Ian Returns to Poland

Marysia and Ian zipped off to Poland last month, leaving 27 May after a quick visit to Long Island first. They’ve spent a week in Kraków, but now are off to the Bieszczady mountains for several weeks — first in the farming/holiday village of Zawóz and, starting on Tuesday, in Lesko.

Marysia sent these first pics.

On the plane, seemingly having a great time, and wearing his Alabama colors.

With Babcia Wala, Ian’s babysitter when he first visited (age 1.5). They had a great reunion!

Marysia writes, “Ian and I went to the park yesterday afternoon [29 May]. There’s a wonderful new playground with a climbing structure like a pirate ship, and large sand toys (One like a water chute and water wheel, others that are diggers with levers). Ian loved it.”

No surprise: Ian loves riding the Kraków tram!

Also, Marysia reported on their battle with jet lag:

Ian and I had a more restless night last night. I stayed up past the point when I felt tired, finally got into bed at 12:30, but couldn’t fall asleep. By 1 AM, Ian had waken up and couldn’t fall back asleep until 2:30. He called out to me, “Mommy, I don’t feel good. I can’t fall asleep properly.” He’s been sleeping in his own bed—the bedroom has two smaller-than-twin beds and he wanted one to himself–he said he wouldn’t fall out of bed. It’s low to the ground, so I just set up some pillows on the floor. The first night he rolled out just once so I picked him up and put him back in. Last night, when he couldn’t sleep, I moved the two beds together so I could be with him, which he wanted when he couldn’t sleep. Eventually, we both drifted off. I expect this will be the worst of it.

Ian at the Mayor’s Cup 5K

Recently, the City of Tuscaloosa sponsored the “Mayor’s Cup 5K Race.” Marysia ran and had a very good race — third overall woman and a time that almost beat her personal best. Plus, as this photo shows, she was this close to edging out the mayor, Walt Maddox. He’s the young guy in black. She’s a couple of runners behind him, in blue.

Ian and I were there, too, urging Marysia on. A Tuscaloosa News photographer caught him. He didn’t make the print edition, but the online slideshow features him. The caption reads:

04-26-08 — Tuscaloosa, Ala — Ian Butler, 4, waits with his father, not pictured, in the rain as his mother runs in the Mayor’s Cup 5K race in downtown Tuscaloosa Saturday, April 26, 2008. (Dusty Compton / Tuscaloosa News)

So, I’m the only one in our family who is “not pictured”! Well, at least my legs made the cut.

(Please note the Brown crest on the umbrella. In deo speramus, man! Ian is also wearing a “Bama” t-shirt so he’s also representing for UA.)

Easter at Camp McDowell

Last month, for the last weekend of spring break, the Butler-Galbraiths headed to Camp McDowell, a summer camp/adult retreat center. It’s about 90 minutes north of Tuscaloosa, but we actually drove there from Birmingham. Marysia and Ian had been in New York, visiting her folks. I picked them up at the airport and off we went.

We had a fine time canoing and hiking and hanging out with three or four other families in a lodge (visible at the rear of this photo). Plus, that Sunday was Easter Sunday and to our surprise the Easter Bunny came to Camp McDowell and deposited a couple hundred eggs near our lodge. All the kids had a great time hunting for them.

There’s a bunch of pictures from the weekend posted over here:


I used it as an opportunity to try out my new fancy camera. Even got some artistic shots!

Ian Reads the National Geographic

Sorry… another new-camera image that’s too adorable not to share.

Ian recently received a subscription to The National Geographic. It fascinates him. Here, he’s reading it under the living-room coffee table.

Oh, and that’s Brent Davis’s big toe in the lower left corner. He was in-state for a writers conference and buzzed down to Northport for a too-short visit.

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A New Camera for Daddy

For Christmas, I gave myself one expensive new electronic gadget: a digital SLR still camera. Specifically, I bought a Nikon D80 camera.

I’m really liking it. It reminds me of my first SLR camera, a Minolta SRT101 that was a combination birthday and high-school graduation present in 1972. Come to think of it, that was also my last SLR camera as it’s survived all this time. 36 years!

I shot hundreds, maybe thousands, of pictures with that camera — the source of the negatives I’ve recently started scanning and putting online via Picasa. Just about drove my friends crazy with that camera and now, with my new camera, I can drive my son crazy.

I shot this close-up just a few days after receiving the Nikon. At the default settings, it creates very detailed images that are each about 2.5 MB! Yipes! That’ll eat up a hard drive fast!

But it is kinda fun to enlarge this picture of Ian so I can see every tiny freckle on his face.

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