30 June 2007

family saturday

we began the afternoon with a visit to the aforementioned new hot dog stand just a hop and a skip away. fashioned from a repainted VW bus, the stand sits perched between a local art gallery and a house filled with antiques for sale. we gobbled our dogs in the car with a bag of chips to share and a stack of napkins on the console. other eaters (mostly in twos) squatted on oilcloth blankets on the lawn munching their hot dog of choice. mine was minus the relish.

next it was off to Bates, our favorite nursery, to replenish our garden. while jeremy headed out in search of herbs, i cranked the a/c and jumped in the back seat to feed eli. studying the faint purple and blue road map of veins along his forehead, i found myself once again amazed that those veins were intricately formed in my womb over a matter of only months. the concept of a human life's creation, and how evident it is that only God could construct such a detailed miracle, continue to be revealed before my eyes.

we located jeremy across the nursery asking advice from a woman in a large sun hat and gardening gloves who was working in the blazing heat. eli donned his own hat, but even with that and the canopy of his stroller it was still much too scorching, so i quickly pointed my selections out for jeremy to grab and headed for some shade. eli smiled with both relief and curiosity as i held him in the air and let a refreshing watery mist blowing from a fan dot his face and legs with tiny droplets. fine wisps of baby hair (once black but growing blonder by the week) blew in the breeze and his pink cheeks felt both sticky and cool as i kissed him.

the back of our subaru was soon loaded down with a large antique-rose-hued coneflower, two blueberry bushes, a couple of small cacti, and a fragrant chamomile plant (my picks), along with some lemon verbena, apple mint, and delicate thread-like clumps of ornamental grass called pony tails, plus a bag of bone meal, and a single terracotta pot for them all to fight over.

a quick dash into the farmer's market on the way home yielded two ears of sweet corn, a large handful of tomatoes on the vine, a lemon, and scallions for a batch of fresh farmstand salsa to revive us after our afternoon in the sun.

the end.

29 June 2007

recent favorites:

~raw almond butter & savannah bee tupelo honey on bread


~eli's belly laughs

~french music

~rosemary and russian sage clippings


~cheesy polenta

~orange blossom soy votive from french general

~rex goliath "free range" pinot noir

~crest pro health toothpaste

~demitasse spoons

~feist's song "brandy alexander"

~the kone

~shades of white


~summer naps

~burt's bees apricot baby oil on 5 month old feet

~our neighborhood's new hot dog stand, "I Dream of Weenie," which i have yet to try, but am optimistic it will become a favorite.

21 June 2007

west coast. (and what these days are made of...)

i am beginning to think i should change the name of my blog to tales from mommyville or a net for catching soggy diapers. lately i'm finding i either have no time to post or else nothing in my brain but the mystery of another missing baby sock: things that are probably only captivating to myself, my mom, and my mother-in-law, if even that.

but i suppose this blog is meant to be about my days, whatever they may hold and however they may evolve throughout my life (or as long as this blog exists.) looking back, my posts used to be filled with somewhat creative observations on the world around me and my latest painting projects. nowadays, all i seem to do is laundry. not that i am complaining. there is something both sweet and gratifying (though monotonous at times) about folding all those tiny shirts and pants and pjs. when i try, i associate them with the tiny body that belongs inside them and suddenly the chore has meaning. being honest though, i do find it puzzling that one little person can go through so many outfits in a week. especially since we seldom leave the house.

vacation number two was equally as relaxing as the first. well, it wasn't entirely restful actually, because i spent some of the time putting together my mom's 60th birthday party and that left little time for lounging. but it was more than worth it for the smile on her face, and definitely an enjoyable trip. jeremy and i took advantage of free and eager babysitters and drove twenty miles down the coast to La Jolla where we'd located the closest Peets Coffee & Tea. we stocked up on beans and i had the best iced latte of my life. jeremy schmoozed the barista and scored a free hat. our vacation also included a visit to the amazing outlet mall nearby (where i purchased these cute cherries glasses from Crate & Barrel.) we also watched strange chirping squirrels on the rocky beach, had a delicious breakfast at The Daily News Cafe and took the baby swimming again.

eli was a great little socialite, eager to sit in a variety of laps while i assembled pasta salad, sipped fruity sangria, and scotch-taped photos of my mother's childhood around the room. just as i had imagined during our trip to South Carolina that eli found comfort in the three other men (uncles) resembling his daddy, i thought the room full of olive complexions and big brown eyes belonging to my sister, aunts and cousins (and their kids) might have made him feel at home in California.

jeremy did his best to "wave the baby flag" on our plane trip home, hoping we could keep a whole row for ourselves, but the flight was full. fortunately, a mother of triplets who was traveling solo had empathy and took the window seat---better than the many possible alternatives.

being that it was father's day when we arrived back in Nashville, we went out for really yummy pizza and gave jeremy some gifts. eli provided even more smiles than usual, probably because deep inside he knew it was a day for dads, and because it was good to be home again after so much time away.

08 June 2007

east coast.

we just returned from a vacation with Jeremy's family in South Carolina. the trip meant a lot of firsts for 4 month old Eli, and so in turn, a lot of firsts for us as we watched each new experience unfold for him.

it was his first time to ride through a tunnel, cross a state line, and sleep in a hotel bed (with his own mini travel bed floating like a raft atop Hampton Inn sheets). after 10 hours in a carseat, he finally got his first glimpse at the ocean and was lulled to sleep by the waves as i rocked him on the deck outside our rental house. next came his first big swim in the pool, slathered from head to toe with baby sunscreen. his first swing in a hammock was followed by a second and a third. and it was his first time to dance on the beach in the arms of his grandmother before we headed back home to Tennessee.

next week we fly to the opposite coast to celebrate my mom's birthday with my side of the family, and i'm sure we'll enjoy many more firsts through eli's eyes. following his first airplane trip, he'll have a first look at his cousin jake, a first sniff of my mom's gourmet cooking, and his first brush with that cool, salty california breeze that has beckoned me back again and again, ever since my own childhood.