November 29, 2005

Grammar Police

We try to encourage the children to use correct grammar. A few whacks to the head with a ruler and they do much better. No, not really. But we do correct them when they misspeak. It's rubbing off on some of them.

The Boy: Daddy and me are going to make a helmet.

The Middle Girl, a.k.a. the bossy three year old: Daddy and I!

I Do Not Think That Means What You Think It Means

The Boy was playing wizard. In his version, once a magic spell was cast, the last word anyone said (before the spell's completion) was what they turned into.

The Boy: Abracadabra, kalamazog. I turn you into a frog.

Justin: Poof!

The Boy: DAD! You said "poof!" Now you are a poof!

Me: Not that I've noticed.

Insert snickering like grade school children by the grownups.

November 28, 2005

Breaking The Rules

Robert the Llamabutcher reposts his Christmas decorating rules. I haven't broken them all, and given my druthers I'd break even less, but still -- I'm not up to cranky and hidebound llama standards.

1. Outside Decorations -- we do pretty well. A simple wreath on the door with pine cones and a red plaid bow. We might do some garland on the porch. We hung a Moravian star light in the attic window. But we broke the big rule, in that our greenery is fake.

2. Interior Decorations -- always done by us and never a decorator. Again though, fake -- nice fake, but still fake. Actually, we do very few. A few snowflakes here and there and a bit of garland on the staircase railing. The Boy and I usually cut paper snowflakes and tape them to the panes of the French doors.

3. The Tree -- Fake. I love real trees and The Boy is demanding one. When we lived in Alaska we acquired a fake tree because real ones are either pathetic and bring you a mid-winter bug infestation or they cost a fortune. We later were given a free pre-lit 9-foot, and not having to string lights is nice. I think we'll return to real trees as soon as our children stop eating everything in their paths including pine needles and bark.

Our ornaments are becoming too numerous, but are, in my opinion, nice. Justin has a small collection of airplanes -- my favorite being the B2. We have a lot of moose, caribou, bears and other woodland creatures made from wood and metal, some stars and snowflakes and other things of that nature and some how the children have wound up with several hummingbirds each. The ornament I hate the most is a string of footballs given to The Boy by a sweet little old lady who is no longer alive. Hard to get rid of that one, but I try to put it in back. My favorite ornament is probably a moose made out of leather, though I'm also partial to the bison we got at Yellowstone.

We put a Moravian star on top.

4. Timing -- We're on the early side, but never ever before Thanksgiving. Unlike my husband's relatives who decorate for Christmas two weeks before Thanksgiving.

5. Miscellany -- Stockings for everyone not just the children. We don't have a lot of Christmas music playing around here. In fact, I think we own four albums.

My favorite is either the bluegrassy one called O Christmas tree or The Chieftains' The Bells of Dublin. We also have one album with the usual collection of Bing, Nat and the rest and a classical album of the usual Nutcracker and other such things.

So, I'm not following the rules too well, but I think I have a good excuse. I grew up not celebrating the holiday at all and I'm doing a lot better than some of my relations by marriage where flashing lights, multiple singing things going off at once and generally too much decorating -- down to the Christmas toilet seat covers reign.

One thing Robert doesn't mention is when presents can go under the tree. We used to put them under as things arrived or where wrapped. With some many destructive and curious hands, I think we'll wait until after everyone is asleep on Christmas Eve.


The Boy looks at me with a piercing glance. "What if Daddy is sneaking in and eating all the cookies instead of Santa?"

"Why would you think that?"

"If Santa were real, he would notice that The Middle Girl and I fight all the time and we'd get coal in our stockings. We always get presents."

Hello Strangers!

After a week with four extra adults in my 1900 square foot three bedroom house, I'm alive to tell about it and so are they. It was getting a wee bit crowded feeling around here. With someone sleeping in every room except the dining room, finding the time to get on or near the computer was difficult.

While I was away from the computer, I spent last Monday morning running all over town doing errands. I spent the afternoon cleaning house and cooking and then my whole family -- my parents and two brothers arrived that night along with the family dog. Tuesday morning The Middle Girl had her first dentist appointment -- as a strange twist, my children go to a pediatric dentist who has the same name as my son. That gets some strange looks from the office staff. She did great and didn't have any cavities, unlike her brother, who on his first dentist visit three years ago, had three cavities -- maybe The Boy who looks like his dad got my teeth and The Middle Girl who looks like me got her father's. For the first time in six years we have dental insurance, and I love it. I guess I don't love paying for it, but it is nice not to rack up large bills at the dentist's office.

Wednesday I took my mother out to do the things she wanted to do -- shopping at the Habitat Home Stores, T J Maxx, Tuesday Morning and that sort of thing. We also tried the newish popsicle shop on the other side of town. It's pretty similar to the one down the street from us, but they have ice cream. All the popsicles are $.50 more there though, so I guess I'll stay closer to home when I need a Mexican popsicle.

Thursday we did something. Hmmm. Let me think. Right we cooked. And ate. Everything was pretty good, except for the cranberry sauce I made on that very hectic Monday. I forgot to put any sugar in. Oops. My recipe calls for port, but due to allergies and not wanting to go buy port, I used white grape juice, which along with the candied ginger gave the sauce enough sweetness to be edible, but I wouldn't recommend making it without sugar again. After the eating and cleaning up, some people took naps and others watched a little football. That pretty much did it for the day.

Friday we hauled out the Christmas decorations and started in on that. It was some what strange decorating for Christmas with my family around, because growing up I did not celebrate Christmas and my parents still don't. This year in tree decorating, I caved a bit to the childrens' requests for a little color in lighting. I still haven't swathed the tree in blinking multicolored strands, but I did allow some red holly berry lights to go on for the first time. I'm not crazy about them and I fear that the makes it look a bit like Sauran's tree, but since there are still a lot more white lights than colorful ones, I think I can deal with it until the children out grown the need for more color. That will be a while. The Toddler Girl doesn't care about color yet. She's just busy undecorating the bottom quarter of the tree and hiding ornaments all over the house.

Saturday my dad and older brother and the dog left for home. My younger brother and mother stayed one more day. They were tired and took naps in the late morning/early afternoon, while the kids, Justin and I walked around our neighborhood visiting all the new shops and a lot of the old ones, just to browse. We picked up popsicles at our neighborhood popsicle shop and walked to the park. It was lovely weather and good to get out of the house.

Yesterday, Sunday, my mother and younger brother left. We went to church. In the afternoon, I made a couple padded swords. I'm planning to try and sell them at the neighborhood art show I'm participating in next weekend, but they didn't turn out as well as I would have liked. Hmph.

So here we are at today. I need to do all the usual stuff like buying groceries and washing mountains of clothes as well as continuing to get stuff ready for the art show this weekend and thinking about Christmas presents for my inlaws.

November 18, 2005

Walking Lessons

When my toddler walks around, she falls a lot. But she doesn't have far to fall and usually goes down onto her well padded and diapered behind. I don't have those luxuries.

Yesterday I was running late to pick The Boy up after school and so instead of grabbing my sling and putting the Baby in, I "saved time" by just carrying her in my arms. As I was walking quickly down the sidewalk to school, I either tripped over The Girl, my feet or (most likely) stepped part way off the sidewalk. Suddenly instead of being vertical, I was teetering, trying to balance, but because I was holding the baby in my arms instead of the sling, I had no arms to throw out and balance myself.

As I went down, my main thought was no to throw The Baby and not to let her hit the ground. I'm not sure exactly how I fell, except that my right knee hit the ground first and slid along the concrete and that when the world stopped, I was on the ground, and The Baby's head was about an inch or two above the concrete. She grinned and didn't know I wasn't trying to be funny when I took her on that wild ride.

My cords that I'd only worn once before now have a huge hole through the knee and the skin on my knee didn't fair much better. The other knee is bruised and swollen. But The Baby is fine and -- hey, I never thought any part of me would resemble an eight year old ever again.

And the moral of the story is -- always take the time to do things right and carry babies in a sling.

November 17, 2005

Potty Time

I despair that we will never reach the day when I don't have to remind a dancing child that they might want to make a run to the bathroom. And even more annoyingly, sometimes they argue most forcefully that they don't need to go and if I left them off they have accidents and if I make them go they pee for five minutes straight, but they never believe I have the power to divine when they need to go.

And then we have the most recent conversation.

Me: Middle Girl, do you need to go potty?

Middle Girl: No. I'm not holding my crutch.

Rich Man or Poor Man

This week's Thursday Three:

1) If you had an unlimited amount of money, what sort of house would you like to have?

I would love to have a big Queen Anne Victorian with a tower. I've always wanted a tower room. Something like this would do nicely.

2) If you decided to chunk it and go the full Thoreau route, what sort of hovel would you like to have?

A cabin in Alaska. I've never hauled water or had to pee in an outhouse at forty below, and while I wouldn't relish those things, the Alaskan life is still compelling to me. I was reading a story to the kids last night about a family from Fairbanks and was longing to chuck it all and head back to the far North. By the way, the book Baby in a Basket by Gloria Rand is a great read and one of those that when finished The Boy not only immediately wanted to read to himself, but was most disappointed to learn that we did not own our own copy.

3) What is the one thing you’d most like to change about the house or apartment you live in right now?

I wish we had a bath tub in the master bathroom. Sure, I would love another bedroom for the kidlets or a bigger family room for them to trash play in, but mostly, I hate having to drag all my stuff upstairs to take a bath in the only bathtub in the house.

November 16, 2005

Traffic Stuff

A question: Speed Humps or Speed Bumps? What do you call them?

I grew up calling them speed bumps. I've never heard them referred to as anything other than speed bumps. A road I drive to and from The Boy's school just installed two of them along with warning signs that say "Speed Hump." Humps is an ugly word and makes me giggle when I read it. Speed Bump. Not Speed Hump.

On this same stretch of road (I think the residents must think they have a speeding problem, although I'm not the problem) those automatic speed reader sign things are often set up -- you know the ones that flash lights and yell at you if you are speeding. When they show up on the road they are usually set up to flash when one exceeds the posted speed limit of 30 mph. Sometimes the brilliant people decide to set the signs to flash at you when you exceed the advisory speed on the yellow warning signs. I try not to speed and I don't like getting yelled at by a sign when I am 8 miles under the posted limit. Hmph.

November 15, 2005

The Talk

We've never had The Talk About You Know What with The Boy. I've explained things a bit here and there, but not in great detail or with much specificity. I think The Boy may be ready for a bit more.

We were talking the other day when he asked whether The Evil Dog we once owned that bit him had been a girl dog. I said yes and then he asked why she'd had an operation (How do they remember these things? That was over two years ago.). I told him she'd had some girl parts removed so that she couldn't have puppies.

"But," asked the inquisitive one, "how can a dog have babies when dogs can't get married?"

Morning Has Broken

Scene: Morning. Suddenly angry screams are heard from overhead. Footsteps on the stairs. The Middle Girl appears crying angry tears.

Parents try to calm down The Middle Girl.

Girl (wiping away tears, but still sobbing): The Boy said my red blanket was a duvet!

November 11, 2005


Blair is very proud of her tiaras and looks very nice in them, but I have a "tee-aw-ya" wearer who is even cuter and when she's "dwessed as a pwincess" she also has a sparkly sequined sling in which to carry her babies.


A to Z Meme

ChewyMom tagged me for this and so here are my answers.

A - Age you moved away from home: I was 17 when I went to college.

B - First Boyfriend’s name: Anson

C - Chore You Hate: Cleaning anything -- especially bathrooms. This is why I probably shouldn't be a housewife.

D - Dad’s Name: Dan

E - Essential Make-Up Item: blush

F - Fave Actress: Audrey Hepburn or Katherine Hepburn

G - Gold or Silver: either

H - Heritage: German, Danish and Scottish -- possibly some Ukrainian

I - Instruments You Play: Nothing, although I managed to take many years of violin without it sinking in.

J - Job Title: Mom

K - Kids: three of them -- The Boy is almost 6, The Middle Girl is 3 and The Baby Girl is 1.

L - Living Arrangements: In a house

M - Mom’s Name: Linda

N - Number of TV’s in your house: Two

O - Overnight Hospital Stays: One for each pregnancy

P - Phobia: Nothing that I can think of.

Q - Quote You Like: I hate thinking of quotations, but the one ChewyMom had has always been one I use and remind myself of, so I'll just keep it. “Tomorrow is always fresh, with no mistakes in it.” -Anne of Green Gables

R - Religious Affiliation: Christian

S - Stuff You Collect: clutter, books, art supplies, dust

T - Time You Wake Up: 7-ish

U - Unique Habit: No idea

V - Vegetable You Refuse to Eat: Collard Greens. I know. I'll never be a real Southerner.

W - Worst Habit: No idea

X - X-Rays You’ve Had: Lots for teeth. A few for broken toes (I've broken two, I'm that much of a klutz.)

Y - Yummy Food You Make: Lots of things. The Boy tells me I make the best cakes, cookies, burritos, Indian food, and soup, among other things. This is why I kept him around.

Z - Zodiac Sign: Aries

So many people have done this that I won't tag anyone, but if you haven't done this yet, feel free to do so and leave me a trackback or comment note so I can some see your answers.

Carnivals of The Recipes, I Keep Forgetting

Every week, I tell myself I will post a recipe and I will post a link to the latest Carnival of the Recipes. Generally, I forget to do either. But to make up for a little forgetfulnes -- the 63rd Carnival can be found at Everything and Nothing. The 64th at Pajama Pundits.

And if you haven't submitted anything yet, you still can. Send you recipe or a link to the recipe on your blog to recipe(dot)carnival at gmail(dot)com. Happy cooking!

November 10, 2005

Kindergarten Cake

Since I mentioned the snacks that they eat at Hippie German School, which I mention jokingly, but are actually one of the things I think is great about the school -- that they aren't filling my son full of crap food and Kool-Aid, I thought I'd also talk about the Kindergarten birthday cake.

In preschool and Kindergarten birthdays are a big deal, though not quite like they might be other places. The birthday kid gets a present from the teachers (something like seashells, play silks, a handmade felt bag or modelling beeswax), the teachers tell a special "Rainbow Bridge" story about the kid and parents are invited to come for the last part of the school day. Also they have cake. But unlike some schools where parents have the choice of any sort of cookie/cake/cupcake, they ask us all to make the same recipe of semi-healthy cake.

Last year The Boy's preschool teachers made the cake and I found it to be rather tasteless, too unsweet and too salty. The leftovers got pitched. Knowing that I'm going to have to make the cake this year, I decided to fiddle with the recipe just enough to make a better cake, but within the same basic parameters -- adding a little more honey, a few more spices and some orange zest, the recipe came out great. It became a recipe I'll be happy to make. In fact, I thought it was so good, that I am tempted to whip up a cake just to munch on and I'm not even a huge fan of cake.

So here's it is:

Jordana's Modified Hippie German Kindergarten Cake

2 cups oat flour (grind oats to flour in food processor)
1/2 cup wheat flour (can substitute all purpose flour for a lighter cake)
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt

4 oz unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup water
1 cup honey
fresh zest from one orange

2 eggs
1/2 cup vanilla yogurt

Combine dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together butter, water, honey and orange zest. Pour butter mixture into dry ingredients and mix well with an electric mixer. Add yogurt and eggs. Bake at 375 degrees in a bundt pan for 30 to 40 minutes. The Kindergarten serves the cake plain, decorated with mandarin oranges, but I made up a simple cream cheese icing with orange zest in it.

And There Is Much Rejoicing

The Boy seemed well enough to send back to Hippie German School this morning. He's thrilled, even if this is quinoa snack day (his least favorite). I'm pretty happy about it too, because he and Middle Girl have been fighting non-stop for the last two days.

Middle Girl, though, is still sick and sniffly.

November 09, 2005

No Means No!

Around this house, I'm known as the cruel, hardhearted one when it comes to people trying to raise money. During the election year, I gave the money we had allocated for campaign donations and stopped giving. But when my husband answered the phone, another $35 or $50 seemed to head out to a campaign or politcal organization every time.

Right now I'm generally in full blown, absolutely no donations mode, but I made a small exception yesterday when a caller mentioned Nancy Pelosi -- everyone has their breaking point. Fortunately I mentioned this donation to my husband, so that when another related group called for their own fundraiser later that day, he knew he couldn't say yes to them too. Today, yet another, similar, but not the same as either of the other two, organization called asking for money.

The conversation this morning went something like this:

Me: Hello.
Them: Mrs. Adams, I'm calling on behalf of Blah Blah Organization (not its real name) and are you aware that Nancy Pelosi and Hilary Clinton are trying to do unspeakable things to destroy everything you have ever held dear and will bankrupt you with their astronomical tax hikes? Are you willing to let this happen?
Me: I'd help, but unfortunately I already gave all the money I currently have to donate to Bigger Parent Organization (also not its real name) yesterday. I don't...
Them: Oh, we aren't Bigger Parent Organization, we're Blah Blah Organization and do our own fundraising.
Me: I know, but I haven't any more money to donate. I gave it to the BPO.
Them: Do you realize that The Other Side has huge war chests and are trying to take over the world? Do you want them to win? When can you send us your donation of $50 or would $60 work better for you?
Me: I don't have any more money to donate at this time.
Them: We'll give you time. Can you send us your donation within the next 7-10 days?
Me: I am not donating anything.
Them: But the other side is going to ransack the villages, rape the women, outlaw apple pie and take away Christmas. Surely we can count on you for a donation of...
Me: You don't seem to grasp this, but I am saying no. No money.
Them: Oh. This call was paid for by Blah Blah Organization blah blah blah.

While I am sympathetic to the political organizations involved, the phone calls are annoying and it is even more annoying that I must say no over and over again before they'll get it. If I could make a donation and be assured that no one would call me again for at least a year, I might consider it. However, once you donate money they hound you all the more. Naturally these things don't fall under the "Do Not Call" list rules. Hmph.

November 08, 2005

Odd Musical Combination

The Boy is sitting behind me singing a combination of All Along The Watchtower and the Mickey Mouse Club Theme Song.


The Boy was a bit more emotional than usual yesterday. Last night at dinner he picked at his food, said lemonade made his throat burn and he seemed exhausted. His forehead wasn't hot, but his torso was. His temperature was 101.5. He seems perfectly fine today, jumping all over and harrassing his sister, but he's home anyway. Some of the kids in his class were out for the entire week last week with the flu and I hope The Boy doesn't have it. Maybe whatever caused his fever last night has already left -- at least that's what I'm telling myself.

Where Was I?

Ever since we met an old college friend of mine at the grocery store, The Middle Girl has been really curious as to why she doesn't remember him from my college days. In fact, she doesn't quite understand why she doesn't remember anything from the time that I spent in college at all. The concept of a time before she existed is more than she, at three years old, can fathom. She keeps coming back and asking questions like, "Who took care of me while you were in college?" "When you were in college, did I play with my toys?" I haven't been able to convince her yet that she wasn't there. She also looks at my wedding pictures and wonders why she isn't in them.

Sometimes I look at pictures before the kidlets came along and wonder where they are. They seem to have always been with me and they take up such a large part of my life now that even though I do remember a time before they were around (and none of them were present at my wedding certainly) I periodically have to think twice to recall why they don't appear in a photo.

November 07, 2005

You Never Know Who'll Be At the Grocery Store

Last night after church, while picking up a few things at the grocery store I ran into an old college friend and Communist (I'm not kidding, I had some strange but wonderful [if you didn't talk politics with them] friends in college) that I haven't seen in seven or so years. It seemed like a random place to meet up, but still it made me smile to see him.

Bows and Double-Knots

The Boy has been able to "finger knit" since the beginning of the school year. He's been tying slip knots for a while, but tying his shoes proved to be confusing to him for the longest time. Last week, I sat down to work with him again and suddenly it clicked. He's been tying his shoes all by himself ever since. He's so proud.


Just a reminder -- once that black mold starts growing on your jack o'lanterns Do Not wait a few more days before throwing them in the compost or garbage. Do it now.

November 04, 2005

Life in Captivity

Others have certainly discovered that after children arrive, a trip to the bathroom alone can be a rare and exciting pleasure. Normal trips for me usually include one child who likes to watch and ask what exactly I'm doing, one who comes along in the hopes of snatching a mouth full of toilet paper when I'm distracted (or to throw something in the toilet), the final child comes along to make sure his sisters aren't getting any special attention that he's missing out on and the dog usually wedges in as well just to make sure he's part of the party.

If they weren't so fast and so carefully observing my every motion, I'd be able to close the door and be able to take care of necessary business in the relative peace of an empty bathroom with people screaming and pounding on the door. Unfortunately, they have me under close surveillance and I rarely escape my captors for more than a moment or two.

November 03, 2005

Not Your Normal Job Site Item

We are currently in the process of having a new metal roof put on our front porch. The old one was leaking when we moved in and in terrible shape. We've caulked it up a couple of times, but we knew the day was coming when caulk wouldn't fix the problem any longer. That day arrived this summer and so we finally put in an order for the metal roofing in August and it just arrived. Now a team of fellows are out there banging around. While most of them went out for lunch yesterday, one guy stayed behind. He wanted a hot lunch though. He plugged in an extension cord, hauled his full-sized microwave out of the truck and heated up some burritos.

A Bloggish Thursday Three

Thursdays are often a very busy day for me now, so I've been ignoring The Return of the Thursday Three, but since today isn't too crazy yet, I guess I'll throw in my answers.

1) If you have a blog, why did you start it? If you don’t have one, do you think you might start one? Why or why not?

I didn't mean to start a blog. One day, my husband came home babbling about these blog things, made me read Instapundit and Andrew Sullivan, and announced he was going to start one too. He invited several of our friends and me to join in on the fun. Then one by one most of the friends dropped out to do other things like actually concentrate on work. Then my husband did the same. I took over and decided babbling about politics and foreign policy wasn't really nearly as interesting to me as babbling about my children, so the focus changed completely. Finally I moved to the servers and forgot to give keys to the executive washroom to the only remaining person that ever blogged around here besides me. So don't blame me. I'm just here taking up space that I never really intended to use. However, I do love the outlet it gives me, the conversations in the comments, and the fact that it makes me write things down once in a while.

2) What blogs do you read most often?
I read the blogs on my blogroll most often that are updated the most often. The two most frequently updated would probably be Terry and the Llamabutchers. I try to check on everyone on my blogroll at least once every couple of days and often multiple times per day as I'm passing by the computer. I also check the Houseblogs site, because I find the stories about other people's houses fascinating.

3) Finally, what do you consider to be the greatest strength(s) and most profound weakness(es) of blogging?

The friendships with people far away, the experts one can find talking about any subject from dog shows to stripping woodwork, the fact that I've been found by some old, long-lost acquaintances, and the ability of bloggers to keep the "real" journalists in line are the best parts.

The weird/disgusting searches, a few hateful commentors and all the spam are the worst parts for me. I could imagine that some people I'd rather not find me might stumble in here too, which would be unfortunate.

I think the good has far outweighed the bad though.

November 02, 2005

Those French Chicks...

My friend Cheryl takes up cartooning.

When I Learn to Knit...

This will probably not be the first thing I try to make.

From my friend Sabina, who I think has a blog she's not telling me about.


After a long hiatus, Athena is back.

I'm A PoMo!

revisionist historian
You are a Revisionist Historian. You are the Clark
Kent of postmodernists. You probably want to
work in a library or in social services. No
one suspects you of being a postmodernist...
until they read your publications!

What kind of postmodernist are you!?
brought to you by Quizilla

I was a librarian, but I'm such a stealth Postmodernist that even I didn't know I was one.

From the Llamas, who seem to be my meme source of the day.

The Cowboy, The Cat and The Princess


Average Americans

The Llamas offer us this list of things that supposedly apply to a majority of Americans. I've struck out those things that do not apply to me:

Eats peanut butter at least once a week. -- Never, if possible.

Prefers smooth peanut butter over chunky. -- If it must be eaten, it should at least have some crunch to it.

Can name all Three Stooges. -- Three plus!

Lives within a 20-minute drive of a Wal-Mart. -- In good traffic, according to Mapquest, I could make it in 16 minutes.

Eats at McDonald’s at least once a year. -- I prefer to eat my grease at Sonic, but with children and travel, we wind up at a McDonald's at least once every year.

Takes a shower for approximately 10.4 minutes a day. -- I take baths when time allows, but when I take a shower it's probably either much shorter or much longer depending upon who is watching the children.

Never sings in the shower.

Lives in a house, not an apartment or condominium.

Has a home valued between $100,000 and $300,000.

Has fired a gun. -- I think I should learn to shoot one, but I haven't gotten over my girly weeniness. I'm all in favor of other people learning how to use them and already told my son that when he's a couple of years older his uncle (former Marine and now a policeman) can take him out and teach him gun safety and shooting.

Is between 5 feet and 6 feet tall -- 5'8"

Weighs 135 to 205 pounds -- I'll never tell. Though actually, I'm not really sure of the exact measurement. I don't have a scale anymore. It succumbed to years of jumping children. Sigh. Back in college I used to tip the scales at 119 lbs.

Is between the ages of 18 and 53.

Believes gambling is an acceptable entertainment option. -- I don't think that taking advantage of people who can't do math is very nice.

Grew up within 50 miles of current home. -- Approximately 2000 miles from the place I was born and 500 miles from the place my parents have lived for the last seventeen years.

November 01, 2005

One Year Ago

One year ago today, I looked like this in the morning and like this in the evening. Our family went from an equal number of grownups and children to the grownups being outnumbered. Unless you count the dog, we females also gained the majority a year ago. Unfortunately, the brown eyed group gained ascendancy over the blue eyed Adamses. But all those classifications of who is winning and who is losing don't add up to the win we all have with our youngest and shortest family member.

Labor with The Baby was not as easy or relatively painless as it had been with The Middle Girl, much to my disappointment. It also took longer than I had hoped. But the end result and the unexpected arrival of my second daughter was well worth it all. Some days I still can't quite believe I have two daughters, which for someone who never had a sister seems like uncharted territory.

The Baby has always seemed to be more easy going than her big sister, who is not known around here as the Drama Queen without good reason. The Baby is generally calm and generally smiling, although now that she can walk and fancies herself one of the big kids, she's starting to believe in property rights. In other words, everything is or should be her property.

The Baby is like her siblings in many ways. She crawled about the same age (between five and six months) and she started walking at about the same age (around eleven months). She has a ready smile and loves to wave to "her public" (all the people behind us) when we're at church.

She's also different in many ways than her siblings. Her skin and eyes are darker. She's shorter and lighter weight (so small that on her first birthday she still weighs too little to be turned around forward facing in her carseat). Although she reached milestones at much the same time she did it in her own way, dragging herself in a combat crawl for a month or more before actually crawling and taking half a dozen steps at a time for weeks before walking, unlike her siblings who took off and walked everywhere within a day of putting a few steps together.

The main physical difference though between The Baby and her siblings is, of course, her birthmark. I didn't notice it at birth, though my husband says he did, but within a very few days it was very obvious that she had a red mark on her forehead. It looked like she'd come pre-marked as a Hindu with a caste mark. I'd heard of birthmarks, of course, but I'd never really thought about them and never really known what kinds or types there were. I'd never heard the word hemangioma before. I wasn't really prepared to see one on my daughter's forehead and it bothered me for a long time. I covered it up for months every time we left the house.

It still bothers me. I'd still cover it up if she'd stop ripping her hats off. I think she's beautiful, wonderful and brilliant. I want those qualities to be the first things everyone notices and not the fact that she has a large red lump on her head.

She won't wear a hat very often anymore, and that, as with many other parenting adventures has taught me a lot. It's taught me patience -- I have to wait for the mark to go down and fade -- and taught me to deal with my own embarrassments, to not worry about what others think so much and also to explain and talk about hemangiomas to others who have never heard of them. I guess I'll always be a bit sensitive about it, but I hope that my sensitivity continues to fade as her birthmark is fading already.

In the meantime, my little one year old cares not at all about her mother's neuroses as long as they don't interfere with her morning nur-nur which she craves more than any adult craves morning coffee. After her wake up milk, she takes on the day, toddling and babbling with the best of them. I think I'm incredibly lucky to know her. Happy Birthday Baby Girl!


A Reynolds Girl

You have the Reynolds girl look. Reynolds girls had
the typical British beauty. The eighteenth
century British portrait painters would have
been attracted by your brilliant complexion and
your classical features. Sir Joshua Reynolds
loved to paint girls like you in white dresses
with blue satin sashes. Reynolds and other
portrait painters of his time also portrayed
blue eyed, dark-haired girls, and golden-haired
ones too, plus the occasional red-head. The
following painters would have painted you; Sir
Joshua Reynolds and Sir Thomas Lawrence.

'Pretty As A Picture' - Which Artist Would Paint You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Reynolds has long been one of my favorite painters. Especially this picture, so I'm quite pleased with the results. Thanks, Melissa!