Friday, May 30, 2008

More To Do At The Zoo!

We had such a great day at the zoo today!

Brian had the day off, so we headed up to the Oregon Zoo. Nora has had a cold for several weeks, and even though we went to Oma and Opa's, she hasn't spent a long "stroller day" out in the elements for a few weeks now.

So this morning when we realized the weather was nice, Brian was off, and Nora was feeling better, we better pack a lunch and head for the zoo!

One of my favorite things is watching Nora and her Daddy discover new things. Every time we take her to the zoo, there's just that much more cognition in Nora as she watches people and animals more.

Anything with a tank with animals going by sparks her interest!

And of course, there's Daddy Disney. I call him that because to Nora, he's just The Most Wonderful Place On Earth.

There's nothing quite like seeing her just beam like she does at her Daddy. I actually got a big ol' lump in my throat as I took this picture.
I've also realized that my daughter doesn't look a darn thing like me sometimes!

When we were at Oma and Opa's house (Brian's parents) -- Oma got out some baby books of the kids, and the pictures of Brian's baby pictures were amazing.

"It's like my genes weren't involved at all," I told his Mom to more than a few laughs as we realized my daughter is some sort of clone between my Mother-in-law's father and various other sides of the M. family too.

I mean sure, I had her, so I "contributed". But you'd have thought I was merely the host to the DNA known simply as the M. Family Search and Destroy Genes.

None of mine apparently came through -- at least not yet!

Near the end of our time at the zoo, we went down to the "grassy knoll" as I call it -- a grassy ampitheatre near the elephant exhibit, where they do a Birds of Prey exhibition. It was so neat to watch Nora register with a couple of the larger birds as they flew over.

We even got to see a Bald Eagle!

It was funny too as Brian was wearing his Obama shirt. It's amazing to me how one man (Obama, not Brian) can raise such a reaction from people. At one point, a couple with their kids was walking towards Brian, and the man in the family was just BEAMING at Brian, so much so that it freaked him out a bit.

It took Brian a while to realize the guy was smiling at him because of his Obama shirt. Believe me, with Obama you get a reaction where you either want to be that person's friend, or you realize that they sure as heck don't like it!

But the good reactions have outweighed the bad, even with the kooky neighbor we have!

More on that later...

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Yeah, We've Decided to Keep Her.

Before you have a baby, the closest you get is that few months with a puppy when you walk them at the park, and a few dog lovers come up to find out its name, its breed, and ask if they can pet it.

But you get a baby like Nora, who right now is in the stage where her head wings around at EVERY human being that passes her, and naturally people smile at her. Then she smiles back, and hearts melt and suddenly I'm hearing "You have SUCH a darling baby" or something like that.

The guy in the line at the post office yesterday just keep chatting her up, and finally she talked back. It was so cool! He has an 8-year-old daughter and talked about her to Nora, and Nora just thought he was the bee's knees.

And today, going into Target, a woman said "what a cute little fuzz ball there" and I thought "HEY! SOMEBODY ELSE BESIDES ME HAS NOTICED SHE HAS HAIR!"

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Look Who's Expecting!

My blogger friend from Spain, Gatxan, has been reading my blog for some time now. She has posted comments since long before Jacob, and has always had kind words for me.

I just saw her blog again today, and she's had her first ultrasound, and is due in November.

DO look at her blog, but for you English-only speakers -- Be prepared because she publishes in Catalan, a language that looks familiar to Spanish speakers, but is another language entirely.

To learn more about Catalan, click here

Congratulations Gatxan!!! I am so VERY happy for you!

Our Memorial Day Weekend

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Nora's Gone Commando!

We're visiting Oma and Opa today, and Oma figured out exactly how to get Nora scooting and crawling across the floor!

Watch it all the way to the end too, because you get a super cute smile!

Friday, May 23, 2008

When Hatred Comes Up and Slaps You One

We just had a neighbor from across the street rip up our Obama yard sign and throw it in the bushes.

My Mom and niece were just driving up and saw her do it, so Brian went out and fished the sign out of the bushes. I walked out and asked her if she did it and she said “yes.” When I asked why, she said “Because you’re a n*gger lover.”


I said “Well, that may be, but it’s my property. So don’t touch it again or I’ll call the police.” She said she didn’t care, so I went ahead and called the police.

The lady at 911 said she’d be sending a police officer over to make contact.

I don't have words for this person. I was almost speechless. Almost.

But in the end. Here I am almost shaking at first with anger. And then I thought "How pathetic."

How pathetic to have so much hate in one's heart. How very pathetic and sad.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

There's No Picture For This

I keep having a flashback (a real one, so I guess it's more of a memory) of my friend Teri coming to my house and seeing my Nora for the first time.

Teri flew in on Friday evening, and landed at Nora's bedtime, so I left Nora at home and greeted Teri at the airport alone.

We got here, and with Nora's lamp on, I took Teri in to Nora's room so she could see her.

She cried. Teri, that is.

She stood there and cried and said "you can look at all these pictures, but it's just so REAL when you get to see them!"

Yeah. My girl, my Nora is real.

I call her my "precious angel girl" when I greet her every morning.

That little head bobs up in the crib and I get greeted with the grin that makes every day a precious one.

And sometimes I cry a little.

I hope Nora gets to understand someday what a gift she is. Her mere presence on this planet is a gift that can never be repaid.

And sometimes that makes people -- not just me -- cry for joy.

Holy Cr*p!

Today was that day.

That day where OH.MY.GOSH.

She's UP on all fours.

She's figured out (but not quite mastered) the crawling moves.

And just like that, she's more mobile than ever.

Nora. Nora. Nora.

Mommy needs to baby-proof the rest of the house!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

PJ's Day For Zackary

I was so saddened to read that my friend Carrie's son Zackary, who has been fighting Leukemia for more than a year and a half -- was teased in public -- not just by children but by thoughtless adults when he went out with his Mom in his pajamas the other day.

So today, Nora and I are going to stay in our jammies all day.

And you should too! Pick a day, any day, and stay in your pajamas. Go out, stay in, it doesn't matter.

But do tell Zackary that you did it for him -- all you have to do is sign his guest book! I'm sure he'd get a kick out of it!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Satire At Its Finest

A friend from an online group recently posted this website, What White People Like and I was just about rolling the first time I saw it.

I sent it to my brother Jeff, who I refer to as my "on-call Sociologist" since he's a Sociology professor and can explain things that many of us would run the risk of misunderstanding -- and I had to ask:

"Is this the funniest thing I've ever read, or am I supposed to be offended?"

It's so hard to tell these days!

But as Dr. Jeff, On-Call Sociologist said, "It's hilarious satire."

Definitely pointed at the not just white, but white yuppie types (like us).

Oh good.

Not everyone gets it mind you. Be careful.

But I loved the list, and I've borrowed a few so you can get a taste of it:

White people like:

#26 Manhattan (now Brooklyn too!)
#19 Traveling
#16 Gifted Children
#15 Yoga
#14 Having Black Friends
#12 Non-Profit Organizations
#9 Making you feel bad about not going outside
#8 Barack Obama
#6 Organic Food
#5 Farmer’s Markets
#3 Film Festivals
#1 Coffee

Nuff said. If you want to see more, go here

Monday, May 19, 2008

Selling Dolls

I listed Raggedy Ann and her friend Raggedy Andy on my eBay for sale.

I have a set already for Nora, and I realized I had an extra set and don't need them, and we're trying to trim back on stuff that's stored. I tried to donate them for a local auction, but they weren't able to take them, so I figured I might as well sell them!

If you know anyone who wants a set of dolls, let me know, or click here and put in a bid. They're oversized dolls intended for an older child (the face and other features are embroidered, so not intended for little fingers), or for the collector!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

A Couple Other Pictures From The Weekend

This morning before Teri and I left for the airport, we got a picture of the three of us together.

Teri likes to call Nora "Merlot" after a joke I told the OB/GYN. You see, my OB/GYN in Denver said after I saw her -- pregnant with Nora, and her knowing my history -- that she was "impressed with how strong you are, and willing to try again."

"Oh no," I said. "This baby was made as a direct result of Merlot."

So, Teri and a few others thought it was cute to name Nora "Merlot".

But I'll just keep calling her Nora.

Thankfully, I have friends like Heather who said to me, "Oh honey. Don't feel bad. All three of mine were conceived in a WAVE of tequila."

That may not make my Mom or mother-in-law feel better about me. But it makes ME feel better.

And here's our little cutie, with snot running down her face, smiling like there's no tomorrow.

With her brand new "Life Is Good" brand hat that Aunt Teri bought her, which she'll have to grow into along with the matching shirt and pants, because her little pinhead is too small.

The Perfect Day During A Perfect Weekend

Teri and I have been friends for nearly 20 years now. It's hard to believe I've known her almost half of my life! We worked at The Seattle Times for many years, then went on to work in other places, but we've always stayed in touch, and always made an effort to see each other.

My friend Teri came to visit me this weekend.

Well, really Nora.

But Saturday was a hot sunny day, and with Brian off work, Nora a bit under the weather with her cold, and Teri now living in a landlocked state near a bunch of Osmonds, I figured we better make a dash for the Coast.
I love these first two pictures of her because the first one is right after she put her arms down from seeing the ocean for the first time in a nice long time, and her enthusiastic "YES!" that is Trademark Teri.

The second picture I like because it just captures more of what is Teri -- happy, fun-loving, and thrilled to be where she is, when she is.
We had such a beautiful day out in Pacific City.

It was in the 70s, even with the wind (which on the Oregon Coast isn't just rare, it's a freaking miracle). And the water only cramped your feet a little, not a lot.

There were actually people swimming in the Pacific!
Teri and I had lunch at a little deli in town, then drove up to a State Park that has just a few people over the dune, and all you have to do is walk 100 yard south, and you're all but alone on the beach. Just 20 miles south are thousands of people stacked up on top of each other at Lincoln City, but we were all by ourselves most of the afternoon!

Walking down the beach, sometimes together, sometimes separately...taking lots of pictures and enjoying the day. You really can't ask for a better day.

On the way back, Teri started picking up a couple of bottles she found, and then I picked up a big piece of styrofoam, and before we knew it, we were zig-zagging along the beach to pick up litter as we went along.

We even found a bottle with Korean type imprinted on the bottle. Which, even if it was cool, was litter, so into the trash it went.

We got back last night and sat on our back porch, in lawn chairs, enjoying a glass of wine and talking while Brian went to a movie. Today we went to Portland for a trip to Trader Joe's and a quick lunch in downtown Portland before taking Teri to PDX for her trip back.

It was, I think, one of the most perfect weekends in my whole life.

Thank you Teri, for coming to see me and our girl! We are so glad to have you here, and thanks for everything!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Picture of The Day

My friend Teri is visiting -- she's working out of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho these days -- but lives not far from a bunch of Osmonds in Utah most of the time.

She asked to see my grandma's old house on High Street in Salem as we were driving through town today on the way to the Coast.

This is the sign we saw across the street!

Click on the picture if you can't read it from here.

It makes me want to take him my yard sign when it gets here -- I ordered one this week.

Friday, May 16, 2008

We're Just Not Normal, People.

I went over to Jeff & Judy's farm today to help paint their house/barn.

Of course, it's one of those "Wow, it's mid-May and it's going to be 95 degrees for only one day, and this is the day we'll start painting."

My brother Jeff isn't really that diabolical. But he is a college professor who took the day off from work so we could work on the house.

By 10 a.m. the four of us were painting. That would be Jeff, and his daughters Hannah (16) and Miriam (12 going on 25).
I had to take a few pictures to document the event.

Let's start with Jeff.

Please note the ice skater pose.

And I don't think he wonders how he had all those broken bones, stitches and compressed disks in his back.

Well, he shouldn't.
Then there was Hannah. I took this picture and she said "People are going to think I painted that."


Yes they are.
And Miriam. The Girl Wonder who's mouth runs just as fast as the next Peterson, only she's 12, almost 13 here in a couple of weeks, so there's really no filter on it whatsoever.

Of course, the pose she has here, came only after I said "If you don't show me your face, I'm going to just take a picture of your butt and blog it."

I'm such a great aunt.

Dontcha think?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

It's Hotter Than H-E Double Toothpicks

And it's going to get hotter!

My friend Teri is coming tomorrow, and she e-mailed me this week saying "So, you're pulling out all the stops for the weather, huh?"

Um, yeah. 97 tomorrow. Sucky if you ask me...

But my plan is for a dash to the Coast on Saturday where it'll be 10 degrees cooler than it is here.

I'm so excited to have her come and spend time with us and meet my baby girl...Teri lives in the Salt Lake area, and is an OLD (not her, but time, you know) friend from my days at The Seattle Times. She's been a friend so long, she was my matron of honor at my FIRST wedding.

Roll the windows up Teri, the AC will be ON!

Scary, Huh?

It's like looking into the future sometimes...

This kid, she's just a BABY! Nora will be 8 months old on Saturday, and she's taller than the average 1-year-old by a long shot.

Here she is, looking oddly toddleresque -- except for the bald and toothless part.

She outgrew her infant carseat. That handy dandy "Travel System" carseat that snaps into the stroller, and back into the car.

No more.

We sprang for the next best thing for a Evenflo Triumph, which raves about, is half the cost of a Britax (which start around $250 and go up from there), and can be turned around when she turns 1 year old, along with carrying her up to 50 lbs.

Which at the rate she's growing, will be in 6 months or something.

A couple of times when my sister Judy has seen her and noticed Nora yawn or eat a big meal, she says "She must be in a growth spurt."

And I laugh and say "Yeah, that growth spurt she's been in since the day she was born!"

People keep telling me her growth will slow...

I think "they" are all full of it.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Another Soul-Sucking Day At The Office!

Daddy/Brian played with some guys in a band called World Separation who had an album called "Tales From Another Soul-Sucking Day At The Office" and for some reason, it made me think of it and laugh as I put Nora in her office today and she wasn't initially all that thrilled.

She was better when I put some more toys in front of's a short slideshow, just four pictures...

Create Your Own

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

I'm On The WehhhhhhhhhB!

Nora got her first broadcast experience with a webcam this weekend. Her cousin John showed her the ropes.

All I could think of was that Monk promo where he gets his first e-mail and he says "I'm on the Wehhhhhhhhhhhb!"

She got to play with cousin Erik too. Nora just LOVES having lots of people to play with, and both her cousins from Gig Harbor love to spoil her extra rotten!
On Saturday morning, we were getting breakfast ready, and here was John with Nora in her play area, and Nora was using him as a climbing toy to get to her other toys.
Then there was the tasty trip to Taco Del Mar. Because even though Nora can't eat there yet, the rest of us can!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

What a Picture!

My sister Jill came down and spent the weekend with us and then we headed over to Jeff's for Mother's Day.

My Mom, who's visiting our brother Joel in New York, wasn't there to see her five grandchildren together again, so I snapped this picture on my phone to send it to her.

I am just amazed at how sometimes I could (if they'd put up with it) spend hours trying to position people and things to make it right, and then one quick photo like this one can turn out SO perfectly!

It was a good day.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Mother's Day

This morning, at about 3 a.m., my Mother's Day started out with my daughter coughing, hacking and crying everyone awake, and I got to get up, change her, feed her, and eventually get her back to sleep.

The irony wasn't lost on me since the first four months of her life were like that a lot. And recently, we've enjoyed a full night's sleep nearly every night.

Except of course, the night going into Mother's Day.

Anyone who knows me can imagine how sweet Mother's Day is for me this year. I went from this picture last September -- a new Mom with bittersweetness, joy and delirium in her eyes, to just 7 3/4 months later, having a daughter who is doing everything she can to sit, crawl or stand on her own.
And being my kid, she doesn't know which she wants to do first, but she's quite sure she wants to do it all, and right now.

But this isn't just about me being a Mom.

I have to say this past year has also been about MY Mom.
My Mom's name is Karlene, but everyone knows her as "Bestema" in the family -- that's Danish for "Grandma".

My Mom was a child of the 1950s, who became an adult in the 1960s, when she had all her kids, somewhat insulated from the tumult of the 1960s and 1970s as she raised her family while playing the role of the good minister's wife.

What's amazing to me about my parents is that they came from such different backgrounds (hers from perhaps "too much" love in the form of spoiling, and him from "definitely not enough"). And yet they came together to make parents who really tried hard to instill values into their kids -- with very little money -- and yet all the richness of unconditional love.

If my sister Jill and I worked on Dad hard enough, we knew he'd probably fold like a lawnchair, but if he sent us to Mom, we know we weren't probably going to get what we wanted, because the question was too hard for him, or he knew he'd get in trouble for saying yes (even though he probably wanted to say yes to us darling daughters).

But I have many memories of my Mom taking me alone to the store for a little "girl time", or out to a show, or one time I remember going to Sonja Roiko's modeling show, and her smiling down at me as we sat at a pie place afterwards.

The smile of approval that so many other kids waited for all their lives (and some still wait for) I got many times, even when I probably didn't deserve it.

I'm 41 years old, and she still calls me "pumpkinhead" and a few other nicknames I'm just not willing to share with the blogosphere for fear that it would just perpetuate it.

My Mom was there for us when Jacob was born and lost. She cried along with us, and in our infertility grieved her grandchildren as I mourned my babies.

And so, as she became a grandmother to my living, breathing, healthy baby girl, nothing quite puts a lump in my throat as watching my girl Nora smile and love her Bestema.

Very few people can claim their Mom is the best, and I'm proud to say so. My Mom was, and is, the best mother a girl could ask for.

I love you Mom. Thanks for loving me no matter what, for being there for us, and for being such a wonderful Bestema to our girl.

Happy Mother's Day to ALL Moms, no matter how kids came to you.

Your Jules

It's Time for Hillary Clinton to Step Aside

I find it fascinating the differences between this afternoon's reporting by CNN and the BBC about the Democratic Party's race for the Presidential nomination.

CNN seems intent on trying to pander to the FOX NEWS crowd (remember kids, "garbage in=garbage out"), instead of doing responsible objective journalism. And I'm sad (but at least relieved) to see that a British news crew has gotten it right.

And I'm not just talking about today, but in general, the BBC just beats the pants off of any news network anywhere.

I'm agreed with the BBC and anyone else capable of doing the math, that Barack Obama has all but had the race to himself for weeks. Furthermore, I'd say that Hillary would have been wise to get behind him (or even accept the possibility of a VP spot on the ballot), rather than prolong the inevitable.

CNN has been trying to keep this race on life support for months. Even today, as you can see in these stories, they have yet to report the fact that Obama's campaign has overtaken Clinton with the pledge of some additional superdelegates.

As a lifelong Democrat, and someone who has always DREAMED of the day a woman would be able to make a viable run for the White House, I was pleased when Hillary Clinton stepped up to the plate this past year.

But I'm also just as thrilled to know that a man of color like Barack Obama can step into that same arena and make the same viable run for the White House.

It's not that either one is more or less qualified to be President in my view. In fact, I think they're both equal but in different ways.

And as much as it pains me to say this as a woman, I don't think that person during these times, is Hillary Clinton.

In my European travels, I've met many people willing to discuss politics and the thing that has always stuck with me is how cynical most Europeans are about their governments, and what they expect of them. Scandals rarely rock anyone's Presidency because they've been around longer and have seen it all before. I don't really blame them for it, I just think that as a younger nation, we haven't seen it all, so we still expect something of our public leaders.

It's why Obama's campaign has people who support him walking with a spring in their step and a smile on their face. It's why people follow me into grocery stores and say "I like your bumper sticker" (seriously had that happen yesterday) or honk and wave at me.

If Mrs. Clinton wants to show us how much class and determination she really has, she'll start heading for the door on her bid for the Presidency, and start working on mending the fences between her supporters so that they can vote for Obama, and not head for McCain, who will do nothing but continue the quagmire we're in now.

Yes, it's time for Hillary (and CNN) to recognize that the race is over. It's time for us Democrats, Independents, and disillusioned Republicans to get behind the man who can offer us hope for the future, that being someone willing to lead us out of Iraq, and into a leadership role in our mounting global environmental crisis.

And that person is Barack Obama.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Climbing On The Daddy Tree

Nora woke up this morning to something she hasn't had ALL week. Daddy getting her up and getting her fed, changed and hanging out, while Mommy slept in. I just got a cold, and Brian came home from a long week working out of Forks, WA (Far, Far Away), so nice guy that he is, he got up with her.

When I got up this morning, I commented on how happy Nora looked. "Well, she hasn't been put down all morning," Brian said. "She's just been climbing in the Daddy Tree."

Some people have asked me what he's getting me for Mother's Day, and I laughed, because Brian and I had that conversation as he was driving home from BFE, WA.

"I haven't gotten you anything," he said.

"Well, you know I'm waiting for those diamonds I've been bugging you about," I said.


In fact, I haven't been bothering him about buying me anything sparkly.

I like the fake stuff because it's cheaper. And I don't run in the social circles where that kind of score is kept.

In reality, my Mother's Day this year will be celebrated because this is the first Mother's Day in 6 years where I won't have a quiet cry in the bathroom alone, mourning the fact that Mother's Day has been a knife in my heart for years.

No, this year, Mother's Day will be celebrated with lunch at my brother & sister's house, where we can enjoy and watch our kids -- some who have all but grown up -- and mine just starting out.

For me, every day since Nora's born has been a Mother's Day of sorts. I get to be a Mom to a very special baby girl whose eyes twinkle and grin when they see me, and who loves seeing her Daddy come home, and who likes to "climb the Daddy Tree" more than anything else in the world.

Happy Mother's Day to all who are mothers to living children. And to those who have angel babies waiting for you, gentle hugs to you.

Monday, May 05, 2008

And We Pay These People...

Sometimes I wonder, WHY do they bother?

Seriously -- the weather for my area on NOAA (the Daddy of the National Weather Service) says that it will be "Mostly Cloudy" tonight, "Partly Sunny" the next, and basically alternates with the same news for the rest of the week.

What is the difference, exactly?

No Picture For This

I'm at my computer while my Mom feeds Nora dinner.

I can hear Nora chattering away at Bestema while Mom talks back.

"You can't have the spoon quite yet," Mom says.

"Ba bah ba PA!" says Nora.

"You really like to eat, though don't you?" Mom asks.

"Da ba," Nora says.


A Cute Nora Video

Cutie Roundup

Nora just loves this Exersaucer because she can be in a standing position.

If you ever wonder how I get to blog at all, it's because she's sitting right here in front of me, playing in her "home office".

This morning she rolled and commando-crawled her way off of her blankets, and started heading down the hall out of the family room. Every day it's a little more.

And yes, we've already bolted bookcases to the walls and installed locks on the cupboards with breakables and chemicals!

My friend gave Nora this toy with the mirror, and she was trying to kiss herself (or maybe lick herself, LOL) in the mirror.

She heard the camera come on and at first she saw me in the reflection, then turned around to look at me.

I LOVE this toy for her too because every day she looks at herself and gives herself a big smile, and I imagine she still hasn't quite figured out that the baby in the reflection is her!

Then a pic of her first experience with spaghetti (by Gerber)...My Mom says that I'm supposed to let her get into the food more, so I did. Mom says she let us play with our food, and I wondered "But did we have new carpet at the time?"

I don't think so!

Still, I gambled and figured at least I own a carpet cleaner! Nora just had a blast. This week, we're going to get one of those plastic floor protector things for under the high chair!

Saturday, May 03, 2008

What's Wrong With This Picture?

My friend Roxie will have a field day with this one! She's a lot of us gals' Carseat Guru, who tells what to buy and what to avoid as we navigate the laws, the costs and the benefits of each carseat on the market.

So Brian was getting us ready to go today, and as he was getting everything loaded into the car, he realized he'd forgotten Nora's carseat.

So what does he do?

He sits her in the front seat, buckles her in, and since he has his camera with him (for another trip to the zoo), he decides to take a picture of her.

I saved this picture as "NO.DADDY" as in "I'm not supposed to be in the front seat, facing forward, with just a lap belt."

I'm not sure which one's scarier -- the fact that she's sitting in the front seat of the car, or the fact that she's having an easier and easier time these days sitting with no assistance.

And while we're at it with the new skills... our girl is working hard to learn how to crawl. This picture I took last week when she was just learning to get her legs under her. She hadn't quite figured out to get herself up on her hands yet, as you can see she's resting on her elbows still.

But just last night at Jeff & Judy's, here she is getting up on all fours. What's really funny is that she gets that little butt so high in the air, it throws her off balance, which results in...

This. Either she falls over and rolls, or she faceplants.

Oh Nora. I'm already sorry in advance for posting this. I know you'll be eye-rolling me hard for these pictures someday!

What's Left To Do At The Zoo?

We decided instead of mowing the lawn or cleaning house that today was a MUCH better day spent at the zoo.

Yes, again!

The line outside was horrific, but we have passes so we shot right in. The rain started, stopped and started again, so we ended up staying just a few hours, but it was still well worth the drive.
Nora really loved the sea lions again. She just couldn't get enough of them. This picture was my favorite as the sea lions came around and around, and each time one of the two of them slowed down as he came towards Nora, as if he was checking her out! (click on the actual picture to get a larger view of it, it really is such a spectacular animal!)

We headed towards the elephants and Africa area -- and ran into our niece Hannah's friend Anna, who volunteers in the zoo. The odds of finding her in the crowd when we weren't even looking for her were rather small, but there she was!

Nora reached out for Anna and wanted to touch her face. It was so cute! It was like she recognized her and wanted to say "Hi FRIEND!"

As we rode home, it didn't take long for Nora to fall asleep in the car, but it wasn't without several minutes of crying and screaming.

Brian finally handed her his cell phone, which if you look closely she's fallen asleep with it in her chunky little hand.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Just When You Start Wondering

I saw a bumper sticker the other day that said "Where are we going, and what handbasket is this that we're in?"

I don't know about you, but there are days with the news as depressing as it is, that I want to start hoarding nonperishable food, get some sandbags around my house to either stop the water or the National Guard or looters from coming in my house.

Yes, I know that's extreme.

But I also know I'm not alone in thinking this way.

Then, a bright spot.

Well two actually.

One started yesterday in the ride on the way home from the zoo. I backed the car out of the parking spot, and as I passed a car, I saw a bumper sticker that said "WAG MORE. bark less", and all I thought was "I wish we all did that more often."

And as we were driving home, we saw a large Jeep with two youngish men (in their 30s) drove by us, and one of them was waving a stuffed frog in the window, just above the window line so it looked like the frog was on its own waving to us in the window.

I cracked up. They cracked up. They moved along, and I could see they kept doing it down I-5 that these guys were just having fun trying to lighten things up on the freeway for everyone.

Way to wag, I say.

Then I read this story this morning, and I was amazed.

A college girl for Western Oregon University with a worse batting average than me, hits her first home run in the playoffs in Ellensburg, Washington. She misses first base, but as she goes there to hit it, she injures her knee.

She can't let someone else from her team, or from the crowd help her.

So what happens?

Read this story. You'll be shocked at the answer, but it will warm your heart.

TGIF everyone. It's pizza night!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

An Average Conversation

Brian and I took Nora to the zoo this morning (but that's another post full of pictures).

Brian handed me the iPod so I could pick out some music. After Black Eyed Peas "Where Is The Love?", I chose Christina Aguilera, and our conversation went downhill from there.

And just so you can peer into our marriage just a tad, here's how a conversation went in the car.

Me: "Did you know Christina Aguilera just had a baby?"

Brian: "Yeah, isn't he a year old now?"

Me: "No, I think he was just born in December or something. You know who else is pregnant? Nicole Kidman. I'm so happy for her since she's been through at least one miscarriage and I think an ectopic pregnancy."

Brian: "Who is she married to?"

Me: "Keith Urban. An Australian Country singer. He's kinda cute. But I wouldn't leave you for him or anything. Maybe I would for Tim McGraw, but he's married to Faith Hill, so you don't have to worry."

Brian: "I wouldn't leave you for any country singer. Well, except maybe to just go ride around in Willie Nelson's tour bus."


Zoo Do

We had a great time today.

Brian worked Monday-Wednesday with some long hours, and has to work again tomorrow, but he had today off.

With a break in the typical Oregon weather, which I call "partly crappy", we decided to make a run for Portland and take our new Zoo Passes out for a spin.
We had at the top of our list of things to do last weekend (and the weekend before that) "Have fun in the sun if there's sun."

And like typical rain-soaked post-April Pacific Northwesterners, we decided to have fun, even if it was Thursday, because dammit, it's going to rain tomorrow if it doesn't do it today.
So off we went.

The last time we went to the zoo, one of the elephants was having a birthday party, and it was wall-to-wall revelers at the zoo (remember back when we had 80* weather, right before it snowed people?).

So this time, we made a beeline straight for the pachyderms, and we had a GREAT time seeing the big boys.
Nora also got to see and pet her next farm animal: The Goat.

It was cute to see her watch the kids as much as the other Kids, and she eventually petted one of several goats.
After all that time, it was definitely time for lunch. Just in the past few weeks since her last visit to the zoo, Nora was able (with the help of a little stuffing around her for support) to sit in the high chair at the table with us.

It just amazes me how one visit to the next can change how we eat! She had a great time sitting at the table, and we actually got to eat without one of us holding her and the other one scarfing their food so the other could take their turn!
And the SEA LIONS! This was probably Nora's favorite exhibit. We were in one of those "underwater" caves with the plexiglass, so she could see the sea lions swim by.

There was a raucous group of 3-5 year-olds who were SO excited to see the sea lions swim by with all their screams, the Nora herself went on Red Alert, and thoroughly enjoyed watching the big boys swim by!

I love this picture because today was also the first day Miss Nora was long enough and comfortable with sitting up on Daddy's shoulders.

And this picture looks like she's picking stuff out of his hair.

But really, she is sizing it up to see how it will taste, because ALL babies at her age think about is how to get things into their mouths, and believe me, eventually she was trying to get her Daddy's freshly cropped short hair into her mouth.

MMMM. Hair.
We made it all the way home without any crying and with lots of games of "peek-a-boo" with Daddy.

Considering she barely had a nap today -- Miss Nora just tuckered out around 6:30 p.m. tonight!

And I'm sure the dreams will be of Lions and Tigers and Bears!


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