Sunday, November 19, 2006

Elmo Vonnegut

This is a plastic hollow piece from one of Sam's puzzles.
I haven't laffed this hard in a while!

Walmart Portrait Studios

So Mom (aka, Samson's Gramma Samson - ha!) agreed to treat us to some formal portraits of Sam for his first birthday slash Christmas 2006. I thought what the hey, this could be fun. In doing minor research online, Walmart seemed to be the cheapest (duh!) without having to pay sitting fees and a bunch of "hidden fees." I've walked by their studio before as well as seen the results from friends', and it all seemed pretty good, so we went for it today.

At first the lady said she was booked every 10 min til close and today was the last day for "The Big Deal." Turns out you only saved $4 from their regular DEAL price. The point is, i wanted to get this done - the holidays are FAST APPROACHING! For the heck of it, i checked back in 30 min and she got us in "next" (read: 30-40 min later - sigh).

Anyhoo - - I get Samson in, all gussied up in 'formal garb,' and he proceeds to make ONLY "squishy face." Lemme explain, since for some reason i can't seem to get a PHOTO of this face. Take your lips and make an exaggerated pucker, like your going to kiss Gramma when you're 5 yrs old. Then make a deep frown and look out from under your eyebrows, all while huffing and puffing like the Big Bad Wolf.

Minus the huffing/puffing, he was performing ONLY this face during the whole sitting.

Soon enough, i said, "ya know what?... if you have to take a pic of that face, then do it, cuz this is Sam now. As in, now in his LIFE." I was starting to think a smile was impossible.

Turns out it was. But squishy face went away long enough to have Mona-Lisa-Smile face and Crazy-Let's-Throw-This-Fake-Gift-Box-Around face. I picked two out of those choices. Lil pissant.

I'll be sure to post the results, due 12/7.

... and finally the Birthday CELEBRATION!

We had cake for Samson last night. This was his first real exposure to blatant sugar. He's had a taste of pudding here, a donut piece there. But never a

whole cake with icing set in front of him. He was a little cautious at first and I had to actually dip his fingers into the icing to get the ball rolling, but i didn't

force him. Then he figured it out. The first little finger went very

slowly into the mouth, and the whole process was very meticulous and wary. Soon enough, though, each icing-laced finger was going into his eager mouth! He never really got to the cake part. Lucky for us, Sam had his very own lil cake [thanks Wegmans, for the deal]! He was eating cake around 8:15, an hour past his usual bedtime, but he stuck it out and had a good time. So did we!

Happy Birthday, Bubba.
We love you SO MUCH!!!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Samson Vonnegut's FIRST Birthday

Sam's first birthday was - - well - - rather uneventful. Mommy had to go to work, and then so did Daddy! We did sing him Happy Birthday in the morning during his breakfast and he looked back and forth at us like we were nuts. Just the way we like it. I even threw in a little dance, which i think i got a smile for.

Here is Ron reading to Sam in his playroom. Sam is starting to take an active interest in books now. He no longer sets out to just eat them and throw them. There is one little book called "Good Night" featuring none other than Quacky Duck. In Quacky's second pre-bedtime adventure (the first being tidying up his toys), he takes a SPLISHY-SPLASH BATH, and everytime i get to this page, Sam laughs and points to Quacky's pink sponge.

Maybe Sam would like a pink bath sponge for Christmas.

Yes, i said Christmas, not The Holidays.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Heiney Ho!

Sam's favorite sleeping position is with his butt in the air and his arms under his belly (a lot of the time - at least the times i notice). Here he is sleeping like this in his playpen. Lil bugger conked out on me 5 min before we were supposed to go to Gramma and Grandpa Samson's yesterday.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

A Good Sport

Who says you can't use a dog for a pillow?

All Hallow's Eve

Wegmans was sponsoring a little "Fall Harvest Party" night for the kids on Monday, and the three of us went down. FYI, they were not allowed to call it "Halloween Party" for all the religious finatics that believe it's Satan's Holiday. Cracks me up. Anyhow, there was a really good turnout! Sam was getting a lot of attention, of course, as the Lil' Devil. But halfway thru the night (and we were actually shopping for groceries during!), we decided to see what Samson would look like if he were "Samantha." The results cracked us up BIGTIME!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Treehouse: (CHREE-haus) noun. A house in a tree.

Well here is the "final" (it's a never-ending work in progress) result of Ron's near-n-dear creation: his treehouse in our back yard. Now that the leaves are falling, the tree almost bear, the house has a less secretive and organic feel. IT'S OUT THERE now. I'm convinced by now that the cops aren't going to cite us or anything... they definitely KNOW it exists. I think Ron did a great job! It's pretty cool up there too, for sure!!!

Pot o' Gold?

While driving down 3rd Street on my way to a birthday celebration, i noticed the sky - very dark with sunshine everywhere. Time to look for a rainbow! Before my eyes is a FULL rainbow spanning the sky. I called Ron on my cell to let him know. The picture tells the rest!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Thank God for the Playroom!

Here are some shots of Sam in action in his playroom, a small room off our middle room on the first floor entirely dedicated to All Things Sam. So far, he loves it, and so do we. It makes for a safe play environment, he can scooch and crawl and stand and soon WALK in here virtually free of dog hair and "crappola" that inevitably floats around our floors. I'm looking forward to the day when he doesn't constantly put every dust bunny and crumb in his mouth, but i'm told that day is NOT around the corner. Until then, the playroom it is. Or rather, "The Kid Club of Sammy V" - as you can see, we have those foam floor letters, and Ron arranged them to say that. Very cool. I love hanging out with Sam in here. It's in this room that i'm watching his SKILLS ("Chicks dig guys with skills") develop. The one that really cracks me up is when he goes over to this little play table and intentionally spins a part to play the Alphabet Song, then looks to me with a great big grin. He definitely KNOWS this song, and seeing the recognition in his face is really fun.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

My Husband

I just wanna tell you how awesome Ron is. I was "in a mood" today, starting early this morning, and had to work all day. I came home to the following sculpture, which warms my heart the more i look at it...

Monday, October 02, 2006

My Lil' Guy

What parent doesn't say this phrase A BILLION times in the span of their kids' lifetime:

"You are getting SO BIG!"

I must say this to Sam at least once daily, and I'm not "just sayin it." I truly mean it. There are some days that i have to be at work before Sam gets up, and then for some reason or another, i don't see him before he goes to bed, so i've gone a whole day without my "Samson Fix," and honestly (and this is weird to me), he looks OLDER the next day to me.

For example, today, when i came home from work, he had this little side-corner-grin thing going on. At first i thought it was from teething, but i had to chuckle when i asked Ron about it and he said, "babe... he's just testing out all the faces he can make." I'm sure Ron is 100% correct (eventhough Sam has had some tough times with the teething - he's up to EIGHT teeth!). The idea that Sam is TESTING OUT facial expressions thrills and fascinates me. Sam is doing things every day that I get to witness and soak in.

I love watching him use his fingers in such an INTRICATE way, eventhough his hands are so small. He quickly learned that a little yellow button on one of his toy trucks makes it beep. Sure enough, he 'commandos' over to it, pushes up to sit, and very precisely (and with great concentration, i might add) pushes that button. He often looks to me now for "approval" when he's mastered something or pushed a button to make a song play. Sam definitely knows the alphabet song - his eyes light up when i sing it (I also sign the letters as i sing). Sam knows what's coming when i grunt slowly "I'm - - gonna - - get - - cha." That means he's gonna be tickled and i LOVE that he knows that what i'm saying LEADS TO TICKLING!

Sam spends A LOT of time having entire conversations in "baby speak." Sounds, tones, gibberish and screeches all over the board, all while he's exploring and banging and smiling. So far, i have not heard any WORDS, but i am listening for them. Part of me THINKS he is saying "milk" when he says "mah" at supper time. It's pretty random and he's not pointing, but who knows.

Life is Grand with Sam. I love nothing more than being a mom to this awesome lil guy!!! (p.s. Ron is a phenomenal Dad too!)

Thursday, September 21, 2006


Ron's sister Hope and her boyfriend Sebastien (sorry, no pic of him this go-round... Hope, send me one and i'll post it!) came to visit for 5 days last week. It was awesome, as always, seeing her, and even more awesome meeting her "beau." We all had a good time, and one day, the entire family (including Shirley) got up to Ithaca to hang out, give Seb the tour, that sorta thing. At the end of the journey, we stopped at one of the small parks that lets you walk near the falls.
Sam seemed to enjoy everything, especially after I fed him! Too bad it wasn't warmer, i would have walked into the water and seen what he thought of it. It was a nice day.

Hope and Sebastien left on a bus on Thursday and Hope accidentally left her purse on the bus. While you might first think "OH NO!," the good news is they tracked the purse very fast and it was found and kept. The problem, of which i won't waste the space, your time, or my energy typing, is, GETTING THE PURSE BACK TO EITHER HOPE OR ME. There were many many many many many 'miscommunications' between the bus company dispatcher (named RON) and myself and Hope. They promised several times to put the purse on the next bus to Corning for me to pick up and it never happened. Then they were going to drop it off at the bus 'station' in Corning (read: a very small decrepit hardware store, run by a 100 yr old man and his 82 yr old son (okay, maybe a slight exaggeration, but GO SEE THEM!)). That never happened. FINALLY, just today, i physically obtained the purse from the Elmira station, after a week of running around and being told one thing vs. another. In fact, i thought i was going to wring the old lady's neck after the first thing she said was, "oh... YOU'RE the girl who keeps saying she'll be at the Corning station then never shows up." *FUMING* Don't mess with me old lady and JUST GIMME THE PURSE!

Purse is en route to Hope, and with any luck, will actually GET TO HER tomorrow, as my $18 Overnight promised...

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Call me "Stands with Feet"

Sam scooched over to me and slowly but surely pulled himself up into a standing position! Good Lord. Here comes trouble now! I predict he is walking by his first birthday, Christmas at the latest. I could be wrong, but that's the feel i'm getting now. He's funny - he grunts and sticks his tongue out when he's really working on something challenging him. THAT'S MY BOY!!!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The Next Larry Bird?

[Well, not that Larry Bird is the best LOOKING person, but i'm mostly referring to his "vertically gifted" attributes.]

Sam had his 9 mo. check up today. He's 31 inches long (that's 5 inches short of THREE FEET! Hehe... I like to think of it that way) and weighs 21 lbs. Doc says he looks good, is right on course, and by his stats, just might turn out to be a big boy! Ron and i think its funny to imagine he'll end up 6 foot 3 and towering over us. I would just love it! Wouldn't it be funnier if he was all pumped out and athletic to REALLY live up to his moniker! ;-) We'll just have to keep his hair long, i suppose.

The above picture: This is how Sam celebrated the two hepatitus (sp) shots he received this morning. He's wearing a "frog skin cap" (read: little blankie with a stuffed froggie on one corner) and a bull ring (read: colorful ring toy with a big rubber ball on it). I can't wait to see if he's the joker of the family, constantly cracking us up (not that Ron and i don't do a pretty good job!). He's already comical at 9 mos. old, that's for sure!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Telford Family Vacation

Well, its been just about a month - long overdue for an entry here. We went to Maine for a week and had a GREAT time. So did Sam, experiencing both lake and ocean water (he prefers lake - like his mom!).

Right now, Samson is cutting five teeth at once (is that a record, or the norm?). I call him Chompers. He'll be nine months old in a week. He's standing very strong and scooching around. Will he walk by Christmas? Watch out world!

Enjoy the photos!

Sunday, July 09, 2006

More Baby Milestones

Three more things to show Samson is growing up: 1) First ride in the front of the shopping cart (so cute, lookin all around!), 2) First (and subsequent) successful "i finally get it!" sips from the sippy cup and 3) First "scooch" forward by tucking his legs under his belly and pushing forward! I was starting to think that he might not figure out crawling the just dive into WALKING. More pics forthcoming (I can't find the disc i just made...)

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Sugar Boogar*

*Thank you Natalie, for coining this nickname!

Here's Mommy and Sam, just hanging out and bein' cool! Too bad the stinkin' date is in his MOUTH!


Well, i'm finally here with an update and a couple photos. The gals and i (from left: me, Christa, Pam and Amanda) had a BLAST in the Big Apple, eventhough we were only there for less than 24 hrs. We got there around 5 on Tuesday evening and settled into our room in the heart of Hell's Kitchen (nicer than the name denotes - very cultural!). We found a cute little Italian restaurant where we enjoyed some really good food (I had a $10 glass of Sangria!) and the ambience - SO EASY to people-watch. After that, we wandered around Times Square among a TON of people! That area never shuts down. We walked into a few shops and just soaked it all in. We woke bright and early the following morning to go to the R-n-K studio. There wasn't even clammering for the bathroom! :-) We walked about 15 blocks and proceeded to stand in line (outside, then inside) for 2.5 hrs. Soon enough, we were inside the studio - it was much smaller than we all thought. Not only does the camera add 10 lbs, but apparently, it adds FOOTAGE as well. Both Reg and Kelly were there that day (no subs) and the guests were Neil Patrick Harris (aka Doogie Houser), some dude from some soap (sorry guys) and some dude from Men's Health Magazine to highlight Father's Day gadgets. Not only did I NOT get to dance in the "Trivia a-Go Go" booth (sniffle), but none of us won anything from the phone-in viewer picking our number. We could have won 100 lbs of Lobster (or something like that!). I should also add here that the President came on t.v. and was on for 45 minutes out of the hour in our area. My folks in VA get the show an hour later, however, and they said they didn't see any of us on t.v. We were homeward bound by 2pm and home by 7, thanks to some SUPERIOR driving by Christa, who is immune from speeding tickets (ha). Let's do it all again soon ladies!!!

Friday, June 09, 2006

"I'm outta CONTROL!"

Next Wednesday, The Girls from work and i are driving to NYC to be in the "Regis and Kelly" audience! Back in Feb., for the helluvit, we wrote for free tickets, and lo and behold, we got them! We're gonna drive out on Tues, spend the night, go to the taping the next morning (its done about an hour before airing, so it IS "Live") and then head back. I'm kinda looking forward to it! I'll be sure to post pics and a synopsis when we return!

Toofer One

Sam is cutting his two bottom teeth at the same time. For the most part, he's pretty chill about it, but from time to time, i can tell the lil guy is in pain.

One time was last night. He woke at 11, so sleepy, but with his whole fist in his mouth. I changed him (he turned purple crying during that!), swaddled him loosely, and slow-danced with him in my arms, showing him stuff around the bedroom, including a metal wire star we having hanging by fishing line that he loves to watch when i twirl it. Between the cuddling and star-twirling, that's all he needed. Soon he was smiling at his daddy and i was able to put him back to bed. I can only imagine what it feels like to cut a tooth. Well actually, i sorta know - i've cut a wisdom tooth before. That's pretty sore.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

"Mama... OOooOOOOoooOOOOO" *

Samson Vonnegut said "Mama!"

And for about 2 whole days, that's all he said. In a ton of variations... soft, **LOUD**, repetitively (mamamamamamamamamama) and the like. I am teaching him "Dada," but secretively give him high 5s when Ron isn't looking, and slip the $20 i promised him into his diaper rim. ;-)

* This post's title credits go to classic Queen: "Bohemian Rhapsody."

Sunday, May 21, 2006

A Boy and His Dog

I think it has become widely apparent that Mr. Beegsley and Samson are fast and steady friends. Sam always smiles when Beegs gives him kisses on the cheek or fingers, and Sam never cries or even jumps (too much!) when Beegs barks loudly outta the blue. In fact, just today, Beegs went crazy about a dog outside and scared the cr@p outta me, but Sam just smiled. The other day, i used Sam's hand to "slap" Mr. Beegs in the face, a very popular game for both, and Beegs opened his big pointy-toothed mouth and 'consumed' Sam's arm, to giggles and smiles. I love it. Sam hasn't shown too much interest in Nikita yet. Maybe if he's got a young Beegs to play with, they'll both leave the Old Woman alone.

Grafted Trees

The apple trees we grafted together at our wedding last July, as a metaphor for Ron and i coming together, are HOLDING STRONG! There are even little sproutlings - how appropriate! Ron's friend Dan, the one that performed the grafting at the ceremony, helped Ron graft on some fruit buds. As explained before, the trees we
intially grafted together are what is called "root stock." They are not fruit producing. The buds Dan brought with him are, and we are hoping that they will fuse successfully. We shall know soon enough, but we won't know for a year (or more?) if apples will grow. We have a total of 6 trees, 3 pairs, all in a circle in our back yard. It's fun to imagine them tall and older, arched together to create a neat little shaded 'gazebo' some day.

More Art

Here are two recent projects I've done for Wegmans.

The photo one was easy and fun - AND I got to incorporate pictures of Sam and our dogs! Quite honestly, i have no idea how effective the sign is - i personally think it is too high up for customers to even notice, not to mention it seems a little SELF-EXPLANATORY. One goes to the counter for service. But anyhoo - job security!

The other was more challenging and more out of my "comfort zone." I was going for an old Paris painting kind of effect, especially to coordinate with the product, so i dug out some pastel chalk that my coworker uses on very rare occasion. The first end result did not please me and so i tossed in some thick black lines for drama. VOILA! The outcome really pleased me and its gotten a few compliments. I don't consider pastels a medium i'm good with, but in a rough Parisian kinda way (ha!), i guess i can pull it off.