Sunday, March 30, 2014

Sweet Baby [Samuel] James

Goodnight you moon light ladies / rock-a-bye sweet baby James.

Deep greens and blues are the colors I choose / won't you let me go down in my dreams?
And rock-a-bye sweet baby James

We celebrated the Second Birthday of young Samuel James this weekend, and what a festive occasion it was!

At Hardee's waiting on his Birthday Biscuit
This was the third "Second Birthday" celebration we've had in the last 3 years - Jack in Jan 2011, Caroline in 2012, Sam in 2014. You could almost say that we are "old hands" at this point, and the phrase "they just grow up so fast" must have been originated specifically in reference to third children. Sam just seems to be growing up faster than the other tow by a fair margin, like he's trying to catch up with the ones that had a head start. It just seems like he talks more and sees more than I remember the others doing at that age - he certainly is more opinionated. 

And I have never seen a child relish so deeply being a "big kid" - running around screaming "get out of the way.. coming through," playing rough-and-tumble with his big siblings, pushing his Dad and his Bud around with a half-grin, half-growl - and at the very same time cherish being the baby of the family - knowing that at every turn, mom or dad or bro or sis or Bud or Nana will scoop him up in a hug and baby the pants off of him. Sam is the epitome of the one that somehow manages to "have his cake and eat it too."

We descended on Bud and Nana's for the weekend, with Nana's kitchen table decked out with trains galore, Thomas and Percy and especially James. In the finest of Shaw family traditions, we dined on Weber-brand grilled hotdogs and hamburgers, with yellow cake and chocolate icing (of course). Nana ably decorated the cake with the likeness of Thomas the Train, and Sam even managed to blow out one of the candles by himself (despite fearsome competition from a helpful older brother.

Sammy especially enjoyed playing with his new soccer goals, which he got to watch Bud and Nana break in amidst several glasses of wine. Eventually, even Sam got to play with it once or twice.

 This little rugrat is really something else. It seems to me, amazingly enough, that he somehow falls right in the middle of the spectrum of the other two children. Which is good, since he has both of them to deal with on a regular basis. He is tough as can be - he was running so fast at the HogFest BBQ Festival that he fell down and smacked his face on the ground. All he said to me when I walked over to him was "Brush me off," presumably so he could back to running around trying to catch up with Jack and Caroline. And at the same time, he is caring and perceptive enough to come over and ask "You ok, Daddy?" when Sandy-dog- nipped my finger during a hotdog grabbing contest. He is independent and dependent in an endearingly funny way - we were headed out to eat with the Beans and Sam was snuggled up with cousin Lois on the couch - when I leaned over he dutifully kissed me goodbye, and then said "Go daddy - go away." Probably so he could go back to sucking his thumb and cozying up to the babysitter. That little rascal.

So many great memories from this weekend, and so much promise in this young man of just two years old. Sam loved the rides around the block with Bud in the little red car or in the back yard in the wheelbarrow, reading books with Nana, chasing Sandy-dog around on all fours and growling with a crazy smile on his face.

Keep going and slow down at the same time, young fella. I can't wait to see what the next year brings!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Happy Un-Birthday!

Alice, walked through the looking glass this weekend into one of our favorite local haunts - and Bud and Nana's travel lodging of choice - the O'Henry Hotel.

Wonderland was filled with the White Rabbit, the Cheshire Cat, the Queen of Hearts, and all sorts of nefarious hat-wearing grandmothers, hastily plying their offspring's offspring with chocolate and sugar pastries.

Doc and GG accompanied Caroline and Jack to Greensboro's Annual The Mad Hatter Tea Party.


Much fun was had by all, and somebody even brought home a goodie bag so Matilda could enjoy a little slice of epicurean delight!