19 November 2009


Today is my 28th birthday, and I realized this morning that while I always do birthday posts for the boys, and even once in a while for Greg, I've never done a real retrospective birthday post for myself. So I dragged up some old photo albums from the basement and scanned in every photo I could find from my past birthdays.

Surprisingly, out of 28 years, I only have photographic evidence of 5 birthdays, and one of those was an especially unphotogenic year, so I'm only posting 4, plus a bonus photo. We'll start with the most recent and work our way backwards (because the cuteness factor increases the further back in time we go).

Here is my ninth birthday, and let me tell you how cool I thought that buttoned bow was. You can't really tell from the photo, but my blouse also had some random colored buttons on it, and I was convinced that the combination of the two was the height of fashion. I believe this was the first year I was allowed to use the big knife to cut my own cake, which might explain why my mom is hovering so closely over me.

This is my sixth birthday. That's my grandmother in the photo with me, my mom's mom -- I was born on her birthday and she was a constant fixture in that corner chair at all of our birthday parties. Other photos from this particular party, by the way, include photos of my presents, a little bunny family and a bunny-sized playground, which I posed and made my mom take pictures of for me.

My third birthday. I have two memories of this day: 1) I adored my cake. When my sisters were little, my mom made creative cakes for them, much like the cakes I make for my boys, but when I was a kid, she must not have loved me enough or something, I'm not quite sure, but this is the last cake I remember her making. 2) I loved my outfit. You can't see it in the photo, I think it's under my arm, but the vest had a little plaid cat on it to match the shirt. I loved that little cat. Clearly my fashion sense was still developing at that age.

My first birthday. Yes, I looked like a boy.

And for a bonus, because I don't have any good photos of myself on my actual birth day or as a wee newborn, here's Baby Heidi:

And that's it for the birthday retrospective. I'm not sure where the other 24 years went, although I think I already mentioned my mom not loving me enough, so that might have had something to do with it. (Kidding, Mom! I love you!) I don't even have any fun birthday stories to share -- in the first place I have a terrible memory, and in the second place, birthdays for most of my life have been pretty low-key. If I remember correctly. Which I may not.

This morning over breakfast James said, "Wow, Mom, in two years you'll be thirty!" I said, "Yep, and in twenty-two years I'll be fifty."

"Yeah," said Evan, "and then you'll be dead."

I replied that I'm planning to live until at least a hundred and forty, but you know, half of that wouldn't be too bad as long as I get to spend all of my birthdays until then with the people I love.


18 November 2009

catching up: moss island

There are not many exciting places to go or things to do in central New York, where I grew up, but one of the most reliably fun and interesting activities in the area is to spend some time on Moss Island. Moss Island is an island in the middle of the Erie Canal in Little Falls, NY, and it's got some really unusual geological formations, which make it a popular spot for hiking and rock climbing.

We've been to Moss Island a few times before, but this summer was the first time I have remembered to bring the camera there. I didn't get to explore the rocks as much as I might have liked, since we had four kids with us (my boys, my niece and my nephew), so the photos are a little limited in terms of the scope and variation of the features of the island, but it was still a nice afternoon, and cute kids make up for the lack of really stunning photos, right?

The island is formed by a lock in the Erie Canal. To get there, you pass by (or through) a historic lock:

Here's a glimpse of the modern lock. Moss Island is under all of those trees to the right. To access the island you have to walk across the lock, which is pretty cool. No photos, though, sorry.

Once you're on the island, there are trails through the woods, and lots of places to hike and climb around on the rocks:

James, with Greg's help, did a little more advanced climbing:

Here's an example of some of the cool geological features you can find on the island. If memory serves, everything was carved by glaciers.

Poor toddling baby Will couldn't keep up with the big kids, who were all eager to explore, and even take a break for a photo op once in a while:

Because there's so much variation on the island, it's the kind of place you can visit again and again and still have fun and see new things. We're looking forward to returning as our kids get older, when we'll be able to do some more adventurous climbing. Until then, it's a nice place to walk and play.


17 November 2009

evan's preschool photo

There are still a lot of photos and stories from summer that I swear I'm going to get around to posting someday, but for now I have to share Evan's preschool photo:

The photographer who came to the school for photos was really good with the kids and at getting natural smiles out of them. We weren't even planning on ordering photos, but I went in that morning to assist the photographer with setting up and supervising kids, and because of my (very minimal) help, she offered to give us some free photos. Looking at that face above, I'm glad we got them after all, because isn't that cute?

The day we got the photos back, Evan's class had earned a trip to the treat jar. I told Evan he could have his treat after lunch. We were putting on our coats when Evan saw one of his friends eating her treat.

"How come she gets to eat her candy?" he asked his friend's mother.

"Oh, well, sometimes I spoil her a little," replied the mother.

"Why do you spoil her?" Evan asked.

"Because I love her," she replied.

Evan looked at me, matter-of-factly: "Too bad you don't love me, Mom."

It's a cute photo, but don't let that sweet smile fool you: he's still Evan.