Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Saturday, February 21, 2009


This afternoon, once we were almost back to the lodge, we parked the Chariot and gave Violet the opportunity to ski again. She spent some time trying them out on her own, but what she was really interested in was a downhill run with Dada. He hauled her up a little hill and they cruised down together. Her response? "More."

Repeat three or four times and you have the end of our outing. I've got video, if only I could figure out how to post it. Until then:

Friday, February 20, 2009

Ski Baby

We've been taking Violet out on the cross country trails with us since she was about six months old. She rides in the Chariot Cougar trailer (using the cross country ski conversion kit) and Eric pulls her behind him. Last year, she never lasted long before the ride lulled her to sleep, but this year, she's been soaking up a lot more of the scenery. We typically stop about halfway through our trek to let her get out and stretch her legs, and as soon as she's free, she heads striaght for our skis and tries to stand on them. Somebody's been paying attention!

After she showed interest in our skis a couple times, we decided to pick up a pair for her. On our way to the local resort last weekend, we found some just her size that strap right onto her snow boots. At the end of our stint that day, we pulled them out and let her give it a try.

Violet took to skiing without hesitation. Not at all unnerved by the strange sensation of sliding on boards attached to her feet (am I the only one who is unnerved by this? really?), she took her Dada's hands and took off. Of course she's not skating away from us just yet, but she had no trouble shuffling along with his help. When he held out a pole, parallel to the ground, for her to hang onto, she insisted on taking it from him to use as it was intended. Like I say . . . somebody's been paying attention.

Things really got exciting, though, when Eric decided to carry her up the little hill next to the lodge and ski down with her on her feet in front of him. Got himself a decent workout doing that four or five more times - at Violet's insistence - until she got too cold to stay out any longer. (Too cold by Mama's standards; Violet would've been there all afternoon if we'd left it up to her!) Now that she's had a taste of one of her Dada's favorite things, I don't know how eager she's going to be to spend her time on the mountain inside the Chariot. At least we can use it with the bikes a little longer. She's not old enough to start riding a bike, right? RIGHT??

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Friday, February 06, 2009

Halfway There!

On Violet's first birthday, I launched a year-long photo project: at least one photo of her a day, for 365 days. I post each day's image on Flickr, in a set I've titled Violet 365.

It's been quite an undertaking. Though many times I've found myself at bathtime/bedtime scrambling for a shot before the day is over, commiting to at least one capture a day has forced me to keep my camera close by, prepared for any photo op that might arise.

Enjoying her customary apple grocery shopping at the coop, November 5, 2008.

Doing a bit of her own shopping at the kids' market in the Discovery Center, January 17, 2009.

While the 365 photos are more snapshot than portrait, the project has also helped me improve some of my photography skills, through sheer repetition . . . and necessity. The onset of winter and its deficiency of daylight, for example, prompted my study of the Speedlite (external flash), and while I'll always prefer natural light, I'm so glad to be able to keep shooting even in its absence.

Hard to believe we're now more than halfway through! She's changed so much in the last 186 days, and I love that Violet 365 has documented so many of those changes, from her first steps to her first friend. Only 179 days to go . . . and I look forward to finding out what each of them will bring.

A few recent favorites:

Headed for the bath, January 28, 2009.

Hugging her baby doll, January 30, 2009.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Monday, February 02, 2009

High School Reunion

BFF. Could the preteen girls Mandy, Ginger and I were when we referred to each other that way - best friends forever - envision what that would look like in our 30s? When we were all married, all mothers?

It looked like this:

After more than seven years (the last time the three of us were all together in one place: my wedding), we met up in Dallas for five days after Christmas. Ginger, who now lives in Guam, was stateside with her husband Allen and baby Fern, and Mandy and I traveled from Oklahoma and Idaho, respectively, to Ginger's parents' place in Dallas . . . a much more manageable trip than the 24+ hour series of flights it takes to reach Guam.

Though we haven't really been able to hang out in recent years, we've stayed close (thank goodness for unlimited cell phone minutes). As soon as we were back together, it felt like we'd been living around the corner from each other, as we had growing up, all along. Fortunately, some things, like feeling right at home in the Haddock's kitchen and never running out of things to talk about with my oldest girlfriends, haven't changed.

Obviously some things have changed, though, the most significant being that we're all mamas now. Mandy's girls are the oldest of the group: Madeline is five and Lola is two. Violet is nine months younger than Lola, and ten months older than Fern, Ginger's baby girl. Watching the four of them together was so much fun, and watching my friends as mothers was even better. Despite distance and obvious differences in our day-to-day lives, Ginger, Mandy and I are so in sync when it comes to parenting. They are one of my most valuable resources on all things baby-related; we can spend hours discussing everything from how to fix stinky cloth diapers to whether kids really need cow's milk. They may be thousands of miles away, but they are as much a part of my life today as they were when we practically - or actually! - lived together.

It was a wild few days, though not in the college bar-scene way. These days, the craziness comes from trying to coordinate 3 or 4 different nap schedules and still make it out of the house before five o'clock. Our New Year's celebration consisted of a champagne toast with Ginger's parents, Fern and Violet asleep asleep in Ginger's and my arms as the clock struck twelve. It was nothing like it used be, and better than we ever could have imagined. We can't wait to do it again.

The next generation, left to right: Lola, Maddy, and Violet.