Saturday, July 4, 2015

My Second Mother's Day

It's amazing how memories can fade so quickly. That's why I'm thankful for the internet, where everything is permanent! I already don't remember much about my first Mother's Day. I know we celebrated with Auntie Sara, and Tía Ametista was in town, and you wore that adorable bumblebee outfit. I know I hurt my thumb just before then, because I remember being concerned that all I'd see in photos from that day was a bunch of Coban. I know Daddy started a really sweet tradition of having you write in a notebook for me, and I know I was excited to see how this book of memories would grow throughout the years.

For my second Mother's Day, your Auntie Lisa was visiting from Washington state. We had a very busy day at the aquarium that Saturday, so on Sunday, she insisted on a lazy, quiet day at our house. Unfortunately, I'm not very good at being lazy or quiet, so I insisted that the three of us go on a morning hike before Auntie Lisa and Daideo came over.

I'd had my heart set on finding the Paper Mill Ruins at Sope Creek for a while; after all, they're supposedly right by our house. Well, we didn't find them immediately, but it was worth the hike!

What exactly are the Paper Mill Ruins? I don't know! Ask your Daideo or Auntie Amanda! All I know is they're old and cool! Sigh. Okay fine.

Wikipedia says:
These ruins are the remnants of a larger manufacturing complex which drew on the waterpower that the creek produced. During the period 1850 to 1940, a succession of enterprises, from a (fully integrated) paper milltwine plant, flour mill and hydroelectric power plant occupied an area of about one mile along the creek.
The paper mill at Sope Creek was run by Marietta Paper Mills and incorporated on December 19, 1859, possibly by Andrew Schofield Edmondston and Saxon A. Anderson. Facilities at the paper mill included a mill, oil room, office, mill sluice (raceway), storeroom, dam, machine shop, pulp-grinding mill, and two shelters.
The Daily Intelligencer of Atlanta printed a letter dated September 10, 1863, from Mr. A.S. Edmonston [sic]. In it, Mr. Edmondston pleads with the Intelligencer, letting them know that while they are the newspaper’s main source of paper, they can only send them so much due to war constraints. Edmondston writes:
I have on hand a few bundles of paper, which I will ship you, and this will be the last for some time; for when we shall resume again I cannot tell. My hands volunteered in the Home Guard, to protect the country against raids, and are now called out to guard stores and prepare the defences [sic] of your city, I understand. In the first instance, at the commencement of the war, I was disposed to aid all in my power and encouraged two of the hands to volunteer in Confederate service. This left hardly hands enough to get along with when all were well. Afterwards we lost two or three hands, and this left us short of hands, and one machine has only run when our hands have worked eighteen hours in the day.--We applied for the detail of the hands which has not been done, though the Government has been urgent for paper, and we have strained every nerve to supply. Shorthanded, we have done the best we could, and now all our hands are taken, of course we are obliged to stop.
Edmondston goes on to complain about the fact that while the Confederate government demands paper, he is shorthanded because paper workers were not considered vital to the war effort. Edmondston stated: “You know Paper makers are not to be had South, and are not like Shoe-Makers, and many other callings which give exemptions to so many thousands, and cannot be learned after the Conscript officer takes after a fellow.”
The paper supply became even harder to come by when on July 5, 1864, Union soldiers under the command of General Gerrard burned the Marietta Paper Mill, along with Denmead’s Flour Mill. The paper mill was rebuilt in 1865, only to burn again in 1870 and be rebuilt in 1871.[5] The mill struggled to survive the years immediately following the second rebuilding. The mills were sold at a public sale in 1873 and restructured as the Marietta Paper Manufacturing Company. In 1888 and 1889, a wood pulp mill and a twine factory were added to the site, respectively. Finally, in 1902, production at that location stopped.

So yeah. Pretty cool stuff. And it definitely made for a really cool Mother's Day.

If you're wondering what I got for a Mother's Day present, check it out: matching Mommy & baby Toms!

Watching the River Run

Ellie, your mommy and daddy have lived in Atlanta for eight years now, and one of our favorite things about this town is the fact that we keep finding more to discover. Recently, we discovered a new favorite place. I don't want to get into too many details, because Yelp is already ruining this secluded spot. But I'll just leave these pictures here to help us remember just how magical it was during our first few visits.


I've resorted to doing quarterly updates instead of monthly updates, and I'm glad I at least have that as a prompt, because I'm finding that it's not just that I'm slacking on quarterly updates...I haven't updated this AT ALL in an entire quarter! But I have a 3-day weekend, and you're a champion napper these days, so I'm going to bust out six posts in one day and give this blog a chance to catch up with how busy you've been!

Back in April, you took your first trip to see Auntie Amanda. I know, I know, this doesn't seem like a big deal because you always get to see Auntie Amanda. After all, she was one of the first people you met in this world. But it took us 16 months to get up there and see her. I was also really excited because this was my first trip to Brooklyn. I've been to NYC, and Daddy was born somewhere near there, but neither of us had ever been to Brooklyn before, and certainly not since Auntie Amanda moved out there from Manhattan.

You were mostly excited about going on an airplane.

After all, this was only your second airplane vacation ever, and it was Daddy's first time flying with you!

You were a champ on the plane. You did not enjoy Uber as much.

When we arrived in Brooklyn, Auntie Amanda was still at school. We kept busy making a mess exploring our home for the weekend while Daddy and Mr. Tristan played some Goldeneye.

We had a pretty low-key weekend planned. I think 15-16 months is the most difficult age for travel thus far, and we wanted to leave plenty of room for your inevitable chaos. You didn't sleep well at night on that trip, and that left us very sleepy (and at times, grouchy) throughout the day. At this point, you had developed enough emotionally to be a little stressed about the change in routine, but you weren't able to express that so well, even with all of your signs. As I'm writing this, you've already gotten so much better about saying what you don't like and saying what you'd like to do instead. But back then, you only had one coping mechanism: nursing. That trip to New York was the first of many events that led to weaning a month later.

We did have one exciting touristy thing planned for the weekend: we went to a Yankees game. The good news was that the Red Sox were in town, and this was a bucket list item for Mommy. The bad news was that they played something crazy like 19 innings the night before, so all of the most exciting players were resting and recovering. That didn't stop us from having a great time, though!

Daddy was really excited to see his new stadium for the first time. Mommy was excited to see her team beat Daddy's. You were just excited to be there.

You were pretty tuckered out by the end of the game, but we enjoyed a nice walk home through Prospect Park.

You enjoyed playing around and near Auntie Amanda and Mr. Tristan's apartment the rest of the weekend.

One of your favorite parts of the entire trip, believe it or not, was the subway. You made lots of friends (which definitely didn't send Mommy into a panic), and you even invented games!

We also had a great time playing in Brooklyn Bridge Park and enjoying some Shake Shack in Dumbo!

The five of us really do have a great time together. And we couldn't have asked for better weather for a weekend up north! I hope this will be the first of many trips up there to visit those hashbrowns!