May 30, 2010

Mark the Day

Hamilton started officially crawling today! Last night he assumed the crawling position with his belly off the floor, and he sat upright all by himself for the first time. His feeble attempts at crawling last night wore him out, and he fussed for several minutes as he tried to crawl.
video
This afternoon he actually crawled forward a few steps, and he did it without fussing.
video
I think Grady's crawling show at the pool on Friday must have inspired Hamilton.

Neighborhood Pool

Friday afternoon Hamilton and I went to our neighborhood pool with Hardee and Grady. The boys had a great time! Hamilton, of course, enjoyed cruising around the lounge chairs.He and Grady spent time splashing in the shallow water with the steps (since there's no baby pool). Grady frequently escaped the confines of the pool with his superior crawling skills.I've never seen this expression before. Fun in the sun brings out a new side of Hamilton.Just like the tub, Hamilton enjoyed splashing in the water.

Improvement

Hamilton's walking while holding on to furniture has improved in the last week, and he's cruising so quickly around the living room. Here he's pictured at the two extremes of the room that he can cruise to when he starts out holding on to the coffee table. I think he's upset in the first picture because he'd reached his cruising limit. This morning though he cruised past the stairs to the window sill.

He still walks mostly to his left or clockwise, though he began Wednesday taking a few tentative steps with his right foot leading. He spends much of his play time each day cruising around the living room; here he is in action.
video

Times Two

On Thursday I took a trip to the grocery store with both Hamilton and West in tow. The boys had a great time in their ride, though it was impossible for them to sit so close and and keep their hands to themselves.

Field Day

Though Claire declared to me several days prior to field day that she didn't really like field day and that she hoped it'd rain, she seemed to enjoy herself while Hamilton and I were there watching her last Monday morning. She and Chandler, a well mannered girl in Claire's class, sat together and cheered their class on to victory.Claire participated in several events including the wheelbarrow race, relay race, and dizzy bat, where each member of the team in succession runs to a baseball bat, spins around with one end of the bat on the ground and the other on his forehead, and runs back, usually looking a little drunk.

May 28, 2010

Waste Not, Want Not

Tuesday night at the dinner table we got to talking about wasting food, and Mr. Morgan said, "Waste not, want not." Claire replied, "My teacher says that all the time."

Mr. Morgan inquired, "Do you know what it means--what the word 'want' means in this instance?"

Claire definitively told us, "It means 'if you don't want it, don't waste it.'"

May 24, 2010

May Day

Last Friday Claire's school put on a May Day celebration for parents and some distinguished members of the community. Claire's been participating every year in May Day, and we've always attended the show. However, this year she was actually one of the actors on stage, instead of just a singer, in the Revolutionary War-based performance titled Why America Is Free.

She practiced and rehearsed her lines so much that Mr. Morgan and I had almost memorized them. Her few lines were easily the funniest in the performance, and Claire delivered them flawlessly, delighting the crowd and making us so proud of her. She looked so cute in her costume!
In this scene, Claire and some other fourth-grade girls sat in front of the stage busying themselves with sewing and knitting, skills girls were taught to help them attract mates.
Here's Claire delivering her line, "Why do I have to learn how to attract a husband--I don't even want one!"
I was impressed at the American-exceptionalism theme, which sometimes fades in the light of political correctness nowadays (or maybe I've been listening to Glenn Beck too much). Mimi and Pops came down for the show, and they were thoroughly impressed. After the performance, we enjoyed a celebratory lunch together.

Nostril

This evening I asked Claire to finish feeding Hamilton his bottle, and she agreed. I worked in the kitchen while she fed him. A few minutes later I asked, "How's it goin' in there?"

Claire reported, "Well, there's still some down in the nostril."

"What?" I asked carefully.

"There's a little left in the nipple or nostril or whatever."

May 19, 2010

Walking Around

Hamilton now walks well if he's holding on to some furniture. Our coffee table is the perfect height for him, and he's getting fast at walking on his own--in a clockwise direction only. He tried to step over Phoebe today instead of walking the other way; that move landed him flat on his back. He still can't pull himself up, but he loves to stand and walk if you'll help him assume the position.
video

Blackmail

This morning Claire and Mr. Morgan went to Chick-fil-A. It's their normal custom to eat breakfast there on Wednesday mornings (letting me sleep in) and read from a family devotional book that Claire enjoys. Mr. Morgan said this morning's topic was "ransoms." In the course of discussion, Claire explained "Blackmail is where someone gets taken hostage and they send you a letter asking for a million dollars."

May 18, 2010

Under the Bus

Mr. Morgan and I get a kick out of people's misusing of the the word "literally"--especially people in the public eye. Many times newscasters or commentators use "literally" to emphasize their points, even though they don't literally mean what they've just literally said. The latest quotation that I've come across is from Rev. Jeremiah Wright:

"No one in the Obama administration will respond to me, listen to me, talk to me or read anything that I write to them. I am 'toxic' in terms of the Obama administration," Wright wrote the president of Africa 6000 International earlier this year.

"I am 'radioactive,' Sir. When Obama threw me under the bus, he threw me
under the bus literally!" he wrote.

May 12, 2010

Bath Time at Mimi's

Hamilton loves splashing around in the tub, and I think he enjoys getting Mimi all wet while she's trying to bathe him.
video

Arizona Boycott

With all these people and cities declaring a boycott of Arizona, maybe the illegal aliens will catch on and also boycott the state. Then everyone wins!

Mother's Day

Mr. Morgan and I celebrated Mother's Day on Thursday last week because the gifts he'd ordered for me had arrived that day. He's always so excited to give me gifts that he usually can't wait longer than the time it takes him to wrap them up. He gave me my first mp3 player--a bright-green iPod Nano. He also included several accessories to aid my "running": an armband carrier and Nike+ sensor. I say "running" because I'm not a runner, since I do lots of speed-walking during my runs. The gifts have been wonderful tools for my exercising, and they've helped to keep me motivated.

On the actual Mother's Day, Mr. Morgan, Hamilton, and I drove to Columbia for a late lunch with Mom, Dad, Grandma, and Travis. Travis picked a delicious, upscale deli for lunch. Then we rested and visited at his house for the afternoon. Hamilton enjoyed all the attention and spectators while he played on the rug in the middle of the living room.
On Sunday Hamilton started poking out his lips like he was giving a kiss. He usually did it while he was playing, and I was able to capture it on this video.
video

Good News for Charleston

Southwest Airlines is coming to Charleston in 2011. How exciting!

May 7, 2010

Craziness

Last week Claire asked us what O.C.D. stood for. She knew that the "O" stood for obsessive, and we joked that the "C" stood for craziness, suggesting to Claire that she had "obsessive craziness disorder."

Then this week Claire told Mr. Morgan that she'd found out what O.C.D. stood for: "obsessive counting disorder." She then declared seriously, "That's what I have--'obsessive counting disorder.' I can't stop counting stuff. And I can't stop eating my Chick-fil-A hash rounds in threes."

May 6, 2010

Meal Plan 3

Because we traveled to Tennessee last week, I didn't grocery shop until Tuesday this week. I had lots of food to buy for this week, including food for meals that I'm taking to friends who recently had babies. The meal I took to my post-pregnancy friends is turkey enchiladas suizas.

Tuesday - Sausage with tangy caraway cabbage
This recipe was easy and quick because it uses kielbasa and bagged coleslaw mix. I'd never eaten caraway seeds before or bought them, but their smell and taste reminded me of rye bread, which I assume has caraway seeds in it.

Wednesday - Cinco de Mayo at community group
My contribution to our Mexican-themed meal was guacamole, refried beans, and sour cream. I learned to make guacamole from my friend Jules when I was in college. Slice several ripe avocadoes in half, and dig out the green fruit. Use a fork to smash the fruit, creating a creamy mixture. Slice an onion in half; using a knife, scrape onion juice and pulp into the mixture. Then dice the leftover onion and toss into mixture. Add juice from a lime or lemon to help the guacamole keep its bright-green color. Add lots of salt to taste. Serve with tortilla chips.

Thursday - Sweet and spicy Asian pork shoulder
Slow-cooker meals are easy and fun, too, because I get to smell the delicious meat cooking all day. This recipe also uses bok choy, which I get in abundance from the CSA but have yet to enjoy eating.

Friday - Asparagus and soft eggs on toast
Since I'm just cooking for Mr. Morgan this weekend, I picked a quick and easy meal for Friday night.

Saturday - Creamy bow-ties with broccolini and ham
I'm not sure exactly what broccolini is (small broccoli, perhaps?), so I'll be substituting regular broccoli.

Saturday - Gouda cheeseburgers with fennel onion relish
I planned two meals for Saturday, since we'll probably be working around the house this weekend. I'd never cooked with fennel before, so I looked up a picture using Google images. However, the commissary did not offer any fennel when I was there. I'll be making a special trip to Bilo before Saturday evening to pick up the fennel.

Sunday - Fettuccine with lima beans, peas, and leeks
We're lunching out in Columbia with the family for Mother's Day, but we'll need an easy meal for the evening.

Monday - Ravioli with sweet potatoes and thyme
Refrigerated ravioli makes an easy meal, and I'm looking forward to using thyme from my own little plant.

Tuesday - Shrimp and corn chowder with fennel
Hopefully next Tuesday won't be super hot, or else we won't feel like eating chowder.

Ten Months Old

Yesterday was Hamilton's ten-month birthday. He's grown so much in just a month, and he's doing all sorts of new things. He's eating lots of table food, prepared the way we eat it. He's mastered two signs, "more" and "milk," though sometimes he does those signs when he wants other things as well, like to be picked up or to go to sleep. I'm hopeful he'll continue learning the other signs I'm using with him, and I hope to add more signs to our daily routines. He still loves most all food we feed him, including turnips and their greens.

He stands well by himself while holding on to a chair or coffee table. And, he's beginning to move his feet while standing. He also takes steps like walking if I'm holding his hands; he first did this in Tennesssee with Mr. Morgan. He still loves playing in his entertainer and in his playpen. He enjoys sitting on his own and playing with his toys just about anywhere.
He's so squirmy most times if I'm holding him while I'm sitting. We no longer have mama-and-Hamilton playtime after I feed him a bottle. He won't sit in my lap and talk to me like he used to. He squirms out of my lap, so I let him stand at the coffee table. He'll turn his head around every few seconds to look at me and smile.
Hamilton is still squealing and talking most of the time. He's just started making a new noise which we think is a bark because he first made this sound while Fatty was barking at Phoebe. Here's a video of Hamilton's "barking."
video

May 5, 2010

Eating Bananas

Hamilton is so cute when he's feeding himself. This video also shows off his use of his newest sign "more."
video

Hamilton's Style of Flying

Hamilton spent much of each flight sitting on the floor playing. He's so squirmy now that he doesn't want to sit in my lap for long. He shredded several in-flight magazines, dumped countless Cheerios on the floor, and gummed the safety-procedures pamphlet.
On our last leg, he made friends with the flight attendant. She enjoyed reading to him the airline catalog once we'd landed in Charleston.Since he doesn't sleep in my arms, the poor boy was usually fast asleep within minutes of strapping him into the stroller at each airport. Here he is back in Charleston as we wait for Mr. Morgan to bring the car around.

The Ordeal

With the current news about flooding and death in Tennessee, it makes our long--but safe--return trip seem not so bad.

Though we were scheduled to fly out of Nashville on Saturday evening, the flooding prevented us from getting there. We spent several hours driving around middle-of-nowhere Tennessee with little cell-phone service seeking out different routes to Nashville. Finally, we were able to go north to Clarksville then back south again to Nashville, though we arrived two hours after our plane's departure.

The normally-two-hour trip to Nashville had taken us six, and we weary travelers were claustrophobic, tired, and hungry. Hamilton did amazingly well, considering the circumstances. We stayed the night in a super-nice hotel and enjoyed a delicious dinner--all thanks to Judy.

(We first stopped at what I thought was a Hampton Inn, but it was the Hamilton Inn. If I hadn't first seen the handwritten warning--"No shirt, no shoes, no service"--taped to the front door, I might have appreciated the concidence with our beloved boy's name.)

Though we were tired from the journey and disappointed to miss our flight, I was refreshed by the nice hotel and excited to fly back early Sunday morning; I didn't want to miss the memorial service at Redeemer for Shirley Cottle, who'd died on Wednesday. We were up early and at the airport by 7 am only to wait for three hours; our flight was delayed because the slow-moving storm that we'd driven through the day before had finally hit Nashville.

Because we were delayed, we missed our connecting flight out of Charlotte. The next flight with open seats was at 6 pm. I had resigned myself to missing the memorial service, though I was thankful we would be home on Sunday. Once in Charlotte, we sought an earlier flight, and the attendant put us at numbers 4 and 5 on the standby list for a 2:30 pm flight. When we were able to get on the early flight, I almost cried. Just before 4 pm, we landed in Charleston--and our bags too!

Though our trip back was such an ordeal at the time--though nothing compared to the devastation in Tennessee now, there were small mercies along the way:
  • We didn't get stuck on I-40 because the flooding prevented our making it that far on our trip to Nashville.
  • Our car didn't get flooded or suffer any damage from the flood.
  • We flew out of Nashville before the city started flooding.
  • We got back in Charleston with enough time for me to make it to the memorial service.
  • Our bags weren't delayed despite our changing flight schedule.
  • Hamilton fared even better on the plane ride home.
  • We had excellent friends caring for Claire and the puppies while we were delayed.

Funeral

Grandmother's funeral was last Friday in the morning. Mr. Morgan, his brother, and his cousins were the pall bearers. The service was sweet with all the grandsons sharing stories and memories. Following the funeral, the family gathered at the grave site. Most of the family is pictured here (from left): me, Mr. Morgan holding Hamilton, Wade, Judy, Spencer, and Kim holding Dawsey.
Some extended family provided a delicious barbecue lunch for us at the nearby church, and we were able to visit with all the Marbury clan. Hamilton enjoyed all the attention, and he always had a smile and sometimes a squeal for whoever was talking to him.

May 4, 2010

Paris's Political Scene

Posted at every intersection and most spaces in between, political candidate signs were impossible to miss during our stay last week in Paris, Tenn. While most candidates list their name, sought-after office, and perhaps some character qualities--leadership, experience--on their signs, Ms. Martin decided thanking the voters would be the best use of her space.

Pam Martin
Register of Deeds
Your vote and support
is greatly appreciated.
Her inattention to grammar and passive-voice usage are greatly appreciated here at Morgan Adventures. While passive voice is not technically incorrect, most always the active voice is the better way to write. However, using a singular verb ("is") with a plural subject (vote and support) is always wrong.