Thursday, August 27, 2009

Our Tribute to Teddy

Like any blue-blooded, peace sign-toting Liberal, I love Ted Kennedy. But it seems to me like we've had a glut of celebrity deaths this year and it's making me wish there was a law limiting public memorials and tributes to ONE day per famous person. Ted Kennedy has only been gone a day and already I'm sick of hearing about him!

Now that I have that off my chest, here is a link to our previous post of the "Giant of the Senate" next to Fionn (scroll to the bottom):

(It's too bad I don't have a camera to capture the true jowls and bulldog underbite that Fionn often sports, increasing the resemblance.)

News From the Garden

I feel like I should smoke a corn husk pipe and sit in a rocking chair while I write this, but for those fellow gardeners out there, here is an update on ours:

We've been pulling in a lot of tomatoes lately, which is good because I heard a story on NPR yesterday about a tomato blight that is threatening to destroy most people's crops. I guess the blight was spread by people buying infected plants from box stores like Lowe's and Home Depot, so I'm hoping we'll be spared for buying from a small organic farmer.

Robbie is convinced he created a yellow pepper/tomato hybrid because our heritage variety of "yellow perfection" looks exactly like a small yellow pepper but has the taste and seeds of a tomato. It's one of his new favorite hobbies to show them to people and make them taste a bite.

The greens and herbs are heading into the home stretch but keep on giving. Things that normally go nuts like beans and peas and zucchini are slow (anyone else having this problem?), while we've been able to pull in plenty of beets, carrots, a small head of broccoli, and even a couple of giant spaghetti squash.

I suppose we still have plenty of time for more things to truly explode, including a melon plant and some tomatoes the size of volley-balls, but the darkness and crisp air are slowly and steadily creeping into our late summer days - a reminder that 6 months of winter hibernation are coming. Yuck. In exchange for this unbearable dreariness, Michigan at least rewards us with spectacular color and the endless apple orchards of Fall. But I can't help but wonder, where did the summer go?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Fionn Again

Fionn has no trouble commanding equal attention in our house, but I feel like I often ignore him on the blog. So here is a gratuitous video of him just being cute (you might want to turn the volume off because my "baby talk voice" in the background approaches "dog whistle" pitches):

(The stuff on his face are the remnants of breakfast - not a strange growth)

I wanted to post a video of Fionn's new version of crawling - sort of a scootch and army crawl hybrid - but my camera is broken. The dog knocked it off the table and now the shutter won't work. My first thought was "Yay! Nikon D40 here I come!" But my house renovation budget quickly disagreed with that. So now I'm in the land of Denial, hoping it will magically fix itself or that Robbie's plan to rip it apart will prove fruitful. Or that one of my friends will have a digital camera lying around that they've been dying to give eh?


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Happy Birthday - Sort Of

This past weekend we hosted all three sides of Robbie's family (mom, dad, step) for Emerson's birthday party. We decided that since the last two birthdays were snowed out and so close to Christmas, this year we were officially moving it to the half birthday mark. Except that we were in Utah in June and then swamped in July, so now that it's August it is more of a 2 3/4 birthday - but whatever. Robbie's mom was in town from Texas and about 30 other people came, so it was a fun but exhausting shindig.

Emerson acted as I feared...overwhelmed by all the people and a little clingy/crabby. He had fun hitting the pinata, opening presents, and of course eating cake, but he spent most of the time trying to climb up my leg. At one point, he gave up and just started walking away down the sidewalk. Nothing like the birthday boy leaving his own party! Luckily his two cousins retrieved him for us and he stuck around for the rest of the night.

The best part for him was getting his new kitchen set to complete all the fake food and cooking ware we bought him earlier in the summer. He LOVES to cook in it - especially since it has a million doors to open and close. And we love that it fits in the corner and only cost $10 on Craigslist. (We are total cheapskates and proud of it.)

For grandmas and aunties, here is a video of the cake. Emerson did try to blow out the candles (I explained what was going to happen that morning, but I didn't think he understood since the moment he heard the word "cake," he jumped out of bed and demanded cake for breakfast.) He couldn't quite blow hard enough to put out them out, but it was a good first try:

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Simple Summer Pleasures

I just finished officiating the last of a heap of summer weddings and now we are in a mad dash to finish at least ONE room before a big family party this weekend. This is my way of saying I'm too tired and fuzzy-headed to write much right now. So instead I thought I'd share some recent pictures from our summer afternoon in Detroit. I was so excited to see how many people were packed onto Belle Isle and the Riverwalk that day!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Albinism on YouTube

I just found this college student named Anna who has a great YouTube channel about her life with albinism. I highly recommend you check out her videos because they're funny and educational - even for people not affected by albinism!

Anna's YouTube Channel

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Awkward Family Photos

Thanks to my friend Melodie, I found the site "Awkward Family Photos" and laughed myself silly. I find these kind of sites are best viewed in large chunks because the humor tends to snowball. The first couple elicit a chuckle, but by the 20th one, I'm downright punch drunk.

Recently, I got around to mailing off the photo packages from the shoot we did with Robbie's immediate family a few months ago. Here are some samples - all equally worthy of ending up on Awkward Family Photos. These are the ones we actually bought, if that's any indication of their overall quality. I partly blame it on Sears photo studios (you get what you pay for in this case), partly on too many small children without adequate naps, and partly on family members who consistently refuse to smile.

Families are precious....

(forgive the poor scanner quality)

Our boys are the ones with white hair (that joke never gets old)

Can't get the kids to hold still? The obvious solution is to fan them out on the floor and have them look up into a bright light!

The gang's all here...6 brothers and sisters, 5 nieces and nephews, a none-too-thrilled brother-in-law, an equally ecstatic mother and last but not least, dad. Plus our family of four. It's a miracle we fit onto the set.