Archive for July, 2009

Jul 30 Thursday

Happy 1st Birthday!

Originally posted July 30, 2009.

For my sweet baby girl, Sam, on the eve of your very first birthday…

Dear Sam,

One year ago today, our family was making the final preparations for the arrival of Baby Marmaduke. That was the name we gave you before we knew who exactly you were. I had spent the previous months cleaning and washing everything in our house that stood still. Every cupboard was meticulously organized and we had enough food, paper towels and toilet paper to get us through New Year’s Day. Daddy thought I was crazy and well, I was. I wanted our home to be perfect for your homecoming. We were ready to meet you.

At the time, I wasn’t sure who the tiny person was that had taken up residence in my womb for the previous 9 months. All I knew was that you were incredibly loved. And had an affection for chili rellenos and the Grateful Dead.

My pregnancy with you had been most enjoyable for our family. As with your big brother and sister, it was exciting to have my body change and feel your movements as life grew inside of me. This time it was less about the physical changes and more about Cooper and Maddy’s excited giggles as my tummy would suddenly leap around during story time. You knew how to put on a good show and pack a punch. They were grateful for you because we got to have cupcakes for breakfast every so often because that is what Baby Marmaduke was hungry for. The bigger my tummy grew, the more anxious our family was for you to arrive.

The suspense of not knowing if you were a boy or girl was something we cherished. The three times when Daddy looked me in the eye said “It’s a boy!” and “It’s a girl!” are among my most treasured memories. Each time I lost my breathe with joy and was overcome with a feeling of contentment. I was mom. Again. From one moment to the next our lives changed forever. This time was no different.

Your perfectly round face and beautiful brown hair were the first things I saw as Daddy held you up so I could kiss you. You were one of the most beautiful things I had ever laid eyes on. You were perfect.

We knew as soon as we saw you that you should be named Samantha Quinn. You were calm and had the same effect on everyone who held your in their arms. You were like a beautiful little package, all wrapped up in a red blanket with orange polka dots.

Being a little sister isn’t easy. I know first hand. You make it look so easy with your casual acceptance and patience. You are just happy to be here. You do have an opinion, but seem to know how to wait until the perfect moment to let it be known. That is a trait you inherited from both of your Grandpas.

The past year has been the most joyous our family has ever experienced. You have been the sunny spot to each day.

I love the way your sing along to any music you hear and showcase your best dance moves. Playing at your keyboard is among your favorite past times. You are named after your Great Grandma Sam and we think you may have inherited more than her name and infectious smile, but also her musical talents.

We didn’t know until after you arrived that our family was complete. We are now a whole. You bring a sense of fulfillment that we never have experienced before. You will be the youngest sister and for this reason, I will always refer to you as my baby. You hold a soft spot on my heart. Your firsts are a little more bittersweet. Daddy and I are thankful for your seemingly thoughtful perspective on things. We take time to be in the moment and enjoy the little things. They are the big things.

I want to remember these days for always. Every night after your bath, Daddy holds you while you both sing and dance in the kitchen. You chirp anxiously at meal times, especially when you see peas and Cheddar Bunnies on your tray. You rub your hair to mess it up and then giggle at us as we giggle at you. If you have a rubber ducky in your hand, you are happy as a clam. Always the quiet observer, you smile like you know a secret and charm everyone with your delicate delight. When your Daddy walks into the room, you go wild with excitement shouting his name. (I know exactly how you feel, he is my favorite too.)

Samantha Quinn, you make life sweeter.

May you always know how loved you are. May you always have the same confidence you show as you climb up anything you can to peek out your window. May your hearty giggle always be as loud and carefree as it is when you are amused by those you love.

Happy Happy 1st Birthday Sweet Sammy!

Love you always to the tips of your toes!


The first time, ever I saw your face...
The first time, ever I saw your face…
On Daddy's shoulder.
On Daddy’s shoulder.
Peek a boo, where are you?
Peek a boo, where are you?
Mmm, carrots!
Mmm, carrots!
Beautiful girl.
Beautiful girl.

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Jul 27 Monday

I Love To Recycle

Originally July 27, 2009.

In the Brown household, one of our family rules is: Be kind to Mother Earth. We reduce, reuse and recycle whenever and whatever we can. I am a reformed “Earth Hater” as SuperHub likes to say. I was unaware and didn’t recycle things like the inside of the toilet paper roll. Or bread bags. Or tiny tags from new clothing. Yes people, SuperHub really loves his recycling.

Occasionally, I struggle with my old habits. Especially when we have a recycle pile three feet tall spilling out of our pantry and it’s still four days until curb side pick up. I resist the urge to throw things into the nearest garbage can because out of sight really is out of mind.

I loathe clutter.

About a year ago, I saw something in a magazine that inspired me to create a recycling wall that would be a solution to our problems. Since then, every time the recycle pile has fallen to my feet, I say “That is it! I am making the wall myself.”

So this past weekend, my beloved recycle wall was finally completed.

Hint: Ladies, if you want something done pronto, simply pick up your husband’s drill and walk towards the garage. When he asks you what you are doing, casually say “I am going to drill things.” You may have never seen your man move so fast.

We started with a large piece of peg board that had been discarded during a local business remodel. It’s 8 feet tall and 3 feet-ish wide. SuperHub mounted it to the wall using 1 x 2’s we purchased from Gordon Lumber in Mt. Vernon.

Using peg board hooks, a drill and plastic storage containers we worked some magic. Well, SuperHub did and I putzed around and made things look pretty.

We now have separate containers for glass, cardboard, mail, newspaper, magazines, plastic and cans. On trash day, all you have to do is pull off the containers and set them out on the curb. It’s beautiful and practical. Now sorting recycling is fun.

I purchased our hodge podge container assortment at Lowe’s and local office supply stores. It was more difficult to find them then one would think. I had to buy 2 at each store as that is all they had in stock. If I would have any patience left whatsoever, I would have ordered them online.

Total project cost: $60

That is a very small price to pay to simplify recycling and turn it into an art form.

And to keep me away from the drill.

Recycle Solution

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Jul 23 Thursday

Pillow Talk

Originally posted July 23, 2009.

Me: “My physical therapist asked me if I was an athlete in high school or
college. I laughed and asked her if poms counts as a sport?”

(SuperHub nervously giggles.)

Me: “She said that I have maintained good muscle tone under my…”

SH: “Under your what?”

(SuperHub again giggles nervously.)

Me: “Flab.”

(Now he is outright laughing.)

SH: “It’s called “cushion” dear.”

Me: “Did you just say I have cushion?”

SH: “Hey, you said you have flab!”

Me: “Yeah but you laughed. I accept my flab. My body has made three beautiful babies and
I am OK with having to remodel a bit.”

SH: “Yeah. (Grabbing his stomach) Look at me, I have flab and I haven’t
pushed out three kids. Only giant turds.”

Me: “Same thing.”

SH: “You do realize you just called our kids giant turds, right?”

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