i hug trees

this is officially earth week, but we have already been celebrating nature and spring lately by spending loads of time outdoors.  arden’s favorite spot to play by herself is in her playpen set in front of the door, so she can watch passersby and listen to the birds sing:

we’ve also had some super-relaxing days in the garden with good friends, cold drinks and lots of pups:

this past weekend, granddad weeks came to visit, and we finally christened our outdoor table by hosting a family dinner of delicious ribs, a rendezvous-style cheese and sausage plate, bok choy salad and yummy baked macaroni and cheese:

then on sunday, we took arden to her first crawfish boil downtown.  she isn’t old enough to actually eat the crawfish, but we had a fabulous time walking along the river soaking in the sunshine and the world-class people-watching that memphis has to offer….looks like we were being watched as well!

here’s my girl playing with her daddy and maya on the trolley tracks in the rocks….

….which apparently taught her to love all rocks, as we noticed when she tried to eat them again later in the backyard:

so, i distracted her with cheese, which has just recently become one of her favorite foods.  (anyone who knows me, know that this makes mama very happy!)

happy (early) earth day!  get out there and give a small tree a big hug this week!


i just returned from an invigorating trip to the grocery store.  yes, indeedy: invigorating, exhilarating and energizing.  for once, the cause of all this excitement was not a sale on full circle white cheddar popcorn.  (this is not a joke; anyone who shops at the midtown schnuck’s know that it is ALWAYS on sale, right by the check-out lanes….and i ALWAYS buy the 4 packs for $10.)  no.  i am elated because today arden and i finally walked to the grocery store….let me start from the beginning:

i started my day an hour earlier than usual.  (i’m not going to mention the time, because then all the mamas out there who don’t have babies who sleep like the dead will hate me, and my dad will, as always, laugh at me for saying i ‘woke up early.’)  anyway, arden awoke crying loudly, so i accepted the fact that i was getting up early and stuck a pacifier in her wailing mouth to buy a few coffee-making minutes.  just as the coffee was poured and i took my first sip, i realized arden was sound asleep again.  oh, well, too late for mama….my day had begun.

this ended up being a good thing.  within the next hour, i checked my email, SENT some emails, put my contacts in, got dressed and drank aforementioned coffee, so i was RARING TO GO when arden woke up for real.  (note: ALL of these tasks are rarely accomplished before noon on a weekday!)  since i needed to hit up the grocery today, i thought, ‘why not do it NOW?’  so we were out the door at 9:00 (miracle #1), completed an entire shopping trip, including the walk there and back and a few delays from women OOHing and AHHing over how adorable arden looked all bundled up, within 1 hour (miracle #2) with NO fussing (miracle #3), and returned home where arden transferred to her crib quite nicely and went right back to sleep (miracle #4).  actually, any one of these things is not a miracle in itself, but altogether, this series of events made for one miraculous morning.  OH!  and to top it all off, i bumped into our favorite mailman approaching our house, and i was able to personally retrieve the mail from him with a smile, and without darla ferociously berating him from the other side of the mail slot and, therefore, waking the sleeping baby.

i realize i am rambling about what probably sounds like a very unexciting adventure to most people.  (thank you, 2 large cups of coffee.)  what i really intended to share is what cracked me up about the situation:  as i was walking with my head proudly held high, my heavy grocery bags strapped to and stuffed in the stroller and my well-behaved baby sound asleep with the 50-degree wind blowing in her face, i kept thinking, ‘i hope i am setting an example of what true midtown living should be: willingly walking to the store, even though it’s chilly, in order to enjoy the natural beauty of this winter day and the wonderful architectural details of our neighborhood.’  i could just feel mother earth giving me a nice, fat pat on the back.  then, i realized that people passing by (in their SUVs) and men standing on the sidewalks blowing leaves all over the street (with their gas-powered equipment) were most likely thinking, ‘oh, that poor mother!  i bet her husband lost his job, and she doesn’t have a car and has to walk to the grocery with that little baby in this frigid weather….’  NOT THE CASE, PEOPLE!  i am a tree-hugger, and damn proud of it.  and today, arden and i, together, conquered the grocery trip on foot!!!   i believe a new weekly ritual has begun.

right before arden drifted off to dreamland, i asked her what she thought of our new adventure.  this is all i got, but i am taking it as her nod of approval:

and now, for a product plug:  see the ‘mommy hook’ (aka our ‘big-ass carabiner’) pictured below?  it is AWESOME.  if you have any pregnant friends, run out and get them one TODAY.  this is one of the most versatile shower gifts we received (thanks, beth!) which we use to ‘walk’ the dogs when we have the stroller, carry extra toys and pacifiers and now, haul groceries home from the store!