Friday, September 30, 2011

Lucy "dances"

Sure, she needs help to stand, but she's super wiggly and thus it LOOKS like dancing:

Thursday, September 29, 2011

7 months

Sitting without help
Our Lucy will celebrate her seven month birthday this Saturday.  She will be in Long Beach on her first official all-girl get away.  (She's joining mom on a weekend with Jen & Yumi.)   Yes, that means that Jason will be home alone, but he has a long list of "projects" to keep him busy.  For the record, he came up with this list on his own, I'm not mean enough to take the baby for a beach weekend and leave him with a honey-do list.  Jason will be resolving a big issue for us that involves crawling under the house.  The water in our downstairs bathroom freezes when the temperature outside hits the freezing mark.  Granted, it doesn't happen too often, but it shouldn't freeze a water line in a house built in 2008! (DAMN IT)  We think the issue is that there is a not well sealed space under that bathroom and the crawl space air vent is right under the bathroom, so when the temp drops, the cold air is sucked into the space where the plumbing is. Thankfully the lines are not plastic or metal (a mesh like hose) so they simply freeze, but don't burst.   Jason and Cousin Anton will get under the house and seal off the area.  I have faith in them, and appreciate their willingness to enter the crawl space (especially in the fall when all the spiders have moved inside.)  Shiver

While Jason and Anton are under the house, Lucy, the girls and I will be hanging out in Long Beach.  We're signed up to do the Great Bridge Crossing on Sunday.  I'm still nervous about doing it, but I will DO IT  - unless there is rain, and then my failure to get a rain shield for the stroller will be my excuse to hang out with Lucy in a warm cafe while Yumi & Jen walk the bridge.  I'll let you know how it turns out.

my serious face
It seems that Lucy changes every day.  She is sitting up without assistance - in that once she gets into the sitting position she can stay there.  She can not get herself from laying down to sitting.  She also is starting to move to get the things she wants.  This is not crawling - it rather looks like a person with limited mobility that flings themselves onto the floor and then rolls to the desired object.  Unfortunately, this usually results in her knocking the thing farther away, or rolling under an object that will not move.  She has gotten really mad at a table leg because it failed to move out of her way.   Oh well, soon she'll master rolling the other way and there will be no stopping her.

Fingers taste good!
We have purchased another car seat for her and now we have one in both cars and no longer have to move the "bucket" from one car to the other.  It is nice to simply take Lucy and not have to haul the car seat everywhere, but I do kind of miss being able to strap her into the portable part of the car seat and then take care of my last minute stuff (shoes, coat, find my keys) now, all that activity happens with her either in my arms or plopped on the floor by the door.    We'll get use to the new routine.

Lucy's sleep patterns have calmed down since we went to Denver.  She is getting up for one feeding a night, but waking up at least once more during the night.  We try to let her soothe herself back to sleep, but she has started moving around in her crib and we find her tucked into the corners.  She seems so happy sleeping against the wall of the crib.  When she gets stuck she needs help getting back to the middle and that's when Mom & Dad come in handy.

The drooling has also toned down, and we haven't seen any evidence of teeth.  They are on their way, this we do know.

She is a happy little bug, but has started to be plagued with diaper rash.  We get it cleared up and then boom, it flairs up again.   I don't want to think evil of our day care because they are fantastic, but I do wonder if they are changing her diaper on a schedule vs. being on poop alert like we are at home.  Legally they have to change the diapers every 2 hours, but if she poops 45 minutes into a fresh diaper, is she sitting in it for an hour ?  I know when they spot the poop, they change the diaper, but if it's just smelly and she seems happy do they leave it?     Oh how I never thought I would put this much brain power in to the bowel movements of another human being.

I'm excited for the weekend and hope the girlfriends enjoy their time with Lucy.  I hope I'm not pushing my happiness on them.  I can't tell if I'm one of "those" mothers who thinks their baby isn't annoying. What I do know is that I genuinely LOVED spending time with my friends kids and think it was amazing bonding with them as tiny people.  I want Lucy to have Aunties who can tell her stories of what she was like as a baby.

When she is older I will leave her behind on these rare weekends, but I'm rather looking forward to our girls weekend.  Heck, we might even get tattoos!

When Lucy & cousin Jordan are older, I am hoping we can go for a girls weekends of our own, with Jordan's mom of course.  I imagine tea parties, shopping and painting of toes - oh an talent shows.  I hope Jordan and Lucy put on talent shows for us.  Don't worry, you won't have to buy tickets...

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

More from the Louisiana trip in 2006

why I took this picture?  who knows...
My momma's people
Georgia & Aunt Ebbie
A cotton field.... not the most thrilling view
A storm warning just above our current location.
"Lovely" art in Cousin Richard's mother's house.
The entire town of "Friendship, LA"... seriously that's all there is.
Mom and her friend
Photographing headstones
This is what is left of the store that my great grandfather owned when my mom was a kid..

Scenes from Seville - from 2009

I found this page in my unpublished folder in the blog.   The photos are pretty cool and thus I published it. 

It rained on us in Seville, but that couldn't dampen our spirits. Our apartment was cute and we slept well (after I moved my matress to the floor) and we had a hair dryer! It felt good to have nice hair - even if the humidity did wack it out less than 10 minutes after leaving the apartment.

The Tomb of Christopher Columbus
The tomb of Columbus, yes, the Christopher Columbus.
Plaza Espana, a park in Seville
This is the Plaza Espana. A very large plaza in Spain. (See, I did learn Spanish while I was there.) Some of the buildings were occupied with government offices, but mostly it appeared to be a photo opportunity.

I took this photo and will be selling it to calendar companies.  (Update: this photo was actually published by the Seattle Times travel section - no royalties, so I continue to work.)

A close up of the spindles on the bridge - all ceramic

Altar Art

Friday, September 23, 2011

I'll give it a try...

I'm off to a conference next month and part of the festivities include an evening event where we are strongly encouraged to come dressed as a "Woman of Influence".  I know my post-baby butt is wide enough for me to pull of Hillary Clinton, but I need a red power suit like I need a hole in my head.

My other thought was Mother Teresa, but going to a cocktail party dressed as a tiny, selfless nun seems wrong.

make up goal

my fear of what it will really look like.
So Cleopatra it is.  She was powerful, she influenced the world, she was bright, and not at all matronly.

I purchased a costume and it is winging its way to me now from the far corners of the Internet and I opted to purchase a rather decent wig as I have never been happy with the "shitty costume" wigs.  This one was a bit more expensive but I can style it.

I've been doing some online research regarding the makeup and may have to for this event try fake eye lashes. We'll see.

If the look is a success you'll get to see a picture, if it is a silly nightmare then you'll just have to trust me that you're better off without seeing it.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


I'm all about safety and security, but when it comes to online passwords I do commit a cardinal sin - I have a couple different log on identification names and use  one of four passwords.  I do not use the same password across all accounts - especially online banking as that is an awesome way to have your accounts compromised.  But I do not use a unique ID and Password for every site.  It simply isn't doable. 

The trouble of using multiple ids/passwords is that it is hard to remember which goes to which, especially if you don't log on that often.  Admittedly I foolishly keep a list of sites and clues as to which id and password is for that site.  It is in code, but I'm sure it is not completely safe.  I think it is safer than letting windows save my passwords.  I do allow that, but only on sites that have no financial information about me. 

Some site help you out by allowing you to add hints or questions to assist if you forget your password.  One site I was on today asked me to answer this question before resetting my forgotten password.

What was your grandfathers occupation?

I tried the following options:
  • policeman
  • police man
  • state patrol
  • state patrolman
  • state trooper
  • Washington State Trooper
  • Cop
  • patrol man

Why oh why could he have not been a Baker or a Teacher?

After locking the account as if I was a hacker attempting to gain access, I had to call for help.  Upon successful identification, I was finally able to reset my password.  Unfortunately I can not update the help question, so while I know he was an officer of the law, heaven knows what that web site thinks he did. 

Maybe I should try these answers in the event I was being 'funny' when I signed up for the account:

Coppah  (think James Cagney or Matt Damon in Good Will Hunting)
Po Po
The Man
The Fuzz
The Heat
The 5 O
Barney Fife
Johnny Law

There are a whole bunch of other options that I'm sure I would NEVER have called my grandfather, many starting with P...  I don't use those words.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Ammusing (at least to me)

This is an edited comment thread from an online article about good email signatures.  It devolved very quickly to general grammar.  I think 'robert' is my favorite.

1. amin :  What a signature shouldn’t do” part is very obvious, ofcource we never put a moving object or so on down there, however maybe its for new comers or fresh users.

o mrsELB :   Trust me, it’s still necessary to go over this. I work with some people – all with advance degrees – who continue to type messages in all caps. I’ve told them it’s rude to do that. They continue to do it, so I refuse to answer them and they still can’t figure out why.


2. April :   The replies on this site would suggest a story (or class) on spelling and grammar.

o Keith : lol, I agree…perhaps some subject-verb agreement lessons are also in order. @ Scott, I think you’re right because many of the people I work with, epecially, many of the executives are on a serious ego trip and have the most ridiculous signatures to match!

 kris :   Hummm, it is NOT “lol”~’laugh out loud’, it is “laugh aloud”, if you REALLY want to be correct. But does that seem to matter to any one other than my dearly departed mother?! Seems not…

3. Caroline :   One common mistake people make is forgetting that “an” not “a” goes before a word starting with a vowel.

o Allan :   To tecnical for me lol

 Abby : *Too technical…

o robert:  And before dialing a long distance number make sure you put an one before it.

 Dorene :  Too Funny!

4. R. Walker : Agreed. Another common mistake people make is forgetting that everyone isn’t as computer- literate or self-righteous as they are. Comment on the topic and sign off, for goodness sake!


Things seem to hum along swimmingly until that moment that you realize that you’ve crossed a line, offended someone you care about or joked about something that is actually deadly serious to your listener.

I never realize how on solid ground I am until the moment it is liquid underneath me. A few weeks ago I offered unwanted, unnecessary and inappropriate advice to a friend. The negative reaction was immediate and the opportunity to immediately apologize was not available. Actually, I’m sure had I jumped in right there with a “oh so sorry” it would not have been helpful. Stepping back and letting my friend cool down was the right thing to do. I have acknowledged that I was an over-opinionated jerk and things seem smoothed over. Some folks want to talk it out and tell you how wrong you were, this person seems to want to move on. I will respectfully take my queues from them.

I’ve shared other friendship missteps I’ve made. The infamous cancelled camping trip to Idaho is one where my actions were perceived as malicious and I was never really forgiven. Although, circumstances have rendered the situation moot. The person who was holding me responsible and moved me out of her friendship circle has tragically passed away. Her husband has accepted my friendly overtures, genuine encouragement and support without much reference to the previous situation. I told him that what had happened didn’t matter anymore. I think he appreciated my stance and thankfully we haven’t needed to discuss it. I was very hurt at being accused of something I did not do and then having everyone else involved be forgiven. I had to accept the situation because I had no choice, but the injustice of it still stinks. I have said before that if I could have it back the way it was with my friends wife mad at me, but home with him I’d do it in a heartbeat. That’s not the way it is. She felt like she was doing the best thing for her family and talking it out wasn’t ever going to happen. It stung a little to hear everyone at her service talk about her generous, forgiving spirit and know that I wasn’t worthy of that from her. Actually, I was moved out of the friendship circle and think I was promptly forgotten. Obviously the loss was not felt as deeply on their side as it was on mine. I don’t think she harbored lingering anger or blame toward me, but did not miss my friendship. What matters now is that I’m one more person who has fond memories of her and can remind my friend when it’s needed that he’s not alone. I think he finds it comforting to talk about her with people who knew her, I know I would. The injustice of what happened to our previous friendship will never be resolved. We are making a new path and that’s ok.

In situations where I feel like I’ve crossed the line my reaction tends to be consuming. I replay the interactions over and over and analyze what was said, how it could be resolved, whether that person will ever trust me again. Will I ever be able to relax and simply be me again, or will I need to be “contrite” girl forever? I don’t have the ability to maintain the contrite stance for long periods of time; my remorse and apologies are genuine, but at some point you can no longer be on pins and needles. I think if you can’t eventually return to being your relaxed self, then you have no business being “friends”. With my unwanted advice situation we may have reached the point where I need to relax and stop trying to prove my value, but since I still feel horridly about my comment the timing is hard.

I know I’m not alone in dwelling in that obsessive state after a misstep. Other friends have mentioned the inability to sleep while waiting for replies to phone calls or emails. I’m sorry that anyone finds themselves in that situation, but I’m thankful my reaction isn’t 100% unusual. Do men over analyze their interactions too or do they say “sorry man” and move on? Is it a girl thing?

I recently counseled a friend who had offered an apology to a third party and hasn’t had any closure that it is ok to let it sit for a while. If the friendship is meaningful to both sides a well timed lunch invitation will likely get things back on track. We 40+ year old working moms are damned busy these days and the friendship drama is certainly unwanted. The hard part is that these offenses are never intended and thus kind of hit whenever rather than when we have the time and energy to “make it right.” Asking for forgiveness is important, being a consistent friend while the other party ‘gets over it” is also important. After a while, you also have to forgive yourself. None of us are perfect and our humanness results in unfortunate interactions from time to time. We all need a little forgiveness.

Monday, September 12, 2011

9/11 +10 years

We all remember that terrible day.  For me it started with a phone call from a friend urging me to turn on the news.  I stood there in disbelief on a beautiful September morning and watched NBC coverage.  When the first tower came down I felt the breath of life leave my soul for a moment.  That sounds silly and dramatic, but I knew as the cloud of the building exploded that lives were gone in that exact second.  

Needing to "do" something I called my parents (the late sleepers) to spread the word.  Then, I did what many of us did that day, I got on the bus and went to work.   I remember the drive into the city being extremely quiet, but it wasn't clear to me if anyone knew what had happened.  No one was talking about it, but the riders on my bus route weren't especially friendly with each other. 

At work that day, we watched news coverage all day and as the "security" team (information security, not physical) we made plans for what we would do if the attacks continued.  While I was on a "high floor" in our building we were not the tallest building in the city and there was no direct flight path towards us, so we were assured that even if Seattle was under attack that our little 30 story building would not be the target.  However, for the first time ever, all building occupants had to show ID to even get to the elevators and by the next day there were barriers that would prevent a car from driving into the lobby.  (Those protections were removed within a week.)

For weeks after the attacks, while people were singing that irritating Lee Greenwood song and driving around with huge American Flags billowing out of their gas guzzling 4x4 trucks I had dreams of the floor of the building where I worked disintegrating from under my feet. 

Later that year, or possibly the next year we hired a new senior manager who said something along the lines of "You west coast people couldn't possibly have felt the impact of the attacks the way we east coast people did."  I have rarely been that offended by a casual comment, but that sentiment still bothers me.  First of all, I'm aware that I didn't experience it the way people on the ground did, but someone in Boston or Virginia watched it on TV just as much as we did.    However, the likelihood of knowing someone who had died was far higher. 

Now, ten years later it is history.  My friend Dave, a middle school teacher, educated his students on the topic.  There are youngsters who don't know what happened and for them, I guess that's a nice thing not to know or understand.  (Although, can we really understand it?)  He said he got choked up talking about his experiences on that day, and I guess most of us have a personal memory.  In time it will be an event like Pearl Harbor, history.

Our government structure is just as disjointed and adversarial as it was before the attacks, we're still polarized on issues that on September 12th, didn't matter.  We're fighting a war on "terror".  I can't really think of anything less concrete to fight about - maybe fashion no no's.  There's no way to win....and given that fact, how do you stop 'fighting'?  Do we pack up our tanks and just go home, or declare "mission accomplished" right before election season and call it a day? 

Are we better off spending our billions and billions of war dollars on our weak economy?  Maybe saving half and then spending half to pay down our trillion dollar debt that a group of investors in China hold?  Someday, China will come asking for their money and our statement of "I would have paid you, but I needed to start a new war in BlahKickistan and Oilville."  isn't going to cut it.  I do find it interesting that we are so in debt to China and think of them as a (financial) ally but where are they in the war on terror?  Seems to me, that they are quietly sitting back and waiting for the "US super power" to spend itself into oblivion. 

It's a crazy complicated world and my opinions matter little.  I vote, I work with my family to have a savings, I felt optimistic enough about our world to bring a new person into existence.  I wish a happy future for her and hope to arm her with fiscal responsibility, critical thinking and enough love to overcome the sometimes dim and dark way that we humans treat each other.   Some day Lucy will learn about 9/11 and I'm sure it will feel as distant to her as the Pearl Harbor attack felt to me as a child.  Maybe that is a good thing. I wish peace for our world, comfort for the families of 9/11 and for the military families. I hope there is a peaceful afterlife and those 2,977 innocent people (and even the nineteen misguided men) were instantly freed from the pain and horrific manor of their deaths. 

I hope we learned something that day.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Fictionary Word

PEAK-A-BOOB: A shirt that accidentally exposes more breast than intended.