pennie life

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July 30, 2005

Mara at Ten Weeks
Hi everyone! In case you've been wondering, Mara continues to be a wonderful baby--she's ten weeks old now. There's a good chance that she's going to grow up thinking her name is "pretty baby" or "beautiful" because, well, she is and everyone tells it to her over and over. But she's doing great and growing a bunch and eats off of bottle as well as from Mom now, so she's just about perfect. I keep telling people that by being as good as she is, she's just trying to bait us into perpetuating her species. I would be stunned if were to have another baby as easy as she is. Oh, by the way, thank you ALL for the ever-so-thoughtful baby gifts . . . we've received them all and appreciate them so much. Your thank-yous, with possible a birth announcement, are should be arriving in August some time. We certainly are overwhelmed with everyone welcoming Mara like, but just haven't had time to put a pen to paper and get thank you notes out yet.

I didn't mean to keep you waiting, but there are tons of pictures of Mara on this page, so enjoy!

The early days, probably a week and a half old. She looked long even then.

Sun bathing at an early age . . .

I suppose we'd be tired, too, if we were growing this much.

Still little.

Too much to drink, again, at lake. At least she passes out on her own boat and not somebody else's.

Deep thoughts.

Oh the fun to come. These are our friends' kids, the Ian and Nolan Ash.

Nolan's a funny kid.

Mara likes to hang out in the garage with Dad. Correction, she likes to sleep in the garage with Dad. She sleeps right through the shop vac, the saws and everything.

Blast shield down . . .

So Stacey's been getting together with some girl friends who've also had babies in the last few months. Stacey enjoys it a bunch. I enjoy the pictures. Mara's expression says it all . . .

This one just cracks me up . . . "will you please sit up and pay attention? All of you . . ."

Mara points a lot. Sometimes she uses her middle finger and I laugh.

Mara seems to like her baths. As long as the water's a decent temp, she likes kicking and splashing around. She's outgrowing her tub, though. .

"Why do you keep rubbing me with water?"

One of Mara's many different looks.

One thing Mara's really good at is helping me make the bed. She gets a kick out of laying there while I straighten up around her. While she's still pretty "bobbly" when trying to hold her head up, she definitely turns her head and watches me as I move around the room to get the sheets and blankets in order.

This was Mara's first bottle at about a month. If she's hungry, she doesn't mind eating from one at all.

But here's the real deal as far as food goes. And who can blame her?

The food and comfort factors of mom usually have her knocked out before too long.


Mara, in her bouncy chair on the dining room, keeping an eye on the the world around here.


Growing fast, she almost takes up the entire changing table.

The smiles are the best. We've been getting lots of smiles in the past few weeks--life is good.

She makes her mom smile a lot, too.

Notice how you can reach your arms over your head and touch your hands? Mara's not quite there yet. Big head or short arms?

Getting set up to roll . . .

. . . still getting ready . . .

. . . and this is as far as she got, which is fine for now.

Notice the matching shades and hat . . . thanks Mary Jane!

Mara holds her hands up a lot like this. I think she's practicing for mountain biking, motorcycling and water skiing.

More baby friends.

It's rather precious . . . this is her typical sleeping position. Looks kind of painful to us, but whatever works . . .

Apologies for the robbpennie.com blackout of late . . . it's been an interesting (not to mention busy) past couple of months around the pennie household. After Mara's birth in late May and a week to ourselves to enjoy her, we spent just about all of June with family. Mary, then Norma, then Dawn and Vern, then Rhonda and Sandra in there some where and probably some other people, too. We had a house-full for quite a while and received tons of expert advice on how to raise our baby

Grandma Norma enjoying Mara's second-ever lake day with us.

Grandpa Vern and Mara's Nanna meeting their new grand daughter for the first time. Talk about enamored . . .

Uncle Brean is psyched.

Getting a little shade on the deck with Aunt Hazel.


Lake of the Ozarks
At the end of June we spent a delightful week at the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri, where we enjoyed a Hillsman family reunion. It was about a 1000 mile drive for us, but Mara handled it really well. Once we figured out a couple of tricks on how to keep her entertained, the drive went pretty smoothly. Aunt Rebecca and Uncle Dennis made it down to visit us there--that was really nice. Aunt Becky even on got on the "tube of death" (we didn't tell that was its nickname) behind our boat with me--what a fun ride that was. We pulled our boat there and loved skiing the early-morning glass. We'd get on the water just about sun-up and ski for a couple of hours. Lake of the Ozarks is huge and has 40 and 50-foot offshore power boats running around it most of the day. Our low-riding ski boat couldn't handle those wakes, so we retired to the bays off the main channel for tubing and such during the days. While we have bunches of neat pictures of the whole week, I'm going to keep it to mostly Mara, Stace and I pictures of that trip.

If you're wondering, this is just before sun-up and Stacey is not a morning person.

You can bet she's awake now.

Definitely awake an in good form. No complaints on the water, either.

Yes, this is supposed to be a "soft" shot and a little blurry to show movement. Could you pull this off six weeks after delivery a baby? Brean gets the photo credit here.

This is just about the entire Hillsman posse, waiting for the photographers to get their act together for the big family picture.


The Lake of the Ozarks had enough boat chop coming off of it that our boat would get pummeled in the docks. Luckily the owner or Mallard Point had a lift that he let us use for the week.

Stace, Brean, Lyn-Z and Dean head out for some tube-o-rhamma fun.


Morning light and morning water . . . I like them both a bunch.

Getting a little stretch in before the turns. Josh took this pic and the one before it.

Turn-in on some glassiness.

And setting up for pullout on the same. Brean snapped this and the previous shot--nice work!

Kathleen and Mara enjoying the morning.

The Colorado Hillmans.

Uncle Dennis and Aunt Rebecca out on the pontoon with us. I guess Uncle Dennis didn't realize I was taking a picture.

Aunt Becky still swims like a fish.

Sleep baby, smiling boaters . . . life is good.

Aunt Lyn-z and Mars getting to know each other.

Mara catching a morning nap with uncle Brean.

All dressed up and ready for another wild evening at Mallard Point.

Mom enjoying some heat humidity and breakfast after the morning ski.

Brean caught this gorgeous sunrise on our last morning of skiing--good stuff.

Mara (and Ray's belly) at about six weeks.

Ray might have been the first one to evoke a non-gas-related smile from Mara. But that's just the kind of guy Grandpa Ray is.

Uncle Al was about as comfortable as he looks holding Mara. He thought she was pretty neat, though.

A quiet evening along Ridge Road.

Big Yawn.

This is Mara meeting her cousin Amanda.

All the Moore women. You wouldn't believe the wrangling that it took to get Sandra on the couch for the shot, but look, Sandra, at how nice it turned out!

Mara's big into her black-and-white toys. She's started reaching and grabbing for them, occasionally bringing them back to her mountain for a taste-test.

She's pulled the striped ring down a couple of times . . . it's a favorite.


July and Back to Work
By the end of the first week that we'd been back, Stacey's boss was asking her to come back to work for a couple of weeks to help with a BIG real estate sales event at her office. They were preparing to move $80 million in new construction, base-area condos, and had lost one of their sales associates. Stace could have her remaining maternity leave in August if she would go back and help out for a couple of weeks. And she could bring Mara to the office with her--no problem. So Stace has been working the past three weeks, the $80 million in real estate sold out in six hours and now she has the month of August off. It's been a loooong three weeks for Stacey--she put in some big hours--but she's held up great and is looking forward to August off.

Stacey's boss's daughter, Breanna is simply enamored with Mara. She has a picture of Mara on her dresser and shows it to people, telling them, "I know this baby."

Early stages of female bonding.


Throwing in the Towel, Reaching for the Burp Cloth
I'm looking forward to August and beyond off, as my last day with Crested Butte Mountain Resort is August 12. From there into the foreseeable future, I'm lucky enough to be a stay-at-home dad for Mara! Stace and I had wanted one of us to be able to stay at home with our child and it works out better for us if I do it. I'll be doing a little web and photo work on the side, but as of August 12th, I'm walking away from twelve years with the resort to do something really important--raise my child. I'm looking very forward to it! It's been interesting to get people's reactions about my change of occupation . . . some people just don't get it, others look at me like I'm crazy until I say that I have a side business I'll be working on (while I want Pennie Photography and Design to be successful, they don't seem to get that the photo and web stuff will be more for sanity reasons than monetary), and others (including many of the dads out there I talk to) think it's the coolest thing. I tend to side with the latter. We'll obviously miss the dual income, but I think what I'll miss most is the social aspect of work. My coworkers are good friends and it'll be strange not seeing them on a daily basis. But I'll adapt and find other social endeavors . . . we always do.

How much fun is she to cuddle up with?

I'm growing to like Mara's nap schedule . . .

Little baldy.

Mara grunts a lot--it's pretty cute. I think she was grunting while trying to get comfortable.

Comfortable and off to dreamland.

Summer for Us
But the summer is blowing by us--beyond the highlights I've mentioned, we've been getting to Blue Mesa about once a week and enjoying our friends who come to visit us in CB. Norma and Aunt Hazel made it up, this past week, as well. Stace and I are looking forward to a great second half of August, with time to ourselves to take a deep breath and enjoy our little family before September and our new routine together.

Living the good life! Make no mistake about it . . . Stace and I love our life and feel very fortunate to be able to live it.

Mara's becoming a regular lake baby, no doubt. Since we can't sunscreen her, we keep her pretty covered up just about the whole time we're at the lake.

Mara likes boat rides. Her life jacket fits her a little better now than pictured . . .

You gotta love a baby that loves the sound of a '91 Ford 350 Windsor to go to sleep by. Even if she's fussing when we get her into the boat, someone yells "hit it," the Nautique gets moving, Mara's pretty much out.

Norma, a die-hard Colorado Rockies baseball fan, at Lake Irwin, holding Mara, who has no idea what baseball is, but is wondering when Mom is going to stop snapping pictures and feed her.

Auntie Hazel, Mara and Norma enjoying the high-elevation splendor of Lake Irwin, west of Crested Butte about twelve miles.

Smilie baby, enjoying the third visit from her grandma Norma since birth.

See Again Soon!
Thanks again for stopping by and we hope you're doing well! I hope you've enjoyed the pictures and drop us an email or give us a call when you get a chance.

Ahh, the simple pleasures . . .