Sunday, June 28, 2009

First Day of (New) School

June 1 marked what was arguably the biggest day of Jonathan's life--his first day in a new school. He attended the same child care facility since a very early age until the end of May of this year. We were very happy with the program for the bulk of that time, but the preschool curriculum was not structured enough to suit our tastes. I looked around and found a new school with a program that I thought would work better for us as well as for Jonathan. The new school has a summer camp, so we thought it would be good for him to get used to a new place before he's actually supposed to concentrate on learning; the fact that there is a ton of flexibility as far as payments, skipping weeks, etc. didn't hurt either.

Jonathan was well prepped for the move, so much so that this was how he looked that morning before we left the house:

When we got to the new school, he bounded up the stairs and I lagged behind, totally amazed that it was going to be so easy. Unfortunately, it wasn't quite so easy as he lost it as soon as one of the new teachers spoke to him. He went inside my skirt and buried his face between my butt cheeks. I wish I could say I was exaggerating when I report that the teacher had to go inside my skirt to extract him, but I'm not. It was a bit personal for a woman I'd just met but what can you do?

I am happy to report, though, that but for that incident and just a couple of others, the transition has been wonderful and we are in love with the new facility. The new school is Catholic and Jonathan keeps asking me when he gets to see the nuns. I am not even sure that knows what nuns are and I am afraid that he will be disappointed when he finds out...

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Camp Out--Grams and Grandpa Style

During his last trip to WV, Jonathan went camping with my parents, grandparents and my youngest sister and her husband. It was a bit different than the tent camping we did with the Lewises. In fact, it was a LOT different. While our trip was in the forest, theirs was in a campground. Where we slept in sleeping bags on an air mattress (or on rocks, in Bryan's case), they slept in beds in a RV. That's just how my Mom rolls.

My Dad and Jonathan with the Mothman. While I am proud of my father for rockin' killer guns at 52 years old, what's up with the house slippers outdoors?

While the statue apparently depicts the Mothman as seen in the 1960s, a more recent sighting indicates that the Mothman has changed his look a bit over the years:

Jonathan loves to fish, which pleases my father to no end. The poor man could not be more of a "man's man", but he had three daughters. A waste really. If anyone deserved a grandson, it was my dad and he's tickled pink. Well, not pink so much as that's not masculine enough for him. Regardless, until this trip, Jonathan had only ever caught a bluegill or two. This trip, however, he managed to hook a bass. Like a true fisherman, the fish grew in size with each telling of the story, but it actually looked like this:

I'm pretty sure my dad told me that Kenneth, my brother in law, caught his fish using the head off one of Jonathan's blue gills. This picture makes me laugh because only my mother would dress a child in Gymboree to go fishing. Well, except for me. And maybe Janie and Jack too but whatever, we're talking about my mother here...

Here is Jonathan looking completely stumped:

There was a playground located on the camp grounds. Luckily, it was close to their camp site as Jonathan apparently spent alot of time doing this:

My mom let Jonathan use her camera to take some pictures. She still uses a camera WITH FILM and Jonathan had a bit of trouble understanding why he couldn't see the picture right after he took it. Here are a few of his pictures; I wanted to include them because I don't have many photos of my family since they pretty much all live in WV.

This is my Papaw, my dad's dad. He's stubborn as an ox and has a tattoo of a topless hula dancer on his forearm (which, although no doubt a choice he came to regret, brought no end of amusement to my other sister Laura when we were kids. Heck, she STILL gets a kick out of it!). He's a great man through and through; he loves his family fiercely and spoils his grandchildren (and now great grandchild) rotten.

And here is my Mamaw (my dad's mother) and my own mother. Mamaw is the cutest little thing and is feisty as all get out. If you're her family, she'll be your number one supporter. Jonathan is super lucky to have an intact set of great grandparents.

Jonathan had such a great time on the camping trip that he would hardly talk to me on the phone the two and a half days they were there. While I am happy that he is independent, couldn't he at least PRETEND to miss me? Geez.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Bourbon, How I Love Thee

Until recently, whenever Bryan would drink bourbon and I would smell it on his breath (or coming out of his pores the next morning), it would make me think of Elmer's glue. No idea why, it just DID. But since our quashing of the disgusting-but-I-still-think-about-it-sometimes habit, I've actually enjoyed some bourbon. Now, I'm not the throw it in a glass with a cube of ice kind of girl, but some rocks and a healthy dousing of Diet Coke (or, even better, Diet Cherry Doctor Pepper. YUM!) can certainly hit the spot after a particularly trying day.

Who am I kidding? It works at the end of pretty much any day. Or at lunch (just kidding about that part).

Anyway, a few Fridays ago, Bryan and I took off work so he could attend a conference in Midway, Kentucky. I just tagged along, did some shopping, took a walk, read a book. It was the last day of our child-less week as Jonathan was in WV visiting my family. The conference just lasted a few hours and, since we are not often in that part of the state, we decided to visit the Woodford Reserve distillery. Interestingly, although Bryan has lived in Kentucky all of his life and loves bourbon, he'd never been to a bourbon distillery.

Bryan was in charge of the pictures and he did not disappoint. Our tour guide was a bit too cheesy for my taste, but I suppose that it's required for the job.

Action shot of us walking to the bus. I think it was walkable but I just rolled with it, bourbon trail style.

Fun architectural detail:

The first building we went into smelled very strongly of mash. This is our guide demonstrating how kids react when they get of whiff of this aroma.


The storage house for all of the barrels. Hands down the coolest part of the tour.

Look, everyone--Bryan is artistic! See, bourbon is delicious AND a good portrait subject.

In true Kentucky random alcohol rule fashion, you can't actually buy bourbon by the drink at Woodford Reserve. Rather, they ration out this much to each person:

The do, however, allow you to make a whole bottle purchase in the gift shop. Which, of course, we did:

Hmmm...this post has made me quite thirsty...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


As some of you already know, Jonathan started his first "school" when he was ten weeks old. It was a very difficult thing for me as a new mother to leave my tiny infant son with people I did not know. The ladies in the infant room were fantastic, however, and the adjustment ended up being a relatively easy one for me to make.

One of those ladies was Patrice Williams. She worked in the infant rooms on an "as needed" basis. She was full of love for those babies as well as for the parents. She was one of those people who always made you smile because she was always smiling. As Jonathan got older and we moved out of the infant room, she always stopped to talk to us in the hallway. Jonathan called her "Appletrice" because sometimes she would come into the one and, later, two year old rooms and do what he called "The Apple Dance."

I ran into two other parents at our new school this afternoon (all of us left the old program at the same time). One of them asked me if I knew Patrice. I said yes and was thinking he was going to tell me that she was going to be a teacher at our new school. Unfortunately, the news wasn't happy at all. I knew Patrice had health issues in the past as she'd taken at least one leave of absence during the time we were there. What I did not know is that she had serious heart problems. She suffered a heart attack two weeks ago and, on June 12, she died. She was only 41 years old and she left a 21 year old daughter and a 13 year old son.

The news broke my heart. Patrice was a wonderful person. She had so much love to give that she chose child care as her profession so she would have an outlet for it. She contributed in very positive ways to Jonathan's early months in the world, as I am sure she did for many other children as well. She stands out as one of the most positive experiences I had with daycare as a new mother. For that I am thankful and for that, at least for me, she will be sorely missed.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Camp Out--Lewis Style

As my friend Kara posted much more contemporaneously with the actual event, we went camping with her and her husband, Todd, a few weekends ago. Todd is an actual Eagle Scout so he's obviously out-doorsy. And for Kara, I think camping was more of an acquired taste but now she's got it down to a science now and it's definitely something they both enjoy. And they are so darn cute while doing it!

We were lucky enough to score ourselves an invite to camp out with them in Jefferson Memorial Forest. As it was Jonathan's first camping out experience, we thought it would be best to plan on just one night. Kara and Todd went for the whole weekend, though, so when we got there, everything was already set up. Sort of like a hotel but outside and stuff.

Todd knew the way to a three year old's heart--a hammock:

Jonathan asked approximately 1,457,652 times when we could do "fireplace" so we finally gave in. This was Jonathan's favorite part of the experience.

Well, favorite after this. I think he had to go a thousand times after I told him he could use a tree rather than the port-a-potty down the road.

Of course, we had to make s'mores. Jonathan LOVED being able to put actual food in the fire. And when he finished eating marshmallows, he just used the stick. Good times.

It got a bit colder that night than we'd thought it would, but besides that, it was a perfect trip. Jonathan and I cuddled up in our sleeping bags and slept like babies. Bryan decided to stay up and chat with Todd for a bit. When he finally decided to go to bed, we'd taken up the entire air mattress, leaving him with the ground. Which was covered with pebbles. I suspect that was not the best night's sleep he's ever had.

Thanks for letting us tag along, Kara and Todd! PLEASE let us come with you again!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


I didn't think it was possible for this picture to be topped:

However, I was wrong as my child has totally outdone himself this time. We just got this picture back last night.