The aforementioned

S'more tradition continues. In fact, this evening we fired up the chimnea before Celia's bedtime. To say that Celia enjoys a S'more, we've learned, would be like saying the Jolly Green Giant merely knows a thing or two about vegetables - the word "enjoy" doesn't begin to do justice to her new passion. So, we'll hope for more pleasant fall evenings over the next few weeks, and we'll stock up on graham crackers and marshmallows. I know we've shared our thoughts on Celia's fortunate good looks, but seeing her little face glowing in the firelight was a special treat. And now, as I type, I'm imagining Cel is tangled in her crib blanket, dreaming of the warm, toasty goodness she discovered on our back deck tonight...



Lady in Waiting

Waiting for Daddy to get home from work. He will give me a hug and I will give him a kiss and he will let me play with his badge and I will show him my lion and we will play ball and he will give me a bath and we will read bedtime stories and he will give me some milk and put me to bed. And, Daddy will be here when I wake up tomorrow!



"To Nurture the Nature of the Child"

Last week, one day when the power was still out, Grandma Rosie took Celia (and me) to Inniswood Metro Gardens in Westerville. It's a big place, (121 acres) and our goal for the day was to explore the Sister's Garden, a special place for children.

Inniswood was once the 37-acre estate of sisters Grace and Mary Innis, who enjoyed gardening and wildlife observation. The Innis sisters’ desire to preserve and enhance their gardens and woodlands for the enjoyment of all people resulted in the generous donation of their home and property to Metro Parks in 1972. To honor the memory of Grace and Mary Innis, Metro Parks opened the 2.8-acre Sisters’ Garden in 2002. http://www.inniswood.org/Inniswood_about.html

Celia stepped on the Native American legend carved in the paving stones of the Story Maze, and made friends with the owl standing guard over the Secret Garden. She also stopped to inspect the Story Tree (and to clap for the camera):
Although Celia enjoyed Inniswood, she may have enjoyed lunch afterward at Panera even more! She shared toasted blueberry bagel with cream cheese and chicken noodle soup (both warm and especially luxurious having not had power for days) and, in between watching other diners, demanded more bites of Harvest salad... She's pretty easy to please :)



Tines, please

Celia has only been mildly interested in using a spoon, but she's getting the hang of using a fork. Although she'd probably be quicker using her fingers to pick up black beans, and more successful getting applesauce to her mouth with a spoon, she's interested in the fork, so that's what she uses. She hasn't mastered getting food onto the fork by herself yet, but she's pretty accurate getting food from the fork into her mouth... unless it's Colby's turn for a bite - she can feed him with the fork, too :)




Well, 5 days without electricity makes for an interesting time. Fortunately, Andy's "Canada gear" came in handy, as he's well-stocked for "roughing it." Some things we learned through the process:

1. Our neighbors are fabulous. We were invited to run extension cords across the street, to plug our fridge in to a generator. Although the invitation did not come from the neighbors who own the truck our pear trees fell on, those neighbors were not upset and they, too, checked in on us and came by with hot coffee and updates and offers of help.

2. We should sit on the front porch more often. Candlelight and quiet conversation and good reading material make for a pleasant evening outside.
3. And, we should make S'mores more often. Seriously.
4. Celia doesn't mind being worn in a backpack for an extended period of time, in order to help rake debris from the yard. In fact, she didn't seem to mind much about changes in our routine. And, it's reassuring to know that she can sleep without the fan, the CD playing lullabies, and the white noise machine all on in her bedroom. Actually, she slept better - and more - than ever. Perhaps it had something to do with how hard she worked helping Daddy do yard work...

5. Not being able to watch TV or use the computer wasn't such a big deal. Not being able to vacuum, that was a little harder for some of us...
6. Perhaps some of us need to buy more socks and underwear. (When Andy suggested he hang a clothesline outside so I could hand wash and hang dry, I wasn't especially receptive. Under normal circumstances, the idea does carry a bit of intrigue and romanticism. However, in the midst of entertaining a toddler and experimenting with methods of maintaining cold and/or warming food, in addition to keeping track of when (and how) to restart the generator, not to mention figuring out how to shave my legs in the dark, etc. the idea of becoming a laundress lost any appeal it may have once held. I promise to reconsider the "green-ness" of the idea once the shadow of the past week recedes...)
7. Even when the Giant Eagle sign says "open" they may not have electricity, which means they may not have any refrigerated foods, which means you may be forced to find milk elsewhere, which is, as many parents well know, an essential part of the bedtime routine and therefore necessitates a scavenger hunt.
8. Our local candle store (The Candle Lab) has super sales when the power goes out. Walking to said candle store (located on Grandview Avenue, so mere blocks from home) becomes quite the adventure with two moms and three children - recollecting toddler strewn toys and delivering them to tiny hands, backtracking home for one, or even two, potty breaks, maneuvering around fallen trees and sidewalk cement repairs - all of this - may allow two moms only a few minutes to shop at the candle store before it closes. Be prepared to choose from 114 scents quickly.

So, the back deck is repaired, the yard is cleaned up (and the city of Grandview will soon replace both trees we lost), we kept comfortable and well-fed and very busy - busy in different, but good ways. And company arrives tomorrow - those boys will appreciate clean towels and cold Dew. And, I bet they like our new S'more tradition, too.



I Heart Brutus

Don't all Buckeye fans
warm up for the game
in front of the mirror,
in a tutu?


Any doubt

she's a Pisces?


Epic Babies come from Epic Daddies

Celia's Dad was honored this past weekend, having been nominated by a former professor (for whom Andy guest teaches a suture class each quarter, and whose NP students Andy precepts at Grant) and by students who have worked with him in Trauma, for OSU's College of Nursing Distinguished Recent Alumni Award for 2008. Celia's nap (and a few minutes spent stuck with the stroller on the handicap lift) prevented us from arriving to hear his acceptance speech, but rumor has it he did a fine job. And, Celia's nap did allow for a fabulous evening of celebrating, with drinks and hors de oeuvres at OSU's Faculty Club (where Celia made her own speech at the podium) and later with an incredible dinner at one of our favorite places in Grandview, Spagio.



Celia's Odyssey... although still in the early stages

Celia is now 18 months old. And she's busy "bushwhacking trails through the wilderness of personhood" (If you're not familiar with Catherine Newman, check her out... I'm a big fan of her writing). And Andy and I are so glad to be along for the journey! Celia's achievements are new to all of us, each one equally as amazing and impressive as the one before. We've been tempted, on numerous occasions, to invite musicians to accompany our little Celia-led expeditions and to provide the trumpeting fanfare she certainly deserves!



Anxiously Eagerly Awaiting

Admittedly, we've worried about the ways in which the coming baby will alter our relationship with our treasured firstborn (and yes, with Colby, too). Mingled with that worry though, most often to the point of obscuring it, is joy and certainty that if nothing else, our hearts are prepared for our growing family (although our home and our abilities to multi-task, among other things, may not be ready...).

And, we're reminded of Grandpa Holton's theory that there's always enough wind on the lake for another sailboat.

And, the waiting part is not easy for any of us...



Grandmas' Requests

A couple recent photos,
per Grandmother requests,
that capture fairly well
some of Cel's characteristics...

The first one is from June,
taken during mealtime.
Celia likes to study things by tilting her head to each side, which has earned her the nickname "Sideways Celia."

The second photograph was taken in late July. Cel and Colby both like to hang out by the back door; there's apparently a lot to keep track of out in the backyard. This picture shows Celia's
gentle spirit, something
most folks pick up pretty readily
when spending time with her.