2 great quotes from Mira on Christmas Eve...

1) "I got a box! Just like Torrin and Ben!" upon unwrapping a gift, partially.
2) SGM (StepGrandmaMagee) takes a pill. Mira asks why. SGM responds "because sometimes my back hurts." Mira replies, "Sometimes my butt itches."


Happy Cows?

Fine print on a coupon attached to the carton of eggs we bought yesterday.


3 letters

Following my much-debated text, composed so that it did not necessitate a response, came these three letters, last night at 1:35am: bye.

Today, I threw away a stack of banana pancakes. They have fabulous maple syrup in the Northeast, you know.


'tis the season

(Mira, third from the right)

...for losing my mind at work! Things do NOT slow down come holiday time. Operation Santa Claus gifts were delivered yesterday...that's roughly one hundred families' gifts, two or three carbon copies of each form to find, sort, alphabetize, and their corresponding telephone numbers to call. Nevermind disconnected or out-of-service numbers. And it's tax training time...IRS VITA site coordinator meeting this morning. Drama there, too. Paid preparers are trying to dismantle the volunteer-run program. And then there's my other, top-secret work Christmas project...not to mention Christmas cards and keeping the cats out of the tree at home.

Back on subject (was there a subject?)--Mira's daycare had their Christmas program last Thursday, on our Auntie Joyce's birthday. Since I had forgotten that morning that the program was that evening, Mira was one of only two girls in the class not wearing a dress. And she noticed. The picture above shows only about a third of her whole class.
And, for fun, here's a pic of PGG, about 3 or 4 years old. And looking at this picture, I'm wondering if maybe the baby's nose, which has been causing me some confusion, is PGG's after all. Noses, of course, look much different as they get older along with the human hosts, but Torrin's was instantly recognizable as his dad's. Mira's is actually still somewhat of a mystery but it looks more familiar, if that makes any sense (probably not). Orion's was puzzling. But maybe not. Maybe. We'll see. So also we'll see, if Orion gets the crazy eyebrows (notice too the awesome late 80s background, semi-mullet, and rockin' ninja shirt).

Earlier this evening I walked out to the living room from the kitchen, where I was cooking dinner, and found Torrin reading to Orion on the couch. Cute, huh? And what was he reading to him? Maybe a nice board book, something for babies, maybe even something for older kids? No. Ghosts Among Us, which I doubt the author intended for reading to infants, or small children of any kind, for that matter. Torrin has dubbed it "creepy." I wouldn't know, since I never got around to cracking the cover, let alone actually reading it.


Before I forget

Wanted to share two Mira exchanges from before the baby was born. In the first conversation, I had enticed Mira to come to the car by telling her that we were going to the store to get a carseat for the baby, as she is ever-interested in all things baby-related. This was a 8 days before the baby was born.

Mira: "Is the baby coming out soon?"
Me: "Yes, sometime soon."
Mira: "Are you going to make a hole for it?"
Me, aghast: "The baby already has a hole to come out of."
Mira: "Is that going to hurt?"
Me: "Maybe."

And then later on:
Mira: "Can I see the hole?"
Me: "No!"


almost two weeks

So quickly it goes.

We're around, up 'n at 'em. It's Christmastime, which is my second-busiest season at work following tax season (next up!). Little Mr. Orion has been, and will be for the next several weeks, at work with me. All day, every day. We breastfeed, and I don't intend to introduce a bottle until he's 6 - 8 weeks old (it will be pumped milk), so he's my third limb for now. I try to keep him hidden as much as possible and aside from huge breasts (for me anyhow) people can't particularly tell I've just had a baby. My uterus seems to be done with its contractingness and the belly is gone (though the extra padding on my hips and the local vicinity is there for now).

Mira is still enchanted by the baby. She's always wanting to hold him. Torrin is older and doesn't view him as a potential playmate or plaything as Mira does, but he still asks to hold him and seems to genuinely like him. We will see how long it takes for the novelty to wear off. So far, I've managed to get home from work and cook dinner each night, but after that I'm pretty beat and it takes an effort to read bedtime stories.

Don't blink, or you'll miss everything...


No baby yet.

I've gotten to a point in the pregnancy where I am totally and completely done. My feet are doing that awesome swelling thing they started doing about a week before I had Mira. I've been contracting irregularly since about 630am Sat. It's now 325am Sun, and no, I haven't been to sleep yet. They come about every 8 min...but not on time. Sometime's it's 6 min, sometimes 10. This could get old verrrrry quickly. Actually, it has already gotten old. *yawn*

For fun, here's a picture of someone never-before-seen-on-my-blog, the one and only PGG. Here, asleep with Mira a couple nights ago. Nice dark picture because I didn't want to wake them with a light or a flash, of course. And speaking of sleep, I'm going to go attempt a catnap.


Every Baby a Blessing.

Not going to go into the drama-mess-details, but for crying out loud...every baby should be cause for celebration and joy. Why waste time and energy decrying whatever shitty situation may be sweltering? Surround the innocent one, borne not of its own accord, with sweetness and concern only for its well-being. Sacrifice for human nature (not one of us perfect). The past cannot be undone.

All of my siblings...I would take any one (or several) of them into my home if it were needed. From age 6 days to 20 years, each may share only one parent with me but they are all my kin.

My children will, and to some extent already do, have a similar sibling patchwork. I can only hope that they will feel the same and leave bickering and drama to those who care to pursue and promote such nonsense.


This should be easy.

I was tagged by Julie to do a blog of 7 Weird Things About Myself.

Okay, easy enough. I think. I've been considered generally "weird" for most of my life.

1. I'm afraid of nail clippers. I hack 'em off with nail scissors or even regular scissors. This goes for my kids too.

2. I love chocolate and I love ice cream but I do not care for chocolate ice cream.

3. My parents are both adopted. I'm not.

4. I don't use salt. I don't even have normal salt in my house, although I do have some sea salt which was purchased for tie-dying purposes.

5. I don't own a mop. I have never mopped my kitchen floor since we moved to our house in May 2006. The flooring is laminate and I love it. I spray it with Windex.

6. I am currently in love with the smell of Windex. I look for excuses to clean things so that I can smell the wonderful lemon Windex smell.

7. Just recently I started a photo adventure titled "The Festiva Project." This is my first public mention of it; the only persons who knew about it before now were my kids and PGG. I'm taking pictures of Ford Festivas, which are little egg-shaped vehicles produced between 1988 - 1993. I've been caught in the act three times now (and I only have 16 total). I'll probably end up making a website for it, or its own blog. Below is the most recently captured picture. A red one, modified hood, back end covered with stickers, dents abound.

Now, I'm supposed to tag 7 people, but I honestly don't know that I know of any bloggers who haven't been tagged that read my blog...will think on that one and edit the post later perhaps.


Fly on the wall

Torrin liked this comic today. He only asked what "sociopathy" was. Actually, he read most of today's comics aloud to me. You know how parents will sometimes spell words out so that the kid doesn't know what you're talking about? Can't do that with this kid anymore. He likes to carry out conversations in spelling sometimes. O-K-A-Y, T-O-R-R-I-N (he read this post too).


Kitty Love

How could I not immediately share? Snapped at 12:56am...technically, it's Wednesday now...


Manicotti Thursday

So I've shared banana pancakes (they were quite yummy BTW) and quiche...here's another favorite. Manicotti! Shown pre-baking, in the assembly stage.

And fresh out of the oven, one ricotta/broccoli/spinach-stuffed tube missing to the land of cooling-off-for-little-mouths-ville:


Scrawled on the window by my big 7-year-old kid upon exiting the car last Thurday morning...that's him waving from beyond the foggy glass.


Your Cuteness Quotient for the Day...

Exhibit A.
Subjects are watching the third Presidential debate.
Child T, age 7, asks how old McCain is.
Mom replies, "I think he's 72."
Child M, celebrating her 3rd birthday, exclaims, "He's
not two!!!"
T: "No, seven-ty two. Seven and two."
M: "How old is he?" as she motions toward Obama.
Mom: "I think he's 47."
M, indignantly: "Well I think he's 41."

Exhibit B.
Aforementioned subjects T and Mom are lying in bed. T's hand is on Mom's abdomen to feel Unborn Sibling moving.
Subject M climbs onto the bed and puts her arm around T, her brother.
T: "There's no baby in my tummy, Mira."
M: "I'm just tryin' to hug you!"



Mira's 3 now. I'm not sure how it happened, but my memory of her babyhood is quickly slipping away.

She hasn't had her birthday party yet...that's coming on Sunday afternoon.

Tuesday night as she slept I hung the decorations for her birthday party, to get more use out of them. Besides, I love an excuse to hang streamers in the doorway. We didn't ever do goofy stuff like that when I was a kid, and Mira's just old enough this year to really excited about her birthday. Wednesday morning I woke up and proceeded to make pancakes. Banana pancakes. It was my first time doing it on my own. Both TCO and Voldemort were excellent banana pancake artists and I have been craving them for awhile now.

I let her eat breakfast without even getting dressed first, too...oh, the controversy! "Mommy am I three now?" She asked, wide-eyed and incredulous. Yes, honey, you're three now. Only one more autumn lies between her and kindergarten. :(


Art for Art's Sake

In the past week I've completed two pieces of artwork. As in, art for work's sake. Which is certainly better than no art at all, but how about art for me, for my loved ones, for whomever or whatever? I despise how artistic creation goes in spurts for me...I'll make a few things in a relatively short period of time, then nothing worth mentioning for a year, or longer. I don't share because I think I possess any true talent, but because it brings me such happiness to create.

Above left, detail of tracks on a work-intended piece. I'd share the whole image but I don't know exactly what will become of the entirety, if anything. Below, my very first owl. Mira and I spent some time this afternoon with watercolor and crayons. She made three lovely pictures, one for her daddy, one for her grandma, and one for her great-grandma. My owl is for PGG.

Quiche. It's what's for dinner.

Okay, very un-original title. Crazy thing is we actually did eat some beef a day prior or post-quiche. Mama got a cheeseburger craving that wasn't going to be fulfilled by McDonald's. I only buy hamburger about once or twice a year, so it's kind of a big deal. But anyhow, quiche...how I love my quiche. It's terribly "unhealthy," prepared in its traditional manner. I usually don't add meat, let alone actual real bacon. Whatever else is random depending on what's in the refrigerator. Last weekend's quiche contained broccoli, salmon, and fresh dill. I make the whole-wheat crust from scratch with 7tbsp of real butter.

Here it is before going into the oven...
And fresh out, with the egg-and-cream (I use half-n-half) mixture hot, steamy, and risen...

Cooled off, sliced, and still hot. Yum.


Good-Enough Weekend

Torrin and Mira roasting hot dogs (mmmmm pig parts!)

I finished another bead project--yay!

And my kitties love each other.

Good enough weekend, minus the whole football parking thing on Saturday, where once again our intelligent Husker-fan-parkers were overheard referring to the Indian Center as the Indian Reservation. Yes, this is the Rez where all the drunken white folks are. :/

We're Not in Kansas Anymore...

Last Saturday, after we finally left my workplace, we got ready and headed south to Kansas. First to Lawrence, where we Haskell Avenue'd it up meeting another Mommy from Mira's birth club. Such encounters are always fun--it's like meeting a celebrity, because it may be your first time actually meeting the person, but you've seen them in pictures and already know so much about them. We stayed several hours, the kids played, and all was dandy. Then we headed over to Old Chicago to visit an old friend of PGG's who's attending Haskell Indian Nations University.

We capped the night by jaunting over to Topeka, where I have a long-lost auntie. She's my mom's eldest sister, but we just met her for the first time last summer (my mom is adopted--actually my dad is too but we don't know who his biological family is). We stayed the night with her and her rumpled Schnauzer. I was sufficiently creeped out by a picture on her dresser whose subject looked like a male version of my mother, complete with semi-glaring half-scowl. His name is Larry, and he's a brother of theirs, now deceased. I am envious of her knowledge of the Omaha language but not her cigarette habit...I'm slightly concerned that she will inadvertently burn her house down one of these nights as she chain-smokes half asleep.


Worst Friday Ever.

Okay, so yeah it's technically Saturday now. 5:45am. I'm still at work. That about sums it up.


Mira on the subway

Long time no post.

In the mean time, I've reached the quarter-century mark...driven to Chicago and back...and caused a major fiasco at work with the too-sensitive and community-sore-spot issue of football parking. Since I couldn't be there, it was left to warring families and bull-headed staff members. Next week, I'll be back. Ugh. My birthday in Chicago was less than fabulous...beginning with my inagural (and hopefully last) birthday tow. Hey, at least it was a cheap tow for Chicago, only $170, and our friend there covered it--for which I am grateful.

For lunch on Saturday before taking Flamenco to the airport with her loyal doggie friend, we went to Ginos East for some authentic Chicago deep dish pizza. I'm still a sushi-craving fiend, and yes I know you're not "supposed" to eat sushi while you're pregnant, but that's what we had for dinner. Note that there are several sushi options which include cooked items. Had it not rained the entire time we were there, it would have been much more fun.

Better luck next year!


Like Wildfire

Another Sunken Gardens shot here.
So they've finally caught on to the baby bit at work. The Friday before last Nosy Coworker #1 finally asked. Then yesterday, Nosy Coworker #2 asked. This is noteworthy because both are guilty of regularly inquiring whether I was expecting when there was no reason (that I know of) to suspect so, yet for the past 6 months when I actually have been didn't pose the question. #2's asking yesterday was followed shortly by his son learning of the news. And his son? Is currently staying with Viktor Krum and TCO. Yay. Today, two more Poppy inquiries. Eh. Whatever. I'm 26.5 weeks along now, which translates to roughly "six months pregnant." A typical pregnancy is based on a "due date" figured to occur after 40 weeks, or 10 lunar months.

Some stupid news of the day: Harry Potter lost his virginity at 16 to an "older woman," and scientists have linked a gene to males' likelihood to cheat. Meow and growl!


Generally, I avoid politics since it's so...polarizing. But I think that now that we know both VP picks, the Presidential race has gotten more interesting. I do think it's a shame that there's so little choice in voting...I'm still not sure how I feel about the whole caucus/primary/electoral college process in general.

It does seem that McCain and Obama both made VP choices that emphasized what the other had that he himself was lacking. And I think you gotta give McCain credit for making an unexpected selection (whereas Obama's seemed like the safest move).

While at the YMCA this evening, they had Glenn Beck on the TV screen and I glimpsed this book title:
If Democrats Had Any Brains, They'd Be Republicans. Okay, whatever, Ann Coulter's book is probably pretty funny. But I always wonder, why is it then, that with more education, people are more likely to have democratic political views? We've all heard that college campuses tend towards liberalism...do we need affirmative action for conservatives to enter the education field or what? ;) Would the more education thing hold true if professors were more evenly split between conservative and liberal views? Is educating young minds more attractive to the liberal mindset, and if so, why? Cuz dem Republicans are too busy makin' an honest dollar while the Democrat tries to convince him it's really his? 'Cause da Dems are so good at spewing hot air while the Republican finds a way to market the exhilation?


I have a second-grader...

The procession of time presses onward. I can't believe that my first baby is beginning his third year of formal schooling. But then again, I can't really remember him as a baby either--seems like snapshots out of someone else's life--so I suppose it makes some sense. His hair is starting to get pretty long.


Because she's so freaking cute...

Cheesin' this morning, wearing a dress we received from one of my online buddies!


Either go away or just say hello...

Because OMGoodness this is driving me nuts!

Isn't one Viktor Krum at my workplace enough? TCO, I am so disappointed with your social (sk)ills that seem to be more and more mimicking those of Viktor Krum...it's not a good thing...as you yourself have stated on so many occasions...Viktor is an a$s. And who Else has a lil white Kia? LOL...


Snow cones & Dirt

A good summation of what makes the modern powwow fun for small children: Playing in the dirt and fair-type food. The congregation of children is possibly my favorite part of going to the powwow.

Naked Mira on someone's bike (we had gone to the car to change her dirty dress)

Junior girl jingle dress dancer

The Omaha (Umoⁿhoⁿ, wh
ich means "against the current") powwow is a celebration to honor the creator for the harvest (hedewachi).

I loved this little boy's expression

Me, goofy Torrin, and passed out Mira.


That's just WRONG!

I've been having kind of a crappy week that I won't go into, but this is ridiculous. Warner Brothers has decided to delay the release of the Half Blood Prince until next summer. Production delays? Script or set discrepancies? Key actors getting DUIs? No, none of that. They just wanted to move it to an "open" weekend in the SUMMER. As if HP needs any help attracting viewers! The only good part is that supposedly the 1st half of Deathly Hallows will still come out in November next year.


A Life Full of Color

I am happiest when I can create things.

I've never been a painter, but I adore mixing paint. I love combining this color and that, and maybe that one or that one, and seeing what happens. Sometimes the results are as expected, but other times, the new hue takes you by surprise.

I have an ongoing love affair with the sky. The various shades that mingle and tangle with the clouds can be oh-so-breathtaking.

The textures and colors of scrapbooking paper is what marks the appeal of those stores, even though, aside from a few stolen savory moments, I haven't really scrapped since before Mira was born. The difference between one child and two isn't one...it's about 1,000.

My favorite of all?

I think it's beads. I've accumulated a fair collection of beads, and there is a definite sense of euphoria present as I rifle through the boxes, filled with varied sizes, shapes, textures and shades of beads. The satisfaction that arises as a result of completing a piece is rather indescribable. It's not merely pride for being able to make something; it's easy enough to do. It's the interaction of the colors, the light reflecting on the shiny spheres. Last night for the first time in a a long while I made a necklace, for Mira. She has said more than once now that she would like to have a yellow dress made for her; whether or not she also wears this necklace is secondary. I made it for her, and that adds to its uniqueness.



In 1993, Toni Morrison won the Nobel Prize for literature
Bill Clinton was President of the United States
River Phoenix, Frank Zappa, André the Giant, and Dizzy Gillespie died
Czechoslavakia became the two separate nations of Slovakia and Czech Republic
Rodney King testified in federal court
Unforgiven won 4 Academy Awards

and my brother Ian was born.

Ian at 3 months...and 5 years old, kindergartner at Elliott...

And now, sporting a Beatles/Harry Potter Goblet of Fire-esque shag, 15 years old, entering his sophomore year in high school this fall...
Awww...wasn't it just yesterday that I was changing your diapers and riding around with you in the bikeseat of our mother's bike?