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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Trot Trot to Boston (Trot... with Lauren?)

Kissy Face for Oma I sent a text to Shannon at 8am asking if she could have Lauren's hair "pretty" for Bonnie, and then picked Lauren up at her house at a few minutes before 8:30. She hopped from their deck, past the car, and all the way down the driveway. "Lauren, the car's right here." "Oh yeah, I forgot."

Bigger Than Her Head Our first stop was at Snoopy's Diner in North Kingstown for breakfast with Rich, as I do every week. (Don't worry, I'd warned him that she'd be with me!) We arrived at 9:10, about twenty minutes early. Lauren hopped from the car, across the parking lot, up the stairs, and to her seat in the booth.

When contained in a small space (like the car or the diner's booth), she'd talk non-stop. When not so constrained, she hopped.

Corinne called at 9:30 to talked to Lauren. Lauren was loud, and had everyone in the restaurant laughing at her silliness. (“HELLO OMA!”)

(Thank you, Rich, for being so patient with Lauren's constant interruptions.)

On the Train to Boston Our next stop was the South Attleboro, MA, commuter train station. The commuter lot was FULL so we had to park at the far end of the mall's lot, past McDonalds. I think Lauren hopped at least a third of the quarter mile from the car to the train stop.

Lauren loves trains, and this was her third ride (the previous two were just short, fun trips from Westerly to New London). She watched the land zipping by most of the time, or chatted with our neighbors, or with the conductor. Or me. Or her Minnie Mouse. Or the train itself.

Mixing Up the Water We disembarked at Ruggles Station, and she hopped all over the place while I waited in line to buy a sandwich at Dunkin Donuts ("Opa I'm hungry again!"). After we ate, we went out to catch a cab.

Pat pat pat Waiting for a cab took thirty minutes, five hundred hops, and about twenty loops around the square, raised flower box on the sidewalk that she pretended was a "balancer" (balance beam). In that time I flagged down six full taxis and two police cars before finally finding an empty ride.

Bonnie was surprised to see us! I was sure Frank or someone would have told her we were coming up, but that wasn't the case.

She put a pillow over her stomach as soon as we walked in. I thought she was just being self-conscious, but later I realized it was self-preservation, as Lauren patted the pillow to ask if that's where "she was cut".

Lauren prattled, hopped, pestered, skipped, chattered, and dumped water the whole time we were there. (She wasn't being naughty, just young and easily bored.) Oh, and she kept pulling the dividing curtain further and further, because she couldn't understand that she was also pulling it away from the wall at the other end.

Cheesey Bonnie looked good, and seemed to be rather eager to get out of there and go home.

The original plan had included leaving the hospital for a trip to the observation deck at the top of the John Hancock building. Towards the end of visiting Bonnie, though, I noticed little bags developing under Lauren's eyes. Instead, we visited Au Bon Pain in the hospital lobby (after making one mandatory trip up-and-down the "stairs you don't have to walk on"), and then grabbed another taxi to take us back to the train station.

Where... we waited. For almost an hour.

No, let me rephrase that. I waited. Minnie waited. Lauren hopped. All around the platform. By the time the train arrived there were forty or fifty people waiting with us, but she was oblivious. Hop hop hop around the big bench installation, then lunge for my leg and hang on to it, panting, catching her breath... and hop hop hop to the big, aluminum trash can and back to my leg, pant pant pant, catch her breath, and then back to hopping.

She wasn't the only kid on the platform, and she wasn't being embarrassing. Lots of people would stop what they were doing and just watch her, smiling and shaking their heads. Not once did she ever bump into anyone (though she came very close to ramming her head into a large man's butt at one point, she caught herself just in time). Finally, she hopped back to me one last time and stumbled onto her stomach. She wasn't hurt, but ran straight to me blushing and just huddled with me to warm up for a minute, and then the train was there.

On the Train Home Apparently that stumble came when her gas tank finally ran dry. Five minutes after we boarded the nearly full train, she was fast asleep on my lap.

She didn't wake up when we switched to an empty bench after lots of people left at the next stop. She didn't wake up when we left the train, nor as I carried her all the way back to the car (and thought my arm was going to fall off).

She woke up (a little) at one point on the highway, yelling, "I never want to see that bad train again, it wanted to hurt you!" Seconds later she was out again. Mike came out to get her when we pulled into their driveway, and she barely woke up enough to give me a hug.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

PMC Day 1: Sturbridge to Bourne, by the Numbers

Saturday, August 2, 2008

This was my sixth year riding the PMC, and my fourth year to include the Huckleberries ride (which makes it a three-day event). Those previous three years, I was totally exhausted on Saturday morning from the hard ride on Friday.

This year was different...

Read the Full Story

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Happy Birthday Michelle & Isaiah Drake

Isaiah Daniel Drake, 1 Year Old DSC03057.ARW Happy Boy

Corinne, Lauren and I went to Isaiah Drake's birthday party on Monday. He's one year old. Monday was actually his mom's (Michelle's) birthday, his is today, but we were mostly celebrating his because it was his first.

I took 134 pictures (good grief), and managed to whittle that down to “only” 104 before uploading them all to Facebook. The flickr set contains a more manageable 55 pictures: I recommend the slideshow.

The party (cookout) was held at Ben & Mandi Isbell's house on the Bradford River. Conflagration 3 Games, canoeing, lots of food, cute kids, friends, and loads of presents for Isaiah. Ben even started a big bonfire on the ground near the deck (but more than one story below) that made some of the kids a little nervous.


(If you're reading this in email, make sure you see it on the web for the pictures.)

Saturday, April 5, 2008

I Hope She Understands

Someday Lauren is going to be old enough to realize that not every little girl spends a big piece of her life in front of a camera. That not all of her little friends have their pictures posted on public web sites for family and friends — and strangers — to gawk at.

That not every little girl has a crazy, doting "Opa."

I hope this works out. I hope she grows up knowing that she's beautiful no matter how she looks. That even though not every picture is perfect, she's always beautiful.

I hope, in fact, that she can be the kind of girl who is confident enough in herself to be honest and comfortable with the camera, without posing. Like she does now. Not beautiful like a model, but beautiful like someone that everybody wants to love, someone who loves and gives freely.

She won't become that person just because my camera can't take its eye off her, obviously, but I hope it helps (thinking about the attitude of the people behind the camera). Confident, comfortable, happy, warm, and full of brightness. We're off to a good start, but there are big obstacles in her path...

5. Kiss Me So Silly So Sad
Thursday, July 26, 2007

Pictures for Lauren's Fan Club

Lauren On Opa's LapFor anybody who cares (which I believe is no small group), I've put up a bunch of new pictures of my favorite little model, the cutest baby girl in the whole house, Miss Lauren Deane.

As you can see, she's pretty happy about it. She knows her fans have been missing her.

Can you believe she turns five months old in just a week? I can't.

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