Friday, October 31, 2008

Sock Monkey tricks and treats

Graham got dolled up first thing this morning in his overalls, sweater and red sneakers.
Graham was uninterested in the hat so Jim wore it. What a cute Papa!

The white socks were too thick, so we went with red ones. And they finally made it out the door... The first treats came from our friend Martha the nurse at Dr Mooney's office-- Gold Fish crackers!

The tail was finished during my lunchbreak so he'll be ready to go this evening.
Special shout out to Aunt Abby for making the hat and sweater and to my mom for sewing the overalls. As Jack and Mary would say, "You Guys Rock!"

Have fun tonight and don't eat too much candy so you get a belly ache!

Pumpkin Guts

There's something about the smell of those seeds that just reminds me of being 7. I remember how proud I was when mom finally let me use the knife (although secretly I still get a little scared of cutting myself).

We joined Anna, Wes and Emily again this year for some raucous carving. Anna actually used the knife herself. Everybody is growing up! Last year Graham was clueless, this year he thought it was a hoot as he supervised from the Johnny Jump Up.

I am saving some of the seeds from Anna's huge pumpkin and my white one with hopes that my dad will plant them for next year :).

Happy Hallowe'en!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Graham, 12 months

Graham had his 12 month appointment with Dr. Mooney last week.
He is 80th percentile for height, but slimming down-- only 40th percentile for weight. His head circumference is unchanged from last time, which is a relief. It's still off the chart, but much closer to the curve now.
She was impressed with his fine motor skills; his sign-language vocabulary (when I started listing them, there were at least 8 he does in appropriate context now); and his pretend play, parenting his doll Colonial Joe.

For posterity, it seems appropriate to note he finally has some bottom teeth; one arrived a week before his birthday and the other just after. At present he's working on the 3rd and 4th teeth on the top. Let's hope they come fast so he starts sleeping more soundly again.

Click for the slideshow from October, featuring more shots from vacation in VA and the birthday celebrations.


The White Stuff arrived a little early this week. Let's hope it melts before the trick or treaters arrive!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Sock Monkey Celebration

I'll leave the party play-by-play to my husband and master of ceremonies, but I am pleased to report the sock monkey party games, gift bags, decorations and cake were all ready in time and were enjoyed by guests of all ages. It was great fun to do so many art projects last week in SO many mediums (even if they did keep me up until the wee hours). Thank you to all our friends young and old who helped us celebrate Graham's special day.

Above: Pinata.
Below: Cake; "Pin the Pompom on the Monkey"; Necklaces; Gift Bags.

Graham's 1st Birthday Party!

Graham celebrated his first birthday with a gathering of friends, family and the neighborhood kids. Melissa spent the week preparing the decorations and games, but when everyone started to arrive she passed the baton. Lucky for everyone involved the weather was picture perfect. The adults enjoyed mulled cider in the living room while the kiddies and I played a fierce games: pin the pom pom on the sock monkey; bite the apple (side note, it is harder than it looks, just ask Logan);

and the ultimate test of endurance-- the sack race!

There was the requisite singing, a small amount of fire and chocolate, too.

The tear jerking moment of the day occured when the sock monkey pinata met his cruel fate reducing Graham quite literally to tears. He had been enjoying the monkey pinata's company in the kitchen all week, so his possible demise was pretty traumatic. Don't worry, his carcass was salvaged and he is healing up on the back porch. Soon enough he will be relegated to the basement where he will hang over the washing machine until Graham turns 18 and takes it with him to decorate his dorm room.

This year's Halloween display is up!

Without further delay, I present to you- "The Terror-Totter!"

I used 2 skeletons for the bodies since we were on vacation and I didn't have time to build my usual scarecrows from scratch. Melissa and I agreed that they needed to at least have custom heads, so we made a trek to Utica and bought the 2 white pumpkins for them.

Here's a short video of them in action. The pumpkins at the base are from previous displays and are lit up at night with flicker flame light bulbs. The new heads on the riders are also lit up with small tea lights.

I finally got this up on Oct. 21st, just in time for a severe rainstorm. They endured that storm well, but now we are now being hit with another storm, this time 3 to 5 inches of snow has fallen on these poor guys, with the forecast calling for more over the next few days. (Welcome to Upstate N.Y.!) I should have made them holding umbrellas. Oh well, maybe next year.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


These are from the "Bassett Babies" web page here at the hospital. They only keep a year's worth of babies up at a time, so since Graham's were no longer online, they sent me copies of the pictures they used both for his announcement, and his security profile.
The sinister hand in the top picture, caught here about to snatch away our hero, is mine. The painted thumb in the second picture however, is not.

Hard to believe how much he has changed in just a year. Keep up the good work Buddy!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

What the....?

Driving through West End the other day I made Jim stop and back up to check out a White Squirrel in someone's driveway! Of course by the time I could get the camera out, he (the squirrel, not Jim) was already on the roof of the garage. Have you ever?

Happy Birthday Graham!

Hooray! He did it! WE did it! One full year. It's hard to believe our tiny, helpless baby has become this adorable opinionated little boy. Saturday was a quiet day as we were recovering from our marathon drive back from VA. All the napping and cuddling reminded me of the early days when it felt like I never slept but we were always in bed, nursing or diapering or just staring at him as he breathed. For as much as so many lost in the stock market last week, I hope each of us can keep sight of what is really valuable and precious.
In between all the snuggles we managed to make it to Friendly's for breakfast where the waitresses fawned over the birthday boy and presented him with a breakfast ice cream (which we let him have, despite the time of day).

Since it was a special breakfast, he was also allowed to try a little of Papa's chocolate milk-

Here we are just keeping amused while waiting for our breakfast to arrive. It's amazing how something as simple as coffee creamer containers can be so much fun.

We capped the day with a yummy dinner at the farm made by Aunt June. Graham had a cream puff from Elena's to celebrate.

I think he wears it well!
The celebrating will continue (much to Graham's delight I am sure). Tomorrow is the 12 month doctor appointment so make your bets on his current weight now. Then next weekend is the birthday party with the neighborhood kids. Wish me luck... I've completed the sock monkey necklaces for the attendees and the goody bags are complete... at present I am in the middle of making a pinata from scratch! Where is crafty Uncle Jason when I need him?

Monday, October 20, 2008

He cracks me up

New Member of the Family

Grandma bought us "Colonial Joe". He's our new bed-time, day-time, all-time friend who is getting so much snuggling and back patting that I am actually jealous. His long appendages are perfect for forming letters. But don't ask him to make the "M". It's too dirty.


We had a great time with Grandma and Grandpa Tourtellotte; Aunties Amanda and Abby and Uncles JRod and Ethan in Williamsburg VA. I am sure Jim will have something to add to my post but the highlights for me were:

Graham helping Grandpa style his hair

Grandpa calling Jim a horse's a double s

Crafting with JRod (and everybody else, too, but JRod had the most passion)

Abby and I styling Amanda's hair in a side pony as a tribute to bacations of the past (Ed I will email pics of this to you directly, it would be unfair to Amanda to post them here :))

Grandpa and Graham chilling out at the resort

Abby modelling Graham's birthday present--

SHE MADE THAT! So cute..

and best of all, just hanging out all with the people we love!

Thanks Mom and Dad for a terrific time.


I am posting the Amanda "Bump-It' pics because not only was it one of my favorite parts of the trip, but also because she looks so darn cute. :P

See? Perfection! It's hard to believe there's about 6 plastic hair clips under all that.

Other highlights for me were the visit to Jamestown where we had luch by the water-

Graham meets his first horse-

and of course enjoying all the rest and relaxation!

When's our next vacation? I've only been back to work for 3 days, and i'm already ready for it!


We went to Williamsburg last week, and on the way spent some time in Philly so 1. I could go to the office and 2. we could chill with our friends the Kerpers. Yes, I remembered the camera card in the camera this time, but alas Ryan wasn't interested in redeeming Aunt Mel's good name. Oh Well.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

A Sweet Surprise

Two little pink lovelies have arrived 5 weeks early! Everyone is healthy, happy and headed home today.

Congratulations Alecia and Jeff!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

We like Ike!

Last night Jason and I went to the pre-opening of the Eisenhower Theater at the Kennedy Center. This is the theater renovation I worked on about a year and half ago. It's not completely finished but it is looking nice. We saw the dress rehearsal of "Broadway: three generations". We only stayed through the first hour which was Girl Crazy by Gershwin. The other shows were Bye Bye Birdie and Side Show.

The highlight, besides seeing what I'd worked on was Shirley Jones! (mom from the Partridge family) She was the special guest MC. Very exciting. They started the performance with someone on the loud speaker saying, "Ladies and Gentleman, Shirley Jones." And when she walked on stage I turned to Jason and said, "It really IS Shirley Jones!" I guess I thought they were just kidding. Apparently Shirley narrated Bye Bye Birdie so was out on the stage for that full performance. Sorry we missed that.

Anyways, here's a link to the write up from today's Post talking about the new space. I wouldn't really classify it as a review.

Here are a couple shots of the theater. I did a lot of detailing of the wall panels and the railings, which are not 100% done yet. There are railing panels still missing. And I also worked a lot on the pit lift and the front of the stage they mention in the article, but that was covered with seats so we haven't seen that in action yet.