Saturday, June 26, 2010

One of the reasons why we still love Alabama...

There are lots of things to question about Alabama...seriously. Just take a gander at some of the political ads popping up on youtube and you will see what I mean. On the other hand, there is plenty to love about my birthplace. And just because you love some things, you don't forget the other stuff. Every once in a while it is good to focus on the good of a place. And lately, for me, that has mostly been about the food. I've talked about the grits, the barbeque, Miss Verba's pimento cheese. Today, I present freshly made peach ice cream.

Now you might expect to see a picture of Jack, with a delightful smile, cheeks slathered in cream. No sir. This is serious stuff. And as you can see from the picture below, we are not smiling. We are focused and dedicated. And as is evident, Papa was still not getting the peach ice cream into himself nearly quickly enough.

We finished that cup of ice cream in no time and I had to use my mighty powers of distraction to disrupt Jack's fixation on when the next 6-7 cups of peach ice cream were showing up. All in all, it was a glorious food moment.

It does give me some ideas for summer dessert tho.....

A crossroads was reached (and happily transversed) this morning....

In every southerner's life, there comes a seminal moment when they taste their first helping of grits.

Gustatorially, it is a pivotal moment. Will the first timer get grits at the proper temperature and consistency that he is willing to keep them on his tongue long enough to find the hidden sweetness of the corn. Or will the preparation result in either goopy, sloppy, soupy grits that bring to mind gruel or the equally disastrous chunky, clumpy, gunky sludge often seen at church breakfasts run by old men who've lost their sense of taste and their will to enjoy life's pleasures?

Grits are like a shooting star. You have to be int eh right place at the right time to experience the magic. One second too early or one second too late and you miss the magic...left instead with the epicurean equivalent of outer space - cold and lonely.

And lest you effete snobs from places other than the South (whom I all dearly love) have never experienced truly remarkable grits, let's just say that you may be mistaken. Other cultures call these grits posole or polenta. Sure, it may be ground more finely or seasoned differently but they all spring from a corn kernel.

So, I want to thank the chef at Little Professor Bookstore in Homewood, Alabama ( for doing right by Jack.

It was a little touch and go at first because Grandpa went right in with a spoonful, which due to temperature issues, Jack popped right back out onto his shirt. After 90 seconds we tried again and you could have heard the angels singing in the back of Jack's mouth.

Did he like 'em? Yeah, he sure did. At first he was satisfied with Grandpa shoveling them in as fast as he could load up the spoon, but Jack soon took over by reaching onto my plate and manhandling big gobs of grits into his mouth.
I was so proud!

Out to breakfast with Grandpa Gordon (aka Jelly Bean Grandpa)

The guys got up early this morning. Well, truth be told, JACK got up early this FIVE AM!!!

Anyway, Papa and Grandpa finally got around and went to 6:45 am church at Our Lady of Sorrows and then went to the Little Professor Bookstore for breakfast.

As is the Seifert family tradition, we had our coffee/sippy cup and read the paper while we waited for our breakfast orders.

It really is a civilized way to ease into the day. On the other hand, Jack had been up for 3 hours this point, so I don't know how much EASING he needed.

Something is on Jelly Bean Grandpa's face...

Grandpa has a very scratchy beard. For years, he's loved rubbing it on the grandkids eliciting squeals from the kids.
Jack was a little skeptical at first, but Jelly Bean Grandpa is difficult to resist....
Score one for Jelly Bean....

The nurturer...

Jack and I are in Birmingham visiting Dad. It is my first time home since Mom's funeral. We thought it was time for Jack to spread some of his joy! (Jeff is out in Colorado meeting his nephew, Lincoln.)

My father always surprises me with how good he is with little children. I guess having raised seven, I shouldn't be surprised that he would know his way around a toddler. Still, most men of his age don't have a bag of tricks to entertain small children. Every time we come home he surprises me.

This time it was the baby doll. Dad pulls this very lifelike baby doll out of the closet. I think it may be used for training expectant mothers, etc. It comes with batteries and it coos, giggles, babbles and cries. It is also reactive; when it cries, if you gently pat it, it will begin cooing and giggling.

Jack was transfixed.

When Dad gave him the baby, Jack immediately bear hugged the baby, carrying it around on his shoulder. Later on when the baby began crying (most likely because Jack was sticking his finger in the very life-like eyes), Jack became very concerned. I took the doll from him and showed him how to gently pat it on the back until the cooing started. You could see the relief wash over him when the baby stopped crying.

It was really moving to see him be so tender with the baby, when he's barely beyond being a baby himself.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Have I told you how much I like Cars?

Are you diggin' my shorts?

I am thinking very deep thoughts here.

Deep thoughts like "where do I find the keys to a car like this?"
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Out for a stroll with Daddy...

He's such a little BOY! They were having a nice time checking out all the cars along the street.
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Frowny faces, part deux

I am pretending to be REALLY mad at you!
I am still really mad (and did I tell you my tooth hurts?)
Why are you still pointing that camera at me?
Ok! The gig is up. I am still the happy go lucky camper you knew me to be!
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Apologies, apologies, apologies.

We had a [computer] virus and then the fix ended up shutting down access to Chrome and Picasa. For those of you who don't blog that last sentence won't make any sense.

For those of you who use Blogger, you will understand the lifeline had been CUT OFF!

So, we have a lot of work to catch up on.

Here's a little teaser.

Jack was practicing his frowny face. He would give me one of these and then burst into laughter.

More on the frowny faces soon!

Glad to be back and we have missed yall!
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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Two New Favorites

Two of Jack's favorite new toys. A little trike that he received from his New Mexico grandparents for Christmas. And a funny little brown stuffed dog that makes a spooky barking sound if you squeeze it just right. Jack's as happy as ever and sends everyone good wishes.

Friday, June 4, 2010

On the National Mall

A couple of weeks ago, Mark and I went down to the Mall to see his sister Mary Ann, who was in town with her daughter's girl scout troop. While we were down there, we couldn't pass up the chance to take some baby pictures. And we thought there were so many great ones, we had to share a bunch.

A comfortable place to rest.

This morning, as we were getting dressed, Jack was doing his normal thing of wandering around between his bedroom and ours. At one point, he walked up to the laundry baskets sitting on the floor and climbed right into one of them. He seemed quite pleased with himself for a while, until he decided that he wanted to get out -- and try out the second basket.

Thursday, June 3, 2010


Jack has recently developed a fascination with cars that's every bit as compelling as his long-standing interest in balls. Cars are all indicated with an enthusiastic "Vrooom!" Here he is reading the auto section of the paper with Mark.