Wednesday, December 08, 2010


Sometimes, i think about a conversation with Floyd an hour later and realize, that was hilarious. i need to document that. rarely, do i follow through.

Context: Floyd, earlier this evening, was reading a catalog for middle-aged people that came to our house today. I was washing dishes about five feet away.

Floyd: "Wow, stonewashed, fleece-lined jeans."

Me: "Hmm." Hmmm, those sound gross.

Floyd: "Those sound awesome."

Me: "Yeah??
"Now you see how middle-aged people sacrifice fashion for comfort?"

Floyd: "No, these don't look that bad actually."


Floyd: "oooooh, that's how."

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

merry and bright

Well, maybe if i just keep singing, and intersperse that with shouts of 'SIT STILL, RM!' and a hefty dose of 'Bug! Stop that fussing!' they will eventually pose perfectly. But at this precise moment, there is no photographer bone in my body that is going to create a picture perfect moment. I'll opt for a preview of reality.

ps - did i put the dress on June before i took the tag off? Classy, momma.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Life has been a blur lately. That makes for incomplete thoughts, and very lousy attempts on my part to quantify 'what we've been up to' if you will. At least the disclaimer is out there.

Tonight Floyd was out, and I found myself just sitting on the floor in RM's room with the matchbox cars and playmobil, watching a knight slay a dragon, and then the dragon asking the knight to come to school with him. The Bug has a new game where she tries to carry as many stuffed animals as she can, and runs across the room with them. This is always disastrous, but never dull. Afterall, she doesn't get upset, only enjoys the excuse to exclaim "UH OH!" and do it all again.
Uncle Thomas has spent the night a couple of times recently. He is such fun to have around. RM wakes up and starts to spill every thought onto Thomas' listening ears in the morning over cereal bowls. As the green-thumb of the family, Uncle Thomas always bears gifts. Last week it was a bunch of black-eyed susans for my garden, and these crazy Super Mario cuttings. I am hoping they root! See how happy they are?

Bug? She is looking at a picture of her daddy on the fridge and saying, "Hi Dada!" "Hi Dadee!" VERY proud of her words these days. Particularly "Dog! Hi Jimmy!" He is a major object of her affection.

RM's eczema, which has been dormant for a season, flared up with a vengeance this week. We have a new cortosteroid ointment and antibiotics as it has become infected. I hate it for him. He has been so sweet and patient despite the pain, swelling, and itching.

He has been drawing. Multiple times a day. He begs for a coloring book, or paper of any sort, and will BE STILL as he works. Thank you Lord for fine motor skills. And for the age when boys discover them.

I've finally started drilling down on TASKS. In the car before we get home, we talk about exactly what we are going to do when we go inside. Where RM is expected to go, what he is expected to do, etc. Communication at this age is tedious, but I'm learning as much as he is - maybe more. Hah. This particular task was 'RM, shuck this corn for me.' And he loved doing it together. The other shot is a 'flex your muscles' picture attempt, only the double flash gets him everytime. Oh well! At least you see his cute Freedom Fighter t-shirt.

Went to the park on Saturday. We brought some chips for a snack. Had to snap father & son duo on the bench. And the Bug snacking in the swing. It was a beautiful day, and honestly we didn't talk much, we just pushed swings and watched slides and stood in the Fall sunshine. I think our brains are in overdrive all week, and sometimes on Saturday all we can do is just 'BE' without filling the moment with words. I hate that, because I feel like i have some fog sitting on my brain, but there is also something calming about just being together as a family without an agenda. And for now, I'll take it.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

snazzy good time

Turns out after a big, wild, fun, crazy election year, you get to celebrate. And - see? We did. I even have this cute picture to prove it. Maybe we dressed too snazzy for an election night. People might have asked me where the Oscar party was afterwards. But I didn't mind. How many times in your life do you get to throw down for a good re-elect? EXACTLY.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Saturday night we had planned to return to our 2009 venue: Highlands, NC. But RM was rocking a fever and croupy cough still, so we opted for dinner in front of cartoons at KK & Grandad's house. He's feeling much better already. If we look tired in this picture, you're not mistaken. The thing about Oct. 31st is that it falls so close to Nov. 2nd in a busy midterm year, to say the least!

I know, there are a lot of ladybugs this year - but not too many JUNEBUGS! RM's bruiser on his forehead got more attention than his superhero muscles. He is dressed as the old comic book character, "The Green Lantern" and even carried his lantern that matched! Score, Meredith. :)

Oma & Pops came by the house to see their sweet grands visit a couple of houses. It was such a lovely surprise to get to enjoy the walk with them!

The great thing about ages 3 and 1 for Halloween? Four houses is plenty! That's a wrap, home again for bedtime.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

fresh flowers

there is something wonderful about fresh flowers on the table. these flowers were given to me before my birthday from Will, and are still going strong. my wonderful mother-in-law gave me the table runner, which I love. funny that the lilies are the exact same burnt orange color - happy fall!

Boy in Boots

From the hallway we heard a little voice, and a CLUNK, CLUNK, CLUNK.
"Wook Dad! I'm wearing your boots!" Impressive that he could walk, honestly.

Pumpkin Carving with Meredith

last week, on the day that Meredith was keeping the kids, she went for the gold and gave RM his first experience carving a jack-o-lantern. The bug was taking an awesome morning nap, which rarely happens, so it was a superb 90 minutes for all.

Bugglish Faces

Every child has a hundred facial expressions.
J is no exception... here is a sampling.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

saturday morning pancakes

helpers 'mix' the batter. daddy flips the pancakes. mommy drinks the coffee. daddy even make sure to drop a few chocolate chips in some of the cakes to make for an extra special saturday morning breakfast. two out of two munchkins agree - it is a wild success.

Monday, October 11, 2010

apple picking

This is becoming a biennial tradition... as I'm noticing the last times were in 2008 and 2006. It was fun to meet the Batts & the Griggs up at the orchard this year. RM was thrilled to skip along with Anna, show Liam, Lily & Bug the ropes, and quite literally talk to every human being or four legged animal we passed.
Ridiculously cute, right? Yes, it was just as adorable in real life. RM was so enamored with the picturesque scene that he forgot to tell me he needed to pee. No harm done, I don't think she held it against you this time Buddy. When you are three, you get a pass.

Oh, and tonight we had dinner at the Fishers' where we brought the Sky Top apples we picked, and had the most divine apple pie after dinner. Is half of it still in my fridge? Oh yes. Do you think I might serve it to my son for breakfast? Don't judge.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

RM: "I just unwrapped your present."
JG: "Grrrrrr!"
RM: "You can't growl at me for that."
JG: "That wasn't a very nice thing for you to do."
RM: "I forgive you"

Saturday, September 25, 2010

third birthday bash

Here is RM blowing out the candles (real candles, not tea lights) on a cake that CLEARLY was not made by me... no shame in this working-mom's game.

And as Oma was able to catch this action shot, I thought: Some things never change. Now that I am looking back, it's also interesting to notice that this is his THIRD straight chocolate cake birthday. Definitely wasn't planned.

Maybe I'll upload some more of the shots... but suffice it to say we had a low key, family dinner (Oma, Pops, KK, Grandad, Thomas, Nance, Reid, O, G, C...) and that was perfect.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

thursday night musing

I'm sitting at the dining room table. It is 8:11pm. I'd eat more Sunchips, but the 100% compostable bag is a bit of a deterrent. Have yall noticed they even put a disclaimer on the side: 'this bag is LOUD because it is compostable.'. Like that is supposed to clear it up for me. Anyway, I don't know why I'm worried about being loud. The Bug is evidently still awake 25 minutes after I put her to bed. She keeps hitting the paw of her Leapfrog puppy, 'Violet' to make it sing and talk to her. And then I just hear her giggling. We got home for the day at 7:20pm. RM didn't nap at Oma's this afternoon, so he sacked out in the car and I just transferred him to his bed. Should maybe consider going and putting a pull-up on him... Hmm. I left at 8:30am this morning, and it's been one of those crazy pre-election weeks. Want to know what politicos eat when they have three straight nights of receptions? Well, Tuesday it was 3 shrimp, 2 beef tenderloin medallions, a little pimento cheese morsel, and a few grapes. Wednesday was 1 chicken skewer, a thimble full of orzo pasta, a handful of raw cucumber, carrots and baby tomatoes, a pita chip with hummus. Tonight I had a slice of beef tenderloin, 2 bacon-wrapped scallops, a bite of brie, and 2 asparagus spears. All washed down with a glass of wine that you juggle between business card trade-offs and handshakes and general conversational gesturing that takes place at these kinds of things. This morning I had to visit my doctor and she said something about was I getting enough calcium for bone density, etc. She gave me a chart to consider for calcium amounts in certain foods. You can imagine my delight to find that shrimp and scallops are a source... Although it appears I need to eat more of them to make any dent in the daily quota. Or start buying vitamin D milk. I guess I should be grateful that the Bug is weaned and I can eat dairy... Otherwise I'd be subject to finding all my intake in leafy greens.
RM announced today that all he wants for his birthday is CANDLES. At least 5 people have asked the question, and he is consistent in his answer. Easy to accomplish, right? (Says the mom who used a TEA LIGHT on his cake last year. Apparently the joke's on me.). I'll let ya'll know how I pull through this year. :-)
Guess I should unload the dishwasher. Since it is 8:45 now and I've just been piddling and putting it off. There is something so unsettling about unloading it anytime other than first thing in the morning, no?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

happy birthday Lily Kate!

after our cousin mania weekend in Columbia... (more on that, perhaps at a sister-blog) we went to the Griggs to celebrate Lily's first birthday. She's almost two months younger than the Bug, and already walking! She is such a cutie pie, and we had fun eating cupcakes and enjoying all things party related. thanks guys! (also, we got to see the Batts, Plylers and Bridges! wahoo!)

the table that Floyd built

So, earlier this year when we were visiting the mountains, a discovery of heart of pine planks was made under the house. Floyd had been dreaming about making a dining table for us, similar to the one his parents use every day, and it only seemed right for the wood to be used to such a purpose. Here is the final product, hurray!!!

i have been so impressed with the way he took on this endeavor and the finished work is a beautiful addition to our home. many meals will be served on this table. hopefully many guests will eat here. little people will grow up remembering the exact knots and wood grains of the planks. RM has already received the first 'knot' on his forehead after colliding with the edge. lots of memories to come, and something I am very proud of, too. Thanks WFG :)

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

First Day of School - Fall 2010

YES... they've been to school before. But since RM is officially doing the K2-K3 thing, and counting and knowing colors and letters and singing a wide array of songs... I figured we should take the ceremonial 'first day' pictures.

He was very proud to wear his 'new shoes' today.

The first thing he said when he RAN to his room was "LOOK at my SHOES!" His teachers embrace his enthusiasm.

The Bug was quite happy to see "Ms. Karen" whom she loves. She crawled right over for a big hug, and then just grinned at her. Ms. Karen had RM in the baby room and has now had June since February. She 'gets' the buggle. Not many people can say that!

the great outdoors... on the driveway.

we've found that you don't have to go far to explore a wide range of activities with the kids. on this particular Labor Day, we actually just walked out the front door of Granddad and KK's house, and found some great time-fillers just a few feet in front of us. For example:

Red raced around on his tricycle for a while.

June tried out the scooter, equipped with revving the engine to her heart's content.

RM and G'dad played 'trash-truck' for a while. This consists of RM hanging on to the back of the wheelchair, like a garbage man, as they drive to find 'trash' (leaves, sticks, etc). Then they pick it up, and take it to the 'dump' (storm drain).

June checked out the flowers.

And made some very "Bugglish" faces when her KK scooped her up. (She does an incredible fish expression, agree?)

Jim Hargate, III does what he does best: lay in the sun and enjoy company.

Hand Truck + Cardboard Box = Redneck Stroller

We forgot the Phil & Ted's this weekend when we went to the mountains. No worries, KK and Grandad are very resourceful. This was great fun. The Bug isn't usually content to be contained, but for whatever reason, this made her happy.

Jordan Street Cafe - Brevard, NC

we LOVE eating at this place. Especially in September when the weather is just PERFECT for enjoying the back patio dining experience. Flowers, Virginia Creeper, patio furniture, and food that is just incredibly delicious. I don't usually want to kiss the chef, but I'm getting close to asking. (Just kidding WFG.)

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Dear RM: You gave me a black eye this week. It was an accident: your skull collided with me face while we were reading books. Funny memory. Love you crazy boy.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

RM at Age Two

It's almost gone.

The year of the TWO year old.

My first one. It's a year of toddlerhood that is not unlike the month of March: In like a lion, out like a lamb.

Some of you know I can be an anxious person. Once I was even called the 'emotional barometer' for our family when I was growing up. Probably something about being the middle child of the five kids. So, the anxiety of TWO YEARS OLD made me fixate on the "terribleness" that everyone warns you about. But now that we are about to say goodbye to this year, mostly all that I see is the tenderness and terrificness of his being two.

In some ways I thought I would inevitably worry about each new year... but that concern I have becomes increasingly less about his behavior vs. how I respond, and more about how he will see the world, and what will influence him, and what kind of person he will be. All of that is held so delicately in our influence as parents. The responsibility is washing over me anew. Kind of like when they send you away from the hospital with the newborn - but now that newborn has transformed into a boy, and his world increasing rapidly.

There are times that I want to be the fierce momma bear protecting him. Like when the drunk motorcycle chick decides to give him a huge hug at a public place. I just about clawed her eyes out for touching my child. I also want to be the mother bird who is pushing him just over the edge so that he can know the amazing feeling of flight. Like when I coax him to jump into the pool to me. Or give him the much needed encouragement on a big slide. Or let go of the back of the bike.

I'm also realizing the depth of his little sponge-like brain. Counting to twenty. Telling friends his name is Red Gibbs. Spelled R-E-D. And that his daddy is Will Gibbs and his momma is Danielle Gibbs. Telling me which item is bigger and which is the smallest. Matching colors from two different objects and explaining things that match something he has seen somewhere else once before. He wants to walk and visit neighbors. Ask them what they are doing. Why they are doing it. Inviting himself in for a visit. I think he's becoming known as the Mayor of Bradley Boulevard.

What I am seeing is the grand entrance into THREE. It is very exciting to watch these new horizons and enjoy this world with him.

Unfortunately, that doesn't mean that the difficulty of discipline has been vanquished. And it's just surfacing strongly with Buggle too. Aye! No rest for the next few years, i suppose! :)

Monday, August 23, 2010

i'm still alive

i'm still alive. in fact, i have three "Draft" posts that are unfinished. But so goes my life right now. i'm just kind of wondering whether or not my now private blog still gets checked. hmmm. we'll see.
I guess i could bait any potential viewers with this photo. First ever shooting range experience. hmm.