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Brother's Day / Mother's Day

Living proof world! That IS a picture of my brother Michael pushing the proverbial baby carriage. I have it caught on film too, in case it's the last time. And yes, he is walking the mean streets of Durham, for he and his girlfriend Denise came over from Germany to North Carolina, of all places - and we were lucky enough to score a visit. They had already spent time on the coast and were all sunburned and happy already so all we had to do was throw in some stereotypical American experiences to round out their experience, like BBQ and baseball.

Here we are at a Durham Bulls Game, on a warm summer evening. With decent and not-exorbinant beer on tap, hot dogs, peanuts and a bull that snorts smoke, you've got a recipe for one of my favourite things to do in Durham. If you look closely in this other picture, you'll see a little stuffed monkey in an argyle sweater, a Steiff monkey they brought over for Simone. Ask Michael to tell you the story of trying to find a pair of pants for the monkey. I almost cried from laughter over the image of my hulking big brother in toy stores, surreptisously trying clothes on Chuck the monkey. Pantless or not, Simone loves him and we love that she got to visit with her crazy Uncle.
It was too short of a visit and soon it was Mother's Day. I had two requests for the day:
No breakfast in bed and a day free of decisions. The height of luxury to me are clean, crumb-free sheets and a day planned for me, as long as those plans don't involve meetings, desk shifts or classes. Luckily Sergio kept those to a bare minimum and instead rustled up a fantastic day which started with flowers and chocolate croissants and a plan to head out to Winston-Salem to check out a new brew-pub and an arts fair in Mount Pilot. It was a beautiful day and Simone looked cute as a button...when we set out. This is just the first of three outfits I packed and she managed
to get dirty - I guess I've earned my Mom Badge if I've figured out that three is reasonable amount of outfits to carry along on a daytrip. This first fell foul to hastily gulped hot chocolate (check out her face in this second picture, it's a crazy face she make when she thinks she's in trouble and wants to charm us, I guess because we can't help bursting out laughing when her lower lip sticks out that way). The second outfit fell prey to a first case of car sickness, an interesting treat for Mother's Day, scrubbing down a crying vomiting kid and a car seat in a hot parking lot. I guess that's when I REALLY earned my Mom Badge.

Summer is upon us, free from homework, free to sit on the porch in the evenings, free to read books again, ready to go to Spain in 14 days! (though not so ready for the flight with squirmy Miss Demanding, I have to say) and hoping to see each and everyone of you before the summer ends.

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