Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Big One

Happy Birthday to our clever, smiley, teasing baby girl.

Claire is walking stably. She is saying a few words. She says uh-oh. She says momma and dada. Brad is convinced she says "I love you dada" (in an unclear, consonantless "Aye uhve oo Dada" sort of way). I've never heard her. But it's entirely plausible, I suppose, given how often she's heard the phrase.

She blows bubbles with her mouth.

She thinks it's hilarious to climb halfway up the stairs and turn around to make sure she's got Mommy or Daddy's attention. And then she crawls in a laughing frenzy as we chase her down.

She is sleeping through the night. Finally. With all the chaos it took a while for us to settle into a routine. But after a song and the shutting of our closet door (yes, she sleeps in our closet), she settles herself into peaceful slumber without even a whimper.

She makes funny faces.

My girls. I love them to pieces.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Holey Moley Cow.

I wasn't expecting that. 

What fabulous friends you are. You are politically active, socially responsible, and passionately involved. I had no idea the future was so bright. I am amazed and very grateful.

Thank you for your insight. And inspiration.

I will be voting this year.

Thursday, August 28, 2008


My family is watching the DNC. And look. I'm in to "issues." I listen to NPR; I am well-read; I consider myself reasonably well-educated. 

But I'm sick of our party system.

I can't exactly say I'm sick of politics. I do care what happens to our country. I think we need some health reform (not socialism, just insurance reformation). I think tax-payers should keep more of the money they make. 

And that's mostly it.

But why is it that a Republican has to disagree with everything a Democrat says? And why can't Democrats see things the way some Republicans see them? 

I mean, can't I have conservative values, want to vote mostly conservatively, but still believe that Barack Obama is a sincere individual? Can't I agree with the things he says and maybe not agree with his methods?

And can't I hate McCain too?

The bottom line is that government can't solve your problems. And so the candidates who claim they can fix our world are... disillusioned or lying.

The private industry has to be the ones making a difference. That's us. The Church. And private hospitals.  

And on that note, I'm having a really hard time convincing myself to vote this year.

Leave a note if you feel like persuading me.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Any Delay

Every night, for about twenty minutes after Brad puts Grace to bed, we hear, "Mom! I have to tell you somp-thin. Just ONE MORE THIIINNG!" That claim is, of course, false. It usually becomes fifteen to twenty things. On a lucky day.

But believe it or not, that's progress, folks.

Earlier this year, I was ready to pull my hair out over the issue. I had become the temporary bedtime parent because of our frequent Brad-less trips to Texas.

And bedtime wasn't going well. The whole process had become an hour-and-a-half ordeal. And I was exasperated. I was looking for a way to improve. 

And so, after one particularly difficult night, I planned to record our bedtime routine, listen to it the next day, and write down any ways I felt I could do better.

It didn't work. It was a bad night. I got angry. And I had no desire to relive that night and revive my frustration by listening to the recording. So I didn't. 

Until, of course, today. And, if you'd like, so can you. Well, two minutes of it anyway. Two minutes which might be exceptionally boring for you. Or funny. I can't tell. I am not objective in this situation.

Just remember: I was angry. Have mercy on me. I won't judge your parenting either.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Job Hunt

I'm looking for a job. Any job. Well, a job with a salary and benefits. It's demoralizing. And overwhelming. I feel little. And dumb, too.

And that is all I have to say about that.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


My whole family has been gone this week. They are enjoying the Church History sites of the east coast. Brad, Grace, Claire, and I have been enjoying the house and yard. 

Although my parents live near the Dallas Metroplex, they're still pretty far out in Texas country. My mom always tells people, "Come see us on your way to Oklahoma." So I guess it shouldn't have been a huge surprise that, while Grace ate her breakfast yesterday morning, she stared out the window and yelled, "LOOOOOK, MOOOM!"

There was an armadillo in the yard. An armadillo. I don't know. I guess I half-thought they were mythical creatures.

I opened the door to get a better look, and Grace continued to yell in excitement. I was nervous that the little guy would run away at the noise, but he seemed oblivious. 

Apparently that is the main characteristic of Armadillos. Obliviousness.

Here's some footage Brad caught (not great, but gets a little clearer toward the end):


And that's not all we've seen.

Today Brad pointed out a nest forming above my parents' front door. With an egg.

Can you see it?!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Living with the Parents

We are finally settled to life in Texas, even though we haven't sold our home in Carlsbad or figured out yet what we're going to do with it. But I'm not too stressed. We are here for a good cause, after all.

And besides, I mostly like it here. Living with my parents has huge advantages.

There are only a couple of disadvantages. Namely: 1) the water tastes exactly like dirt 2) Claire keeps climbing up (and falling down) the stairs and 3) I keep getting locked out of the house whenever I take out a diaper.

My dad keeps the exterior door handles locked ALL the time because he is concerned about home invasion. And rightly so, since one of his partners was held hostage in his own home for money. Very scary. Oh, so, yeah, 4) I am now worried about home invasion.

Anyway, aside from these very minor cons, life here is pretty good. The best part is that the food budget is no longer limited to $100 a month. Wahoo.

And I haven't even felt the need to hang my head in shame or anything.

Except for once.

Last week one of my mom's friends picked us up for Enrichment. We had a fun talk on the way there, and then somehow we started talking about our living arrangements--how long Brad and I were planning on staying with my family and so on. And then this woman remarked:

"Betsy, I don't know how you are doing it! I am doing everything I can to insure my children never move in with me again. They would drive me crazy. They know not to come home after they move out."

This is where I tried to shrink, shrink, shrink in the back seat of the car.

A little bit awkward.

So, maybe this lady doesn't want to be friends with me. But... I'm sure glad my mom likes me. And that they asked us to move in with them. And that we haven't driven them crazy.


Thursday, August 7, 2008

Warning: Not for the weak-stomached.

Brad is home. He got home on Friday night, actually. So, he's been home. But today, we are celebrating tube-, stitch-, and staple-lessness.

He is also free of an extra 25 pounds he was carrying around. A week diet of clear liquids can do that to you. He looks hot. But, he did before.

Farewell to those foreign bodies of plastic and metal. Brad had several staples, two holes housing tubing for drainage, and a few extra holes for fun (okay, really the surgeon was trying laproscopic surgery instead of having to cut him open, and the staples are evidence of how that attempt turned out).

I have eternally commemorated Brad's synthetic friends in photo here. Don't say I didn't warn you. Oh, did I not warn you? Okay, the photo shows a little blood, some staples, and a tube (the other tube was unphotographable). Consider yourself warned.

Also. I got the bills today, since we are currently uninsured. I know, I'm ashamed. No lectures, please.

Anyone like to take a guess at the combined charge for a three-night hospital stay, and the actual surgery? The winner will receive surgical tubing and bulb. Only used once.

Monday, August 4, 2008


I hate bra shopping. I can't go into Victoria's Secret without my cheeks igniting in embarrassment. And no, it's not (entirely) because of those brazen models or the sexy lingerie. I just feel so stupid sorting through racks of brassieres having no idea what I'm looking for.

The great thing about clothes is that as long as you can button them shut, zip them up, or pull them over your body... they fit. There is no math. Or science. Just visual confirmation.

I can never tell when a bra fits, or what kind I need.

Which clasp? How tight to pull the straps? Padded? Wires? And, how, uh, full should those cups be?

So I felt sheepish as my Mom took Brittany and I to Nordstrom's lingerie department this weekend.

At least I discovered I wasn't alone in my stupidity. My shameless mother quickly informed a passing employee that we would be needing help. With fittings. I believe she even suggested a measurement

Apparently, measurement would be unnecessary. Because right there, close to the cash register, amid scanty nighties and wonderbras and before other perusing customers, this woman wrapped her hands around my mom's rib cage, right against her possibly underwired bra and declared, "I'll bet you're a 36..."

And then, friends, she put her flat hands under my mom's arms, framing the area in question. She alternated between this framing position and pectoral pokes (yeah, you heard me right) before concluding, "C. Well, maybe a B. But I'm gonna say C. I'll bring a couple of each into you and we'll take a look."

That was my cue to escape. I found some fluffy chairs at customer service and sat while Claire chewed on the coffee table's legs.

There would be no poking or wrapping for me. Nuh-uh.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Tribute to Mary

Brad and I haven't been in the hospital that long. A mere three days. Well, and I'm really only here from 10-10. And I'm not the one being treated.

Anyway, three days may not sound like that long (and, okay, I'll be honest--it isn't). But in terms of working shifts, three days translates into roughly nine nurses. Nine drastically disparate nurses. I have a bone to pick with a few of them. (Excuse the tactless pun.) But several nurses (such as our sweet Mary) merit some serious praise and respect.

Mostly for doing little things.

Like addressing the IV machine's incessant beeping instead of letting it go off every two minutes for hours.

And smiling instead of doling out dry crusties.

And bringing medicine when they say they will instead of an hour and a half later.

Sadly, my blog is private, so Mary will never read my gratitude (although I sang her praises in person plenty). And both Madonna and Maria will never know my frustration. Which is how I like it anyway.

As a side note, isn't it weird that all of these nurses have the same name?