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Monday, October 27, 2008

It's really all about Corbin

If you read my last post and thought "Too much band, not enough baby!" then this post is for you.

Red is my Color!

Go Hawks!

Mittens...Mmmm, Yummy!

Ready for Bed!

Go Band!

Color Guard Alum

Lee mentioned I was a little tired yesterday...I just can't march like I used to! This past Saturday was homecoming weekend at Miami University and once again Lee and I headed to Oxford, Ohio so I could relive my days on Miami's Color Guard. Thanks to our good friend Jenn for talking me into it this year. As you can tell from the pic, Corbin couldn't take his eyes off of Auntie Jenn (I think the feeling was mutual!).

Corbin and Auntie Jenn

Everything is a little bit more challenging with a baby, but after marching with her for 20 years now, I was glad not to miss it.

Corbin Gets Tattoo'ed

Corbin hung in there, having a great time learning to be a Redhawks fan.
Check out his Big Red "M" tattoo! Visit again next week for an update on Corbin's Halloween adventures. (Hint: ROAR!)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Baby roll (guest post by Lee)

I'm filling in for Jean tonight, as she is exhausted and catching some much needed rest. She will fill in more details with a post on Monday. For now, I'll update you on our favorite topic - Corbin! He had his 4 month pediatrician visit, and weighed in at just over 13 pounds. He's 23 3/4" long.

He seems to be hitting all the 4 month milestones, except we have not coaxed a laugh out of him yet. Given that, he seems to be a jolly and happy baby most of the time. If you smile at him you are likely to get a big smile back.

As the title of this post suggests, we had a Corbin first! He rolled from his tummy to his back, several times. He is still perfecting this maneuver, but seems quite pleased with himself at what he has learned to do. No rolling from back to tummy yet, but I suspect he will be rolling all over the place before long.

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Sunday, October 19, 2008


A Very Scary Kitty the Zoo! Corbin had a great time with his cousin hanging out at the Columbus Zoo's Boo at the Zoo. He didn't appreciate the free candy (mom did) but watching the Grizzly Bears munch on their pumpkins was fun.

Here are some pictures from the rest of the week.

Posing at Grandma's House

Posing at Home

Mr. Brown Can Moo...Can You?


P.S. No energy for a "News from the Past" post today, but stayed tuned....

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Squash Bottoms

Squash Bottoms

Halloween is almost here and Corbin and his cousin are more than ready! (Corbin is the littler squash bottom).

It has been a quiet week baby-wise. Corbin "talks", squeals and chirps a lot but no actual laughs yet.

Here are some more pictures from the week. Gramma and PopPop visit...


Corbin giggles it up in his new bouncer...

Yep...I'm a flirt!

Grand Canyon - Day Two

Canyon Floor

The next day starting out was beautiful, with rain in the distance turning the sky, inner canyon and river into a dramatic vista. The views grew more stunning as the day continued, and by lunch at Indian Gardens we could see the rain clouds in the distance.

Indian Gardens

I was so grateful and felt very selfish for having prayed for Big Horn Sheep. All the beauty we had seen was enough. Now often when you stop praying and start thanking, your prayers come true. One hour later...

Big Horn Sheep

...down the hill came the Sheep! We stood there, mouths open, snapping pictures like crazy. Now, this was no big deal for the sheep who have admirers daily but it was pretty cool for us. Just an hour or so later, we reached the rim, hit the lodge buffet and crashed in our beds. The next morning, before driving to Phoenix to catch our flight out, we managed one more great view - sunrise off the walls of the south rim.

South Rim Sunrise

There's A Reason It's Called Grand

View From the South Rim

As promised last week, I'm going to try and provide a look back at some goings-on from the last 18 months, during which time I was on a blog hiatus. In May, 2007, one of my closest friends and I hiked to the base of the Grand Canyon and back. Let me say, if you have a Grand Canyon down-and-back trip on your "Things To Do Before I Die List" and haven't yet - Don't Put It Off! And if it's not on your list, add it right now. Stop reading the blog and add it right now. I mean it. This minute. Why? There is no better way to experience the Grand Canyon than to be in it - to have it wrapped around you, to live with it for a day or two, to watch the sunset and the sunrise change it. Over 5 million people visit the Grand Canyon each year - about 10% hike into the Canyon, and even fewer go down-and-back. You want to be one on those people.

In case you don't get to the Canyon though, here are some highlights from our trip.

Julie and I arrived at the park thinking we were prepared for anything (if you've read the related previous blog entry, you know we had scorpion anti-venom). However, we were not prepared for Mr. Park Ranger Guy to say...

...did you pack for the snow?

The answer of course was "No." It was ok though, because temps are about 20 degrees cooler at the rim compared to the floor and we were not staying on the rim for long! Still, when we started out (I think around 6 a.m.) it was nippy! In fact, the hike down the Kaibab trail (steeper than the Bright Angel but with the best views it's the recommended way down) was weird weather-wise. After several hours, it warmed up enough but the wind was unusually strong. We validated this with seasoned hikers passing us a various points on the way down.

At one point, where the switchbacks were tricky, I realized that we could be blown off the trail (and down of course). As the switchbacks well, switch back, there is little canyon wall to block the wind and it was whipping back and forth. It was impossible to predict if a gust was going to blow you towards the canyon wall (a help) or away (definitely a hurt). But this was five miles down, so basically it was scary if we went on or scary if we bailed and went back up. So, on we went. To give you a taste of the wind, here is a picture of me crossing the swaying bridge over the Colorado river to get to Phantom Ranch on the canyon floor.

Crossing the Colorado

We spent the night in a cabin at Phantom Ranch and ate at the cantina. We got showers (running water!) and listened to a nature talk. There was also Yahtzee! and despite my having never ever won a game of Yahtzee! I won. Such is the power of the Canyon. We enjoyed the company of fellow hikers but I got quite tired of the "we saws". "We saw scorpions." "We saw condors." "We saw Big Horn Sheep." Julie and Jean had pretty much seen just squirrels. I had envy in my heart. I said a prayer that we would see Big Horn Sheep the next day as we hiked out. I prayed we did NOT see the mountain lion that had been spotted earlier in the month.

By the way, although it rained that night at the Phantom Ranch, the only snow was at the rim, and melted by noon.

Phantom Ranch Cabin

Sunday, October 05, 2008

AKA "The Mouse"

As promised, I am (finally) adding a post about Corbin, our son. Just to clarify, this is our person-son, not another dog-son, which is what more than one person thought when Lee and I said we were expecting a baby.

Corbin at 15 weeks

It has been a crazy busy humbling 13 months since we found out we were expecting. I'm hoping that once a week I'll be able to enter a post about Corbin in real time (almost 4 months old as of this writing) and a post filling in the time between "Update on the Big Giant Bed" May 2007 post and today. Doing the math and assuming one month catchup per week, I should be all caught up on the gap by January of 2009. Well...we'll see. I don't know if I'll be able to keep the blogging commitment. To illustrate, check out these Before and After pics of the baby's room:

Before Baby's Arrival

Everything tidy and adorable, no?

After (Today Actually)

Hmmm. Not so tidy. Take note that I am not sharing pictures of the rest of the house. Now, I know you don't really want to see pics of the baby's room - you want to see pics of the baby! So here you are...

Daddy and Corbin in the Mirror

Bath Time!

Play Time!

Oops - Mr. Mouse is awake. Gotta run!

P.S. Corbin squeaks when he's hungry. So sad it would compel the hardest heart to pause. Hence, aka Mouse!

Big Giant Bed Arrives....

...Yes, the Big Giant Bed arrived. Along with some other things, like:
1) A new kitchen
2) A new chimney
2) A new bathroom
3) A second new bathroom
4) A baby.

Yep, we've been busy! Which I hope in part explains why I haven't posted for over a year.

But, for those of you still wondering, here is a picture of the bed.

Big Giant Bed - It's like a hotel room every day!

Don't worry, I'll get to the baby in the next post. Here are some pictures of the kitchen:

Old Kitchen

New Kitchen

And, it case you were wondering if this was all part of a big, two year plan to get a baby, you're right! We starting thinking about adding to our family during the winter of 2006-2007 but wanted to move to a bigger house first. My sister gave us some wise advise - little ones, being little, don't take up much room. Stay in your current house (we love the neighborhood if not the long commute to work) and save your pennies. The only way I was staying (and the only way to eventually sell the house) was to redo the kitchen and the two main baths. They were all original to the house and past their prime. The "Original Kitchen" pic probably speaks for itself! So, basically, we "nested" for 18 months. Thanks too to my sister for the giant "Clean House"-like purge of the basement (had to make room for the baby stuff! Example: 8 boxes of Miami U college stuff became 1 30-gallon tote) and to our brother-in-law for helping fluff the baby's room and our third bath. I think we're done with the home improvement efforts for a while! And, given the housing market, we're definitely staying put for now.