Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Bad Wife & Mommy Phone Pix

Today I realized that I haven't exactly been living up to my promise to Brian (who's out traveling a lot this week) that I would post pictures of his kid every night so he could see her while he's gone.

Pass me the Bad Wife Award for not living up to THAT promise.

So here's Nora's picture smiling. She's kinda hard to nail down these days. I get a lot of action shots (namely blurry ones with her charging the camera, or running away from it).

And here's what happens when it's dinner time for the cats, dinner time for Nora, and I leave the gate open. Miss Nora decides that cat food isn't nearly as bad as no food at all...

I haven't been able to bring myself to try it because I'm pretty sure it's disgusting.

Although she doesn't seem to care. Because this isn't her first sampling of the food either.

No, pass me the Bad Mommy Award for not putting down the camera and stopping her!

And in other news...I went to my first class last night -- it's a Chemistry class with a nice prof, lots of pre-nursing majors like me, and I'm glad I studied as much as I did. I hope I can keep up, because the days get really short when I realize that my time to study is pretty much contained to the couple of hours when Nora might be napping, or in the evenings when I'm dog tired and just want to sleep.

I'll tell you now, this "single mom" thing I do without Brian around makes me have lots of respect for the real single moms out there that do this all the time.

That's about it from here...

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Loving Her Own Reflection...

My Mom is something of a nut.

A good nut.

You know, like me, only 27 years from now me.

One time my nieces (who she lives with) told us a story about waking up with Bestema in the bathroom, where they could hear her say "Good morning Karlene," to which Karlene answered "Well, good morning," to which Karlene answered, "You're looking fabulous today," to which Karlene answered "Well, thank you very much. So are you Karlene."

Then the legendary eyeroll from Miriam...

Well, today I watched as Nora saw herself in the mirror and she grinned when she caught her reflection, and she babbled.

Then again this afternoon I took her to Fred Meyer to shop for a while, and we went to the restroom, which had a full-length mirror. There, Nora grinned and chattered to herself as I used the facilities...

Often when she gets in the car (with this mirror shown in the picture) she does the same thing...

And all I could hear in my head was the conversation that went like this: Good morning Nora," to which Nora answered "Well, good morning," to which Nora answered, "You're looking fabulous today," to which Nora answered "Well, thank you very much. So are you, Nora."

ALLLLLL ABOARD!!!!!!!!!!

Mindi and Schane' sent this insanely smart train station toy for Nora's birthday...

I have unwrapped all the "parts" that come with it, but at this point Nora doesn't even need them!

This train station has a train that goes around, and as it hits each letter on the track, it tells you what the letter is, what sound it makes AND what things stand for (like "A" is for "Apple").
PLUS the toy has a screen the lights up, AND it has all these toys and parts that you can put down on various parts of the station, and it can tell (based on the bottom grooves) WHAT the item is...

So if you put a giraffe down on a certain part, it says "I'm a giraffe".

Since giraffe's don't make noises, it doesn't say anything else, but the polar bear, the lion, and other animals sure do.

Nora is obsessed with toys that make noise these days. She LOVES this thing, and every morning she wakes up, walks out to the living room where I have it set up, and she sits on the tracks (inadvertently) and makes the thing talk and blink on the screen, and I can hear her squeal with delight.

It's so amazing to me to see how she loves increasingly complex toys. Even though this one is "over her head" in that she doesn't get the alphabet theme yet, she just LOVES the songs and interaction that these toys give her. When I sing along, she looks at me like I must be the MOST brilliant person in the world to know the song!

Thank you Aunt Mindi and cousin Schane!!! Nora loves your gift!

And Now For Something Completely Random...

I am very excited about the arrival of a new fly swatter this week. I've ordered one of those gizmos that's going to fry them in mid-air.

This wouldn't be a big deal except my husband usually catches them and puts them outside, but Brian is traveling and will be gone until next Friday.

I've got two flies in the house and I've practically killed myself trying to get them with non-fly-swatter flat surfaces, to no avail. They are the quick kind that land on your head.

I hate those buzzards.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Guess What Went Missing This Week?

Obama Sign #3 has left the premises.

We only hope that it went to a good home.

We have sent Barack Obama another $25 and ordered three more signs to replace the missing one.

Have a Nice Day sign thieves.

You can steal my sign, but you can't steal my vote.

The Debates...

I watched the debates as best I could, considering it was on in two rooms while I chased my daughter around for the entire time.

But now a couple of hours later, watching more in-depth with a little BBC/CNN/Washington Post analysis, I felt the debate went better than my first impression.

On the whole, I thought it was interesting that John/Tom/Tim McCain never once looked at Barack Obama, who frequently gave McCain the respect of at least looking at him (even if he did appear entertained a lot of the time).

And I know I'm picking one thing out here, but I find it interesting...How do you complete a sentence with "I don't think we're headed towards another Cold War with Russia":

a) I think we should work with Vladimir Putin to work out issues they have with Georgia and other former republics;

or as John McCain's answer:

b) "I've looked into the eyes of Putin, and I saw three letters: K G B"

Things That Make Me Go "Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm."

I wonder if all that fuss over "suspending the campaign" to deal with the looming crisis from hell (which didn't exist last week, but somehow has ballooned into an 850 billion dollar bailout for God Knows WHO) was really a ploy not to avoid tonight's debate, but perhaps....just suggesting here...trying to delay the VP debates for next Thursday. It's not my original idea either. Actually suggested to me by a pal from the other side of the aisle.

Ah yes...I have Republican friends. Real ones. Not just recovering ones like Teri. :)

And look who's available to talk right after the debates:

Sarah Palin?

Nope.

Joe Biden?

You bet.

And he takes questions too...

Nora Doesn't Know It Yet, But She Got Spoiled Today!

First the Boots.

And the jacket.

Nora has officially been born into the Northwest where rubber boots and a jacket aren't just an accessory, they are necessary.

Seriously though: Aren't these boots adorable?

The jacket will have to wait to show til I get it on her. I can't wait to drag that poor kid out into the rain!

Both of these presents were from Nora's Aunt Julia, who we saw today for lunch and shopping. She's Julie M. the First (I go by Julie M. II in most family correspondence), and when I was in the hospital waiting for Nora to be born, Julia and Gary's house was Ground Zero for family coming and going to see me...she did laundry for me on a regular basis, and now that she's got two grown boys/men, she LOVES spoiling her little girl nieces!

We had lunch at an undisclosed location, because I'm embarrassed to admit that I wanted to eat there. But it starts with an A, and is mentioned in Taladega Nights, so do your research...

Nora ate her first "Kids meal" and I thought the grilled cheese sandwich would go to waste, but DANG, that kid packed it in! She loves her cheese!

Then we went to my nephew Trevor's old school, where they had a Baby Sale to End All Baby Sales...and Julia watched Nora while I pulled some clothes for her.

I found a Columbia jacket for her with the tags still on, and a number of fleece pullovers. I'd just gone through her winter clothes and found her seriously lacking in cold-weather stuff, so it was fantastic to get all that stuff!

PLUS, Aunt Julia had Nora in the "toy row" which I could hear Nora completely freaking out and having fun. She was shrieking with joy, and saying "HI!" to every baby she came into contact with...this row of toys was so long, Nora was practically out of her head...when I told Julia "This must be like "Baby Vegas" to her with all these blinking lights and toys! She was on total baby overload!

So, we headed out...Aunt Julia bought everything for Nora that I picked out -- THANK YOU Aunt Julia! -- and we headed to their house, where she got to see Uncle Gary for a while and run free before sticking her in the car and heading home.

Miss Nora has no idea how much she got spoiled today, but I sure appreciate it!

Thanks Julia!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

And In Case We Needed Proof

The OTHER side of the family (not mine), has a penchant --er -- reputation, for messing with the animals.

It's hard to capture on my digital cameras how many times in the past few weeks as Nora has learned to walk -- how many times her laugh has turned a tad bit maniacal -- and then turned towards the poor cats.

You see, the M. side of the family has this thing. It's about torturing pets. You know, in a good way.

They don't set them on fire, they don't do anything bad per se, really? They just mess with them.

A lot.

Nora gets this little "huh.huh.huh" laugh/pant that comes out of her as she realizes one of the pets is close.

The other day, she got Jack to sit still long enough for her not only to catch his twitching tail, but for her to put it in her mouth and chomp down on it.

You know, before he got that real surprised look on his face and ran away for a couple of days.

So here is a picture of her finding the Kitten Hopper, sitting still, minding his own business. And she's in search of...his tail.

So in case we needed any further proof that I was just a "carrier" or a "host" for the M. family genes...we got it.

Right here.

Somewhere There's a Picture...(M)

This first picture serves a dual purpose...first of all THE TEETH!

Nora cut her second front tooth this week, after a few days of "galloping crud" as my Dad would have so eloquently put it (she had the runs), along with a low grade fever.

She's finally not drooling QUITE so much and seems much happier these past couple of days. (Click on the picture itself and you'll get a close-up view of that mouth full of future orthodontia work to be done!)

The other thing that's so neat is the jammies she's wearing.

Somewhere, hopefully not too deep in the archives of Jeff & Judy's house, is a picture of one of their girls wearing the exact same pair of jammies that Nora's wearing in this picture.

As you can see, I had to stretch the neck to get it over the kid's large-size melon, and it's a little short...but nonetheless, she's sleeping in this Oma Special tonight!
Aunt Sarah, Uncle Peter and Cousin Odette brought a bunch of cool things to wear, including this relic from the early 1990s that Oma made for Hannah (now 17 years old) and it was passed on to Miriam (now 13) and Odette (now 8).

The neat thing about the trickle-down clothing is that the memories often trickle down with it. I remember at least two of the three kids wearing this outfit. I sure hope we can find a picture to compare to!

I was over at J&J's house the other day and we were just talking about how much Nora LOOKS like Hannah but has more of Miriam's sunny baby disposition.

Yeah, poor kid. She's gorgeous and smart like both her cousins. Well, as far as we know.

Only time will tell for sure, huh?

A Couple of Fun Videos For Daddy Tonight



Monday, September 22, 2008

Where's Nora?

So just because Nora's not feeling well, doesn't mean Mommy can't have a little fun, right?

RIGHT?

So we have a few balloons left over from the party. Brian was playing with her last night and letting her play with a balloon, but she was so confused why it kept getting away from her.
I had a brilliant moment (minus the Bad Mommy Points for child safety) to tie the balloon TO her clothing. That way it wouldn't get THAT far away from her!
Then later I realized it had gotten a little quiet in the living room, and I walked in and found her there.

But I found the balloon first.

Why didn't I think of this earlier?

On The Mend...

Poor Nora seemed to have caught a virus.

The day of her birthday party, she had the runs a bit, but otherwise didn't seem too bad off. A little cranky, maybe, but she wasn't running a fever.

Then yesterday morning she woke up and was really out of it. She laid in my arms for over an hour while we waited for Daddy to come home from Walgreens with a thermometer that didn't involve holding her down and trying to poke something in her already sore butt for an accurate reading.

When he got home, the first thermometer read everything from 99.9 to 104.7 and 105.3!

We decided to get a new thermometer.

Brian went to the store and exchanged it for a new/better one, and she was around 101.5, ON Tylenol.

As soon as that wore off, she went up to 103.5, and last night when I checked her and gave her a diaper change, she was at 102.5.

Motrin seems to help the best. This morning she woke up ok, and has only been around 99.5 without the Motrin, which is good by comparison.

Man, it sucks when she's sick. The poor thing just sits in my lap and fusses quietly. Then when the Motrin kicks in she does ok.

Poor kiddo!

It's Official. I Hate Barney

Yes, we're talking about that insipid purple dinosaur.

I don't have the TV on all day, but if Nora's up and the TV's on, I try to make it Sprout TV, which is all PBS Kids shows.

The shows are usually pretty good, although I'm very disappointed that they no longer show Teletubbies (which Nora LOVES, and I can stand) in exchange for an extra edition of Zooboomafoo, an animal show with a couple of "brothers" who wear short shorts, and I'm sure are not brothers at all.

I was telling Brian last night that when I've wandered off of Sprout TV to check out Dora & Diego or some Disney show, I find that the shows aren't horrible, but the ads are HORRENDOUS!

"Buy, buy, you're fat," Brian said.

EXACTLY.

Sprinkled with McDonald's ads.

Which makes it more like "Buy, eat, buy, you're fat."

So I stay with Sprout TV.

But Barney is really starting to grate on my last nerve. The singing and the attempt to create children's Utopia makes me wonder if Barney is really as evil as my friend Dave once said. He actually taught his two-year-old to say "Barney is a big purple Satan."

I used to think that was sort of sick.

Funny, but sick.

But now I'm afraid I'm well on my way to doing the same thing.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

My Quest to Fix Qwest

I can't begin to tell you how much I hate Qwest.

Ever since we moved into our house in FEBRUARY, they have sent me a wrong bill. Every month I call them. Every month they've tweaked something in my account that's supposed to bring the cost down and fix the mis-billing.

Every month they give me a new amount to pay, which I do, and every month I get another bill with the extra $35-40 on it that still hasn't been written off.

And today, I called, and for the first time in 6 or 7 months, I was told that they would NOT adjust this amount they had promised since March, and that there was nothing they could do about it.

Q: Can I talk to the supervisor?
A: I am a billing supervisor.

Q: Can I talk to YOUR supervisor then, supervisor?
A: The only people above me are executives, and they don't take phone calls.

Q: REALLY?
A: Really.

Q: So you're telling me after eight billing cycles where you've promised to fix my bill, you won't fix it?
A: We are sorry, but that is correct.

Q: Did you know your company sucks?
A: We are sorry, but that is correct.

OK, that last one didn't go quite that way, but the rest of the conversation pretty much went like that, with a few variations, especially from me.

Mom was here watching Nora when I got my latest Qwest ebill, and I figured I could call again, get the promise to fix it, and get the "real" amount for my bill.

WRONG.

Seventy-two minutes later (I checked my phone when I finally hung up), I had talked to not one, not two, but THREE Qwest representatives, who decided, finally, after I feigned a near-nervous breakdown and threats to cancel all my services and take my business to Comcast, they decided they could do something for me after all.

So what did they do?

They decided to keep me as a "loyal" Qwest customer, I get 50% off my phone and Internet service for the next three months.

Total value? $120.

Now, tell me, people, what screwed up corporate world thinks that sticking me with $40 on one bill and giving me $120 back in free services is somehow fair trade?

Qwest does, apparently.

What a bunch of yahoos.

Some Days Have to Be a "Do-Over"

What a day.

Yesterday was Nora's birthday, and true to form, I expected a great day, and it sorta turned into a bust.

It started out with her waking up on the wrong side of the crib...Sometimes, not often, Miss N wakes up grouchy, and she's WAY too young to just feed her what makes me happy in the morning...which is basically an IV of pure caffeine.

We got out the door to a playdate with Sullivan and his Mom. She made us birthday muffins (I scarfed three), and we watched as our kids played, including this very sweet hug from Sully, which was met with my daughter accosting Sully several times by grabbing his clothes, and ripping his binkie out of his mouth and walking away with it.

So the morning went fine, but the afternoon quickly deteriorated into a refusal to nap, a bunch of hysterical toddler-like anger that I thought would be at least a year or two away, and then Bestema came and saved the day just by showing up.

Since Nora was in such a bad mood, we decided to postpone our outing, and Mom babysat Nora for a bit so I could go order her birthday cake at Costco and get a few

Thank goodness last night went better, and that this morning and afternoon were more like how I imagined her birthday would be.

Nora woke up in a great mood, and after my 72 minutes on the phone with Qwest straightening out yet ANOTHER bad bill, Bestema, Nora and I headed out for the carousel and lunch/brunch at a local cafe.

After that we got a two hour nap out of Nora, and off we went to Safeway to do our grocery shopping for her birthday party on Saturday.

Lots of family is coming into town, so we're very excited to celebrate Nora's first birthday!!

Sorry for the boring post, but that's been our last couple of days!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Happy Birthday Miss N...


It's My Mom's Fault. No Wait -- My Dad's.


I got the teary gene.

I was laughing to myself about it today, because my Dad (who was a Lutheran minister and a good preacher) would get choked up during his sermons when a point he was making was especially meaningful to him.

This past MONTH has been like that for me. I've found myself thinking or writing about our daughter Nora's birth, and it just makes me so teary, it's ridiculous.

I get all choked up thinking about that day one year ago -- September 17, 2007, when my life finally changed forever in a good way.

Six weeks after moving to Oregon to be near family, August 12, 2007, and 29 weeks into what should be a 40 week pregnancy, I bled when I went to the bathroom.

NO ONE thinks bleeding that far from your due date is a good thing. After three miscarriages and our loss of Jacob the year before, believe me, it took all I had not to have pure panic in my voice when I said:

"Brian, I have some bleeding. We need to go to the hospital right now."

So off to the community hospital. A twenty minute ride, a cell phone call to some OB on call that weekend, who told me to go to Labor & Delivery. I had the doppler Becky had lent me and I kept listening: Baby's heartbeat was strong and stable and normal.

Thank God.

They kept me in the hospital overnight for observation. We had an ultrasound that showed that my placenta wasn't in the right place, and was probably blocking the way out for the baby.

The next morning, I bled some more. Just enough to hear the words: "We're not equipped to have you here, you need to pick a hospital in Portland to go to."

Okay.

The only ride I've ever had in an ambulance took me to St. Vincent's in Portland. I never dreamed I would spend the next 5 weeks there.

But I did.

I had intermittent bleeding, just enough to keep me in the hospital. I prayed to get to 32 weeks. Then 33. Then 34.

Nora made it to 34 weeks, 1 day.

The night before she was born, I started bleeding around midnight. Then again around 2, or 4, or 6....I bled several times that night. Increasing in volume.

Some doctor I'd never met before (By now I'd met EVERYONE I thought I could), came in and insisted it wasn't "time"...when every nurse on staff said they'd never seen anyone bleed that much and not deliver.

Around 7 a.m. I passed a clot the size of my fist.

Dr. Martinez decided maybe he wasn't going to be a butt anymore, and we'd have Nora today after all.

Dr. Abel (one of my favorites) heard of a scuffle with one of the patients, and came to my bedside just moments before surgery. He told me "If I'd known it was you, I would have been here a lot sooner."

He invited himself into the surgery.

Family was called. Family assembled. I started crying, realizing the Day had come.

As they wheeled me into the O.R., I started shaking and crying.

I've never been so afraid in my life. After so many losses, so much craziness. Today was the day.

After being burned so many times, I was all but certain something would go wrong at the last minute.

They asked me to hold still as they prepped me for surgery. They had to give me an epidural, and I had to be perfectly still for it.

NEVER in my life have I had to gather myself in order to gain control over my body. I summoned every ounce of strength I had to stop shaking so they could put the needle in.

Within a few seconds, it was done, and they numbed me up so they could start the surgery.

Brian kept looking over the blue wall. He watched as they cut me open, pushed on my tummy, and Nora emerged with a plaintiff cry.

It wasn't loud, but pure music to my ears.

On 9/17/07, at 8:59 a.m., weighing in at 4 lbs., 15 oz., our girl was born.

NOTHING will ever equal the sound of my daughter's first breath and cries.

They showed her to me briefly (literally a second or two), before whisking her off to get her breathing monitored.

Brian left with the baby into the NICU as they sewed me up. He bounced back and forth to show me pictures and check on our girl.

After a couple of hours in recovery, I got my legs back. And it was then I got to meet our girl.

The time since has been like a blur in its perfection. As Brian said last night, he no longer worries about her survival as we did in those first hours, days, weeks and months.

Our girl has been the light of our lives this past year.

And as my friend Gerry said recently when we connected on Facebook: "Isn't parenthood the bomb?"

Amen to that.

There's nothing better.

Happy Birthday, sweet girl.

Happy Birthday to you!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Sunday, September 14, 2008

A Lot of What's Going On Around Here...

It's amazing to me how quickly things have changed around here. I took this picture on my phone from a week or two ago when she wasn't quite so mobile. Now, I swear if I took her to the same park, she'd be off and running, leaving me in the dust!

I adore the fact that Nora loves her Daddy. I mean LOVES LOVES LOVES her Daddy.

I told Brian I read up the other day that when little girls turn 3 or so, they go through this Daddy adulation phase.

We're apparently hitting that mark early on this milestone too, he said.

Yes we are.
Today as Brian got ready for his work week, she parked herself at the front door, often on her tip-toes, looking for her papa.

Nora's been quite a busy little girl, as you can imagine. No longer letting grass grow under her, this Girl is ON THE MOVE.

And here she is, showing off the fact that she's growing teeth. LOTS of teeth. You can see her well-grown lower two, but above is one front tooth, and another one next to it. Another front tooth is on the way.

She should be chawing on steak by the end of the week!

"Sticky Fingers Nora" has decided that running around the house with a remote control in her hands gives her a certain amount of -- well -- control over her life.

She frequently is seen picking up remote controls and moving from room to room with them. It makes TV watching for Brian and me very challenging to say the least!


This one just shows how TALL she is. Well, that and how bad of an aim she is at feeding herself.

Actually one of her favorite things to do is to feed herself as much of her meals as she can. She's discovered turkey breast, cheese, fig newtons, peaches -- you name it -- she'll eat it if it's cut into bite-size pieces.


Amazing.

Look Who Loves Her Own Reflection

Friday, September 12, 2008

Fun At The Children's Museum

Yesterday Brian and I took Nora to a children's discovery museum nearby, and we couldn't believe all the cool things there were to do!

Three old houses have been moved to a spot near the Willamette River, and an outdoor playland has been built in the yard too.

Lots of it is for older kids, but there was plenty to entertain Nora. The first room we went into had this camera with a lens that disorted the light (see video for the full effect below)
Brian and Nora went into her very first "ball room" and she had a lot of fun after a short time where she wasn't quite sure about it.

I told Brian it's funny because a year from now we won't be able to get her out of there!
We went to the room that's specifically for the "under 2" toddler set. Nora ran around this room looking at EVERYTHING and literally squealing with delight at all the things she found, including the duck on the floor.

In this picture, she is almost hyperventillating with joy. I can't tell you how funny it was to listen to her as ran from one thing to the next with all her little noises of joy.

I also told Brian it was amazing to watch her play with a truck like this. All of the sudden there was my girl, who just a few weeks ago couldn't walk more than a few steps, kneeling on the floor and pushing a truck around!

Here's the cool video of our light show. And yes, that's "Led Zeppelin's Stairway to Heaven" playing in the background!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

9/11

I still won't forget 9/11, or how I got to "meet" Fred Cox

Today is a day when I think back on how far things have changed in the world, and for me and my family. And how things stay the same.

Here's hoping by the next 9/11 that all our soldiers are home.

For the friends and family of Fred Cox, I remember with you.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Turning the Negative Into a Positive

Every time someone gives me crap about my beliefs and my support for my candidate, I send Barack Obama $25.

Rejected!

I do love one thing about my blog...

A couple of years ago, I blogged about something political and someone actually took the time to comment that "your liberal views are scary."

SCARY?

You mean 9/11 and our response to it wasn't scary enough? Now I'm scary for saying the war is wrong?

(It's still wrong).

Anyway, this afternoon I got two rapid-fire posts to my blog, which have to come through my e-mail for approval or rejection (along with their buried IP address, BUMMER!).

I'm proud to say that 99% of the time, I do approve them.

But today, with a hand gesture that resembles me flushing a toilet (along with accompanying "WHOOSH" I hit the "REJECT" button and gave a little laugh.

The funny thing was, they were ragging about my copy and paste job of The Nation article about Sarah Palin's attempt to ban books at her local library.

I guess they thought I wrote that all by myself, which I didn't. But I would have been proud to have produced that piece of journalism in particular.

Then the mysterious blogger decided to do it again and point out that I (apparently) am being "selective" by not addressing Obama's affiliation with the Rev. Wright in Chicago, a man who was first cited as a close friend, but later as it came to light that Rev. Wright was something of a Black Man's answer to Jerry Falwell in his inflammatory remarks, Obama distanced himself.

So far, I am pretty sure I have my facts straight...

I am not sure WHAT that has to do with Sarah Palin's book banning attempts.

I do know that she DOES have a journalism degree from the University of Idaho, and even a small school like that one would have addressed the First Amendment, and as a former journalism student myself, I'd even venture to guess she was required to produce at least one paper concerning a free press and the case law against the government's intrusion on that Right.

How that reflects back on Obama and Rev. Wright's friendship and his church attendance, I do not know.

I can only say that my own father was a Pastor, and despite him being a great guy who loved people and taught about Jesus' love for us, he had some views that were considered "radical" for the old timers sitting in the Lutheran pews he preached to. In fact, he left one church in particular because of his views, and I'm sure more than a few people distanced themselves from him for his beliefs (even if they were misunderstood).

I'm not sure what my little friend's point was in all that. So far it has nothing to do with his qualifications to be President in my eyes.

You see, you DO have to take into consideration people's affiliations in church, friendships and workplaces. You bet you do.

But what really makes me laugh is how many people said Barack Obama "wasn't Black enough", and when they get a few tapes of a raucous Black congregation, they go off the deep end.

Whoa, people said. Maybe that's Blacker than we really wanted. Can we get him to be whiter now? We liked the Bryant Gumble version of Barack Obama.

And here's the shocker: A lot of what Rev. Wright said are things I actually agree with -- including the inflammatory anti-white stuff. In fact, I'd dare say he nailed it pretty well. It isn't that what he said was so much wrong, as it was just plain angry.

I'm not saying it was all ok either. Some of it did go off the deep end.

For that reason I get it that Barack Obama had to distance himself for fear of alienating people who wouldn't understand Rev. Wright's blustering. For the SAME reason Sarah Palin (regardless of what she actually believes) will distance herself as much as she can from every scandal including her book banning, right-wing Christian church-going speech on the record.

In the end, the arguments are no longer me vs. some right winger who believes Palin's the best thing to happen to the women's movement since the washing machine.

It comes down to the undecideds who have to make choices not on these people that both parties are intent on making look bad.

They have to decide: 4 more years of Bushisms, with a "hockey Mom" who's incapable of personal responsibility (much less legal knowledge) presiding over the Senate, waiting in the wings for McCain to die (which he has a high probability of doing);

Or take a leap of faith that isn't that big of a leap at all, towards a man who has studied the law, served in the Senate, and actually wants to do something to end this war, start working on climate change, and not set women's rights back 50 years, while working to make our children's futures brighter?

For me the choice is easy.

Kids: remember this is my blog. It's my little section of the world where I get to say what I want, how I want. I try not to name-call, or make fun of people. At least not with any ripping animosity. Do your best to temper your comments so I don't have to flush you down the blogosphere's 'loo too.

Monday, September 08, 2008

A Day At The Park

My friend Patti wrote on her blog about going to a local state park, so today I woke up with a bunch of unfounded energy, and decided "Nora, we're going to a new park today!"

It was a lucky photo day, so I'm not even going to try and pick and choose. Nora was cute even walking away from me today.

I see this often -- the back of her head -- but I don't often publish it. You just have to see that cute little egghead with those adorable ears.

Nora had a great time walking around in the grass. I couldn't get over how quickly the past few days she's gone from needing something to stand up with, to being able to stand up cold on her own!

She spends nearly ALL her time on her feet these days, and the park is just a great place where she can fall down, and get herself back up again, and discover new things like tree roots, clover, and other things to try and either touch or eat (or both.)

This picture just shows the Peterson glint in her eye that spells T-R-O-U-B-L-E. Pictures like this assure me that I wasn't JUST the "host" for the M. family genes...that I DID have SOMETHING to do with her looks!

This last one is my favorite picture of her in so long. I can't get over how cute she looks in this completely lucky action shot of her walking like a totally normal human being.

When most of the time, she still walks a little more like a drunken sailor or Frankenstein.

The Newness...

Today Dude. Today I got a Dell.

It's slick.

It has 320 gigs of storage. 4 gigs of RAM alone (my last computer had 512 MB -- YAWN!) and some other lightning fast stuff on it.

I shopped around at Costco like Jeff said, looked at Best Buy, looked at other places, and finally drove down to the store to do the look/touch.
I found a Dell Studio laptop (the T8100) and was quickly sold on its size/speed for the price.

Then came the fun part!

I paid for it (it had to be ordered from a warehouse and would take a week)...then a week later the WRONG ONE came...so they offered me the floor model, but they'd have to restore the settings.

OK.

Several hours later the Geek Squad couldn't restore the thing, and I just said "GET ME A NEW ONE."

So they did...From Bend, Oregon's store...so three days later, I FINALLY have my new 'puter.

I love it.

It's fast.

And I paid tuition for my Chemistry class and bought my books, so we're ready to go!

It's SO hard to believe I'm going back to school! But I looked at my Chem book and it looks like fun. So something has to be right about this!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Nora's First Year Pictures

Today was a big day...we took Nora to the portrait studio to get our pictures taken, and boy, was that fun.

Courtney the photographer asked if I could get her to stand on the X on the white vinyl background.

"Sure," I said.

Well, that nanosecond went by REALLY fast.

Getting Nora to stand still, sit still, be still, for the half hour photo shoot took the work of four adults.

Here's a slide show of the pictures of her. The whale outfit (in blue) is a special one "Aunt" Tammy sent me, which her Bug wore when she was small. The other light green/blue dresses and flip flops were an Aunt Jill special.

As we waited for the pictures to get worked on, we saw another girl there with her family, and Nora stood right next to her, and they were equal in height. THEIR kid was 20 months old, and Nora's 11 1/2!

Amazing.

Anyway, here's a few of the pictures. We'll be getting some hard copies and the disk with the permission to publish, so they're legally ours. When we print some we'll get some out to those of you we know IRL.

I think the cake pictures are just priceless!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

The Number One That Made Me Cry

We're getting our professional pictures done tomorrow, since we're within a couple of weeks of Nora's birthday...so after pulling out a couple of her cute outfits, I realized we didn't have anything to really match or complement her outfit.

Brian and I aren't dress-up people, so his shirts and ties and my one dress hanging in the closet would feel too forced.

We briefly discussed wearing our Obama shirts, since that's the closest thing we have to matching.

Nah.

So I went to Target and found a polo shirt for Brian and a top for me that would go with her outfits.

While I was at Target, a gal from the studio called to confirm the appointment, and she suggested I bring along a cake or cupcake for Nora to dig into at the end.

Well, of course I have to do THAT. It's so cliche' and yet so cute!

So I headed to Target's party section and what?

No "1" candles!

After leaving that store, I went to Roths.

No "1" candles!

Finally I poked around behind the counter at the bakery and found this "1".

And a 4-inch tall chocolate cake all decorated perfectly for our day tomorrow.

As I drove home, I just caught myself with a little tear, as I realized my girl is going to be ONE!

No longer a baby. A toddler. Getting all grown up.

You're so proud to see them grow and yet you wish they could stay small a little longer.

Bittersweet? Sure.

But mostly sweet.

Here she comes world. If you think Sarah Palin is a force to be reckoned with...look OUT!

Friday, September 05, 2008

Thank You Marie!

Nora's been getting her share of advertising in for her favorite candidate these days. Her Auntie Marie (a friend of mine from Seattle) sent her this FINE t-shirt, just in time for the heat of the election!
Here's the close-up of the shirt.

Thank you Marie! We LOVE IT!!!

300 Pounds of Love

We went to the zoo today, and just as we entered, we found out the new baby (not yet named) could be seen from 10-3 p.m., or til it fell asleep.

So we waited in line for more than half an hour, chatting with the gal behind us who's from Chicago and liked my ObamaMama shirt I had on...Finally we got in to see our new little addition to the zoo.

He had a rough start, since I heard the day he was born his Mom stepped on him. But he's obviously enjoying the care and love of his Mommy, as she covered him in straw, nursed him, and they obviously had lots of cuddle time.

The new little guy is so very cute, and I was surprised at how SMALL he was. Then I asked how much he weighed (thinking maybe 200 lbs.) and they said he was 303 pounds this morning! Compared to his 7000 pound mama, that's tiny!

Welcome, little guy!

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