Sunday, September 30, 2007

"Teach Me How to Climb a Tree"

This afternoon, we decided to spend some time outside. (It's still in the low 80's here). I with my book, Ahenobarbus and Beemer with her ball and some room to run. After a few particularly quiet moments, I heard Beemer call me and looked up to find both of them perched in a nearby tree.

As I am not quite up to tree climbing right now, it's a good thing Daddy was here to cover this lesson. Beemer loved the tutorial and Ahenobarbus loved to teach it!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Baby's First Pictures

Today was the day.
Ahenobarbus, Beemer and I all went to my ultrasound. The baby is good, all appeared well and as it should be. When all was said and done, Beemer wanted a turn to see the baby in her tummy, but we convinced her it would be more fun to ride the elevator again instead.

And for those of you with any questions other than "Was the baby healthy?" Yes, we did discover a gender. Possible names that Ahenobarbus has suggested thus far include Zoe, Chloe, Agatha, Dot, Irene, and Eleanor (Ellie). Feel free to weigh in on this matter as you wish. I might need the help. At least I can pronounce and spell all of his suggestions up to this point.

The side view - she has an adorable profile.

The 3-D version, not as cute, but kinda cool.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh ... Wait.

For those of you waiting eagerly, we were able to make it to the zoo on Saturday. Though we did underestimate it in size and scope. We were only able to see about 1/4 of the entire zoo (due to getting a late start and taking it slow for me). But in that quarter we were able to see a lot of animals including: hippos, a giant anteater, a warthog, cheetahs, rhinos, possums, owls, an adorable baby elephant, and visit the insectorium (WAY too many arachnids for me) and the butterfly house. It was a good day, here are a few shots of Beemer along the way.

In the tunnel painted like the inside of a whale - she loved this!

Trying to see in the otter tank "all by myself."

On daddy's shoulders at the lemur enclosure.

Unfortunately, we didn't get to see the lions, tigers, or bears this trip. Its a good thing we can go back often!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Lesson Learned

Nature is one of the joys of my soul; it calms, it edifies, and it moves me. But when we left Cache Valley my main thoughts were of Ahenobarbus leaving the wilderness behind for the city. Without Wildman and a no clear path in front of them, where would he go when he needed to refresh his soul? Where would he go to find the peace and communion that come from solos when the nearest campground is two hours away? Here all wilderness is state or local parks, which are appreciated, but small and very often filled with people.

Then the answer came (at least in part) -- he discovered the Wildlife Bird Refuge. The six hours a week he has found to volunteer there have already taught him many new skills (like how to properly clean a dead mouse) and he looks forward to many new experiences with birds all of kinds, especially raptors. This communion with the birds has given him a small outlet and helps to keep him sane amongst his studies.

But what of me? It took moving here and then leaving the city for a quick trip to Madison over Labor Day weekend for me to learn my lesson. Leaving the city and driving through open land - granted much of it was corn fields - was cleansing in an unexpected way. It encouraged me to look deeper and discover the ways that I need nature. I do not crave it the way that Ahenobarbus does, but in a way that even I did not understand before moving to (quoting from the St. Louis news) this "asphalt island." My heart yearns for the colors of fall in Sardine canyon; the endless views from Mt. Logan; the peace of a walk along a trail without anyone else; the red warmth of Zion sand.

I am learning to like living here and I am enjoying our adventure. I love being home with Beemer and the opportunity that being here has given me to do that. I love watching Ahenobarbus ignite as he learns new concepts that stir his intelligence. Meeting new people and seeing new places are exciting and I am learning a lot about myself and my family.

But I have also learned how precious that which I took for granted was and how essential it is to me. For now, I hope to begin the process of finding it here, while I cherish the memories of what I have found in the past.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Birthday Wishes

Happy, happy birthday Ahenobarbus, dear (doesn't really fit with such a long name)!

Years from now, we'll look back on this birthday as the turning point for many things in our lives. What an adventure! Thanks for sharing it all with me! I love you!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Cookie Making in Missouri

On Saturday, I got ambitious and decided that Beemer and I would make sugar cookies. We both had a blast! The cookies turned out prettty good - I'm not used to cooking at such a low altitude yet. Beemer loved making them as much as she loves playing with her playdough and was very excited that she could REALLY eat these (no pretending like with playdough).

Beemer cleaning up after we made the dough

Rolling and cutting out the cookies

Such a happy mess!

Frosting the cookies (I mean eating the frosting)

Adding just the right amount of sprinkles!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Food Chain

You will all be relieved to know that Beemer's imagination is alive and well. In the absence of other playmates, she has begun to assign personas to everyone around her. Phil is often Talen (her cousin) and Luci has been other friends and family members more than once. Today, we began the morninng with new roles for Ahenobarbus and me. Ahenobarbus was Aladdin, Beemer was the Genie, and I (much to Ahenobarbus' amusement) was Abu -- the monkey. We then moved on to Beemer being a bat which, of course, eats bugs, so Ahenobarbus became a ladybug and I moved down the food chain from a monkey to a kakuhpiyar (caterpillar) and Beemer spent a great deal of time enjoying "eating" us! Ah, the simple joys of being two. If only, I could convince her to make me a lion once in awhile...

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Photo Op

Way back in July, before we moved and the world stood still, Wildbound spent an afternoon taking pictures of Ahenobarbus' side of the family. I am finally caught up on life enough to share some of them with you.

Note: The hardest part of this post was picking which ones NOT to share, as Wildbound is simply amazing and she had such photogenic subjects!

The Webbs

The Grandkids

Later that same day...
Ahenobarbus had wanted family pictures at this waterfall for over a year.

Thanks again Wildbound!