Wednesday, December 31, 2008

We <3 Jack


Click here to see why.

A Visit from the Redferns


It was a treat to see Jan, Scott, Derek and Erica this week. They made a quick trip up for some Chinese take out... Graham was enamoured with them, especially Erica. She got a real work out-- check out her biceps next time you see her!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Homemade gifts


My Dad pointed out that there were lots of homemade gifts under the tree this year.



I worked fast and furious to finish mine up on time, with some success (and some late ones, too). We added some new elves to the gang, and I did a couple new projects-- a shopping list/coupon wallet for moms, and crayon wallets for kids who like to make art on the go, plus some fun bird ornaments that I swapped in our exchange with the Morris/Woloszyn gang.



I received some wonderful homemade gifts, too. My favorites were this hand knitted and felted dumpling purse made by Amanda and the in-progress shrug, Abby's making from this pattern. You guys are awesome crafters -- thank you for taking time to make me something so pretty!

Christmas Vacation



Remember when you were in school and you couldn't WAIT for that 10 day stretch of presents and cookies and all the time in the world to play in the snow and with all the new barbies? That's how last week felt to me. I haven't had this long a stretch off for Christmas in years-- maybe since I worked at big enough. And it was great. We spent time with my sisters, parents, aunts and uncles and dear family friends and most importantly got to enjoy Graham as he ripped up wrapping paper with joy. I have said it before but wow, this kid rocks my world.

Here are some photo highlights from the week:









Sunday, December 28, 2008

Happy Hunting

Hunting Season in Upstate NY.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Man Breakfast


The UMC in Oneonta has a weekly Men's Breakfast that Dad enjoys attending with his buddy Bob. This week, Graham, Jason and Jim joined in the fun. They reported back that Graham really likes syrup... I hope they explained that it isn't a food group.

Sing Along



Abby and Jason are in town for the holidays so they stopped in for some babysitting fun on Monday. Graham only sustained one small injury of unknown origin :).

Gnome


After Thanksgiving, Graham was glad to recycle his horn of plenty basket into a lovely holiday hat of the Gnome variety.

What a difference a year makes...

Graham's first Christmas 2007
and now in 2008
I'd like to think I could recreate this shot for years to come, but at the rate he's growing I'm pretty sure he'll be to heavy for me to lift for much longer. (He's kind of a load now!)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

248 outtakes


The Christmas Card Photo. It's tricky business. Our card is still in the works.... as you can see from the photo above, Graham is glad his part is over. Seriously. You can only smile so many times before it's just enough already.


And another (blurry) outtake... here's the "sign" for TREE:

Monday, December 15, 2008

Good Timing



I was thinking last night, sure he still doesn't walk, but he could sit on the potty, just to see what it's about, right? So before bathtime, I pulled it out and sat him down and sure enough, he did it! Total luck (on 2 counts, 1 for doing it in the potty first time out, 2 for not doing it in the bathtub). He asked for a magazine and he likes to wipe and wash his hands, so even if he doesn't repeat the performance for a while, at least he likes the process!
UPDATE
We tried it again late this afternoon and we are officially 2 for 2 with number 2 :). I am not sure why it's working, but I am grateful. If we make it 3 days in a row, it will be a real feat!

Klipnocky Klangers



Graham enjoyed his first concert yesterday at the UMC in Oneonta. Surprisingly, he was very interested in the entire 2 hour performance. He only made noise in between the songs-- I think he just wanted to keep the party hopping! Jim got us at seat in the very front row and there were several hand bell choirs right up close, so there was a lot of action to keep him amused. The best part was when Graham decided to "direct" like the conductor. It was hysterical. I have a feeling he'll join the performers once he hits elementary school.

Peppermint

It didn't take long for him to figure out how to enjoy a candy cane. Check out the cheeks.




Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Let the Games Begin


The tree is up (sans ornaments for now) and Graham is enthralled. He kept signing tree and practically scaled Jim to get to it. Of course our singing/rotating tree stand only makes it more enticing. Perhaps this will be the final motivating factor to get him to walk ;).

Hitch in my giddyup

Our boy has his own way of doing things. A standard crawl isn't dignified, but apparently this maneuver does the trick. Stay tuned for the end where he does the two-sided head clunk:

video

Marketing folks aren't the only ones creating spin. (He signs "more" to show how much he likes it.)

video


And finally, the game of Fetch is a little more complicated than one might guess.

video

Friday, December 5, 2008

Jim's Friend



Do you guys remember Dynamite? I loved that Scholastic book order.

At any rate, Lee Majors is the spokesperson for a product I am working on and the husband-brothers were very excited to learn that I spoke with him last night. Apparently Jim had the 6M$Man action figure and Jason had the one from the Fall Guy. Who knew they were such big fans?

O Tannenbaum



Last night was the official tree lighting ceremony on Main Street, and you'll never guess who was there... Santa and Mrs. Claus and TWO of the reindeer! Graham was a little leery, but there were no tears, so we decided it was a success.





Monday, December 1, 2008

Christmas Train


It was a really busy weekend. We took Graham down to the park to see the Christmas Train as it rolled into town.

Canadian Pacific uses the rails that come through town for several freight trains a day. Each December, they bring in a train decked out with Christmas lights that has a band on board. They open up the side of the boxcar for a concert-- the only cost of admission is to bring a can of food for the local food pantry... and on top of that CP Rail made a $1000 donation to our local food bank. In 10 years they've raised 3 million dollars and 1.6 million pounds of food with this effort for many local food banks. Pretty amazing. Plus they serve hot chocolate!


After some initial shock of seeing a rapping Santa, Graham really got into the show, dancing with Grandma, Papa, Abby, Amanda and Rebecca and Christine Bellinger. Then we hurried home to watch the train, all lit up, cross beyond our back yard.

video

Martin Sexton


As part of the Birthday Month Revelry, Jim treated me to a night on the town (with Amanda).




We drove to Syracuse for a terrific Martin Sexton concert. The venue is really small and they serve beer and wine -- which is great for a show like that. Syracuse is Martin's hometown, and he is the 11th of 12 children so the first 3 rows were reserved for family -- it was fun to see so many generations of his family enjoying the show. Jim befriended 2 of Martin's kids who were manning the merchandise table.








There was some craziness toward the end when he started singing Gypsy Woman-- a bunch of ladies stormed the front of the theatre to put on a dance party, belly dancing style! Entertaining to say the least (seriously, the least). ( I didn't let Jim film that much to his chagrin.) Jim did take advantage of the crowd moving up to the stage to take some close up video of Blue Christmas:



video


Back on the home front, Grandma and Graham fell asleep watching TV, and there wasn't any serious melt down, so I guess we might go out without him again in the next 12 months :)

Thanksgiving addendum

A few pics of the big day at the farm.

Jim's tablescape would have made Sandra Lee proud (and he didn't even have to wear a tight sweater to make it look good!).


Abby shares a traditional Thanksgiving raspberry with the camera:
My dreams of a nice picture with my sisters died a violent death despite 57 tries:
Jason and Graham started a band:
Graham tried to find all the pie hidden in Jason's belly:
Jason demonstrated the "Bellinger Belly Crawl":
video

(if you haven't noticed Jason and Graham are BFFs)

And Graham showed Grandpa some love:

video

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thankful Thoughts




The boys are napping, the stuffing and the parsnips and squash are in the oven. Soon enough we'll pack up the car and head to the farm for a big dinner. I am taking a few minutes to watch the parade. Some of the singers they have on here perplex me... for example when was the last time Rick Astly had a hit? At any rate, I would be remiss to not mention how grateful I am for the blessings we enjoy, not the least of which is our friends and family. We love you all, near and far xxoo

We've been a little deliquent with the blog in the last few weeks, so I have prepped a couple posts to catch you up. Enjoy your post-turkey debauchery!