Saturday, May 31, 2008

Janis-is-Awesome-and-Famous Weekend

This week we got to spend some time with "Aunt Janis" and "Grandma." My older sister, Janis, is a world-renowned ceramic artist and was featured in a documentary about balancing art and motherhood. The filmmaker invited the featured artists and a few of their moms to spend a weekend with her at her house on Cape Cod. My sister and mom flew in on Thursday and we spent a few hours chatting and making really awesome vegan food. On Friday, Bruce and I drove down and spent a few hours on Cape Cod and we got to sit in on a private screening of the film, called "Who Does She Think She Is?" It was an excellent documentary following the everyday lives of five artists who had to overcome familial and sexist obstacles. Janis definitely fit the bill for this movie: she has five kids and only escapes to her studio when her kids are at soccer or napping.
The filmmaker's house has a bay in the backyard with a dock, boat, and the works. Bruce loved fishing mussel shells and sludge off the bottom of the bay.
Aunt Janis even found a couple crabs.
This is the neighbor's place. Wow.
Bruce got lots of quality Grandma time, jumping on the trampoline for a loooong time. He gave Grandma a hard workout.
This place is kid heaven. A trampoline, bugs, fishing, swimming, and a gigantic ball.

While Grandma played with Bruce, I relaxed and chatted with the artists. We got home late last night and finally met up with Scott, who is up to his eyeballs in work and MCAT studying. The next morning he made me a fancy breakfast: egg-white omelet with tomatoes, avocados, cilantro, and peppers. Whole-grain toast too.
Yum. Thanks Scott.
On our way down to the Cape, we stopped at IKEA and picked up some art supplies. After all that talk of art on Friday, we had to take some action. Bruce is not a big fan of crayons, but he happens to love painting.
One of the things my sister said that stuck with me is that art helps her to have something "that records her time," as she put it. As moms, we clean houses that get messed and make food that gets eaten and wash clothes that get dirty. Sometimes it seems that everything we do gets undone! For Janis, making ceramic sculptures is something that she does that lasts a bit more permanently than clean laundry and satisfies her craving to create. What do I think she is? AWESOME.

Yes, he's cute.

Thanks, Ellen, for the pictures.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Conquering Mt. Cardigan

This weekend's adventure included camping with Scott's focused ultrasound lab. He doesn't see them as much anymore since he's in the Alzheimer's research lab more often - not to mention classes and MCAT studying and all. We went to Mount Cardigan in New Hampshire.
Here's our lovely abode. Thank goodness for the rain-fly; that came in handy that night. We made foil meals and s'mores then headed to the sleeping bags. Bruce got up at 5 a.m. the next morning, probably because of a really loud woodpecker that was pecking right on the outhouse door.
We ate oatmeal for breakfast and then began our epic hike to the top of Mount Cardigan. The trail started out with only a mild incline in a "seasonal forest," as Bruce calls them (thanks to Planet Earth).

Then the trail got rockier.
And soon we were climbing on big boulders.

Our hike took us to the top of Mount Firescrew first.
This is at the top of Firescrew.

Here's the view from Firescrew.
Bruce is actually a very good little climber.

After Firescrew, we hiked up a little shoulder to the top of Mount Cardigan.
The only reason Bruce made it was this bag of trail mix. We took trail mix breaks about every 20-30 minutes.
Here's the view from Cardigan. It was a gorgeous day, although the summit was really windy so we didn't stay at the top for too long.

After a short break on the summit, we descended on an easier trail. Bruce did great on the way up; he was fine for about four miles. The last two miles going down were rougher. Scott carried him on his shoulders for the last mile.

When we got back to camp, we ate lunch while chatting with lab-mates. Bruce fell asleep in my arms with a bar of chocolate halfway in his mouth. Unfortunately, the car was parked about a ten-minute walk away. He was a total sack of potatoes though, so I put him over my shoulder and carried him to the car while Scott packed up our belongings and hauled them out. Bruce slept most of the way home, then we woke him up for his friend's birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese's! We drove straight there, so we smelled like sweat, insect repellent, and bonfire - not to mention we were still wearing our grungy hiking clothes. Bruce played with a few games but liked climbing on the play structure the most; I couldn't even believe he had the energy to climb up that thing after topping two mountain peaks that morning. Kids are amazing.

In other news, I saw a hip specialist on Friday who said he's not sure my pain is from the torn cartilage so wouldn't recommend surgery yet. No finish line in sight on this injury. So I hiked the mountain knowing it'd kill my hip, but I needed some exercise-induced endorphins to cheer me up.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Happy Birthday Bruce!

Happy Birthday Bruce! Scott and I feel very lucky to be Bruce's parents. Here's a little recap on our little man. The picture above is Bruce just after getting chopped out of me C-section style six weeks before his due date. I got preeclampsia; he was a few weeks behind in his growth. Anyway, he's pictured on a newborn diaper, but it dwarfs him.
The diaper looks even more enormous in this picture. And that towelette in the bottom left corner is the typical size of a towelette you'd get at Burger King. Bruce was 3 lbs, 3 oz and a skinny 16.5 inches tall. And very wrinkly. Bruce looks so tiny! And Scott so funny!

Bruce was in the hospital for a bit over two weeks. He was bright red and funky yellow at times......but after a few days in his personal tanning booth ("bili lights"), he came out just fine.
This was Bruce's crib for his time in the hospital. Even at just over three pounds, he was "the fat kid of the NICU." Scott burping Bruce. This is one of the first pictures with his eyes open (he's six days old here).
Here is Bruce's first birthday. He didn't get into the cake much.
Second birthday was better. He had friends over and frosted cupcakes, among other things. He really liked all the singing and clapping.
And here we are today: HAPPY BIRTHDAY BRUCE! Here's the "before" shot.
Bruce requested a chocolate cake with lots of "frinkles."

And he savored every bite.