Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Based on several things, we decided to start looking for a 2-Day (Mornings) pre-school for Devin. We're beginning to think it's truly in her best interest.

Since infancy, Devin has exhibited a preference for variety and tactile stimulation. Although true to some extent for most children, she seems happiest when we're doing a variety of activities in varying places. Also, she gets very little interaction with peers. Gymboree is great, it's been perfect for the last year and a half. But, it's focused on movement and games...not cooperating, sharing, etc...

My friends either don't have kids, have older kids, or have infants. I have a few playdate Moms, but we're all so busy.

We're also thinking ahead to the winter. When there's even less to do, since so much of our days are spent running around outside.

Pre-school at this age is a luxury. Actually, I buy into (partially) the notion that kids don't really need pre-school at all. Some force-feed the rote learning, maybe to impress the parents...not sure. And, many of the Parents Day Out programs are more like day care.

Then there's the cost. It's not enough time for me to up my I'll be working part-time still. Although Mike said he would let me work 30 hrs, if it helped. (It's so wonderful to work for the small company!!)


We visited this one today:

Devin and I loved it. She was so at ease...even the Director commented on her disposition during the tour. We saw all the rooms, kids at play and books. WOW.

I'm drawn to their philosphy of open learning. Each morning there is an hour of open-play. Teachers also structure concept learning for each individual child. I like the 6:1 ratio, as well. Also, it's non-sectarian and attracts a wide variety of cultures, races, religions etc...AND, they celebrate nature & talk about respecting the enviornment daily.

For $2500 a year for 6 hrs a should be good.

The elementary and middle school are upwards of $15,000/year. Yikes.

I just wonder if Devin would like it. And, be happy to go there. She seems excited about the idea and talked about "going to preschool" all morning. I keep telling her that if she goes to preschool it's, "bye-bye Mama." I *think* she gets it. They offer a week-long process to adjust.

PS..This led to a public vs. private debate with Matt & me last night. No official outcome yet! The banker just sees $$$$$$.

This Past Saturday

I forgot to mention this with the posts from the weekend. We had a Devin first on Saturday morning.

We've been playing tennis with Mike and his daughter during the past few weekends. Mike is my old DM from Janssen and now the President of Louisville Transportation Company. His 8 year old has the potential to play serious tennis & he's never played. So, we all hit around and have fun.

This Saturday, Matt had an early I took Dev to the courts with me.

She had watched enough bad tennis after about 5 minutes and started crying to be picked up.

Mike's wife asked if she should take her to their house to play with their 5 year old. I said sure, but she's never been away from her familiar faces. Dawn scooped up Dev and left. I thought to myself, "...good freakin' luck."

I kept waiting for them to pull back up to the courts, with her screaming in terror.

It never happened. I had to go retrieve Devin from their house, 2 hours later. Her reaction to seeing me? Ambivalent/Mad.

Mad because she was going to have to leave the fun. She talked about all the toys she saw and how much fun she had.

Which leads me to my next post.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sunday Morning Fun

I'm going to have to order this shirt for her...

We went to a new bakery downtown this morning.



Their goods are all natural, organic and made from locally produced ingredients when possible. We shared a Banana Muffin & took the rest home for later....

Off to a "new" park. At least, one we hadn't been to before. Which is a shame, because it was a BLAST!

That's the bridge to Indiana (I-65) to Indy. This playground has 5 different equipment areas, all geared to smaller kids.





As Matt said, it's the kind of park that makes the adults want to play!

The best part.....


Notice Devin wearing less and less as the pictures are taken. I was not 100% prepared for this, but not bad. (I'd say 75%) I had her Crocs, a new diaper and a terry swim cover-up...not bad for not knowing there would be water.

She's usually not too keen on getting splashed/fountains etc...

She's changed her mind about that too!

It was early, so there were just a few other boys playing. I'm guessing this is an extremely busy place during the heat of the day. Our only complaint was the upkeep. There was trash everywhere. At 9:00am on a Sunday, someone was trying to clean up...but they need more help. I know our financially strapped public parks are doing their best.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Who doesn't stop for free cake?

We ran across this table at the Thursday night Farmer's Market on Westport Road.

Turns out the free cake/lemonade was provided by the church who hosts this particular market. I snickered to myself when I realized it was really, really strong rum cake. Like, cake I thought twice about before letting Dev have a taste. (She did taste, but didn't like)

Interesting recruitment tactics. :)

It was produce like this,

that led to lines 10+ deep.

I'm thrilled so many people are interested in buying local. Things are not cheap, as we all pay more to have them drive their trucks to the market. But, there are so many reasons why it's beneficial to the community. That's one reason I like to take Devin as often as possible. So, she can get a sense of our community and why we think it's a good place for her to grow up.

Black-Eyed Susan in all their glory.

Not much planned for the weekend. Which is good for a change.

How a morning can be spent

No matter what the day might bring, we usually start at Starbuck's.

This is look comes a train.

99.9999% of the people waiting on this long train were not happy. They were going to be late for work.

Not us.

It was the highlight of our morning. The train blared its' horn as it passed, delighting even the most discriminating train watchers.


It's all about perspective, I suppose. One of the many new perspectives I've seen, since becoming a parent.

People always say how fast a child grows. That before I know it, she'll be in school. Then boys and driving. Ick.

It's true, though. I still think of her as a "baby" sometimes. I nearly canceled an eye appointment, thinking I can't bring the "baby." So, we had another kind-of cool first...her first trip to the eye Dr.
Notice the look of...this better damn well not be another appointment for me! I reassured her about 450 times, that this was MAMA's Dr.
This is what happens when I take pictures without my contacts in. Blurry!!

My eyes are fine. Actually, the Rx changed to slightly less correction in both eyes.


Then we did what we do after any type of Dr. appointment.

Notice "Devin Rolls." They're "California Rolls" without the seaweed. Which she likes, but can be difficult to chew and swallow in small bites.

So, it's Crab, Cucumber, Avocado, Wasabi paste, roe wrapped in sushi rice. Dipped in soy sauce, of course.

We always share some Edamame. (Japanese soy beans steamed and covered in sea salt)

People were pouring in Fuji for lunch today. That's good. I like to see them doing well.

All the errands, made for a tired "baby." It's fun to have her with me on these more mundane days. She's completely entertained and still easy to "wrangle" in the stores.

Back to work...

Just to brag on GG's Flowers

This is my favorite part of summer. Even though it can be hot and humid, the flowers love it. I like having nothing coming up. No back-to-school, no holidays, just summer nothing-ness.

Gotta see if Ga Ga is home.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Found Money & Comments

FYI: can always leave a comment by clicking on "Comments" at the end of each post. Once read by me, they will be published in the blog. I can respond in the comments section as well.

Look at what Devin found!

If I'm being honest...I will spend $40.00 usually without batting an eyelash.

So, why is finding $40.00 so exciting?

Actually, Dev pointed it out.

"Whas' dat?"

I looked down to see a $20.00 bill. I know I watch too much reality tv, as my first thought was I was on camera and they were seeing what I would do. I looked around for someone looking like they were missing money and saw another $20.00.

Yay, it's raining twenties!

We took our time getting ready to leave the mall, which was the parking lot we were in. No one ran out frantically, no tv cameras accosted us and I truly hope some multi-millionaire dropped some "pocket change," so I could get a thrill.

Or, someone who is careless with their cash learns a lesson.

It's interesting...Matt found $1.00 on the golf course this weekend and again during the week. That made me remember a time as a child I found a twenty at an antique show with my parents. The scene (colors and all) is still very vivid. Perhaps because $20.00 was so much money back now actually. Or, maybe because it made an excruciatingly boring antiquing day awesome. Of course, 1/2 of those pieces are in my home now!

Oh well...I'm putting $20.00 in Devin's jar since she spotted that one.

The other twenty?


We have seedlings.

I fretted about a Mockingbird hanging out in my bean garden shrine. Matt says he/she is just looking for worms.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Devin's 1st Golf Round

Matt was desperate to play we called GG and went to par-3 course. It was 95 degrees, but there was a pretty good breeze and it's a cute, little course.

Devin LOVED it...especially the golf cart.





Finished at 5 pm...hungry & hot. No one felt like cooking, even though we went to he market this morning.

Off to Fiesta Time for some Mexican. Funny 5 pm the only people eating ALL had between 1-4 children in tow. Devin and some other little boy kept standing on the booth to see each other. Usually, very annoying. Given the only people around had one kid crawling under the table, 2 girls spinning...our standing toddlers seemed well-mannered.

Turns out, 9 holes of golf is enough to completely wear out a 2 year old.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Snoopy & Butterflies

This is the Snoopy ice cream truck ride, just outside of Toys R' Us. Notice she's still holding the kitty cat from the trip to the vet....

The Whole Foods in Louisville has tiny shopping carts for kids. After a quick ride on the Snoopy Ice Cream Truck...we were off to the market. Dev's a very determined shopper, but not the best driver yet. I have to keep my hand on the cart or she'll crash into everything.

We found some amazing organic strawberries...chicken....sparkling water...

Dev's quit juice cold turkey. She's had 2 sips of OJ since the trip to the dentist. I would not be so flexible if someone took away my Starbucks. So, we try to find sugar-free drinks that also don't have artificial sweetener. The various sparkling waters have flavors and no artificial anything. (We call them soda)

Check out this weird moth/hummingbird hybrid thing.

It's a lot easier to take close pictures when they STOP MOVING!

We're anxiously watching for the beans to sprout. I think I'll put up a small fence, we've spotted some bunnies.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Blue Lake 274

Our trip to Peoria was a gardening inspiration. Ann's beautiful veggies and herbs made us want some!
So, in the last remaining open space...we planted some green beans.

Blue Lake 274

This spot had a sad looking crabapple tree which resembled the the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Plus, it forced all the Perennials to grow out, instead of up.

So, until the 1st frost...this is the new green bean garden. 3-6 days until seedlings appear & 55 days to harvest. The 1st weekend in September will hopefully bring a bountiful harvest of beans!!

Kitty Cat Doctor

The highlight of our day...taking Sam to the vet. (aka Kitty Cat Doctor)
Samantha has some sort of autoimmune/allergic reaction to various things. Sometimes her lip swells up and sometimes her belly gets very itchy. She licks it until she has sores, so off to the vet...

She gets a shot of Depo-Medrol, a corticosteroid which calms her immune response. It works well, giving immediate relief within 12-24 hrs and lasts for 30-60 days.

The vet gave Devin a small kitty stuffed animal, which she refused to let go of all morning.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Peoria in July

Just pics for now....

OK! Dev's taking a nap, so I get a chance to catch up. (On blogging anyway)

We piled in Ga-Ga's car for the trip, every inch of that Honda was filled! Our goal was to leave the Ville' at 8:00am, so Matt could play 18 holes with his Dad.

Official time of departure: 7:58...not bad.

Super-easy drive, with one short pit stop and a "picnic," in the car.

Luckily, we beat this weather...

The Indigo Bunting. My first sighting...this dad was pretty mad at me for taking pictures...

of his babies.

I guess everyone else in the Peoria area decided to golf, so the girls had some time to kill before dinner.

Grandma helped Devin put on a necklace...a very cool froggy.

Then, they were off to pick green beans. These aren't just any beans. These are, "Grandma's Beans." Just picked off the bush and quite possibly, the best I've ever tasted.



We lost count of how many Devin ate. I think 2-3 full Cups wouldn't be an exaggeration. Eventually, we turned down her request for "more," thinking she would get a stomach ache.


I mean, she'd already had 2 ears of corn and some cheeseburger.


The boys had a great time golfing, but gave up due to slow play and hunger!! We had a wonderful cheeseburger dinner (with beef from the farm).

The clouds got worse and eventually it stormed. Lots of rain (3" according the gauge) & very loud lighting/thunder. Devin had an awful time getting back to sleep and screamed her head off at 4 o'clock on the am. We tried to take her downstairs, but once we did she screamed to get back in bed. (Repeat times 10)

Then, she was screaming for her "binky wash" like 5 million times. I obliged 10-15 times, dutifully "washing" her binkies in the sink and handing them back. (This all started during a spring cold. Her snot was getting on the binkies and we had to do a "binky wash)

Eventually, I laid down in the bed near her crib (refused the toddler bed) and let her scream.

Sorry everyone. Eventually, the actual storm and the Devin storm passed & we slept.

The rain stopped just in time for a trip to:

Wildlife Prairie Park

Your life isn't complete until you've seen the "Elkmobile."

The storm must have kept the animals up all night, too. Most critters were fast asleep and difficult/impossible to see. This was fine with me, as I appreciate the privacy the habitat gives them. But, Devin was wondering where the animals were...


The bear was the most active animal we saw...Devin liked seeing it and talks about the, "BIG bear!"

The good news is, they had a choo-choo. Which makes the trip 110% awesome for Devin.

Turns out, our best looks at wildlife came in R&A's neighborhood. We saw the fox up close on our way out in the morning. When we returned from lunch, these 3 were in the back yard.

Makes me sad, in a way. All the housing developments have clearly disrupted some long-established animal homes. (We saw this in St. Louis) They thrive on everyone's birdseed, trash, and expensive annuals.

Couldn't get enough bean picking/eating.

One of her favorite tricks....JUMPING!!!!

Check out my awesome new camera's ability to stop action.


I think if Ray had played for 2 hours, she may have sat still for the duration. Listening to live piano is mesmerizing.

My stomach overtook my brain and I forgot to get pictures of our amazing Saturday night dinner. Ann fixed a standing rib roast from the farm...pretty much our all-time favorite dinner. (I think it would be my "last meal.") All the fixins' of course & Ray made Peach Cobbler.

Dinner & wine (D2) led to ping pong & pool. Followed by Scrabble. We ended up keeping score, even though my score prediction ESP was 100% accurate.

Ray: 300

Everyone Else: not 300.

We had a great day, but everyone was tired. Thankfully, we had a thunder-less night....


Pa-Pa cooked pancakes while Devin found her new favorite game. Well, that and the fishing game. She's just beginning to learn about taking turns in a game. She loves smashing the ice with Gramma.


We got back on the road to home Sunday morning. The weather was perfect...very cool and crisp for mid-July. Another super-easy drive home.

Record time with the wind at our backs.