Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Grandma, Grandpa and Back to the Country

Grandma Mary and Grandpa Roy came down from Washington for another visit last week.  And let's be clear: They were visiting Cornelia, not Ken and me.  As usual, they came with a trunkload of stuff for Coco (thankfully, they drive a small car).  Coco now has a pre-trike (like a tricycle without pedals for scootching about), plastic Adorondak chairs (a purple one for the city and a green one for the country), and a whole new mess of clothes.  And not all of them pink.  Grandma, Grandpa and Coco enjoyed a lot of trips to the park for swinging and sliding, daily strolls to the grocery store, and general playing about.  If you don't believe me, ask Grandpa about his 300 or so pictures.

Ken and I sneaked away for an overnight trip to the country (sans Coco) for Ken's birthday.  The weekend officially marked the start of our summer in the country.  We spent a good deal of time working in the backyard (sadly much neglected in recent months) and re-engaging with the local wildlife.  We found a deer trapped in the garden on Saturday afternoon and had to leave it alone so it wouldn't impale itself on the fence trying to get out and away from us.  We also found our first rattle snake of the season dozing next to the pond in the backyard.  We tried to kill it (can't have a rattle snake lurking about with a one-year-old in the house) but were unsuccessful.  We found it in the very same place the following weekend and did manage to kill it with a two-by-four and a shovel.  Quite a spectacle which, thankfully, no one was there to witness.  We have a picture of the corpse but I won't post it here.

Coco and Grandma Mary

Coco and Grandma Mary

This has Grandma written all over it.

An outfit on the more subtle side.


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Happy First Birthday Coco!

We celebrated Coco's first birthday on Saturday, April 28th (although her birthday was Monday, April 23rd).  It's really hard to believe it's been a year.  It may be cliche, but it flew by!

The guests were many, including Coco's dozens of gay "uncles," her new little friends from the neighborhood and beyond, and the Spauldings too.  It was great to have so many people join us to wish Coco "Happy Birthday!".

Of course, it was quite an event.  For those of you who might be interested in the "event planning" aspect of the affair:  Coco's dress was bought more than a month in advance, since it had to be just the right balance of little girl elegance.  Many dresses were tried; only one made the cut.  Her grandmother sent white "MaryJanes" and a matching white purse.  Once the dress was bought the decorations were planned to complement the dress - the colors were black, white and yellow and the pattern was dots.

The "Happy Birthday" banner was hand-made by both daddies.  Yes, it did occur to me as we spent several hours creating the banner that we could have bought one at Hallmark, but I am married to Ken Wingard and that will not do.  And, in the end, I agreed; the banner was great.  (And we'll be using it for the next eighteen years.)  The yellow and white pom-poms were featured on a recent episode of HomeMade Simple.  The apple tree in the front yard was pruned just before the party so that fresh apple blossoms could be added to the decorations.  (I swear Ken planted that tree for just that reason.)  The cupcakes were coconut (for Coco, get it?) with yellow frosting in black and white dotted cupcake paper.  I now feel entirely prepared for many years of late night baking before classroom parties and other such events.  

Let's face it, Ken Wingard knows how to throw a party.

Favorite comment overheard at the party:  <sound of glass breaking> "I was trying to save the child and I dropped my drink!"  Second favorite comment overheard at the party:  "Mike and Ken have clearly given up.  Do you see all those carbs on that table?!"

"Happy Birthday Cocobean!"

Big kid and little kids on the front porch.

Coco and Mari (her babysitter whom she adores!)

Coco and Auntie Mei Mei Spaulding

Opening her first present.  (Grandma - Please note the white shoes.)

Coco and Papa

"This is for me?! Did you know it matches my dress?!"

"Okay, now how exactly does this work?"

"Someone please call off the paparazzi!"

Coco and Daddy taking a break in Coco's room.

The birthday table

The birthday banner.  (I'll just say "hours," but worth it!) 

The birthday cupcakes.  (Again, "hours" but they were soooo good!!)