Sunday, October 17, 2010

San Francisco post 11

The wait was worth it - baby Eden Grace is a beautiful bundle!! She looks very much like Nomi did as a newborn, even to the l-o-n-g feet. Airiel says she's a laid-back little girl, not a lot of wah-h-hing at all. They're scheduled to come home around noon today (Sunday).

We visited mommy and Eden yesterday - when asked about his sister, Conrad would invariably say with a grin: "That's Baby Sister, she's out of mommy's tummy!" He studied her for a minute (tickled her nose), then the mobile bed curtains caught his eye and he had a swing on them. Then he discovered that the charts hanging on the end of the bed made a good sound when swatted, then the telephone and call buttons proved to be very interesting - then he was sitting right beside daddy for awhile. Reminded me of when one of Wes's teachers, Evalee Morris, created a spot for busy Wesley right up against her desk.

Nomi hung over Eden, more quietly taking things in. Soon, however, the telly cartoons captured her attention and she propped up on the extra bed to enjoy them. We ended the outing with a drive-by visit to "Donald's." They're rather bossy at this one: a sign ordering you to "Have your order ready "; then another, "Have your money ready" as you approach the window. Jim would not please them: he delights in carefully picking out change as the person in the window stares at him.

Baby and entourage just arrived - all was chaos as the two other short people cavorted and squealed like excited puppies! Eden looks like a fashion diva in her green polka-dot hat and sleeper. Naomi softly oohed and ahhed; Conrad roared in her face. Welcome home, Eden!

God is so good!!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

San Francisco post 10

Airiel says, "Now this is the San Francisco I know!" as we walk out into foggy mornings when roofs and trees are obscured by the hazy stuff. I'm reminded of a poem by Carl Sandburg:

THE fog comes
on little cat feet.

It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.


Yesterday's doctor visit proved A. to be dilated to four centimeters (we were hoping for six or seven!) with no other encouraging signs. Oh well, I didn't want to have to make Thanksgiving dinner anyway. Airiel, if you're reading this, I'm just kidding.

Cooked up homemade french fries for the kiddos last night. How many years has it been since I did that?!!! Nomi ate two platesful, with plenty of ketchup of course. These children are great salad eaters too - they stuff lettuce, broccoli, and carrots down the hatch with glee. Their father, on the other hand, recently brought home a 24 oz. bag of chocolate chips; according to Airiel, he "thought maybe somebody would make something with them!"

Wes and Airiel voted last night in the comfort of their living room - talking through and mulling over each section. How convenient to then simply let the postman take care of them! Beats standing in line any day.

Oh I'm missing being in Beth Moore's Breaking Free study in Tues morning Bible class!!! Hopefully, I'll be able to go through the series again later - perhaps with the sisters at Olyphant. I am benefiting from the workbook, tho seems pretty one-dimensional w/ no discussion with others.

Nomi, Conrad and I were strolling in the sunshine this week when a well-endowed young woman, dressed in a rather low-cut knit blouse("rather" being in this case a conservative adjective) bounced and bobbled past us. In a matter-of-fact tone, Naomi said, "That lady was moving her body." "Yes," I replied, as we strolled on.

God bless you all.

Monday, October 11, 2010

San Francisco post 9

This is the week!! Airiel's b-day is Wed, and the official due date for Eden is Thur. I cannot believe that this tiny baby will continue to party in her mommy's tummy past the 14th!!!

Ginger and family's vacation ended on a jarring note: Tim and Stephen set out early Sat morning to cycle across the Golden Gate Bridge - which they did. A few minutes later, though, while biking down an almost perpendicular part of a highway, Stephen's mount went berserk and threw him off onto a rock-littered side. He rolled and rolled, gathering multiple abrasions on his back and arms. His helmet was also cracked. His right leg, however, suffered worse trauma: the smaller bone broken near his ankle. One car stopped to see about him. Stephen said later, "That was really cool; they were French!" Two other vehicles slowed but didn't stop. Ginger had a few comments about them, but actually, it's a wonder the French family was able to stop b/c of zero shoulders on that road.

Another passer-by fetched Tim (he was ahead of Stephen, already around the curve) who promptly called an ambulance, which transported Stephen to a near-by hospital's ER. Oh yes, those cars that didn't stop? One of the guys showed up at the ER entrance, piercings adorning much of his person. "Hey, dude, I saw you roll," he offered.

Meanwhile back at the ranch, Wes and Ginger jumped into the car and ... crawled to join them. Took them about two hours to go six miles - the air show traffic was thick as molasses. Anyway, Stephen eventually returned home, leg in a splint, cheerful and pain-free (pretty much).

After we'd time to meditate, we praised God that: 1. Nobody ran over him 2. He did NOT plunge over the opposite side of the hwy which dropped off into nothingness 3. His neck wasn't broken, or 4. He went to the ER, and not someplace else if you know what I mean. Thank You, gracious and merciful Father. They flew out early Sun for Memphis.

As they are wont to do, Wes and Airiel invited several people over for lunch yesterday. Our crockpot of chili looked mighty puny to feed seven adults and two kids. Airiel, however, was serene - "The Lord will provide." We did dump more beans into the chili, chop up carrot sticks, put out Fritos, sour cream, Ritz and Wheat Thins and - satisfied everyone. No 12 baskets of leftovers, but we sure didn't complain. One couple, new to SF, hailed from two different Russia-speaking countries, and tried chili for the first time. They liked it! Another guy, Spencer Hemphill, is the son of the author of a book on heaven - sorry can't think of the title. His dad recently spoke at the HU lectureship. Spencer is a great young man!

My granddaughter is up and anxious for granmama to start the day right by making her breakfast. I hope the next time I post I'll have news of the birthing sort.

God bless

Friday, October 8, 2010

San Francisco post 8

Ginger and bunch left early to soak up more of San Francisco – I think Tim would move out here tomorrow if he somehow could swing it.

We took in downtown SF last night; drove through narrow streets to the “Little Italy” section and dined at Provolone’s. Sounds like we got there in just a minute or two – oh, no. By the time we circled round and round (one-way streets), darted past buses and stopped for pedestrians, I could have traveled from Searcy to Little Rock. Loved the restaurant! Tiny tables for two with multicolored mosaic tops hugged the outside front wall with overhead radiant heaters warming the patrons. Each couple carried on lively conversations as they sipped wine, all the while gesturing excitedly – just like I've seen in the movies!! I hope they didn’t mind my staring as we walked by. Our table for the 13 of us was upstairs in a narrow balcony. The waiters had to flatten themselves against the walls as they slid by to deliver our food. Ah, the food: our server spilled out little loaves of bread across our table wrapped in individual paper sleeves. We tore the chewy, crusty bread into pieces and sopped them in salted and peppered olive oil pooled in saucer-sized, white plates (triangles, as Conrad point out). Later, personal pizzas arrived on long, snow-white, stoneware platters, as well as the freshest greens in elongated, white oval bowls, toasty scallops, tender pot stickers – hungry yet?! My crab melt sandwich was luscious, topped with avocado slices. Our server looked remarkably like he ought to: round as a ball in a long white apron, taking orders with a wonderful Italian accent. Perfect!

Prior to eating we drove to a strip of beach near the Golden Gate Bridge to watch a blazing orange ball sink into the ocean. As it dipped lower and lower, a pair of dolphins played leap-frog in the incoming tide and surfers straggled out of the water, done for the day. The kids (and kids-at-heart) delighted themselves in the sand – Conrad said later, “That snow was cold!”

We really tried to walk Airiel into labor, but that baby is set on staying in there awhile longer. We meandered around the Golden Gate Park, then the beach, then walked quite a few blocks to the restaurant. As Tim said to A., “We’re just trying to help you out – and the key word is ‘out!’”

Wes is back full-swing at Fuller – he commutes to Menlo Park each week to a Fuller satellite school housed at Vallombrosa, a Catholic retreat and conference center halfway between SF and San Jose. Absolutely beautiful place!

I just want to know: Do I sound like a Californian yet?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

San Francisco post 7

The sun is beaming through the blinds, Nomi and Conrad are playing pretend games with pieces of foam, and Eden is sitting exactly where she's been for nine months, except that now she's pushing her mommy's belly button out magnificently.

Ginger arrived Monday and played with the kids almost non-stop until she left Tues - they're convinced she's their very own personal entertainer. Hide 'n seek upstairs, tag in the courtyard at dusk, crayoning, "helping" her knit - all in an afternoon and evening. We decided she's another granmama instead of an aunt; she is, after all, 16 years older than Wes.

Tim and Stephen arrived about 1 p.m. Tuesday in a rented YELLOW car, re-made the children’s acquaintance, then the three of them left for Yosemite. They'll be back Thursday; Ginger is hopeful she can be with Airiel for Eden's delivery.

As with all bonafide Churches of Christ, Lake Merced has a monthly potluck. In keeping with the eclectic membership, we feasted on burritos, Mexican chicken, chow mien, spaghetti, KFC original and crispy (which made me feel at home) and even a cake for those whose birthdays falls in Oct. Someone dared to ask one of the honorees, Lydia, if she would do such a thing as reveal her age. She replied, "No, but I will tell you the year I was born. You take it from there." Took a while, but I counted on my fingers and figured it out. She's 97. She reigned supreme - nobody else even came close to that accomplishment!

I felt like a gen-u-ine San Franciscan when I walked to Wal-greens yesterday. I joined many others making their way up and down the hills, stopping the never-ending traffic at the crosswalks by simply poking a button. That actually makes one feel pretty powerful. Alas, this Wal-greens is almost identical to the one in Searcy - except for the stacks of beer and shelves of wine; I could have shopped blind-folded. Only the people kept me from thinking I had been magically transported back to the corner of Main and Race: no blonde, blue-eyed, fair-skinned clerks or customers to be found. Instead, darkly attractive men and women milled in and around me, speaking not a word I understood.

Later, the kids and I made yeast rolls. I'm telling you, it was just like someone let the three stooges loose. While I was helping Naomi knead her dough, Conrad emptied the salt from the shaker into a white heap on the counter and was busily stuffing his piece of dough into said shaker with his fat little fingers. A minute later I rescued the bag of flour from his grasp before we all looked ready for Halloween a bit early. Naomi and I made cloverleaf rolls and popped them in a muffin pan while the boy finger-painted with both hands in the leftover flour on the counter. Wonder of wonders! They turned out pretty decent. I used Julie Cameron's recipe in Downtown's cookbook.

Could someone send me a picture of my husband? I'm having trouble remembering what he looks like.