Sunday, April 30, 2006

horse ella sky

Saturday we went to the Appalachian Folk Life Festival at the Explore park outside of Roanoke. It was a gorgeous day to walk around in the woods. The historical content was a little thin, but I think Ella took in enough for a four year old. She brought home a pocket full of wool and washed it on sunday morning and hung it on her clothesline. She is interested in spinning. The high point of the day for her was riding the big yellow school bus.
Sunday we went to a potluck for John's office. The host boards two horses, and Ella loved feeding them grass and going for a walk on Penny. "Bareback", she will say. She was unimpressed with the shy goat.


welcome, originally uploaded by ellajohn.


bareback, originally uploaded by ellajohn.


riding, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

ella rides

ella rides, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Sick Baby

12 hours after those pictures were taken he became a crying feverish baby. Sinus infection. He is on the mend.

Thursday, April 27, 2006


jbp, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

number four, number four..five and six in the wings

Here we are delving into the inner workings of our baby. Top left was a rough ride. John is eating bits of soft potatoes, some sweet potato puffs, halves of cheerios, and he loved rice dipped in black bean stir fry sauce at the chinese place on tuesday. Face it, he eats everything. Yep, he loves hummus. I worry I'm trying too many new foods.

hello, hello

hello, hello, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

See my new bed?

see my new bed?, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


John learned how to blow air between his closed lips and make a vibrating noise. He did it about a hundred times. He did it until he was even laughing at himself and his shirt was completely soaked in drool.

little tiny elephants

So the boy is eight and a half months old. I never bought a bumper for the crib after I read all this stuff about SIDS and bumpers, and then John started getting his thick rolls of leg caught in the crib rails. I had to keep checking him to make sure his crying wasn't because he was trapped--not just trying to snuggle with mama. I went to Target and TJMax thinking that I'd get some plain little bumper, white or blue, for, eh, twenty bucks. Not available. Everything is a set, and if it isn't a set it is covered in insipid little animals.

There was one mod baby set at Target that I loved--palest green with little white elephants, so I bought it--bumper, duvet, and sheet all together. Now I almost wish I had a nursery. I suppose I do, it just has two children in it. E and I have a canvas, and we are going to have her paint the pale green background with a white elephant on it, and I'm going to paint their room white.
So this post is snoring gently.... Amy Coe mod baby linens.

Saturday, April 22, 2006


Ella's first "playdate" at our house was a success. She and I were both running around like we were entertaining the queen. On the way home we turned onto a rural road with redbuds and dogwoods blooming and a pasture of cows and Ella says to her friend, "Isn't the world just beautiful?" The little friend looked at her like she had really lost her mind. She said, "Can't we find someone who just wants to come over and play some kitchen?"

Thursday, April 20, 2006

dress ups

dress ups, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

watermelon break

watermelon break, originally uploaded by ellajohn.


hi, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


Ella is having a friend over to play tomorrow, and I just baked 2 dozen cupcakes for them to decorate. I colored the cream cheese icing with some natural vegetable dye in a pale pink and there is lavender "eating glitter" to sprinkle on them. The playroom is clean and the rest of the house is presentable. How much of that would a four year old notice anyway---I have "eating glitter".

I took two friends of E's in to ballet today, not realizing that I would have to get all three into tights, leotards, and ballet slippers with baby John in tow. That worked, and then two of them ran away down the hall. I won't do that one again.

We did some planting in the yard today,coral bells and hostas, and I starting building a low retaining wall next to the steep bank. The city came and worked on our drainage issues after the big storm the other day. Some of the plants I put in to stop the erosion on the steep bank completely washed away.

he speaks

He saw her picture and said quite clearly, "Ella".

Sunday, April 16, 2006

felled in muck

John ate two crackers today, his first crunchy real food. I held on to it and let him crumble and bite the edges with this three and a half teeth.

Ella and John went down to the creek, and she "felled in muck".

Saturday, April 15, 2006

secular humanist town egghunt

Ella loved the scramble to gather eggs at the playground today. She saw friends, ate chocolates, jumped inside a giant inflatable caterpillar, and played on the playground. John slept in his new mei tai baby carrier most of the time. I'm overwhelmingly recommending it, especially for a big baby, and mine is weighing in at 23 pounds 6 oz at eight months. I got it here, and am looking forward to being able to wear him at some music festivals this summer.

I left both kids with John this afternoon and went out for a haircut and some shopping. By the time I returned they had consumed the better part of a chocolate bunny and watched a movie.

Ella helped me make tofu lasagna for dinner. I still used some cheese but made the filling out of tofu, spinach, garlic, and herbs. I made two little casseroles, so while the rest of this town is eating ham tomorrow we are having...leftover tofu lasagna. ( I was in the store today and there was a big crowd in the ham section.)

Click to Flick more egghunt pictures.

sal and john

sal and john, originally uploaded by ellajohn.


yummy, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

ready to hunt

ready to hunt, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

peek a boo

peek a boo, originally uploaded by ellajohn.


blue, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

ready to ride

flyer in eyelet, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Click to Flickr more of these insanely cute pictures of a manly boy wearing his sister's old eyelet sunhat. Don't fret, I'll get him one of his own, but it is very sunny and almost eighty and we are going to walk to the library.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

prices fork

prices fork, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

grand ballroom

grand ballroom, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

spring day

spring day, originally uploaded by ellajohn.
The Appalachian spring began creeping in about a month ago smelling like skunk and wild onions carried on a strong unrelenting wind. Now we are in a frenzy of forsythia and redbuds amid the trailers on Plum Creek.

eight months and upside down

eight months and upside down, originally uploaded by ellajohn.
He is upside down on the big bean bag chair at the library. We had story hour and ballet today.

Monday, April 10, 2006

up and down

Seesaw. That is now it has been around here lately. I think I'm so relieved that the baby's surgery is over that I'm bipolar or something. Euphoria follows being very jacked up, but I am down on house issues, Ella's manners, and my ability to keep the floor clean.
I took apart and fixed a kazoo yesterday, and today I removed the stone steps in our front yard in a superhuman feat inspired by an emotion known as "I can't take it any more". Ella and I raked, trimmed, and planted as well. Wish I could go to Lowes and buy more plants.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

playing under the planets

playing under the planets, originally uploaded by ellajohn.


nap, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

cart kids

cart kids, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

egg tomato curry

egg tomato curry, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

aloo chat

aloo chat, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Friday, April 07, 2006

home again, home again jiggety,jig

Baby John's surgery was successful, and he is back at home enjoying lots of cuddles and his tylenol with codeine. He was the darling of the surgery center at UVA, showing off his gummy smiles to everyone willing to say hello to him. He had two surgeons, two anesthesiolgists, and two nurses taking care of him--UVA is a teaching hospital. The lead surgeon was saying that the most difficult part of the surgery would be to find one of his veins under his rolls of marshmallow flesh. He had general anesthesia and a spinal block, and he was sleepy all day yesterday. Today he is awake and more like himself. Realizing that he was going to appear very different to Ella, we told her about his operation last night. She'll probably be more interested when she gets a peek, but for now she is more interested in playing with Grandmarie, doing yardwork, and showing off her bucket of worms and grubs that she has under the front stoop.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

family front porch

sunday family, originally uploaded by ellajohn.


grandella, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Ella is the queen bee. Note the self styled outfit, stripey, plaid, and the fushia cowboy boot.


grandkids, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Ella's back from her adventures sans mama. She had a great time being the queen bee. She saw panda baby Tian Tian at the National Zoo, floated a homemade raft in a creek, and had hot chocolate for breakfast.

Sunday, April 02, 2006


I'm quitting Home Depot because I have a brand new love. Lowe's. Cheaper. Bigger. Nicer. And a real person at the check-out. Plus five people asked to help me carry the door I was buying. I don't always need a man's help, but it is nice when they ask.

Did I mention my camera is across the state, so I've lost my arm again? Two kids have rendered me partially brainless, especially in the pack up and go department, but I am determined to keep packing up and going.

Ella will be back any minute. I can't wait to see her.