Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Guest Post: Keep on Truckin'

Did you ever imagine KRIS STEPHENSON would become a blogger?? Today a guest post, tomorrow his very own retirement blog titled 'Get Hooked!' full of invaluable advice from a passionate fly-fisherman with thrice-daily email update blasts from "a jerk on one end of the line waiting for a jerk on the other..."

Well, it's been the WEEK(s) of the TRUCK(s) out here in sunny Cal for The Graham-ster.  By far the most exciting day at Grampa and Jamma's house has been Monday morning, which is trash day!  When the trash man starts comin' down the street, Graham gets so amped his whole body starts wiggling and he kicks his legs like crazy...

The driver even gave major toots on the truck horn for the G-man.  He was so excited he couldn't contain himself.  For an encore, there was trash truck #2 for the green cuttings, just a little later.  Same jazz-mentation.  Recycle truck comes late and G was napping.  Could have been a Trash Truck Trifecta!

Other truck activities were pretending to drive Grampa's F-150.  Sometimes in control, sometimes reckless (he was not allowed to text)........but, he's an ace at using the dials.......BIG TIME FUN!!!

Bonus breakfast footage from Graham / Bop-bop's fave meal of the day...

Monday, April 25, 2016

S is for Spring Break

which this kid is enjoying in sunny CA....

sans parents!

I flew back to NYC yesterday... and G stayed behind! His first totally solo stay in Nipomo. Yes, he was already there alone all last week while I was working in LA, but that was less than 3 hours away and now I'm completely across the country! Feels different. Scary. I may have cried in line at the security check. But I know he's having the time of his life and he's as happy as a pig in mud (literally).


The morning before I left we had a really nice solo hang, up bright and early for breakfast, went on a walk around the block before anyone else was even up. Just got to soak up some mama and G time. 

Can't wait to see you on Friday, little man!!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Guest Post: Down on the Farm

This week's guest post courtesy of Jeanne Stephenson!

Graham is visiting Jamma and Grandpa Stephenson in Nipomo, and for the first time is staying unsupervised by a responsible parent. We are having tons of fun exploring the “farm.” He is up at 6 every morning, so our days are long. There is much to be done!

Chasing the cat.

Bricks to be moved, and then moved back.

Chickens to be fed and eggs to be gathered...

  (most of them make it to the house).

Adventures with Mazie, who spends most of her time slowly walking away, 
unless of course if Graham has food.

And of course, the flavors of spring to sample with follow-up laundry to be done.


It is exhausting work.

Monday, April 18, 2016

N is for Nudity

Guess who isn't wearing any clothes this week and doing most of his bathing outdoors?  
Nope, not Dave...



Nudie on the loose!

Friday, April 15, 2016

Not A Bad Flight

We made it to the west coast! I was super nervous before this trip. Though I've traveled alone with Graham before, he's currently such a ball of energy I was fearful about cooping him up in an airline seat for 6 straight hours. Even a one-year-old on best behavior is still a one-year-old, feeling the same discomfort as everyone else on board but with a much more obnoxious way of expressing it. But first things first, we had to get to the plane - even packing as light as I possibly could, how was I going to get a suitcase, car seat, carry-on bag and toddler unloaded from the cab and safely to the ticket counter all by myself?? Just strap him into his beloved front-pack so he can be right up in the action and I can be hands-free, right? Oh wouldn't that have been nice. Unfortunately the baby-carrier G loves to ride in so much (and made the thought of maneuvering the airport bogged down with suitcases and baby gear just a little easier) recently went missing. Drat. So yeah, I was nervous.

Boy did I luck out, because Graham was an ANGEL the day we flew. We're talking patiently waited in his carseat curbside as I got all of our junk organized, remained calm as I balanced him (still in said carseat) on top of my rolling suitcase and inched our way to the ticket counter, stayed right by my side after getting out of the seat as I clumsily tried to zip it into the carrying bag, held onto my hand without complaint (for the most part) as we slowly made our way toward the gate. He was being so good looking out the window at departing planes and sweetly smiling at fellow travelers that I realized we weren't merely surviving the morning but actually having fun!

Crossed my fingers the good behavior would continue on the flight. Luckily the flight wasn't full and there was an empty seat next to us, so we got to bring his carseat on board. I had a bottle all ready for takeoff, to help his ears pop, but the little nugget's eyes began to droop as we backed away from the gate and he was full on snoozing by the time we took off, no bottle needed!

G slept nearly two hours and I was able to watch an entire movie and relax the first third of the flight. When he woke up, he was in a great mood and walked up and down the aisles, enthusiastically chatting with the other babies on board (there were quite a few) and hanging with the incredibly accommodating flight attendants (they hosted a toddler dance party in the large empty space toward the rear of the plane and continuously supplied him with cookies). The trip absolutely could not have gone better. Hoping G travels as well next flight...which will be alone with my mom! Graham is staying in Nipomo a few days after I leave (wooooo no rules!), then he and Jamma fly back to NYC together a few days later. Let's all hope for repeat smooth sailing.

Little dude enjoying his hotel digs!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

GUEST POST: Brodown Hoedown - March 2016

HAPPY WEDNESDAY! Starting a new mid-week tradition...guest posts! (Interested in writing something? Come on down!) This morning I have the great honor of introducing our esteemed first guest: the truly incomparable DVC.


There is little confusion regarding who performs a lion-share of the parenting in our home: It’s the iPad just kidding it’s Meg.

Nevertheless there are days when I unburden her and actually spend time with Graham absent her guidance. A couple Saturdays ago was one of those days.

We rose with the sun, Graham and me. I had two stiff cups of coffee; Graham, consistent with his senior-citizen diet, had warm milk and prunes. Unless I’m dressed for work and require the [emasculating] pram, we travel Yoda/Luke style: Graham on my shoulders, clinging to my ears and yurtleing wisdoms in incomprehensible reverse-syntax, me heaving and trying to prevent him from prying off my sunglasses. 

There are plenty of swell early-morning places to bring a 16 month old, I opted for the Met:
(1) it’s nearby
(2) it has strangers for Graham to accost and
(3) it has a bunch of stairs for Graham to ascend/descend.

Our first stop was Hot & Crusty on 86th Street. I got a twice-toasted onion bagel with vegetable cc, Graham got a packet of apple sauce. Naturally his was 3x the price of mine because the container said “baby” on it. After that it was straight to the museum.

The exterior was a hive of activity. Security guards in golf carts casing the exterior; joggers taking advantage of the wide, empty sidewalks; janitors preparing the stairs for hordes of tourists keen to take a selfie with Wheat Field with Cypresses before spending the remainder of the day engorged with dairy-free ice cream and nature-free hot dogs.

Graham and I exploited the empty steps and took a bunch of pictures. It’s fun watching him absorb the city coming to life, New York buzzing like a sleepy trayful of bees. He looked on in shocked amazement as two feuding street vendors jockeyed for prime sidewalk position.

After about an hour at the Met we wound up at the playground on 72nd and 5th; by that point G was done and ready for a nap.

He communicated this by standing behind the playground wall crying while I told him to run around and have fun.

It is clearly for the best that Meg is the default parent.

Monday, April 11, 2016

M is for Molars

Sprouted some new teeth over the weekend! Just one more molar to go and he'll have a full set.

And boy is he proud! Hearing these morning giggles was certainly some solace after being up all night with a sad, teething kiddo. I ended up sleeping on the floor of his room as he'd only fall/stay asleep with my hand on his back through the crib rails. Sad baby, tired mama, but very sweet memory. And he still woke up with a smile.


It was rainy and cooooooold most of Saturday, so we spent a lot of time indoors.
Thank goodness for the playroom and G's generally cheerful disposition. He is the sweetest kid.

We did manage to sneak out for a few minutes on Sunday morning bright and early.

Realized I may have overdid it on the bundling when another parent commented that we looked prepared for Siberia. Thanks for the input. {Stick a cork in it.}


G likes to swing and climb all on his own, getting more and more coordinated which bolsters his bravery. So far mom is managing to refrain from being a crazy helicopter parent and letting him figure out how to maneuver the playground on his own. There have been (quite) a few bumps, bruises and fat lips, but nothing dampers this munchkin's adventurous spirit.