Tuesday, December 23, 2008

My Christmas Story This Year

I found out some things from friends last week that brought up a lot of emotions in me that I really can't talk about and, because these aren't my stories, they aren't ones that I have the right to tell, even if I could tell them adequately.
So, instead, a story that I can tell.

I got a billing a week or two ago from the hospital for just shy of a grand. Now, thankfully, from my experience with Roslyn I knew that this bill will be mostly absorbed by insurance and that my remainder portion will be minuscule.
You see, I'm an A- blood type, which means I am Rh negative. The hospital charge was for my RhoGham shot.
If all of this sounds very foreign to you, I suggest you start with Wikipedia, and then maybe try the Mayo Clinic for a little more information. But, it essentially means that, unless I am given me-specific antigens, my body will try to destroy my babies.
It rarely affects first pregnancies, but you have to have the injection every time, every pregnancy as a just in case factor so your body doesn't develop the desire to attack any other blood type in your body.
When I got ready to go in for my shot, I found myself discussing it at work in a rather blase fashion. After all, I had done this before. But what I got this time were the stories. My director had had a sister who died within several days of birth; another co-worker, her mother had lost pregnancies and had given birth to what was known as a "blue baby" and had low-weight babies.
This got me to thinking about my own maternal grandmother. She was an Iowa Farm wife and, I think like most couples starting out in that time and in that place, she and my Grandfather, I am sure, had wanted a whole gaggle. But after my Uncle Larry was born, they would not have another baby that survived infancy until my mother, born in a home birth pre-mature and with underdeveloped lungs, 9 years later.
I had known all my life that my grandmother had had many miscarriages and had carried one baby to a live birth, only to have him succumb to death within days (his grave is next to my grandparents). To know my grandmother, this was part of her story and part of her sadness. She loved her children and grandchildren, but I think some part of her may have always been with those lost babies.
I realized as I listened to stories from my friends that my grandmother may have been Rh-, too, before anyone had any idea what that meant. I came to understand that I am being spared the grief that must have defined much of her child-bearing years, and maybe beyond.
My grandmother has been gone for over 5 years now, so trying to find out her blood type is a logistical difficulty, and it's not important for the story. The fact is, I realized that if I had to pay the whole bill for the shot (and there will be another one after the baby is born unless we end up with the rather unlikely possibility that the baby is A-, too), I would do it in a heartbeat.

In this time of Advent, in waiting for the Christ, I listen to the relative silence, knowing that in just a few short weeks, that silence will be irrevocably punctured by another life that moves within me with great gusto, subtly assuring me that I should sleep now.
I don't know what I have done to live in this time and in this place and be given these blessings, I am fairly certain that I am not worthy of any of it, but I can feel God's Grace streaming down over me like the snow and I am grateful.

The stories of others around me make me leary of wishing joy this year for Christmas, so I will wish you Peace, instead.
May you find the Peace that surpasses Understanding and has always been a comfort to those in exile. Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I'm Not Sure I Could Be More Pregnant

So yesterday I am leaving a meeting and I get ready to get into my car. I'm kind of in my own world, no big deal.
I sit in the car, open up my purse, and look around for my keys. I check in all the pockets in my purse, look in the bottom, check my pockets of my coat, check the passenger seat, look in my purse again, take my mittens out of my pockets and look in my coat again. No keys.
Just as I get ready to get out and start looking around the car, I realized that the car had been running the entire time I've been looking for my keys.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Sleighbells Ring ...

Ok, maybe not quite yet, but you couldn't tell from Roslyn's ensemble yesterday.

Happier Version of Ralphie (from Christmas Carol)

Jason took the day off after going to a Sr. High Retreat this weekend and he and Roslyn Girl went to the Zoo. Apparently, it is astounding how empty the Zoo is when it is Chicago in November (so, windy and about 37 degrees Fahrenheit).
They were one of eight families at the Dolphin show, and enjoyed not only great seats, but getting to see them up close afterwards.



You have undoubtedly noticed the good quality of the pictures, but maybe have noticed the files are not quite as big? Well, this is from Jason's new Blackberry (remember, the old one? The one that wouldn't survive going through the wash twice? I swear, there was nothing in that owner's manual about avoiding Front-Axis Washers). It has almost as many pixels as my Kodak. *sigh*, I'm jonesing for a Canon DSLR, but, you know how it is, I had to go and have this baby ... so probably not just yet. I'm going to try not thinking about how my pretty new A9 is actually going to be a series of Pampers.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

The Rest of the Story

I was at a meeting the week before last and a man that I see only about 4 times a year expressed his delight for our family that we would be adding one more in just two months. Before we departed he wished me good luck with the delivery. Then, embarrassed I think, retracted that, wishing me well.
I corrected him and said that, no , wishing me good luck was the fitting thing to do. I briefly recounted Roslyn Girl's delivery. It's amazing how much pain you can throw into so few words, especially when that pain isn't a part of you anymore: she was breach, delivered by C-section, aspirated meconium in the womb, and spent three days in the NICU. He tentatively asked, but it won't be natural this time, and wondered if that would be disappointing. I confirmed that it would be a C-section, but that it wasn't disappointing (especially since the idea of experiencing Hard Labor for the first time at 33 was not on my top 10 lists of things to accomplish before I die).

This time around, I told him, a safe delivery and a healthy baby is all that's important: 10 toes, 10 fingers, and one head, with something in it.

I post about this because I have been very cagey up to this point about telling people that this baby will be a C-section. I think it's been because I dreaded people's reactions. The first time around, when we knew I might have to be induced (something that obviously ended up not happening), the few people outside of family who were privy to this passed judgment on the fact. Oh the number of arm-chair obstetricians who wanted to question the wisdom of my very accomplished real obstetrician was remarkable, especially since they were expressing all of these doubts to a very pregnant woman. I feared that people wouldn't know how to hold their tongue ... again.
But, now, with less than two months to go, I don't have time for people's petty, personal battles (because I have since decided that such expressions of distaste on my behalf actually have very little to do with me and my experience). So, yes, this baby will be delivered by C-Section and, if last time is anything to judge by, I'm in for a relatively easy convalescence. I do know the exact date of the C-Section, but it's already changed once before and, in all honesty, I prefer to sit on that in case it changes again.
So I continue to tell people I'm due on January 9, but I'll start adding that this baby will be delivered by C-Section by the same physician who brought Roslyn into this world and has seen me (so far, touch wood) through two pregnancies quite safely.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Riding High

I wonder why John Denver never wrote a song about Sugar-Highs.

I mention this because today has been a non-stop, all-out tour de force for Roslyn's pancreas as she has been working to deal with the amounts of sugar she has been directing into her system.

I speak of, course, of the Halloween-aftermath. We were a bit trepidatious since this year we decided she would actually get some of her Halloween candy (last year she got to look at it all and then she went to bed and never was to be seen again...truly a scary Halloween story). Jason and I decided last night, after we "traded" some of the chocolate in her loot for animal crackers and fruit snacks (but by no means all, you traditionalists out there), that today would be an all out candy day. All day long she has been able to ask, for the most part at will, for things from her treat bucket. The caveat here is that when she goes to bed tonight, so does the rest of her booty. It will all be re-distributed back into the house's candy's reserves (don't look at me like that; you're just jealous you don't have a year-round stash of candy and that you didn't think of it first), the Halloween bucket and will get put up for another year and on Sunday morning we will say no more about it.

As a strategy, it's working so far today, and I think will work fine for us tomorrow. I can't take claim for thinking it up on my own, I read about it somewhere that dentists would suggest having a huge binge and then eating normally after that binge; it's easier on your teeth when you aren't constantly encasing them in sugar every couple of hours for a couple of weeks. So, as long as she doesn't go into a diabetic coma, it'll all be fine.


But, and of course you are right to ask, what was Roslyn Girl for Halloween? Well, since Jason had found a rather fetching Gandalf hat at Gen-Con, it was necessary that Frodina make a re-appearance this year. We did have to re-work aspects of the costume as the transition from being one year old to two years old is a big one (taller and rounder), but it turned out ok. More on Flickr.

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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Don't, Don't, Don't

Don't ever tell a pregnant woman she doesn't look pregnant.

You can tell her she carries it well. You can tell her she doesn't look that far along. You can even tell her that considering she is X months along, she looks great. But even if she is only two months pregnant, don't tell her she doesn't look pregnant.

You especially don't tell her that you can't even tell she is pregnant, implying that this bulge around her mid-section is a part of her everyday physique.

After all, you weren't the one the woke up that morning to discover the four pairs of pants you can fit into are all in the wash and had to stop and have a little cry about that.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Back Amongst Civilization

I've realized that for those of you not intimately acquainted with every aspect of our social life, you probably wonder what large cliff we got dropped off of. Or maybe you just assumed I had taken a flying-leap off of Mount Gravid.

But, have no fear, all is well at CarleLife. We have been on vacation far away from phones (no cell phone reception and Jason left his new toy, his new blackberry her, which, by the way, did you know that modern technology is not meant to withstand a wash cycle in a vertical dryer, twice?) and with no internet, which means that life is better than well, it is very good, indeed.
I can say this despite the fact that on the day we got ready to go, our hard drive on our desktop crashed. I am not sure what kind of crash we're talking about: fender bender or semi-truck plowing into you during an ice storm. But all will be well as the drive that crashed doesn't have the last two years' worth of pictures on it, and Jason's important files are on his laptop, so I will be exploring the joys of data recovery (at least, I hope we will) as soon as I get it to a friend who has agreed to look at it (and install a sound card, so, yeah!). Due to this state of technology-flux, I am working off of an old laptop, a wonderful stand-me-by, but not the speediest thing that's come down the pike, so my posts may be sporadic at best (I frustrate easily) and my picture posting may be non-existent for a while.
I can still assert that life is good, indeed, even though when we got home the CD player on the stereo seems to be potential toast. After all, it does have a few miles on it. I mean, Jason did buy it for himself when he graduated ... from high school, so I suppose something like this was bound to happen at some point (we love Sony).

I can be so optimistic in the face of adversity (such as it is), because we had a glorious time at the Lake of the Ozarks, preceded by a lovely weekend in St. Louis where Jason performed marriage for his best man at our wedding. It has been a good, solid two weeks in which I have had the chance to watch my daughter grow, found out what she has to tell me about how to enjoy life, and gotten to think very long and seriously about what this next, new life will teach me.
I am well-rested (and well-fed) and ready to face what, my Google Calendar assures me, will be a crazy week at work next week. But, these two weeks has brought the change in the weather: Fall, my favorite time of year. We made apple butter (over 17 pints) while we were gone, I have re-introduced myself to a great Soup cookbook I own, I will have a late birthday present coming in the mail (oh, yes, I turned 33 while on vacation) of two books I have desperately wanted and awaited. Our CSA is preparing to finish up at the end of the month and as I see the end of the year's harvest come into my kitchen, I will be putting aside herbs from my garden and looking into buying a deep freeze so I can preserve even more of our CSA harvest next year.
The light is changing and shrinking, telling my mind and my body to sit and be thoughtful, and my vacation confirmed that this is the correct thing to do. So, I entreat you all to find Sabbath this October, in between the bustle of pumpkins and Halloween costumes.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Today in LibraryLand

I was working on a new DVD project in order to secure our children's videos (we had nine stolen in a weekend; don't ask) and this came across my desk:
Whatever happened to being a repository of Knowledge for the Public Trust?
The Magic 8 Ball says: It's just sad.

Monday, September 01, 2008

A Wedding and A Funeral

So we went to Decatur and witnessed (in Jason's case quite officially as he was the officiate) one of my very good friends get married to her best friend. I had not actually ever met him before today, and I realized as I looked into his very kind face that I've made my life a little poorer for the lack of effort.
At the wedding, I saw friends that I hadn't seen in years, easily since we moved here from Kansas City, and probably not since Jason was ordained when many of them came out to support us and our next journey, admittedly far away from many of them. It was a delicious sort of evening, the kind that reminds you why you spent all that time in the first place making all of those friendships. I am a little chagrined on two fronts, though: one, when Roslyn inevitably crashed at a very ripe hour of eight of the clock, I used it as an excuse to come back and crash with her, and two, I have not a single picture of the day. Let's call it Baby Brain, but I have no photographs of any of my friends, of my daughter, of what was just a joyful evening. Eh, c'est la vie; you'll just have to take my word for it.

This last week Jason had to perform what is, for him, something I regard to be a job hazard: a funeral service for a suicide (although to be so blase is undoubtedly a little tactless). This was for a gentleman we didn't know, but who had lived in the community for years and many of Jason's parishoners knew him. It would seem that he had struggled with various demons for some time and, in the end, he had to succumb to them and their despair.
You see, I'm not unsympathetic. I wasn't raised in a belief structure and haven't claimed a faith that condemns him. I have compassion for him and the demons that ultimately overtook that bit of the Divine that is in all of us. It reminds me that at one’s own funeral, we can only hope that our family and our friends will gather and celebrate the life we lived and how we touched their lives. I have witnessed funerals of great joy. But, in the midst on one’s own grief--and, oftentimes, guilt--it can be so easy to forget to celebrate the life that has gone and not to take the chance to sit surrounded by family and friends and find comfort in that you all are sharing this loss together.

I was reminded this last week that Passion is not just ecstasy, unconditional, but that its root lies in suffering. That to feel passion is to feel intensified joy, a joy so complete as to be almost terrible. When I married Jason, I felt that; when I saw my first child in the NICU, I felt that; as I feel this new life kick, I feel that still. During a rather emotional marriage service, I watched my friend feel some of that, too. And then, later, I sat with all of my friends and partook in our mutual joy that she has so firmly declared her home in this man with whom she will share the rest of her life.

May all of your weddings be full of passionate joy, and may you find in the midst of the funerals that you can sit with your friends, the record-keepers of your little life, and remember that joy will come again.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

How Our Lives Change

Just a quick shout-out as we are heading out to Decatur later today to go to a friend's wedding.
I thought I would share with you a quick glimpse into my life, and how it has changed, now that I have a child (with child-ren being a noun that is on the way).

When I use to go to weddings this was the "party-purse" that I switched to:
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Quiet, demure, it has just enough room for my ID, a couple of tissues, a tube of lipstick, and a 20; what else could you possibly need for a party?


When I was pregnant, this became my party-purse:
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Admittedly, I upgraded because I needed room for my Kodak, I took my whole wallet so I didn't have a credit card and my Insurance card running around loose, and I could stick in a box of Altoids.

Now, this has become my party-purse:
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I think I might be channeling my grandmothers with this one.
Have a look inside:
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But, it is all worth it
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So, in case you're wondering how else life has changed since I last blogged, have a look at Flickr, as I have been having more of a presence there lately. I stopped blogging for a while because, quite frankly, there are only so many ways one can say that you're tired.
Also, check-out the 20 week ultrasound shots. We definitely have another tadpole!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

All of this and you want a catchy title?

[You ringing doorbell] ding-dong

[Me answering door] Hello? Oh, [beat] hi, it's been so long since we've seen each other. Come in. Just navigate around those -[indicating piles of boxes that have lived in living room for last two months which are the baby clothes from Roslyn that may or may not get sorted before January. At this rate, when I need clothes for the baby, we'll just go dig through the boxes in the living room]-and come and sit down [wait a moment to have to push the futon back into a sitting position as have been banishing Jason to futon at night as I now take up 85% of the bed in order to get a good night's sleep]. Can I get you something to drink? Let's see, I have milk, more milk, ginger ale, decaf tea, decaf coffee . . . just water? Ok, I don't think the Brita pitcher has anything in it, but the EPA hasn't sent us any notices lately, ha-ha, so tap water is ok? oh, and I don't have any ice, but I'll let the water run for a bit, that'll make it cooler. Can offer you something to eat [picking up keys from table]? I just need to run the store, I'll be right back. Feel free to make yourself at home, and, you know, do a load of laundry.


So ... how you doin'?


Yeah, me too.

We closed in on 14 weeks yesterday and by all measurements and accountings, I have left the first trimester behind. So why, I ask you for the love of pete, do I feel so crappy? This last week was a particularly new low as I would feel at 9:30 in the morning what it used to take me all day to feel. Now, some of you might get all concerned at this point. Are you coming down with something, is your blood sugar doing ok, how about your iron, are you taking your pre-natal vitamin? No, it's all fine, I can (and my OB can) assure you, I'm am just busy making a human being. You see, in a normal world, I need 8 to 9 hours of sleep on a regular basis to function. These days it would seem I could stand, oh, I don't know, 18 to 20 hours of sleep. So, by my standards, not a lot is getting done.

Although, as I say that, we are relatively clean, we've had house guests, I re-planted my herb garden, we are using up all of the CSA box every week, and the laundry, while it is a constant-sized pile, it isn't actually growing, ergo, somebody must be doing it. So, maybe I'm so tired because instead of sleeping I'm somnambulating and taking care of chores? At this point nothing would surprise me.

I have grown tired of my blog color scheme, and tweaked it a bit this week. I was finding that the soft-white (let's call it eggshell) text on the dark blue background was actually giving me a bit of a headache. Along with that I added some new stuff over on the right and moved it all around a bit. This is the thing for the summer. We have joined a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture, aka Farmshare) for the last couple of years, but this year we got a full, weekly share and I am loving it.
I could stand here on my soapbox (well, slumped next to it sitting, actually) and preach all kinds of things to you but my love for CSA's boil down to just a few things:
  • relationship with a farmer
  • relationship to the seasons
  • great, fresh food
  • not feeling like I'm causing tons of carbon dioxide to be emitted into the atmosphere in order to get my organic salad greens from California: priceless
So, for the next several months I will try to update what is in our box this week and, when there are pictures available I will throw them up here somehow. I also will try to list some of the things we're eating with the box because, hey, how useless is a list of bitter greens making you all jealous of me if you don't know I'm going to cover them in bacon? That's what I thought.

As for Baby Girl, I have a couple of stories, one of which is a Fourth of July story, a phone story, and a bubbles story, but they should be their own posts, so, for now, I will leave you with the expectation of seeing my soft, uranium-like, yellow-cake second trimester glow at some point in the future and say adieu.

btw, since I haven't managed to take any pictures in the last month (or two), here are some from one of our house guests just so you don't forget what we look like.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

I'm Done, Done, Done!

preg-nant-ly adverb Fruitfully; fully; plainly; clearly; [related to] pregnance, fertility, inventive power.
Rev. John Boag's Imperial Lexicon, c.1850

I have finished with the big weep-fests, the low-grade stupidity, the background nausea, the immune suppression, the need for second and third supper, and the every-loving *freaking* exhaustion. I'm done! Someone bring on the low-grade plutonium glow of the Second Trimester!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Hmmm, I Think I Might be Pregnant

Good Heavens, is it different the second time around!

Last weekend, in a fit of efficiency, I went shopping--rather early I thought--for some pregnancy clothes. I still have a fairly decent selection from last time, but some new trousers and a blouse or two was in order. I just tossed the bag into a corner, assuming I would get to it in a couple of weeks.

Then last week came which found me frantically searching through storage bins for the pregnancy clothes that I had not lovingly packed away those many months and months ago, but really just kind of shoved into an available space to await being needed again.

It would seem that I have great ligature memory. The same muscular and ligature predilection that allows me to do yoga once every blue moon with no ill-feelings in the morning has also allowed this baby to take over my lower torso in a land-speed record that would make Speed Racer say, "gosh." It's like my body went, "oh, I remember this, whoooosh!"

So, on Thursday last week I wore to work an ensemble that had not seen the light of day since '06 and immediately elicited comments that, indeed, I was gestating a little parasite.

But my rediscovered clothing needs aren't the only thing that is different this time around. There is also the presumptive attitude of well-wishers that now that we've had one child, we have an assumed preference for this child. It's like now that we've had the taste of one sexual identity vis-à-vis a toddler who has no sexual identity as of yet, we now can imagine what the next 20 years will be like and thus now would prefer either a girl or a boy.

It's like this whole pregnancy gig is a diner and I get to tell the short order cook: Adam & Eve on a raft, pair of Zepplins, a Blonde with Sand, and Squeeze One ... oh, and could you include a lot of testosterone, snaps, and snails, and puppy dog tails to go? Thanks. I say this because the going assumption, you know the one paying 3 to 1 odds, is that we want a boy this time around. What's even odder than the fact that Jason and I don't care is that people don't really seem to believe us that we don't care; or, at the very least, they seem disappointed that we don't proclaim a marked preference for one sex over the other. It isn't enough to want a healthy baby this time around, now we have to engage full-on in gender politics, in-utero.

What seems so puzzling to me is that, by this point the decision is made and it's just a matter of time to finding out who God gave us to shepherd. This baby already has the makings of everything, genes and family, that will shape who he will be (thought I'd throw all those gender-preferers a bone).

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Pregnancy Ambrosia

The cravings have begun.

While I was pregnant with Baby Girl, during the first trimester, I found myself revolted by coffee and chocolate (these eventually ebbed and I could stomache them), and drawn to--in ascending order--white cake with no frosting, fried eggs, and hot sauce. Specifically, Frank's Red Hot.

I am a follower of Cook's Illustrated, and I had read a while back when they were doing a taste comparison of hot sauces that, between Tobasco (regular flavor) and Frank's, Tobasco was an ingredient and Frank's was a condiment. I truly believe this and ever since have eschewed Tobasco as a topping to Frank's.

When I got pregnant with Baby Girl, I bought a big bottle of Frank's . . . and finished it during the first trimester. I then bought another big bottle and finished it during the second and third trimesters. After Baby Girl was born in 2006, I bought another big bottle and finished it up earlier this Spring.

What's amazing is that, while inundated with progesterone and the other chemicals your body tries to poison you with during pregnancy, I never tasted the hot. About a month after Baby Girl was born, Jason and I went out to eat for the first time and went to a local burrito place I like (for my re-entrée to society, that was about all I could handle). Jason brought our order to the table along with their special hot sauce I had requested. I then proceeded to pour it all over my food, Jason looking on blithely. I then took a bite and started to gag in pain. I looked up at Jason and asked him, "did I always put this much on my food?" and he just laughed and shook his head yes.

So far, I'm right on track. I think my first big bottle will be done about the time the first trimester winds down. And, this time around, I have found pasteurized raw eggs so I can safely enjoy my fried eggs over easy, the perfect way I like them, without giving myself dysentery and the baby listeria or whatever it is you get when you eat un-pasteurized things while pregnant.

The end moral of this story, of course, is not the freaky things pregnant women do, although that is an amusing bonus. No, it is what happened at dinner a couple of weeks ago. I had finished my rice and pork picadillo, which Baby Girl would not touch, and went to help myself to another big bowl of just rice while she was finishing her cheese quesadilla. I poured Frank's onto my rice, turning every grain into a little pink nugget. When I sat down, Roslyn indicated she wanted to try it. Thinking that this would be like rhubarb, I let her, figuring her to turn up her nose and shun such craziness. She finished my entire bowl of rice, and part of the next bowl, too.

Looks like these two siblings aren't going to have bland palates.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Pandora's Box

This morning I got done changing Baby Girl's diaper and handed her the tub of wipes and asked her to put them up. She enthusiastically agreed and I headed off to the other side of the house to finish folding laundry.

About a minute later I hear a wail from the other side of the house. I head to her bedroom, the source of the noise, to find my daughter dissolved into tears, the tub of wipes open in her hand and its entire contents pulled out, littering the top. She keeps trying to close the lid and it just isn't working.

With every ounce of reserve I could muster so I didn't scar her by guffawing in her face, I crouched down next to her and told her it would be ok, we could push the wipes back into the container. Then I closed up the top, gave her a hug, helped her actually put them away this time, and order was restored to men everywhere.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Nope, No Problems Here

We had our first OB appointment earlier this month, and my physician was happy to see us again. I have to admit, I was grateful that we were there to see her for a positive result and not to have a conversation about how far we were willing to go since we appeared to be having "problems".

I don't really know why I ever worried about that. As Jason tells me, I borrow problems from tomorrow to worry about today. But, I'm a worrier, so it's no trouble. As it turns out, both times, we appear to be freakishly fertile and I don't really know how we managed the first eight years of our marriage without an "Oooops!"

But here we are, freakish fertiles, glad to know after my OB appointment that our freakishness does not extend to multiples. There is only one yolk sack and only one heartbeat. As I lay there looking at what God has given us yet again, I remembered something I had said to Jason a week or two before when the stick turned pink. It was harder this time. With Baby Girl, if we had lost the pregnancy, I knew that I'd just go on and we'd figure it out. This time, I realized it would be so much harder because I would understand what I was losing.

But, the OB saw a heartbeat and, for not quite 7 weeks, that apparently is a good sign, indeed. So, Little Baby, keep growing. We're making you a place.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

I Bite My Thumb At You

I haven't been feeling too well the last couple of days and, as such, I have a new curse to yell at people:

"May you be two-months pregnant-hungry with the intestinal flu."

Now I just have to develop a good squint to go with it.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

I Have A Secret

Dear Internets,

Psssssssst.

I'm 8 weeks pregnant.

Shhhhhhhh, ;)

-M

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Hey There!

We're still alive.

Our newest Flickr Photo Time Capsule.

Oh, and a message from my favorite Populist.

Be well.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

I'm Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today

My child woke up one morning the week before last temperamental, clingy, needy, shriek-y, wouldn't eat, wouldn't comply, and choosing to ram her way through life with that hard little head of hers.

So, yes, she's obviously my child.

Since we were in Kansas City (and last we left the Carle's), and she got over her sickness, sleep has been chaotic. This has paralleled the not wanting to eat, and all of this has been nicely rounded out by her screaming at the slightest little infraction.

We have withdrawn from the blog-o-sphere because, quite frankly, writing about it seemed to require that I keep a bottle of Johnnie Walker close at hand (the American Modernists would be proud). Instead, I opted for posting pictures to Flickr of happier times.

But, dare I say it, we may have, well, not rounded a corner, per se, but may have paused to look at the dandelions growing up through the cracks. I decided that sleep was the most important thing, and to that end she slept LOTS yesterday and we have been rewarded with a happier imp.

Part of all this good sleep may be a very direct result of our brand new BIG GIRL BED!
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I don't know if she's all that excited, but I'm pretty darn giddy. Along with no more crib rails, this also means no more pacifiers, and we had a little ceremony at the big trash can in the garage, pitching them in one at a time (of course, I kept a few hidden, just in case I completely and utterly cave in a week).

At bedtime and at naptime there was no shrieking, she crawled in under her brand new bed linens, laid her head down, and headed for the land of nod. She only fell out of the bed once, although she did get herself into some pretty precarious positions during the night. But, overall, this experiment seems to have gone well.

Oh, and while National Library Week has already passed, I just found out about this this week.


It really does beg the question, how do you undo nerve gas?

Oh, and as to the Holy Water, we're pretty sure it would work best against Zombies because Vampires have more Hit Points. Plus, the Vampires have higher charisma, so they might even charm you into not throwing it. (Williams, Skip, Jonathan Tweet, and Monte Cook. Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manual: Core Rulebook III v.3.5. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2003. pp. 251 & 265)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I Think Next Time, Instead of Taking Vacation, I'll Just Take Sick Leave

So, we're in Kansas City.

So, Baby Girl is vomiting.

If you don't appreciate the irony of this, I suggest you look here.

We are here to see the beauty of God's Creation as most recently expressed in our niece and she is, indeed, wondrous. There will be pictures to Flickr after we're back home.
We are assured that Baby Girl's bug should only be 24 hours . . . if you don't count the anomaly of Uncle Ian who is now in his third or fourth day of sickness.
The goal now is for Jason and I to remain healthy enough in order to get near that little bundle of joy that is our niece.
Did I mention that we are people of faith who believe in a gracious and merciful God? (I mention that just in case God has a blog roll . . .)?

Oh, by the way, we've been here a whole year. Thanks for coming around and seeing us.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

I'm not listening . . . la, la, la, la, la

So, I'm blithely reading one of the various parenting blogs that I peruse from time to time and I had a reality check as to a blogger's identity.

I mean, we've all had this happen, right? At the very least, you have listened to someone on the radio, listened to those smooth, sveldt tones, gotten a mental image of who that person is . . . and then you meet them, or see them on a postcard, and all of your illusions are blown to smithereens. I mean, that voice shouldn't come out of that mouth, right?

On one of the blogs I read, one of the writers (and his wife) has recently had their second child. It's all very beautiful, and I like his prose style. He has retired from the rat race, is a SAHD, so I appreciate his not-a-woman comments, and, then, in the course of an off-hand sentence, I realize that this man is TWO YEARS YOUNGER THAN ME.

When the *heck* did that happen? I didn't agree to feel old when I started this thing called adulthood, did I?

Friday, April 04, 2008

Lord, What Fools These Mortals Be!

My Mom called me last night.

"New Zealand? So, when you leaving?"
"Next week, I thought."
[beat]
"Oh, you ought to be able to get packed by then."
"I think so."

You all are too much fun.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

A Poor Silly Fad?

I have a confession that has been weighing on my mind for some time. I have gone back and forth, trying to decide whether or not to continue to deny who I am and continue to have an existence where I am as you all know me, or, if instead, I am going to embrace who I know I must be and be true to myself.
I have to come out of the closet. For years, in my heart of hearts, I have known that I am a Kiwi: my heart belongs to New Zealand.
Now, some of you have known me some time, and you know that I was raised in the Midwest, so undoubtedly this comes as a bit of a shock. Especially, probably, to my parents, who undoubtedly are pretty sure I grew up in Missouri; Mom, all I can say is: at least Grandpa didn't know.
I have just always felt drawn to New Zealand. When I went to England, I was looking for a place to be comfortable, to be at home with myself. I went hoping to find that in the stone halls of Oxford, but, alas, while I drank as much tea as I could hold and learn to say things like "jumper" and "pudding", I could never get the hang of that little island.
I think it first came to me while watching Fellowship of the Ring. As I watched the majesty of the landscape unfurl from one scene to the next, I realized that I, too, was a native of this majestic scape, along with Peter Jackson and Lucy Lawless.
But it was not just the wilds of Mount Cook and the Southern Alps that made me want to be one with the Aotearoa-eans, it was also the democratically elected Parliament who still answers to the Queen of England. I mean, built-in bureaucracy with a salutation to Divine Rule . . . is it any wonder I've fallen in love?
Someone may need to pick Jason up off the floor. But in time, I think he'll adjust. I mean, there isn't a Presbyterian Church, U.S.A., in New Zealand, but how different could Presbyterians be in the rest of the world?
Now, I don't know exactly when I will be leaving, or how long it will take to transfer my citizenship, but I'm going to make a start right here, right now, so, raise your glasses high, me friends, and join me in my song:
God of nations! at Thy feet
In the bonds of love we meet,
Hear our voices, we entreat,
God defend our Free Land.
Guard Pacific's triple star,
From the shafts of strife and war,
Make her praises heard afar,
God defend New Zealand!
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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

An Easter Recap

Just a few things from our Easter Celebrations:


  • When Baby Girl did her egg hunt, she would conscientiously empty the eggs of their contents and then put them back where she found them . . . empty. I am sure that she was trying to make a profound theological statement about the empty tomb.

  • On Palm Sunday, we shout "Hosannah!" while waving palms during Worship. Hosannah, as you may be aware, translates loosely as "save us". It occurred to me that next year, because I have been working so hard on getting her to say "Huzzah!" for the Ren Fest this summer, on Palm Sunday I will have the one human being crying "Huzzah!" for the triumphal entry while undoubtedly looking about eagerly for the Court Jester.

  • During the Good Friday service, while Jason was giving a homily on Matthew 27:46 ("My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?"), Baby Girl darted out into the aisle of the congregation, yanked up her shirt and preceded to try to push on her belly button.

May your Easter celebrations have been as joyful. Christ is Risen, He is Risen, Indeed!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Auntie-Melissa . . . it's got a nice ring to it


Adeline Anne Deveney came into the world this morning at 8 pounds, 8 ounces at a little bit before 10 a.m.
Let the spoiling commence!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Flying in the Face of My INTJ-ness

It was a very busy, but very good, weekend.
We had friends over on Friday night for dinner. He is someone that I work with and have really enjoyed getting to know over the last few years. He does technology for our libraries and is one of the people that I have encountered during this library-gig who is helping me to move beyond the understanding that I have harbored in the past that technology can be impersonal and, at times, demoralizing (not to mention has helped me embrace my inner txtr, lol). These librarians who gravitate toward technology see it as a way to connect with others and to make those connections where none existed. Ultimately, I have found people who embody, "I am from the government and I am here to help you, and I have also brought a computer with me to make that happen," without smirking.
On Saturday, Baby Girl had an Egg Hunt at the library in the morning (pictures on Flickr later tonight), I went to a baby shower in the afternoon, and on Saturday night I went to go see a friend's production of Proof. She just had a baby in November and, with an incalculable amount of strength and verve, then proceeded to go into rehearsal with a two-month old in the wings.
After the show, I went and sat in her living room with a glass of champagne and baby Oliver sleeping in the corner and whiled away a couple of hours. She is the kind of person that I can say things that hadn't formed in my brain yet, but when they come out of my mouth I realize they have always been a part of what I believe. I love that about her. I think later this year we may be collaborating on another show, and I am as giddy as a girl getting ready to go on the third date with "the one".
So, a good weekend. I may be an INTJ, but my "I" may have staved off a notch over the last few days.
In that contest between Elwood and Kansas City? Hmmmm, we may have just tied it up in the top of the fifth, ladies and gentlemen.

Doodle by Lee

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Doodle by Lee. The code for this doodle and other doodles you can use on your blog can be found at Doodles.

Does this mean I would have to turn off my computer, too?

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

My grand experiment in my Right Way

It is so helpful when other people write their blogs so that I can just point to them and say, yup, that's what I meant to say.

Thinking today of all those lovely ladies I know who just had babies or are having them now. May each of us find our Right Way.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

The Subtlety of Jason's Evil

I am terribly ticklish.
There is nary a place on my skin which you can touch that, if I question your intentions, you can't tickle me. There are also places, obviously, that will tickle no matter what your intentions.
Jason, on the other hand, is not ticklish. At all.
Baby Girl, being a healthy and happy toddler, loves tickle games. Because she enjoys all of this like a feline strung out on catnip in the herb patch, she also takes great joy from being the tickler. Jason is a dutiful father and apes raucous giggles when her little fingers start waggling in his direction.
Recently, however, he has begun to do this when she scrunches those little hands at his feet.
Then she comes and finds me.
I have looked up quickly to discover my darling husband hunched over his laptop, sniggering at the screen as I duck and jive with my feet, frantically trying to avoid Baby Girl tickle monster.

I am going to be outnumbered by them for the rest of my life. Now I know how Sisyphus felt.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Good Night and Have a Pleasant Tomorrow

In the hall, outside Baby Girl's room, there is a wall full of pictures of family.

On the way to read the bedtime story each night, we wave and tell them good-night.

We then pass by the three Star Wars posters that are in the entryway.

She has now taken to waving and telling Luke, Leia, Han, Yoda, and Chewie good-night, too.

We don't need DNA tests to know who her father is: we have our own version of Good Night, Moon.

Oh, and if you're interested, my next Photo Time Capsule from Photojojo.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Listening to the Silence

I found out today that someone I know and have worked with in the past died. He had a sudden, massive heart attack. He left behind a wife and a daughter. He was 36.

When Baby Girl was born, I found it difficult to wrap my mind around the fact that my life had changed so completely in such a brief moment. One second I was pregnant and the next I was being taken into surgery and then she was in the world and off to the NICU.
However, that description of events is filled with misperceptions. I actually had nine months to think about how my life would change, nine months to absorb how this would change how I thought of the world.

But I find myself right now very unable to wrap my mind around this. It seems impossible that in a moment--a moment when I was probably doing nothing more extraordinary than trying to figure out how my web cam works--he was gone; he left this place.
Grief is an unremitting bastard. We live these lives of ours, and we take the presence of others for granted. Then grief brings us to that precipice of quiet desperation, and we plunge headlong.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Wrestling with the Cross

In another life, you know, one where Baby Girl doesn't want to be fed, played with, or teach me about the world, I would have written a Lenten series as I try to wrestle with Big Questions. The Hitchens debate at the 92 St Y was part of that. This is, too.

I turned on C-Span yesterday and caught the tail-end of the ninth State of the Black Union. If you want to know more about it, check out Tavis Smiley's webpage. It's a very intriguing symposium, and I am always invigorated by what Smiley puts out there in the culture because, even when I don't agree or have a context to understand, I am grateful he is having the conversation.

The astounding and prophetic Dr. Cornel West was in attendance, and I found myself riveted by his closing statement. So much so, that I went to C-Span and spent the morning transcribing this brief four minutes of gospel. It follows below:

Smiley: Doc, I raise this question in part based upon that Western formulation of the distinct difference between hope and optimism, and so you don't believe that being black means being optimistic, but it does mean always remaining hopeful and I'll pass the baton to you, sir.
West: We got to always be prisoners of hope, but I think we can learn something from the great musicians, especially being here in New Orleans, Louis Armstrong, Mahalia Jackson, Curtis Mayfield, Mary Jane Blige, Jill Scott, we can go on. What have we learned? That there's a qualitative difference between a voice and an echo. A voice is about an individual creation based on other voices that came before, an echo is about imitation, which is suicide, and emulation, which is a sign of an adolescent mind.
However you vote, don't let it be an echo. It's got to come from your heart, mind, and soul; it's got to have integrity. You've got to be able to stand for it and deal with the consequences. Why is that important? That's important precisely because somebody like myself, my calling is Socratic and prophetic, which means I have a suspicion of politicians, I don't care what color they are. My aim is to tell the truth, expose lies, and to bear witness. So, yes, I critically support Obama, I, I break my neck across the nation to support him. When he wins, I'll celebrate for a day, I'll breakdance that morning, the second day I'm his major critic; I'm his major critic. How come? Because it ain't about him, it's about those [slash] so-called everyday people. It's about the ordinary people, and not only that, Tavis, but in the end, especially what our, this, this genius right here, this brother here (referencing Dick Gregory). He has broken down, and what is at the core for me of what he's saying is how do we actually learn to love in the most deep sense; and if justice is what love looks like in public, then when you love folk you can't stand unfairness and them being treated unjustly. And if that's the case, then the question becomes, seems to me, how do we understand the catastrophic, because as a Christian that Cross is a sub-lying moment of unarmed truth and unconditional love being manifest in human action in the face of the catastrophic.
And that's a grand moment. Who has the courage to speak the truth and to love in the face of the catastrophic? That's the Cross, which means what? Don't get too wrapped up in the flag, because every flag is subordinate to the Cross. That in the end you've got to bear witness to something bigger than the flag. So all this talk about campaigning and so forth and so on, it is penultimate if it's not focused on the twenty-fifth chapter of Matthew--which is the least of these, which is the most vulnerable--is still idolatrous and it still is going to run into a dead-end. So in the end the question becomes how do we learn to love each other in such a way that we can struggle for justice, and in struggling for justice we learn to disagree and still love our brothers and sisters and recognize that with our crooked hearts we've got to learn to love our crooked neighbors and our crooked neighbors got to learn how to love us with they crooked hearts and then organize, mobilize, bring power, and pressure to bear.
That's why we love you, Tavis, because you allow us to do this, you allow us to be free enough to engage in radical love and radical freedom, even as we recognize the cracked vessel status of each and every one of us, that's a beautiful thing. That's John Coltrane's Love Supreme; that's Marvin Gaye's What's Going On; that's Toni Morrison's Beloved; that's James Baldwin's Love essays; that's Stevie Wonder's Songs in the Key of Life: love and the need of love.
Smiley: Love today. Please thank the oracle, Dr. Cornel West for being here today.

I do not pretend to be a preacher: certainly when one quotes the formidable Dr. Cornel West on your blog, you don't do anything so idiotic.
But this stirs something in me that rears up from time to time, and it consumes me now. When Jason started attending seminary, I had the opportunity to think about my Faith in a very deep way. I wish everyone had that opportunity, took that opportunity, to try to wrestle with the idea of sin, the nature of despair, and the overwhelming calling we have to reckon with justice. For me, the lack of justice in the world brings about the greatest human sin, the act of despair which, of course, is when we fall short of hope of God's promise.
What I have found encouraging in this political season is that for the first time in my lifetime I am seeing a political debate that reflects my values: my liberal, justice-seeking, hope-filled, advocating-for-the-promise-of-God values. I know that to whom much is given, much is expected and within my life I see abundance and wealth beyond measure. I breathe free, therefore I must extend justice; I am full, therefore I must feed the hungry; I have security, therefore I must care for those who are vulnerable; I am filled with Grace, therefore I must extend God's Grace to others.
In this political debate, I have been quite open about my support of Barack Obama. I have waded through the arguments with friends that he is inexperienced and I have responded that I am not worried about the decisions he will make even though I may have an incomplete record by which to judge because I understand the nature of the criteria that he uses to make his decisions.
My vote for Barack Obama is my voice saying that I am wearied by hatred and I am tired of fear. I do not want my politicians or my government to tell me that my desire to love God's Creation is foolhardy. I want a government that looks like me. I want a government that reflects my values. I do believe that hope is a reasonable platform on which to run a campaign because it is a reasonable platform on which to build a faith system.
For too long has the Left labored with the idea that to invite faith to the table is to invite totalitarianism. But that gives credence to the idea alluded to by those like Christopher Hitchens, the idea that what God intends for his creation is what Man calls religion. At this time, and from here out, we must delve deeper, we must look beyond our religion, our churches, our temples, and wrestle with what God calls us to do. As a Christian, I hear the call from Dr. West: I must wrestle with the Cross because I serve something higher.

Amen.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

As If You Needed a Reason

First off, I love Flickr.
Lana introduced me to Flickr almost two years ago. I was charmed by the friendliness, easy usability, and all the pretty pictures. I quickly saw it as a way to keep our far-away family firmly in the know as Jason and I embarked upon this baby-making business.
Over time, I found more reasons to love Flickr, in large part due to all of their partnering companies. Now I have one more.
Photojojo is offering your very own Flickr time capsule.
Here's a sample of my first one.

*omg, I think I'm in heaven.*

Now if only they had a way to embed it in a webpage or to allow others to RSS subscribe, and you all could join me in all my Flickr goodness.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Does God Exist? at the 92 St Y

I will direct you to the original post, because there is more discussion happening on the 92nd Street Y's webpage (NYC), and it would be inappropriate to direct you to watch the debate between Rabbi Boteach and Christopher Hitchens without the context.

I will warn you, the full video is an hour a half long. However, I found it to be an invigorating bit of, I don't know, spewing between two unlikely fundamentalists. Though they are diametrically opposed in their beliefs, I find Hitchens to be as extremist in his atheistic tirades as I believe Boteach is in his monotheistic rants.
It is a hoot, and while Hitchens is much more entertaining to watch than Boteach (and potentially fundamentally more brilliant), I am disinfranchised by his most glaringly intellectual discrepency.

Here, I refer to the Rabbi's assertion that evolution (as put forth in Hitchens' writings) is actually a very cold exercise which would say that those who are poor--poor in body, poor in mind, and poor in soul (although that may be a bit anachronistic here)--do not deserve to be: these should be annihilated (so the logical conclusion of an evolutionary mindset believes).
However, the Rabbi contends, because Hitchens is such a defender of the rights of man (Humanism, let's call it, for a bit of shorthand), he obviously is deriving an ethical code from somewhere other than evolution (survival of the fittest), and that indeed this ethical code, which expresses ideas like charity and justice and equality, seems to be informed by the ethics of religion, long known champions since the time of Abraham of ideas like charity and justice (and equality if you were born into the right circumstances).
Hitchens is unable, however, to even acknowledge that his Humanist beliefs (my nomenclature, not his) and the society in which he lives have in any way been informed by the ethical code of religion. He is such a fundamentalist that he cannot even cope with this concession; and a concession, such as it is, that admits he lives among other human beings.

That's the problem with having such a big brain. You tend to think reductionism is your enemy. Me? Not a problem. I am firmly right in the middle (well, at least, between these two).

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Know from whence you came

We just got back from a weekend in Kansas City. This last weekend was Granny Becky’s 60th birthday and also Sister Sarah’s baby shower at the church. It was a good weekend, but I must admit, it was a weird sleep weekend.
See, in January, as we were coming back from KC, the last hour and a half of the trip Baby Girl decided that she had had enough of the car and commenced alternating between crying, whimpering, and screaming as a sign of protest. I since decided that I just couldn’t cope with this again, and that it was much smarter to set off as Baby Girl was getting ready to sleep for the night. We’d put her in pajamas, read her a story and then, instead of placing her in bed, we’d strap her into her car seat and head south down I-55.
We started out at a few minutes past seven, and all was going well as she drifted off about 20 past. But we stopped for gas at about 11:30 and those beautiful baby blues popped open with that irrepressible grin. It seems she had decided that she was ready to go. Touché.
The biggest problem with this, of course, was that a) she wanted to play at 12 o'clock at night and b) we were still four hours away from Kansas City.
The fault in the plan, I think, came from talking up the weekend’s activities. We kept telling her that when she woke up on Friday (i.e. the next morning) we’d be at Granny’s and Grandpa’s. I think she honestly kept expecting Granny to pop her head around the front seat.
When we got in at 2:30, she was very excited to see we were there and joyfully tumbled into the darkened living room. She was even more excited when she discovered the toys Granny had taken out just for her visit, including the little Elmo’s World playset that when you push the buttons plays Elmo’s voice really, really loudly.
Granny got up after a minute; how could you not when she was so obviously being paged from the front room?
This laid the scene for bizarre sleep patterns all weekend, but never a terribly temperamental Baby Girl. There was never any time to dwell on being upset when there were just so many stimulating and wonderful people around itching to play with her.

As I said, it was the weekend of Sarah’s shower, and so I was thinking a lot about new babies. As I watched all of our parents play with Baby Girl, it occurred to me why being a grandparent is such an important stage in the relationship with one’s own children. Watching these four people who raised Jason and I be caregivers for Baby Girl, I got a glimpse of who they were when we began.
There is a certain frenetic boldness with a newborn: You want to do it all right, you want to do it all well, and you really, really want to do it. There is a joy which permeates and infuses what you do because you’re getting to be a new you with this little life, this little human being God has sent you. But at some point after the kids are out of diapers, and you’re doing the long goal work of making a productive member of society, you develop and become a different parent. The spontaneous nature of joy and play just ebbs and the relationship changes: children grow up, parents evolve, and there doesn’t seem to be a proper place in your world for a good game of peek-a-boo anymore.
Jason and I have each been on this earth for over 30 years, and in this time the nature of our relationships with our parents has changed, frequently. But it has been my child who has allowed me to see how my parents began as parents. I think it is all too easy to forget that your parents got into this whole business producing you because they find joy in life, because they wanted to play and laugh, because they find wonder in the Creation and wanted to share this with each other . . . you know, all of the reasons why you got into this whole gig, too.

Maybe I should file as a PAC

We were in Kansas City this past weekend, and I will have a bit more thoughtful prose on that later on. In the interim, a bit of catch-up:

Jason is having an affair with his third love (after Baby Girl and me, natch).

Baby Girl fell at daycare and hit herself in two places: at the corner of her mouth and next to her eye. When I picked her up that night, that formed an almost beautiful and perfect circle in alignment with her cheekbones. In an ironic twist, however, the bit next to her mouth is what turned a deep, relentless purple. So, we still haven't taken the family pictures I had planned for the first of the year. I mean, it's the first of the year until it's the second quarter ... right?

Obama won Illinois' Democratic Primary and, chances are, in your state, too, and has won something like the last bazillion contests. I'm so happy, I feel like I should go volunteer to be a candy striper. He appears well on his way to being a contender.
Mitt Romney dropped out of the race (excuse me, suspended his campaign), so I at least have respect for the Republican front-runner (we will not talk about Huckabee, except for two words: Fair Tax. Nuf' said).
While we were in Kansas City this weekend, we were shown this and since my first reaction was, "Why, dear God in heaven, didn't I think of this?", I knew I had to help the internet put it out there:


Since that was a moment of frivolity, let's counterpoint that with an excellent example of Michelle Obama's stump speech, given just before Super Tuesday in Delaware. There are seven parts in all, and you have to get to parts 3 and 4, because that's where the fire is. The video quality isn't great, but all you need to do is listen. Here's the first: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwkHFfO7hG8

Also, if you haven't seen the Yes, We Can video, it's embedded at the bottom of the blog. If I could figure out a way to get it to play in the background when you load the page, I would have. If you can help me on this, let me know how to trick out the YouTube scrip. If you can help me on this and are sick of Barack Obama, don't email me, and also you might not want to come back until after November, because I'm going to be a bit obsessive over the next few :-)

Oh, and last night as I was getting dinner ready, Baby Girl came up behind me, and buried her face in my legs. This was all very sweet, until I felt four little front teeth sink into the flesh of my inner thigh.
I screamed like a little girl, an angry, little girl.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

It seems to me / That yet we sleep, we dream.

So, we all have them from time to time, those bizarre and often surreal dreams that involve our co-workers and colleagues. Now, I'm not going to talk about mine, but let's just say, they are sufficiently surreal.

It appears that in order for us to have these dreams, we must star in other people's Apollinaire-esque night landscapes, too.

There is a young lady who works with me at the library. She came in on Monday, and I think it had been preying on her mind, so as soon as she saw me she blurted out that she had had a strange dream that I had been in.
Amused and a little intrigued, I encouraged her to divulge the details.

It would seem that in this dream I was studying the monkeys and, when she came to ask me a question (as she does in real life), I informed her that I was too busy caring for and watching the monkeys to be bothered and that she should go away. I then turned back to the monkeys and preceded to take notes.

Monkeys
.

I don't really think I need to editorialize that any more. Talk amongst yourselves.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Something's Different ... Wait, Wait; Don't Tell Me!

After months of waiting for a lock that could be clipped to the side, I just couldn't take it anymore;
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so I cut it.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

A Whole New Interface

In the Study at home, we have our computer desktop. This is where the rather tantalizing (at least, to Baby Girl) infrared, wireless keyboard lives that was Mom's Christmas present last year. In order to help curb her enthusiasm for hitting the space bar and the extra little button that closes whatever window you are currently working in, we drug out of the closet one of our old keyboards. It sits on the floor, not plugged in, so she can bang away any old time she wants.
Apparently this afternoon she spent a good solid ten minutes with the end of the cord trying to plug it into her belly button.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Hey, I Think Someone Took Out The Batteries

Yesterday morning there was a box of chocolates open on the coffee table in the living room. I walked into the room to discover Baby Girl, who has never encountered a box of chocolates before, diligently trying to push one of the nougats to find out what this array of buttons would do.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

This is the Part that Sucks

This morning I had to go do one of the things that will be a feature of the rest of my life: I went to a funeral for one of Jason's congregation members.
For the rest of this time I am on this earth, I will know people that Jason has served as their minister, people who I regard as friends and have come to think of as family, and they will pass on and I will be confronted with this incredible sense of missing. It is infinitely rewarding and meaningful to be taken into the hearts and families of so many people when you're part of the family of the minister, but it is such a cruel reality to have a sense of their loss when one of their member's dies.
Pray for us all; there is such need for healing in the world. May the Peace that passes all understanding be yours.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Everything's Up To Date in Kansas City

We got back from our trip after another 9+ hours in the car on Friday.

We opened presents, visited family, had big meals, ran around like crazy people, enjoyed some free babysitting, caught colds, gave each other conjunctivitis (Baby Girl was first), got prescriptions, served raw meat to family (which no one saw as being a subtle message with an edge to it ... hmmm, ;) ), made amends with crème brûlée, and had one good night of sleep for everyone, at the same time, the entire time we were there . . . the first night.

That being said, it was a great trip.

Now, before I go any further, I should warn our families that I am just expostulating here and by no means should any of you get in any way excited.

While Jason and I were out on our anniversary--enjoying some of that free babysitting--we had an excursion to the Nelson-Atkins Art Museum to see the new addition. As the Nelson was my first experience with a fine art museum, it holds a lot of sentimental value for me, in particular because there are aspects of the collection that I know so well, and also because they own my favorite Impressionist piece of all-time (which, of course, was in storage). The new addition has allowed them to open up their modern and post-modern collections, and they are re-vamping the Asian collections and, while the new addition is open, renovation will continue into 2010.
As we strolled, very excited at everything we were seeing, and then meandered on down to the Plaza for a late lunch at one of our all-time favorites, it kept occurring to me how absolutely comfortable Kansas City feels. It is, as Jason so succinctly put it, a very human-sized city. In preparation for our anniversary date, I had patrolled several theatre company websites in the city to see what was going on (nothing spectacular, everyone was in post-Christmas lull), and saw several new companies and spaces and, I will admit, spent some time scheming about how I could fit myself back into it all.
And did I mention all of the free babysitting?
But, that would mean leaving here: here where we have friends, where Jason and I both have jobs, where we like the seasons, where I have painted walls in this house, where life just doesn't feel quite done yet.
So, as I was saying to my mother-in-law, Jason and I feel like the next place is one of four locales, and Kansas City was in that list with no particular order or preference. I think it may have just found a little bit of preference this last week.
*Sigh*, it would all be so simple if we could just pick up this part of the world (at least, the bits I like) and move them all to that part of the world; the only problem is, I think I want the summers here, too. I have had enough of 85% humidity to last me a lifetime.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Reflecting

Ten years ago today, Jason and I were married in front of our friends, our church, God, and society.

Today, ten years later, we are sneaking out to see the new addition to the Nelson-Atkins museum and having a bit of dinner at one of our favorite restaurants while Baby Girl is entertained and adored by her family.


On this day, it is appropriate to remember some things:

I remember walking into the church that morning to get ready to see one of the congregants with a mop and a bucket of water; she had gotten up that morning to make sure the church was super-clean for our wedding day.

I remember, after a tumultuous rehearsal dinner and final preparation of the sanctuary, having Rev. Keith Harris walk into church, stop in to see how I was, ask me how I was, and when I replied just as relaxed as if I had had a valium (which I hadn't), Keith said, "you're ok? You're ok!? Ok, you're ok."

I remember Jason calling me the morning of the wedding, after I was at church, and asking me to go see if his coat was in the narthex; I later found out this was because my wedding band was in the pocket.

I remember the woman who came in to do our flowers (a very modest proposition); she had also picked up flowers from the City Market that morning and, once our cake arrived, preceded to decorate the buttercream frosting with white chocolate shavings with fresh flowers in my wedding color of burgundy.

I remember all of us joking that Dennis would play "Son of a Preacher Man" while I walked down the aisle; then I discovered that he had played it, during the prelude music, along with a real schmaltzed up version of "The Old Grey Mare". I also remember that he played "Greensleeves" for me, because that was what I wanted to walk in with (thank you, Dennis); and I also remember the husband of my Matron of Honor being really confused that we had played "What Child Is This" as my entry music.

I remember hoping Tom's hair wouldn't be purple; and then not caring.

I remember the delight of recognition as the congregation figured out what we were recessing out to; I also remember how hard all of Jason's friends worked to getting it to play on the church's sound system.

I remember watching my bridesmaids walk into the sanctuary and having the realization that my train needed to be fluffed; I remember my Dad coming to the rescue and very diligently following my directions in the nanosecond that we had while the doors were closed.

I remember the Groom's cakes: a spice cake Bart Simpson and a chocolate Darth Vader.

I remember my sister-in-law, perched behind me with billows of satin over her head, diligently trying to find the hooks to bustle my train.

I remember my father-in-law, greeting me in the narthex, before the congregation came out, hugging me and saying, "welcome to the family."

I remember marrying my best friend. I love you, Jason; it is a good life.