one year old.

Number of teeth: 6
Favorite food: grapes, cheese, and chocolate.
Walking: not even close. Orion is thrilled with his smack-smack-smack the floor crawling.
Life goal: to obtain an opened, non-empty can of Coca-Cola.
Birthday party: one was held at home, on the Sunday prior to his birthday; another impromptu celebration popped up at work, where Baby O is a dedicated employee.


soooo long, farewell...no, not farewell...

It's been so long since I logged onto blogger...
--I couldn't remember what the site was called
--I couldn't remember what my username was
--I couldn't remember my password
--Couldn't remember what my last post was.
Pretty sad!

What has changed since the last time I posted?
--My father has finally gotten himself and my siblings moved into their own place.
--Torrin's good start to the school year has taken a downhill turn
--Mira is finally learning her letters, in preschool, since I don't teach her such things.
--Orion crawls all over the place and has 4 teeth. I don't mind that he is 10 months old and not walking. He is my baby and there is no rush. He waves bye-bye and is a great little guy. Baby O is a rather long and lean little dude, not so much a chubby boy at all. He still goes to work with me and I haven't started looking for a daycare for him either.


Basically, stay in school, blah blah blah...

This evening after dinner, while Torrin was washing dishes, he mentioned something about President Obama's speech.

This after I'd spent a collection of various moments the past few days infuriated by the partisan venom spewing about. I'd expressed subdued versions of my opinion on the matter on various websites, and yet I'd gone through nearly the whole day without having actually heard the speech, seen it in print, or talked to someone who had.

And there before me, was my own progeny, and intended audience of The Speech. So, I asked him what he thought about it. Torrin said something like "basically, stay in school, blah blah blah, just like what other normal people say when they talk to kids at school."

Wow...so earth-shattering. What's the uproar? Oh, right, the lesson plan. How to Help the President. You mean it wasn't "why Americans should be Socialists?" No? We should...stay in school? Who's paying for that? Oh...um...taxpayer funded public schools... Oh, wait. Other normal people talk to kids in schools too? Isn't that taking up instructional time? What? Well then what about, say, a pep rally? Another instructional time drainer all in favor of promoting unity...um...hmmm. I don't want my kid learning the school song, or even knowing what the school mascot is! No way! What we really need to do is force teachers to register their party affiliations and let us choose our children's instructors based on political ideologies.

Upon further probing, Torrin reported that Obama said "all across America, like, 50 times." "Stay in school." "Don't do drugs." Boy, if that's the message my 8-year-old kid heard, it couldn't have been that bad.



the whole MONTH of August gone?

So, um, yeah. I haven't been posting. If I could do it from my phone I might! I have a very basic phone, and in general do not approve of the practice of cell-phone-photographing, but it is quite a handy trick. I will offer a glimpse of our past month with phone pictures, with the exception of this first one: That is Mira at the Indian Club powwow on August 1. My friend and I were up all night working on very simple dresses. I don't know how to sew. Never even took Home Ec (Family Consumer Science, whatever you call it these days) either. My mother is the opposite of hand-made, home-made, etc., so I didn't learn anything from her. My friend was a textiles art person...a few years ago, and my great-grandmother's sewing machine, borrowed from my auntie, had not been her particular design whittler so things were very slow-going. Of course that could have been avoided with some simple advance planning, but that would be way too obvious. Also of note, Mira's hair was comprised of only the third- and fourth-attempt I have ever made at French-braiding. Possibly fourth and fifth, but no more, no exaggeration at all. She "danced" in the powwow. Note quotation marks. Main point, she had fun.
Here is Torrin on his first day of school, August 19, 2009, beginning 3rd grade. He looks grim, but honestly he was thankful to return to school. He's just totally over the whole "look-happy-for-mom-taking-pictures" thing.

Here is Orion on the same day, smiling as we waited for.EV.er at the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) with a client. I go in to get my renewal license in two weeks, yay...

Torrin on August 15 in the dressing room at Kohl's, trying on clothes for school. We couldn't afford to buy this shirt that Torrin liked, so I told him I'd take a picture of him in it...

Mira on the 13th of August at PetCo...she was filling up the container of kitty litter.

And here is Orion in the same Kohl's dressing room as Torrin, on the 15th.


Why I don't post more often.

This on Thursday morning just before leaving for work/daycare/summer program...they said they were King Kongs...


Brownville, a bit late.

On Saturday, July 11, my dad's band Full Measure played a riverboat gig on the Spirit of Brownville to 81 ticketholders. Tickets sold for $10. They are a classic rock cover band, and that band is one of the reasons that we have the kids here at our house so much. But anyway. Once we got to Brownville, we didn't know where to go next. We wound our way up a crazy hill, past a super-redneck-looking shanty of a house...and found ourselves at an intersection facing not one, but two red Festivas.

We asked this guy for directions. You can't see the little yippy dog that was occupying the passenger seat. It was at that point that we knew that everything would be all right.
There's Ben and Orion looking peaceful on the boat, watching the Missouri River waves.

My dad's band. He is goofy. And barefoot.
Little sister Claire and brother Anthony, reverting to their natural state... :)

Orion tried his first ice-popsicle.

Our banana masterpieces. Stolen from the floating hotel's kitchen, and returned, in better fashion.

We stopped for a bit of R&R the next day at the Antiquarium before heading back to L-Town. Ben and I purchased, among other things, a National Geographic magazine from the year 1913.

This picture was taken on the way home...at an intersection, I looked to my right and saw this hanging in a shop window. What do you read at first glance? Support our troops...a bit of irony there.


finally did it...

After much debate (mostly internal, on my part), it has been done. Mira has bangs. In general, I am not a fan of bangs on little girls. I, for one, had them, and had far too much of them. So often you see little girls with as much bangs as the rest of their hair. Too much bangs begins to infringe on that dreaded mullet look. The other thing I hate about bangs is that once you have them, it's so hard to get rid of them.

Mira had a ton of chin-length wispies. She has often eaten them. She has asked to get her hair cut a few times, and upon further questioning it came out that those short hairs in front were the ones that bugged her. I cut only the chin length hairs, none of the rest of her long hair (which goes just past her little bum).

At first Mira wasn't really cooperating and wouldn't give me a nnice happy picture. I don't mind pictures where kids aren't smiling, but as my little sister Claire pointed out, it looks like a mug shot! Mira says it's her "plain face." But we handed her the scissors and she cheesed away.


Postcard from Ohio

Two pictures forwarded from Ohio this past week. One is Torrin at West Branch Lake near Ravenna, OH, half an hour from Akron and the other is from just last night. The large white expanse behind him is a movie screen--they went to a drive-in theatre in Cleveland to see Harry Potter! I am jealous, as I have yet to fill my HP quota this year. And also because they seem to have several drive-ins in Ohio. There are none in Nebraska.


My babies are gone!

It's been so long since I posted that I couldn't remember which screenname I use to sign in here! In between, I've had the most relaxing weekend of my entire life since having kids and other trinkets of here-and-there. My son T-boy is staying with his dad until the 26th of July, perhaps another week after that. My-little-girl is in Colorado for a week with her daddy and grandma.

Here is Mira in Ottawa, IL...she was sitting on the edge of a fountain, dangling and swinging her feet. Then...she fell in. She was devastated. Mom took pictures (28 June).
Here are Mira and Orion at Jazz in June (free jazz concert series). Orion grabbed sister's hair:
Iowa City has an awesome city park with a carousel, mini-train, huge green spaces, playgrounds, etc. We stopped there on our way to drop Torrin off with his dad. Orion had his first carousel ride:
Here is Mira playing around in a shawl we got from her great-grandma, at the rained-out Pawnee exhibition powwow in Kearney on June 20:

Orion loved talking to one of Mira's babies one night:

They just looked cute. I think this was Thursday morning (02 July).



Dipping baby's toes into the pond...also fun: playing with photo editing software.
The living, and the dead.
Shadow of mommy holding baby

on the first day, there was light.

we found berries!

Why, why, why, do I find it so irresistible to take pictures of flowers? All in all, they're all the same darn thing. I can find hundreds of shots online just like mine (or better) by doing a quick search. Ben says, "why not? At least it's not crack."

Baby O is a big boy now. He has been taking sips of water today, from a water bottle and a regular drinking glass. Just showing off, really! Good thing, too, as it was pretty hot and muggy. Personally, I like warm weather--I just dislike the overabundant indoor air conditioning that accompanies it, making it nearly impossible to choose suitable clothing in the morning.

Ha. That reminds me, what will my workplace be like without Viktor Krum? And more frightening...who will they plunk into that position next?
Oh, and check out my big baby! Last year's camping trip with our uncle made the paper, thanks to said uncle's rock-star status. :)


who steals CDs these days?

The thief was not smart. They rummaged through the glove compartment and took a Britney Spears disc, along with a dozen or so mostly burned discs that had been in a visor holder. I'm a little annoyed, because there were a couple of actual CDs in there that were of the legal, purchased variety. I can burn a new Veggie Tales Silly Songs suite (although a compilation entitled "Loud" came from TCO and can't be replaced). But these?

Namely the pink one? That thing alone is worth over $200. They didn't take that. Thank you, Idiot.


perfect Saturday

Torrin and Mira climbing the Torn Notebook
Mira and Sophia's pink-polished dirt-digging fingers
We planted pansies.

Lying on the grass, sleeping Orion on chest, reading a book in the sun.

Happy kitty on a window sill in the sun


banana slime spots

It started with a banana.

Orion was thrilled.
He growled and sucked on fresh banana through the ingenious mesh feeder device.
At first, he was just shiny and slimy.
Then little boy's face began to get red everywhere that the banana slime had touched.
Mama took the banana away!
Baby O objected.
He was so enchanted by this first encounter with something besides breastmilk.

Who has an allergic reaction to a banana? I've never known such a thing. Poor kid has never had any other solid foods, not even rice cereal. Makes me wary of trying more new things...things that little man is very interested in getting to know.


and just what are you so happy about?

In the fog of my too-busy, unfocused, haphazard existence, I find myself gazing in awe at my baby as mothers so often do, amazed by his unfazed joy.

And I say, so often, "why are you so happy, little boy?" or, "what are you smiling at?" because nothing so grand seems to be unfolding at the moment.

Well, why not? What's wrong with smiling for no apparent reason? I've said before...the most genuine smiles are probably the ones that noone sees. If nobody's watching, it's not a fragment of a forced bit of show for someone else's benefit.

So...what are you so happy about? What makes you smile, like this:

The unbelievably-happy-at-work baby.

I'm happy that Orion is nearly six months old and still going to work with me, so I don't miss out on all of those little daily babbles and smiles, and heck, even the diaper blowouts. Because, if anything, for whatever reason it sucks a whole lot more to clean up poopy clothes in the evening at home when you didn't see the intial damage done in the diaper.

Even though I am paid so little, at least it is all done within the "typical" workweek, so that I can take kids to events on the weekends without missing out on sleep like 2nd shift workers or people who have to work Saturdays and Sundays.

Even though it is sad that Grandma Norma is no longer with us, it means that we have Claire, Anthony and Sophia in town now. No more missing birthdays for lack of gas money. No more three months without visiting. Way more familial interaction for my little ones, and way more opportunities for the hiliarity of childhood to shine through.


do your thang

Little Taller Sister, who just turned 14 earlier this month, had a jazz band concert last night. First, we drove out to Dawes Middle School, where we thought she was to be playing...got there 5 minutes late...all of the doors on all sides of the school, locked...turns out we were supposed to be at Irving after all--6.7 miles and many stoplights away. As we walked to the audtorium, Mira wondered aloud, "where's Rock Band?" Poor little girl thought we were going to go somewhere to play Rock Band, like they have at her uncles' house! Of course, in true 3-year-old form, she suddenly had a life-or-death need to pee during one of the songs...at least it was before her aunt's group. Once Little Taller Sister's band was playing, Mira was somewhat enchanted and wanted to know, "when I'm a teenager, can I?"

I sure hope she does! It would be nice to have at least one musical offspring.


bon bebé

I still can't believe what a good baby Orion is. I'm sitting here at work, and Orion is in his exersaucer, just looking at me, smiling, and chewing on his tongue sideways. The exersaucer was given to him by a co-worker who found it at a garage sale. He has a swing in here, too, a donation brought up by another co-worker. I never imagined I'd keep him here at work with me for so long, but so far, so good. I just wish Mira's daycare/pre-school admitted babies under 18 months, because as good as he is it's doubtful we can make it all the way to 18 months without losing productivity. He's due to begin getting mobile sometime very soon here. He's been doing that thing where he goes from lying on his tummy to an upside-down V shape by extending his legs out and sticking his bottom in the air, and he likes to lurch towards things from a sitting position. People ask now if he's starting to crawl yet and I feel almost insulted--he's too little! He's too young for that! Don't prematurely age my baby--but then, wait. He's 5.5 months old now. He is growing up, too fast.


plantanitos fritos

Looks like a banana.
Smells like a cucumber.
Tastes like a potato!
Okay, so Ben already stole my tagline in a
twittered message, but golly, it's mine! lol. Fried plantains. I was not prepared for that one. We'll see what we do with them next time we use them. They may look like big bananas, but they certainly do not peel as easily!


bon week-end

Saturday was an eventful day. We did a lot of walking, starting the day with a stroll over to the Capitol for the Mayor's Run, which is a mile run for elementary school kids and is apparently one of the top ten in the nation in terms of size. Torrin was in the fifth heat, for boys second grade and younger. His hair was in a ponytail, but he's wearing terrible shoes because, well, we only have one pair of shoes for him. Shoes are expensive. Anyway, there I stood on the curb, waiting dutifully like a good Mommy, camera ready, scanning the little faces in search of my little boy running down the road. Well, I missed him. I heard, "Mom!" and there he was, nearly gone already. Not quite the shot I was going for:
. It got sunnier on our walk back--we were leisurely with our exit, departing well after the sixth and last heat finished but were still home by 10:30. Orion tried on his flashy sunglasses:

Sophia took time to stop and smell the roses...er...tulips:

After lunch we bundled everyone up again to head to the powwow on campus.

The weather was perfect.

Mira really wants to learn to dance.

And her little friend from school was there! She was overjoyed.

She really had a great time playing with him. She is excited to go to his house to play sometime.