting treasures in the sand -- was wonderful.

While we were having lunch, the fog started rolling in. We walked out to the jetty to look at the water again, then high-tailed it back to the car because we were getting cold. But first, we stopped in an old-fashioned candy store. R picked out a giant white non-pareil; A and I shared some buttercrunch. Then we headed home to relax a little while before R's babysitter came over.

Today, we took my mom's advice and made up a scavenger hunt for R for our weekly grocery shopping trip. It worked like a dream! He was totally into it and rushed through the store to find everything on our list. After that, we took a rainy drive to visit my dad. And, as usual, my dad had an incredible spread of food waiting for us. The antipasti platter was beautiful, and it was so hard not to stuff ourselves silly, but the main course of pasta, sauce, homemade meatballs, sausage, and garlic bread was waiting. My dad sent us home with a ton of leftovers - yay!

Heaven on a plate

A and I have a tough week at work coming up, so this relaxing, wonderful weekend was a true blessing.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Mini rebellion

I've been in a bit of a funk lately, which has kept me from posting. I find it hard to write about happy things when I'm blue, but I also don't want to share my blues with everyone, so I just don't post. No mystery there, I guess.

But R made me laugh so hard the other day that I had to share. Every weekend, all three of us go grocery shopping together. A and I always loved grocery shopping before R came along - and we still do, actually. I think because food is the central activity and shared love in our lives. I won't buy myself new clothes or new underwear even when everything I own is in shreds or stained or faded, but we'll spend relative ridiculous amounts of money on good cheese, meat, vegetables, and fruit - and on going out to eat. It's our great love.

Anyway, back to the grocery shopping. R doesn't share our love of the grocery store. He hates it. But because A and I both love it so much - and because if only one of us goes, we forget things - we drag him along anyway.

So, last weekend, while we were doing our usual pleading with R to get ready, put his clothes on, brush his teeth, etc., R asked me, "How do you spell I?" [Quiet for a minute.] Then, "How do you spell do?" [Quiet again.] Then, "How do you spell not want?" [More quiet.]

Do you see where is going?

I spelled everything out for him, then he handed me this:

It says - in crazy jumbledness because he ran the letters around the Doodle Pad in circles - "I do not want to go to the grocery store."

My little rebel. At least he's polite with his protests, providing them to us in note form. :-)

Monday, March 9, 2009

A taste of spring

This weekend was beautiful! Warm, sunny, close to 70 degrees, I think. On Saturday, A and R and I headed into Boston to go for lunch at Popeye's in Kenmore Square. That was a day-after-A's-birthday treat. We had fried chicken, biscuits, corn on the cob, mashed potatoes, dirty rice, lemonade, the works. It was so good. Then we walked around the city a bit for fun. That night, we went to visit friends for a fondue dinner. R had a rough time at first because there were people there that he didn't know (that's been a problem for him recently), but eventually he relaxed and we all had fun. Although I didn't get to eat much or talk to the adults much between comforting and hanging with R and being dragged around to play by our friends' two-year-old. (Their kids have always latched onto me with a vengeance. But I don't mind that at all.) :-)

On Sunday, we slept in (we had two very late nights between Friday - when we spent A's birthday with our friends and their twins - and Saturday - fondue night). Just before lunchtime, we headed to one of the parks in our town so R could ride his bike, go to the playground, watch the big boys at the skateboard park, and so we could fly a kite and take a nature walk. It was pretty muddy since all the snow had just melted, but I could have stayed there all day. I love walking by the marsh, listening to the calls of the red wing blackbirds, and exploring puddles and rocks and streams with R and A.

After lunch at home, I went shopping with my friend for our co-worker's upcoming baby shower. I haven't been to Babies R Us in a long time, so it was fun for me. I can't believe how much has changed - in terms of new products and what they carry at the store - in just 5 years since I had R! My friend and I actually laughed at some of the new stuff - like a baby shower/spa (instead of a simple plastic baby tub) - crazy!

When I got home again, R and I headed to the backyard so he could practice baseball and soccer. I wish I had had a camera with me then. He was wearing a very cool red t-shirt (with a skull on it - he and A picked it out at Old Navy when I was waiting for them at the cash register), his new navy track pants, his new Spiderman/flashing sneakers, and holding the baseball bat. He just looked so grown up. I was proud and so sad at the same time. I also find it pretty funny that I'm the one teaching the kid how to play baseball and soccer (while A was inside making dinner - chicken pesto pizza!!). I was never big into organized sports as a child. I wouldn't say that I'm unathletic, but just pretty clueless as to how to teach a four-year-old to play these things. But we had fun, and R is actually quite good at hitting balls and kicking the soccer ball around. We played until it was nearly dark. (When I said that we needed a light in the backyard, R told me, "Mommy, Jesus can be our light!" While I'm sure Jesus was with us and smiling at the fun we were having together, I don't think He's on call to be our literal flashlight.) :-)

Oh! The other thing I did this weekend was make a new mantlescape and put up some new mirrors I bought recently (3 for $10!). Let me know what you think.

Here's the almost-full view. I accidentally cut off the ends when I took the picture. That's where I put some beautiful stones that my sister gave me long ago.

I got the two fleur de lis for $3 each. I use a lot of white, yellow, and blue in my decorating - no matter what season.

I used some books to give my chicken dish some height. I love that chicken dish so much. It was my grandmother's, and she always kept it full of butterscotch candies. A and I keep it full of dark chocolate. (Except for right now - it has mini Snickers. Those won't last long.) The teapot and the cup and saucer are from our regular dishes. I have many, many teapots. I pull out different ones for the mantle every season.

I had a little mushroom bird stashed away in my crafts cabinet, so I plopped him in the tea cup on top of another stone. Then I laughed because it looked kind of odd. A was slightly disturbed by this, too. But I kept it.

This wall is at the bottom of our stairs, behind the front door, and in a very dark corner of our living room. I saw these mirrors at the Christmas Tree Shop and had to get them. I like the different shapes and how each mirror gives you a different view (pictured here - my leg and a Lego-covered coffee table, a door, and my sunset photo - fascinating, isn't it? Hee hee). And, it gave me a place to put R's old school pictures. R helped me lay everything out.

So those are my latest house projects. (Besides giving away three ginormous garbage bags full of clothes to Goodwill. I'm on a decluttering mission!)

The snow is back today, but it's okay. I know it's temporary. And, after a lovely weekend like we just has, who can complain?