Simply Life – Day 27

Special delivery from the Milk Man:

Get your mind outta the gutter…
There’s no denying this boy’s gene pool…


For sake of not having an emotional breakdown over the fact that my little baby has hit the double digits in months, I am going to skip the cutesy antics and conversation I typically have with the next month and get right to the list.

But, Eleven, I’m watching you.

1. Noah’s parents aren’t the only ones with the watersports bug, he got his start this month on the boat as well. Dennis and Stephanie took the Ford Family out on our own tour of WBL and I think Noah enjoyed it as much as the rest of us… Once more and he might be as good of a skier as his paternal grandpa.

Noah lulled in the arms of Mrs. Stephanie.

Can’t tell who is enjoying it more.

As soon as we docked he woke right up.

2. Our home has been like a daggum revolving door this summer with folks coming to and fro, in and out, just stopping in or passing through. We’ve had parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends – lifelong and new, and a partridge in a pear tree. And I love it. It gives me an excuse for my house being dirty.

Abigail was able to come and spend almost two whole weeks being “Mama Helper” while her brother and sister were at camp in North Cackalacky. We played, swam, skied, ate ice cream, crafted, watched movies, and loved on Noah. You would never guess the amount of help an almost-six-year-old could be, but I could definitely handle a little helper more often.

Pretty girl at the marina for dinner.
She made her hair flower.
Also among those visitors were the Chanceys, Chris’ mom’s side of the family, who had never been here before. Their visit was too short, but we managed to pack a lot in. Oh, and I am pretty sure Noah was likely the draw that brought them across the mountains. I mean, who can resist him?
Aunt Meg, Chris, Jamie, Shelley, and Uncle Roy on the two-cent camp tour. Jamie helping Noah enjoy his newly crafted JD tractor,
an early birthday present from the Chancey family.
Can you believe he’s to the point where he can be receiving “early birthday” presents?
3. Grits has learned that it’s to her benefit to have a baby in the house, now that he knows how to feed her. You see, instead of leaving it on his tray or in hiw bowl, Noah thinks it’s a good idea to pitch his food on the floor when he’s done. The instant gratification to watch the pup gobble it up makes it even better. Once our computer is released from the Geek Squad, I will share a video of this lovely pasttime. Until then, this will have to do.

These two are quickly becoming partners-in-crime.

4. Camp was, is, and always will be part of the interwoven fabric of my being, Chris’ too. (We became one when we married, so do we just have one fabric now, or are we looking a little more like stonewash denim?) So naturally, being born into our family, brought home to a camp house, Noah’s fabric is already tie-dyed with splashes of camp…which is why it’s incredibly special for us that he has gotten to meet a whole slew of Crestridge folks, and his first Crestridge baby friend.

Ashley/Templeton came to see us the first weekend of July,
thus winning the prize for meeting our little guy first.

We jet-setted to Boone for a few days, meeting Krystal and her family for the first time.

Capping off the month with a Bridal Shower, Noah was pleased to meet Kristi & Carver…

Picture to come.

As well as Debbye and Nancy who joined us for the shower in Black Mountain.

5. Noah and I spent what seems like half of July in the mountains, either in Balsam or Boone. He’s explored mountains, streams, wildflowers, abandoned houses, blackberry bushes, wild ponies, rock climbers, mountain peaks, and more…all from the comfort of my back. He likes to hike, looking around to take it all in. Of course, I would probably love it even more if I got to ride on someone’s back. Any takers?

Hiking around with my mom and dad on their first visit to YASNY.Hiking up to see the original homestead on the mountain.

6. Teeth numbers five, six, and seven are poking there way on through. I am fairly certain these little boogers have been the most painful for him, even still, he takes it like a champ. These little white specks are constant reminders that he will never stop growing, never stop changing – no matter how hard I try to convince myself otherwise. I find myself wishing he could just keep the four little charming chompers he has now… we do live in East Tennessee, that’s a lot by some standards.

Beware of biting baby…I recommend visually counting the teeth.

7. All along our sweet guy has been extremely laid-back and very low-maintenance, rarely putting up a fuss for much of anything. And now he’s discovered all the new things his voice can do – and boy, does he use them. He has learned/taught himself/concocted this high-pitched-nails-down-a-chalkboard-make-your-hair-stand-up-glass-shattering scream that physically makes my body hurt when he does it. This cry is reserved for when he is not getting his way, say at naptime when he thinks naps are for babies (I’ve got news for you, kid) or at mealtime when brocolli just ain’t cutting it. It makes me want to leave the room – and if he is adequately supervised (some days Grits counts) I may just walk away.

Don’t let those big blue eyes fool you.

8. Alas, our child is no longer a vegetarian. Unless he chooses to go Veg some other time in his life, he can always say he was until he was ten months old. And the first meat of choice? An all-natural beef frank – yep, a hot dog. He devoured it piece by piece and probably would have gone back for more. His face is all shiny and his little fingers are slick with all-natural grease (ha) when he finishes. I wonder if my strange hankering for hot dogs when I was six months pregnant could have been Noah letting me in on his preferences while in the womb? I wouldn’t have touched a hot dog for nothing before then…

Noah says, “Thanks, Aunt KD, for my first (of many) scrumptious hot dogs.”

9. Noah has learned the wave. Not the sportsfan phenomenon of people standing and sitting in repetition as the “wave” moves across the stadium, though that would be impressive. He’s telling people “bah-buh” while awkardly waving his limp hand in the air. He doesn’t really have the timing down yet, so he will likely kick visitors out of our house or try to depart early from places, but it’s so darn cute you can hardly stand it. He uses “bah-buh” for greetings and salutations accompanied with a wave so far… though he does say “ayeee” which is definitely his hello.

Hola. Aloha. Bonjour. Hiya. Hello there. Hey y’all.

10. And last but absolutely not least, our little one has found his M’s and has been working on his “ma-mas” all month. Melts my heart, yes it does. Does he call me mama? Well, no – anything can be “ma-ma” at this point, but it’s started, and that’s all that matters.

Loving on his mama before we floated down the river.

So yes, time flies when you are having fun and even sometimes when you aren’t (see number seven). We are looking forward to lots of fun things in months eleven and twelve, but it’s okay if they take time getting here.


There are LOTS of pictures and videos that go along with this update, but our computer has been captured by the Geek Squad, so they will have to wait. I thought I ought to finish the post itself before I got fired. From life.

Upcoming on the blog: More of my thoughts and opinions on life, love, saving the planet, changes, and things I find consuming my time these days. Stay tuned.


Nine, you are a bit early for your reservations. I am going to need you to wait outside until I can get ready for you. My word.
What a whirlwind… Eight has been a crazy busy month around this casa:
  • Camp started… enough said.
  • The Giusti boys came and stayed a week for day camp.
  • Noah went to Dollywood for the first time, and likely last time for a while. Thanks, Dolly, for the books you send us each month, but your place of leisure is exhausting for baby and mama. See you in a couple of years.
  • My grandmother and great aunt came with my folks and spent a few days. Loved having them in my home…
  • We’ve decided to buy a cow. And eat locally.
  • I started planning Krystal’s bridal shower for this month… this will be my first go at anything girly. Wish me luck.
  • Chris and I went on our first “date” sans baby while leaving him with a gaggle of summer staff. Oh Borders, how we’ve missed you so.
  • Noah and Chris celebrated their first Father’s Day together, complete with an opening day of camp and trip to Target.
  • Abbie is here with us now for a week being “Mommy’s Helper”.
And we haven’t even gotten to all the stellar new tricks littleford has come up with… So sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride:
1. Noah likes periodicals. And by like I mean that he enjoys rearranging them in the bathroom…which if you can tell by the angle of the photo is pertinent in keeping regular for some folks around here. If you know what I mean…
2. Noah is learning how to con-finger his hands into a point. I think he has picked this up from when he insists on stopping at the framed collage of Noah’s first week of life that hangs in the hallway on the way to his room. We point and name the various people who were here with us when we brought him home. He doesn’t point at anything in particular, though I think he points “out” of his room after naps…
3. I think we may have the beginnings of a pack rat on our hands. He will find any and everything and carry it around with him. For hours. This could be a toy, a leaf, or something out of the recycling bin. He’s not picky, as long as he can get it from point A to point B. I give you the apple juice bottle.
4. Noah is part fish. I am convinced. He can’t get enough of the splashing, kicking, and zooming around in his little float. You can take a baby’s parents out of Florida, but you can’t take the Florida out of the baby.
5. He has figured out what getting dressed is all about. Though his face says otherwise in the following photo, he has become quite the little helper when putting clothes on. I am not sure I am ready for these big changes…they are big neon lights that he is getting bigger. Not so cool.
6. Noah is proving to be quite the little Casanova. He’s got killer blue eyes and a smile that will melt your heart. Watch out, ladies… he knows how to use them. Just ask the women he’s been collecting.
7. Noah is his own biggest fan. He loves Baby Noah in the mirror and the one at the top of this blog. He may or may not be a little full of himself. But, with this face, come on. Can you really blame him?
8. Much to my chagrin, the little dude’s first word? Da-da. Yep. I would like a ma-ma every now and then but I think I may just be “mmmmmm” or “boob”… either one. But the smitten grin that comes across my husband’s face is plenty satisfying when the little one mutters those precious “da-das”.
9. And now for Noah’s nine month official stats and a little show of the muscles:
  • Height: 28 inches
  • Weight: 18lbs10oz
  • Head: Above average (we are advanced here in the Ford family)
Alright, Ten, consider yourself warned. Don’t you come around here like a bat out of you-know-where. 
Or I’ll, I’ll… hang my head and cry. 
Because I know you’re coming.

When Noah’s Away (at Naptime)…

…his parents will play.
Thanks to a couple of our summer ladies, Jess and Kelli, Chris and I got to hang out with my sister and niece, Kelly and Abigail, on the boat with Dennis and Stephanie. If you remember, Chris got to do this last year, but apparently skiing is not an approved activity for pregnant folks. Go figure.
But this year, they couldn’t keep me away.
I got up on the first time, which I consider to be quite the feat considering that I haven’t skied since I was in high school… behind my brother’s jet ski.  I make no promises on the form, skill, or tan lines, but I was pretty impressed with myself.
What’s that? You need a close-up of that amazing skiing face? No problem.
Not only am I a natural, my Floridian husband that had never skied in his life until last summer seems to be quite the little fish as well. Not only did he kick some skiing hiney, he has “mastered” (I use that term lightly) the art of the slalom ski. Apparently once you go slalom, you never go back. In this case, one is better than two, I guess?
Kelly, my oldest sister, has been skiing for a long time. Her dad lives on the water and has boats readily available. So basically, what I am trying to say is she blew us out of the water. Quite literally.
And last but certainly not least, Abbie, at the ripe old age of five, skied for the first time! She did awesome on the training bar with the help of Dennis. He said that she could probably have stayed up on her own if she tried again, but I think she said she would wait until she’s six to go solo. I was impressed, either way. She must have her mama’s fish genes.
Next year I will be able to put Noah’s photos up here…Camp John Knox’s youngest skier. Oh yes. We are advanced here in the Ford family.
Oh, and did I mention that my husband was looking mighty fine?
Ohhh yes.

Fashion Police

We all know (and love) that I am not the person to consult when it comes to anything fashion related…for myself, my child, my husband, my dog, my home. The Good Lord just did not bless me with that sixth sense.
And to be honest I am quite alright with that, and so are Chris and his wallet.
To prove it, this is what you can find me in most days, in some color variation:On some days you may find me with a little more pizazz:Oh wait, not that. Here it is:
And on really extra special, eat-your-heart-out boys, occasions:With all the being said and shown, lack of fashion sense and all, I do know when something is bad.
Bad and tacky.
Bad, tacky, and overpriced.
I give you the latest in the Gucci line of handbags:

The Granny Panty Extraordinaire

#1. Grandma called, she says she wants her bloomers back.
#2. Mr. Gucci and designers, you are all fired.
#3. If I wanted to sport my undies as an accessory, I’ve got plenty to choose from in my maternity stash.
And lastly, I think I’ll save my bajillion dollars and buy something a little less “fashionable”.

Home Sweet Pensacola

I came “home” for the week to surprise my mama for her retirement celebration. Littleford and I packed up the car, with Chris’ help, and headed down on Wednesday, meeting my dad in Prattville, AL to follow him the rest of the way. Yes, I know my way to my childhood home, but he had sweet Abbie with him and she is one of Noah’s favorite six cousins, which also meant entertainment in the backseat for the last few hours of the drive.

Bowens, Fords, & Bullingtons at Mom’s Retirement Shindig

Fords & Bullingtons

Dinner at Fridays with Mom and Fifth Grade Teachers

Look at those teeth…two more on the top coming in.
Kisses from the mama…
Papa and littleford…they spent the evening together while margarita madness ensued.
Love this boy. More than my hippie crystal.
We have done lots since getting here and still have a long list to check off before heading north…We miss daddy though. Noah told me so.
But we would miss daddy either way…camp has started!
Look forward to much more blogging, the life of camp widow has begun for Summer2010.

Six (Already?)

Recap: I decided a couple of months ago that I would write and share new, fun, sweet things our baby boy is doing on each of his monthly birthdays, the number of months deciding the number of things I would share. I have been somewhat anxious and emotional for the past two weeks milling over his six month post…overwhelmed with a bucket full of thoughts. This may take some time and editing…between the emotional breakdowns.

I can’t believe he is half a year old. In the same amount of time since he was born, he will be a year old.
Crap. That’s so fast.
Too fast.
Yet, he’s so fun and learning new things every single day that I can hardly stand it.

I am torn. I want him to stay little and cuddle-able but I am excited to help him learn to walk and talk and have a decipherable conversation with me. (Well, he already promised that he would cuddle with his mama until he’s 17, so I have a few more years to get used to the idea of his independence.) It’s tough to grasp how we got here so fast.

New mamas and papas are warned about the sleepless nights and hours of crying, diaper rashes and mounds of laundry, spit up and poop explosions, do-this-so-they-are-the-smartest-kid-ever-but-not-this-or-they-might-be-different (heaven forbid)-from-other-kids, buy-this-so-your-house-would-bounce-if-dropped-from-outerspace, and so on. Sure, we can definitely say we’ve experienced some of that to a small – very small – degree. Not that I am comparing, but if there was some sort of “rate your baby” scale, ours would definitely be at the top (of course, all parents say that). I am not referring to how cute or precious he is, all babies win that award in my opinion, this is more about how easily manageable he has been and continues to be. I can honestly say that I have never heard him cry for more than 10 minutes, and that’s usually only when he’s so tired he can’t fall asleep. At the beginning our nights were somewhat sleepless just because he needed to eat…but once he ate, he would go right back down, no fuss about it. He really is a good baby, like, he is good at being a good baby.

We should stop while we’re ahead. Why mess with perfection, right?

I am beginning to understand the whole “your baby is like a sponge” metaphor in a way that I never have known before. It’s not just limited to when you drop a four-letter-word (you know the ones), he is quite curious about most things we say and do. And with that in mind, our six month list (everyone, pray I will get through it in one sitting):

1. He has this hilarious fake cough. It’s like he knows that his voice can do all sorts of things and he’s just trying it all out, and for some reason the cough is his favorite. So funny. And it seems he really enjoys communicating with his PapaBo like this.

They don’t really like each other much.

2. I love to see him wrap his chubby little hands around objects that are too big for him to hold. It’s like a whole new world of discovery for him, like he’s saying, “Look at what I can hold, mama.”

Chubby fingers playing on the floor at GiuGiu’s house…where he learned to scoot backwards!

3. Well, somehow the day he was born we started calling him ‘Bubba’…no rhyme or reason, it just happened. Poor kid isn’t going to know his name when he goes off to preschool. So, naturally, the first sound that he is experimenting with..”buh buh buh buh buh”…often times sounding more like a motorboat. Cute, nonetheless.

This is his “buh buh buh” face…cute as the rest.

4. It’s time to baby-proof the house, Scootie McScooterpants is taking off! But I already shared that, so this one doesn’t count for my six.

“What did you say, GiuGiu?”

4(again). We can finally learn what this kids feet and knees look like! It is “shorts weather” here in East Tennessee and we are taking FULL advantage of it. We’ve been out in the yard every day this past week and plan to be out much more. Noah likes to see all the new shapes and colors that he can’t see confined in the four walls of our house. Goodbye winter… see you next year!

Look, his knees and his feet!

 5. Noah hasn’t really cared one way or the other about his paci…he still mostly doesn’t. We usually put him down at night with it, but of course it falls out once he’s asleep. So when he wakes up in the morning he looks for it, “swimming” laps from one end of the crib to the other. Once he finally finds it, sometimes it ends up not-so-right-side-up, like this:

 Uh oh…wrong way.

It doesn’t seem to bother him.
Also, as a parent note, we started him with four pacis, two of two different types. And proudly, we have kept up with all four of them. ALL of them…if you know us, you should be proud, too, this is quite the feat. But, sadly, as part of growing up, bigger boys need bigger things so we had to give him two new ones for his little mouth. Check back in six months to see if we still have them, a red and a white.

6. And finally, to melt your heart… Noah has started laying his head on my shoulder when he’s sleepy. He has been all about wanting to be in his own bed when he’s the least bit tired, but the past few days he has pulled himself close by grabbing my shirt and lays his head down on my shoulder. Today he fell asleep on my hip while I was walking around the yard watching my mama dig a new flower bed. So sweet. I hope he still does that when he’s twelve.
Ok, maybe not twelve.
Eleven and a half.

And not to give the impression that mamahood doesn’t have it’s not-so-cute moments, here are a couple of things that I could live without, that I’m sure I will eventually miss…maybe:

1. He bites. He still breastfeeds. You do the math.

Let the sun shine…let the sun shine in…

 2. You can’t really blame him because he didn’t stand much of a chance, but the kid doesn’t have the best patience. He wants food and he wants it NOW. He wants the (insert bright shiny object here) and he wants it NOW.

This is his growling face…still cute.

We will be working on this.
And before I get off my emotional rollercoaster for the day, a few family photos:

And now:

Whew. I’m spent.
Happy six month birthday, bubba.
Please slow down just a hair.

The Other Side of the Lens

If you haven’t noticed, you don’t normally get the (ahem) privilege of seeing me in many of the pictures that appear on the blog. It seems that once my belly stopped morphing  from little to not-so-little (let’s reminisce, shall we?), I ceased to be in a lot of shots.  I suppose that’s the blessing and the curse of enjoying being behind the camera, limited supply of photos of yourself. Sad day. There’s no way that it could be blamed on the fact that I spend most of my days in pajamas, sans shower, covered in creative juices…you name it, I’ve been covered in it…. including, but not limited to, vegetable soup.

Because most days I feel like I look like this:

It’s nice to know that’s not true.
All the time.