Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The One Where I Wave the White Flag

Washing my face in a Babies R Us water fountain can easily be counted among the many things I never really saw myself doing in life. But that is exactly where I found myself yesterday morning. I'll just start at the beginning.

Sergio asked me recently if I could be any more pitiful and I answered, "every time I think I have hit the bottom I find a whole new level of pitiful, so probably yes." And that has been my life for the last week and a half or so. It started with some mysterious symptoms while we were staying in Pocahontas. When I called to ask my midwife about them I was told to go immediately to the emergency room. Okay, sure. I don't think it is that big of a deal, but we are out of town, so I go. An infection, but probably not pre-term labor. Here, have an incredibly painful shot in the rear end and then you need to drive an hour and 20 minutes up the road to the nearest Ob/gyn office and be monitored there.
Two hours later, Sergio and I are sitting in the Newport, AR OB office surrounded by very nice people, but also lots and lots of abandoned bloody surgical instruments. Again I am placed in a butt-less gown and hooked up to monitors. As we suspected, nothing. But hey! Why not another painful shot in the rear for good measure?! You know it is going to be unpleasant when their words of comfort are, "okay, brace yourself for a big stick and then burning."
I get a prescription and we drive on down to Little Rock a day early. It is difficult to sit in the car because of my shots.
And then Christmas Eve and Christmas! Yay! Lots of fun and good food and watching my great Aunts and cousins and grandmother attempt guitar hero! Ashley, Carla, Mom...I need you to send me pictures because I was too lazy to get my camera out of the car. So the holiday itself was lovely, even the part where we didn't go to bed until 1:00 am and then my niece burst into the room at 5:30 am with, "Aunt Dawn, Uncle Sergio come on. Santa Claus already came!"
There were just two relatively small problems. The prescription I was given was causing the most insane heartburn I have had since I was on daily reflux medication, and I was coming down with a cold I had carried with me from Dallas. Separately these things are irritating. Together they are the makings of a horror film. And that brings us to yesterday at the Babies R Us.
I begin to have a coughing fit at the front of the store. The mucus in my head is so thick that I can't get a breath between the coughs. On top of this I can still feel my breakfast burning a hole in my chest. I take off toward the back where I had seen the bathroom. Three steps into this journey I vomit. I don't know what other people would do in this situation. Maybe there is something more rational than what I did. You'll have to let me know. I simply caught the vomit below my chin and held it there while I calmly continued to walk to the back of the store, all the time hoping I wouldn't cough again and splatter everywhere. By the time I make my way to the back I have snot dripping profusely out of my nose into the rest of the mess and I know I am about to lose it again if I don't find somewhere to unload. And then I get there. Ladies Restroom. Finally.
Closed for cleaning.
I can see the man inside cleaning, but can't explain why I need in. I open the door to the Mother's Room. No sink, no trash can, no toilet. At this point I am no longer calm, but start running toward the men's restroom. Before I get there I see the water fountain. And that I where I finally manage to let go.
And at the risk of coming off as a total hypochondriac I won't even go into the part about throwing my back out so that every time I cough my left leg buckles. Let's just all agree that my child might be trying to kill me, and pregnancy is stupid.
I don't know exactly what I am surrendering to, but I surrender. You win.
Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Seems Like Time For Words

This morning I woke up to news that a sand truck had hit ice and flipped over, but not to the news that Dallas schools were closed. And so I went to work, only sliding once on the drive, but twice on my feet. Pregnant Girl On Ice, Now Showing!
I had to stay late at work for parent night and while we waited for the event to begin a coworker checked the news. Turns out the bank up our street had been held at gunpoint the previous hour. A security guard had been shot, and the suspect had been killed. All the other schools in the area had been on lockdown, but not us. We were oblivious. It is events like this that cause people to make faces when I tell them what neighborhood I work in. Or the time all of our pipes were stolen so the bathrooms didn't work for a day. Because sewage pipes hold some sort of value, I guess. Good times.
When it was finally time to leave I realized I had misplaced my keys. This only took moments to clear up, but I hate that panicky feeling you get when you realize it is 7 pm and you might have no way home and your husband has the other set of keys but only a bike and it is dark and the roads are slippery.
And that was my day. How was yours?

Saturday, December 13, 2008


24 Weeks and 5 Days

Thursday, December 04, 2008


This is our lovely daughter posing in profile. You'll notice a cute button nose and the development of the signiture Barron cheeks. In the second piture Rosalind shows off some flexibility by nearly touching her head with her feet. Lets hope that ability will be used as a gymnast instead of as a rockette.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Oh Well

It turns out that you should ask yourself a question or two before committing to posting everyday for a month. The first of these questions is, "will I be in a small rural town in Northeast Arkansas for any amount of time this month?" If this answer is yes, you should then ask yourself, "will I have access to internet at all?" If the answer is no, maybe you should rethink the posting everyday plan.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Monday, November 24, 2008

On Hysteria and Turkey

I sounded angry yesterday, huh? Don't know why. It was just meant to t be a "look at my neat birth center" post. Let's chalk it up to pregnancy hormones, shall we?

One more day of work and then Thanksgiving break! I will also be chalking up my hoarding of pies to pregnancy hormones. What a neat excuse this is turning out to be!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Other Reasons We Do What We Do

So I mentioned a few things we love about the midwives before, and I guess I should revisit that and explain why we chose one in the first place. It is a surprisingly touchy subject, though I am not entirely sure why. I virtually never bring up our plans because I get two reactions. The first is defensiveness from people who think we disapprove of their way of having a child, which we absolutely do not. The second is, "oh, you'll never go through with that." THAT being natural childbirth, or breastfeeding, or cloth diapers, or whatever has come up.

It is just so rude! Think it if you must, but don't say it out loud.

I KNOW we might not do all of these things when the reality of the situation hits. Childbirth is unfathomable and unpredictable, breastfeeding is difficult and painful, cloth diapers are extra work. Dur. But is there any harm in planning it the way I would like for it to occur?

Phew! Having said all of that, let's get back to the point. Why did we lean toward midwives and natural childbirth? Sergio was born at a birth center with a midwife. His mom really enjoyed that experience. My mom had my brother and I naturally as well, though I don't believe it was necessarily planned that way. I have two good examples of women who managed just fine. It is a matter of if they can do it then I can do it too. Another reason for the midwife is the amount of information I have gathered over the last few years. If the pregnancy and delivery remain low risk then I will have much more control over labor than I would in a hospital. Small things like being able to move around the room, sit in the shower, walk around outside, eat, and drink, to big things like whether or not to induce labor will be within my control. After the baby is born I can hold her for as long as I want before passing her off for inspection. Do I want to wait to cut the umbilical cord until it stops pumping blood, or even hours later? I can do that if I so choose. And I can leave as early as four hours after I give birth. The whole thing is set up to give parents ultimate control and to promote intimate connection with the newborn. These are still just a few of the reasons, but I am rambling.

Why did we choose this particular birth center? Well, take a look.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Kickin' It

I began feeling the baby move around nineteen weeks. I thought it would begin more gradually than it did, but instead found myself awake at about 4 am one day giggling at a decidedly new sensation. It has gotten stronger and more regular over the last two weeks, and Sergio has been able to feel her moving around about three times now which he is thrilled about, of course.

I wish I could be more romantic about this process and write poetically about all the new things the baby does. For the life of me, though, I can't find a better description of the movement than, "it feels a lot like gas bubbles." I come by this honestly since the first thing my mother asked when I said I thought I was feeling her was, "it feels a lot like gas, doesn't it?" We are a sentimental family.

I am enjoying the moving. Every little while I get a quick moment of connection and reassurance that everything seems to be going along okay. Sometimes she fills up a boring moment. I was standing in class the other day waiting for something to do when she went nuts right up around my belly button. This is much higher than I normally feel her. I pushed on my stomach where I had felt her and she stopped moving. As soon as I let go I received a mighty kick. We did this two more times. It was most likely entirely involuntary, but it made me feel like she had accomplished something cognitive. And it made me laugh.

The only downside to this whole thing is that she seems to think my bladder is a toy. I don't really mind that too much, I guess, since it in no way affects what I eat. I love food.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Good Old Fashioned East Texas Gumbo

We made this gumbo recipe tonight and it was really really good. You should make it also.


1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped green bell peppers
1 pound hot smoked sausage, such as andouille or kielbasa, cut into cubes
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 bay leaves
3 quarts chicken stock, recipe follows
3 cups cooked chicken, previously roasted
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1/2 cup chopped green onions
Hot Sauce, optional
4 cups cooked long-grain white rice, previously cooked


In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat and stir in the flour. Stirring slowly and constantly for 20 to 25 minutes, make a dark brown roux, the color of chocolate.

Add the onions, celery, and bell peppers and continue to stir for 4 to 5 minutes, or until wilted. Add the sausage, chicken, salt, cayenne, pepper, and bay leaves and stir well. Cook, stirring, for 3 to 4 minutes.

Add the stock and stir well to combine with the roux mixture. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour.

Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley and green onions. Ladle into deep soup bowls. Serve with hot sauce, if desired. Place a scoop of rice in the middle and serve.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Into the Fire

The teacher that I assist went home sick about thirty minutes after arriving today.  It was urgent and entirely unexpected, so I was thrown quick sub notes and wished good luck.  Class had already begun.  

Complete terror is facing a class of thirty fifth graders for two hours and trying to hide the fact that you are reading the notes for finding the area of a triangle under the overhead projector.  I bet she is getting a lot of calls for homework help tonight.   

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Comfort Foods

These are my favorite foods; Pho and Menudo. One has raw beef thrown in it and the other has tripe. They are both spicy and delicious

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Because You Couldn't Live Without These Details

5:30 am:  Alarm goes off.  Hit snooze.
5:39 am:  Alarm goes off again.  Roll out of bed and find my glasses.  
5:39-6:20 am:  Shower, get dressed, makeup, dry hair, eat breakfast, check email, wake Sergio.  
6:20ish am:  Leave the house.  If I leave even a minute after 6:30, I will miss the morning meeting.  
7:00 am:  Attend morning meeting.  
7:02:  Meeting ends.  Make copies, pass out morning work, try to look busy until 7:15.
7:15:  Kids come in the room.  Help students with morning work until my tutoring kids arrive.  
7:30:  Tutoring kids arrive.  Rush them to get breakfast and morning worksheet and then hassle them endlessly to finish morning work in time.  
8:00:  Send kids back to class.  Help organize binders and hassle them to finish opening activity.
8:05-10:00:  Hassle one student all class long to stay on task.  I actually sit at his desk with him.
10:00-10:45:  Teach opening activity, check morning work and homework with new class.  
10:45-12:00: Roam around the room to keep kids on task or to help them out.  I am not supposed to sit during this time unless tutoring a child.  Find LOTS of students to help so that I can sit.  
12:00-12:30:  Lunch.  I wait at least 10 minutes to warm up my food.  Then I sit in the car for fifteen minutes while I eat so that I can make any calls I need to.  I have to go back in five minutes early in order to pick up my second round of tutoring kids, who are always let out of class early.  
12:30-1:15:  Tutor five kids
1:15-1:45:  Tutor seven kids that are all on different levels with different abilities.  
1:45-2:00:  Planning period. Make copies, file, grade, etc.
2:00-2:30:  Teach the opening activity, check homework and morning work with final class.
2:30-3:00:  Tutor three boys that DO NOT want to be tutored.  Don't I understand that yet?
3:00-3:45:  Roam around the room helping the last class.  Look for kids to help so that I can sit.
3:45-4:15:  Pull my last tutoring kid to help him with his homework.
4:15-4:45:  Roam the room and help kids with homework.  Tell 3o kids over and over that they MAY NOT go to the bathroom.
4:45-5:00:  Walk kids outside and yell at 100 car riders that there is no talking while waiting on parents.  
5:00-?  Make copies, file, parent meetings, staff meetings, etc.  

I work 50 to 57 hours a week if we have saturday school or I have to go to meetings.  I get paid a starting teachers salary.  You wish you were me.  

Monday, November 17, 2008

Copy of famed Lincoln letter turns up in Dallas

Executive Mansion,
Washington, Nov. 21, 1864.

Dear Madam,--

I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant General of Massachusetts that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle.

I feel how weak and fruitless must be any word of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save.

I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.

Yours, very sincerely and respectfully,

A. Lincoln

Sunday, November 16, 2008

One Step Closer to Velour Sweatpants

On my to do list today:

scrub the bathroom
do all the laundry
clean the kitchen
wash the sheets
vacuum the floors
buy toilet paper, tums, and fat pants

I had varying levels of success. The kitchen and bathroom are done, but the floors and laundry are only mostly done. The sheets are clean but the bed is still unmade at the moment. I did manage to hunt down the maternity department of Gap. It was in the very back corner of the Baby Gap, strangely enough. I then discovered the unadulterated joy of stretchy paneled pants. Pregnant or not, everyone should be wearing these things. They are silly comfortable.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


According to Wikipedia, on this day in 1864 Sherman burned Atlanta.  Now don't we all feel a little more prepared to appear on Jeopardy?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Some Reasons We Do What We Do

I just spent about a half hour casting aimlessly about the internet trying to find something to post today.  I was hoping to find some sort of topic I could put my own spin on or just steal outright (like a game to link, not a post to plagiarize, sheesh).  But I didn't find anything that would work. Bummer.  
We went to our monthly midwife check up today.  I love going to a midwife.  We walk in for our appointments and I go straight to the bathroom where I check my own urine and weigh myself. After that we might chat with the office manager, who is two weeks more pregnant than me, or we might go right in with the midwife.  No waiting.  We see different midwives every time so we can get used to everyone.  It is nice because when I call to ask a question I can talk to anyone.  Half the time I just ask the office manager because she knows every detail of our pregnancy, too.  It is all very personal and cozy.  Our appointments generally only take about ten minutes anymore.  Measure the stomach, listen to the heartbeat, ask/answer a few questions.  All of this is reason enough to choose a midwife over a doctor, at least for us.  None of these reasons is why we originally sought out a midwife, though.  I'll save that for another day since I need to stretch a little material over the whole month of November.
I learned today that I have to begin eating two eggs a day.  Great.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

300th Post

The VGT Omnivore’s Hundred.

We have consumed items in bold.  Won't try items in italics.
It's hard to believe the number of things on here that we haven't eaten. Well that's a challenge then.

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich

14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut

50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake

68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Physics, Baby

This game should take up any time you have available.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Glad I am Beyond All of This

I once promised to tell you everything that set off my gag reflex for the first sixteen weeks of pregnancy.  I realized when I tried to write that post that I was still much too close to that period for reflection.  But then today I ate 10 chicken nuggets and a small Frosty for lunch so I think it is safe to say that I have moved beyond the vomit stage.  

Top ten things that made me puke:
10.  Bad breath, including my own.
9.    Brushing my teeth (anyone see a predicament here?)
8.   Eliot's "business"
7.    Most food smells
6.    Standing in the shower
5.    Anything in my mouth for too long, including my own teeth and tongue.  Especially food bits found sometime after the meal was over.
4.    My own saliva
3.    Vitamins
2.    The smell of vitamins
and the number one thing to cause me to puke...
1.     Items in my nose.  I puked every single time I blew my nose.  I puked in public once when a tiny hair from my head tickled my nostril.  I puked many times just thinking about the times something touched my nose or got stuck in my nose or I realized I might have to blow my nose soon.  It was awesome.  

P.S. If you are still thinking of trying this yourself one day, I will tell you what helped a little as well.  The smell of shampoo, the smell of laundry detergent, lemon, ginger, pudding, clementines, and saltines.  However, I no longer eat any of these items because I associate them so closely with unpleasantness.  Fair warning.  Oh, and Zofran and Phenergan.  In fact, mostly just these helped.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Suck It, Pregnancy

Dawn is 20 weeks pregnant today. That's half way, pretty much, for all you out there. And as one who can count himself as a bystander to this wondrous spectacle, the next 20 are bound to be better for Dawn.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

The Name.

I have always spent an inordinate amount of time thinking of names.  Names for hypothetical children of my own, of other people, of pets, of other people's pets, etc.  Since I know that everyone obsesses about names like I do (Ha!), I will tell you how we finally picked our baby names.  

If I had a child when I was under the age of ten (let's suspend rational thought for a moment), I would have named it Carson.  It worked for either one!  I liked this concept, as evidenced by my gender unknown pet parakeet at the time, Parker.  

Around fourteen I would have named my twin girls Autumn and Tatum.  I no longer have anything to say about those names.  

I loved names like James and Edward at this point for boys, but where is the fun in that?

Around sixteen I switched to Wesley, Trent, and Spencer.  

And then you marry someone and realize that they might not agree that their child should be called Nico or named after your great Aunt Gert (I don't believe I actually have a great Aunt Gert, but I did have a great Grandma Myrt).  And so you have to come together on names in some way.  Had Sergio had a child at any time growing up, it would have been called Jake.  Nothing wrong with that, but it never took hold with the both of us.   At first, it was easy.  We loved the names Aiden and Isabelle when we first married.  But then the whole world named their children these names.  Okay, how about Wyatt, Jasper, or Henry.  Same thing.  

Not only all of that, but we are not the first to have kids in our families.  Not by a long shot.  On one side of my family alone I have roughly thirty young cousins, nieces, or nephews that all have two names each.  Can't use any of those!

So, in response to all of this Sergio and I began taking action a couple of years ago.  We wanted traditional names that could stand the test of time.  We wanted names that we could see our children growing into as adults.  We wanted names that told a story, that could work for a professor, an author, an athlete, etc.  And we wanted it to be unpopular.  

In order to accomplish this we spent lots of time taking any name that struck our fancy and plugging it in to the social security administration baby names website.  This site tells you how popular a name has been in the last 100 years.  This process is remarkably hard for boys since the names "B" and "Linda" have been in the top 1000 boy names over the last 100 years.  Just finding a boys name at the bottom of this list is good.  And that is how we finally settled on three options for our kids.  Rosalind (isn't on the list), Burl (hugely unpopular), and Amos (on the list, but low).  And there you have it.  

I have lists of names for everything from dogs to ferrets to case anyone ever needs an idea for anything. 

Saturday, November 08, 2008


Eighties or okay?  I don't really care, I guess.  I just really needed a haircut.

Friday, November 07, 2008

I Practice Environmental Law

Today was a typical friday at EPA, and by that I mean that no other attorneys were around. So in an effort to take up some time I walked a half mile to the "grassy knoll", that's right the original "grassy knoll", where Kennedy was shot and where conspiracy theorists abound. It was really an interesting time, there are "X's" where Kennedy was shot, you are allowed to walk on the actual "grassy knoll" and you can go up to the 6th floor of the former book depository where Oswald set up shop. Again just a typical day for me. 

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Okay, sure.

Strange things are happening to my belly button.  In turn, I am having strange dreams about said body part.  Once a night I wake up from a dream that an old man's nose is growing in place of my naval.  And it is really super sensitive to everything.  Like air.  I dream that my belly button is a male schnoz that hurts much like a bad toothache.  Is that normal?

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Did You Know Area = Length x Width? I Had No Clue

Somewhere around the ninth grade I finally figured out division.  Not in math class either.  I was on my second round of pre-algebra at that point and I spent most of my class time writing terrible short stories that were most likely slightly disturbing.  Angst and all.  Anyway, I don't remember learning anything in that class at all, but at some point that year I wrote out a long division problem and solved it successfully out of boredom.  
In the last three weeks I have learned my times tables.  Yes, I could multiply before, but I never had need to spout off all my threes in a row, or my nines.  In fact, for the first time in my life I can do my nines without using my fingers.  I am sure my second grade teacher would be proud.  I know I nearly caused her head to explode at the time.   
And now I am assisting in a 5th grade math class trying desperately to hide the fact that math still makes me hyperventilate.  How is that going?  Last thursday I leaned over to the 10 year old on my right and asked how you find perimeter before leaning to the ten year old on my left and explaining how to do so.  

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

History Has Been Made

And we couldn't be happier.  

Poetry, Yuck!

Election Day, Walt Whitman

If I should need to name, O Western World, your powerfulest scene and show,
Twould not be you, Niagara--nor you, ye limitless prairies--nor
your huge rifts of canyons, Colorado,
Nor you, Yosemite--nor Yellowstone, with all the spasmic
geyser-loops ascending to the skies, appearing and disappearing, 
Nor Oregon's white cones--nor Huron's belt of mighty lakes--nor
Mississippi's stream:
--This seething hemisphere's humanity, as now, I'd name--the still 
small voice vibrating--America's choosing day,
(The heart of it not in the chosen--the act itself the main, the quadriennal choosing,)
The stretch of North and South arous'd--sea-board and inland--
Texas to Maine--the Prairie States--Vermont, Virginia, California, 
The final ballot-shower from East to West--the paradox and conflict, 
The countless snow-flakes falling--(a swordless conflict,
Yet more than all Rome's wars of old, or modern Napoleon's:) the peaceful choice of all,
Or good or ill humanity--welcoming the darker odds, the dross:
--Foams and ferments the wine?  It serves to purify--while the heart
pants, life glows:
These stormy gusts and winds waft precious ships,
Swell'd Washington's, Jefferson's, Lincoln's sails.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Something Is Happening Tomorrow...What Is It again?

At long last it is election eve.  We are all a twitter.  Anxious and nervous and excited and hopeful and many other emotions wrapped up in a big messy ball.  While we wait Sergio is reading everything election related he can get his hands on.  He would stay home glued to the internet and television for the next two days if he could.  

This is really worth reading no matter your political leanings.  And it is short (bonus!).

Go Vote!

Obama/Biden '08!  (Oh, you knew we couldn't hold it in forever.)

Sunday, November 02, 2008

The Beginning of a Month of Senseless Posts

We realize that everyone with access to the internet has already done this, but it is funny.  So here you go.  

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Belated Happy Halloween and Weekend Headlines

We just managed to carve our annual pumpkin this year.  We put it on the stoop around 8:30 last night.  Since we pretty much missed Halloween altogether we decided to make it work for two occasions.  

It is an elections pumpkin as well!  That is the democratic donkey, in case you can't quite see. Here is another picture just in case.
In other news:

Eliot finally got a haircut and seems SO happy.  

After a two month interview process and three week working probationary period, I officially have a job.  Almost as a teacher.  I am a teaching fellow in a 5th grade math class.  I don't really know how that happened but I would appreciate it if you would stop laughing.  

Sergio and I early voted this week.  It was our first experience in a booth since we normally are either absentee or mail-in ballots.  It was thrilling.  If you haven't already, make sure and vote on Tuesday.  

Today is Nikki's birthday.  Happy birthday, Nikki!  

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

As Promised

This is me today.  18 weeks and two days.  Some people have told me I am not really showing. Or at least not much.  Let's take a look back, shall we?
This is around 12 weeks, I think.  The first day someone I didn't know asked me if I was pregnant.  A third grader poked my stomach and asked, "You belly big?"
This is the day I took the pregnancy test.  I believe I was just shy of six weeks.  Not showing?  Kiss my rear.  I am going to go wallow in a shallow depression.  

Monday, October 27, 2008

Ladies and Gentlemen...


                                                                          Ms. Rosalind Cate!
First picture: face view with some balled up fists and big belly thrown in for good measure.  How cute is that?
Second pic: Sort of from above.  The head is in the right of the screen and the arm is draped across.
Third: That is the foot.  It took a moment to get because SHE was a kickin' fool.  I realize the scan is upside down.  
Fourth:  The most invasive picture we will ever post of our daughter.  It is like she is sitting on the camera.  The four lines are the girly proof.  To the right of the screen you can see the end of her femur bones.  
(click on photos for larger view)

Highlights:  SHE seems to have all of her bits and pieces where they need to go.  Heartrate was 144 today, kidneys, brain, spine, and other measurements all looked good.  As I mentioned, she was kicking and punching with fervor.  She was also opening and closing her mouth so that it looked like she was talking to us.  When she shook her fist and open and closed her mouth it seemed like she was ticked we were invading her privacy.  We are ridiculously thrilled.
I am eighteen weeks today.  She measured to the day and is 7 oz.  Perhaps some belly pics tomorrow.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Stuff and Such

We took a quick trip to Fayetteville this weekend so that we could experience fall weather and hang out with friends.  It is getting cooler in Dallas every once in a while, but there are no leaves changing and I have yet to need a jacket.  We had to get out!

Fayetteville was pretty perfect.  The weather was cool, the trees were starting to turn, we tailgated and played with adorable babies (d'oh! No pictures!) and saw some friends we haven't seen since college.  I had absolutely no desire to return to Dallas, I must say.
We also went to this awesome store and bought one of these.  After showing it to everyone we knew and hearing many opinions on whether we would really accomplish cloth diapering we managed to leave the thing in Baby Will's bag!  Luckily we won't be needing it back for a while yet.  

And while we are talking about the pregnancy I should mention that we are having our first (and likely only) sonogram tomorrow.  The goal is to see everything where it should be AND to find out the sex.  We are keeping our fingers crossed that it will cooperate and we can stop calling it "it".  Check back here tomorrow night for an update.  Anyone want to take a guess?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

We Love Babies........And Football

Obviously this is a Nike commercial and we really like it, so those of you who haven't seen it now should. 
(P.S. I have a legal argument here in case Nike wants to sue me, so watch in good conscience.)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

This is Why You Buy A Small Car

Gas is $2.65 at the station up our street. We waited two weeks to get gas and allowed the gas light to come on. We then drove the car twice more with the light on. Sergio guessed that we would pay $34 to fill up. I said $36.

We paid $28.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Sergio Obviously Doing the Shopping

Wine, you ask? Of course not. It is DHA infused pomegranate blueberry juice. Not awesome. We also have DHA infused eggs and milk. And we eat mercury free fish once or twice a week for the DHA and Omega 3's. I also have trail mix into which we added flax seed. Guess why.

If my child has bad eyes and a learning disorder it can't blame my womb...but only because Sergio is mean and forces me to eat funny things.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Yakkity Yak

I have been interviewing for a job for well over a month now. In the meantime I have been avoiding writing about the pregnancy on the blog in case this potential employer found the blog and subsequently discovered the pregnancy I had not worked up the nerve to disclose yet. This scenario would never have actually happened and if had it would have likely made little difference, but I like to wallow in paranoia. As of today the potential employer is informed of my "delicate" condition, so let's begin.

"I love being pregnant, I feel so feminine and have so much energy!"
"I can eat whatever I want and it doesn't matter!"
"Pregnancy is wonderful. It is one of the greatest experiences a woman can have."

If you have ever uttered one of the above phrases or a variation thereof, please leave now. I have no use for you. In fact, if I had heard you use one of those lines a few weeks ago you might have ended up in a headlock. Pregnancy is rough. At the beginning when I could only move off of the couch long enough to lay in front of the toilet, I would have said it was the worst thing ever to happen to anyone. I am now highly medicated and will simply call it "rough."

Places I vomited in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy:
My house
My parent's house
Iggy and Sara's house
Sam's apartment
Atlanta Bread Company
Jimmy John's
five strangers yards while walking the dog

If you have never had to make the slow walk from the electronics department in the very back of wal-mart to the bathroom at the very front so that you could then puke so much and so hard that it bounced back out of the toilet to cover your clothes...well, then consider yourself lucky. There is some poetry to the fact that I haven't shopped in a wal-mart in over four years and yet I managed to enter one just long enough to defile the restroom, don'tcha think?
Tomorrow, all the many things that made me vomit in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy. And then I promise to move on from the topic of puke.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

In case you were wondering why the blog is so slow lately.

We have just sat in the house all day long! Almost. Sergio went on a run, and we both went to the store for a few quick dinner things, but that is about it. We have been doing this a lot lately. We stay in and watch football. All of the football that there is, or so it seems to me. The deal was that I would watch all of the football without complaint if Sergio would do the same when certain primetime shows came back on. Let's just say that this did not happen and leave it at that. Now during football I watch tv online. Except during the Dallas/Arizona game today. Did anyone else catch all that craziness?

Moving on. There are two place to go in Dallas if you want to be outside. White Rock Lake and the Katy Trail. Guess how many people in Dallas are aware of these places. Go ahead, guess. All of them. Every last human and their pet knows that these are the only two places to be on the weekend if you want to go outside. Now guess how much fun it is to go to these two places. None. Especially White Rock which is so covered with people you can't move and so covered with pets that you can't breathe for the poo smell. The Katy Trail is better, but only three miles long. Boo.

I guess that is it for now. Marvel at our thrilling existence!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

This Made My Brain Hurt

Hello. How are things? I have been meaning to update for, oh, a while now. The idea of posting makes me...tired. I have the idea of a few posts inside my head, but they all require taking and uploading photos, and that just ain't happenin right now. Neither is good grammar apparently. was I?

An update I guess. Sergio continues to extern. He writes memos and letters and sits in on meetings with lots of other lawyers. He is lead attorney for two cases. You would have to ask him exactly what that entails, but it sounds good either way.

I am a substitute teacher. So far I have done 3rd grade special ed, 4th grade math and science, high school art, algebra II, algebra I, eighth grade math, and US History. It is God's little joke that I keep getting math classes. Every single day I hear children discuss things that should be far too mature for them to understand. I simply ask that they keep the foul language to a whisper so I don't have to acknowledge it. And to please stop discussing their first time at the top of their lungs. Please.

Eliot's rear end is swollen and red again, but not in the same way as last time when he went to the emergency vet. We are hoping that this will miraculously disappear. Any thoughts on what this might be?

My father turned fifty last week. We went to Little Rock for his birthday party. Evidently the fiftieth birthday is that of the jello shot and the raunchy card. Forty was also for the raunchy card, but fifty really went above and beyond. It was actually a very nice and tame party that involved mostly Baggo and lots of food, but the other stuff did make an appearance. Happy birthday, Dad!

Now I need a nap. If you think I am joking, think again.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Joining Me On the Downhill Slide to Our Thirties

Sergio turns 26 today. I have always thought it was funny that the first day of fall usually (or is it always?) happens on his birthday. Even fetus Sergio knew that he wanted no part of summer and waited around until fall officially began. And nothing has changed on that front.

We had to get creative this year when it came to celebrating since unpaid externs and unemployed teachers don't make good money. Or any, rather. So on Friday we went to a high school football game. In Texas! Between ranked teams! That is like the ultimate in high school football, in case you weren't aware. By the time we found our way to Allen, TX they had already had kickoff and we learned that it was standing room only. And so we stood between stands near the endzones at a gate...the whole time. We could only see half of the game at this vantage point, but it was pretty exciting either way. True to my young self, when I couldn't see the game or just didn't care, I resorted to watching the people. The band, the cheerleaders, the drill team, fans. I even watched a young girl in front of me try to hole up near a gate and read a book. Kindred spirit.

If you are looking for something to do on a friday night, you might just go to a local game. I think we might start making a habit of it. But only at games that have seats available. Happy birthday, Sergio!

Hard at Work

This isn't a political blog and we rarely dabble in commentary on the news, but I have a couple pennies. The current economic situation has been difficult for me to understand and the proposed solution may be even harder to grasp but I heard someone on the Sunday morning news with Mr. Stephonopolis (no idea how to spell that) give a fairly concise description of what is happening. The summary is that the "US government is now privatising wealth and nationalizing the problem", in this case bad loans. That struck me as a good way to look at the issue.
(P.S. The cartoon above was created by Mr. Danziger, who I hope will not sue me for posting it)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Another Reason for Wealthy Adults Not to Like Cartoons

This struck me as portraying, at different times in the film, an ideal for both Democrats and Republicans.

Monday, September 15, 2008


Tropic Thunder ♣♣½
It is not bad at all. It was funny and we enjoyed it.

Hamlet 2 ♣♣½
Pretty much what we said before. Be prepared to have the song "Rock Me Sexy Jesus" in your head for days. And yes, it is stuck in my head again since I wrote that.

Baby Mama ♣♣½
A couple of really funny moments, sweet and enjoyable.

All of these movies are funny and good for an afternoon or rental. We considered giving them threes for their watch-abliity, but went with less because you won't remember much about them a couple of hours after watching. Except that song, of course.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Urgent Care: Still Cheaper Than a Second Car

We all know my luck with bicycles. Not very good. But this post isn't about my luck. It is about Sergio's. After four years of commuting on and off on his bike, he had a bit of mishap yesterday. Well, I'll let him tell you.

I got up at 6:00 and got all of my gear ready, my towel rolled, my shirt neatly folded, a place for everything and everything in it's place. I've got this down by now. I got out the door and onto my bike at 6:40 sharp, I went to the automatic gate, I did a slow clockwise turn to give the sensor time to open up the gate. I was on the street and making good time. A perfect start to a new day. I get to the first stop light; green mean go. I get to the second stop light; red means slowly approach the light and try to balance on the bike without getting off the pedals. I was doing well, this way I can get a quick start when the light turns green, but that light is taking forever. Balance, balance, press the brake, I've got cars behind me, Oh come on, turn. Wait, oh, I'm falling, I'm going zero miles per hour and the light is still red and I'm falling right over on my side in front of all these Dallas early morning drivers who probably think I shouldn't be on their road anyways. Well that was embarrassing, but no harm no foul, just a scratch. I got on my bike and got to work, I could tell the knee kind of hurt though, something about my foot staying in the stirrups and my knee turning the other direction. Anyways, long story short, I'm on the couch right now with my knee in a brace and a doctor's words about sprained knee ligaments in my ear.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

I Swear We Would Have Posted This Even If She Weren't a Woman

While Sergio and I have opinions on Sarah Palin, oh so very many opinions, we are not going to share them. However, this clip is awesome because it focuses on media coverage and not really on her. If we can't all come together to laugh at Bill O'Reilly and Karl Rove then who can we come together and laugh at?

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Emma Grace

Dan and Amanda had a healthy baby girl yesterday morning. She was 7 lbs 12 ozs, and 20 inches long. She has quite a bit of dark hair, but I have no pictures of that. I can't get a picture to load right now, so if you want to see her (and you know you do!), click the flickr box on the right of the screen and look for Newborn Emma.

Friday, August 29, 2008

A Story He Will Hear a Lot as an Adult, I Bet.

My nephew is not a fan of the spotlight. He walks away with a little smirk on his face if you ask him to tell you what the cow says or to show you his nose, and he absolutely refuses to call my father Gramps. He knows everyone wants it too much. Nobody can understand not wanting center stage quite like me, so I leave him alone about the whole thing. We were all sitting at dinner the other day when David starts yelling right at me at the top of his lungs.

"Shut yo mouth and watch TV"

And he would point dramatically at the end. I laughed so hard I cried and David decided he liked that.

"Shut yo mouth and watch TV" Glare and Point.
"Shut yo mouth and watch TV" Glare and Point
"Shut yo mouth and watch TV" and then he clapped his hands together, bowed his head, closed his eyes and said, "Amen."
And we all lost it even more.

I just want to make sure I remember that a long time from now.

Monday, August 25, 2008

A Point for Dallas

My parents came to town this past weekend and brought us a couch. Now we have more than one chair in the living room, which is nice. Other than some driving and directions issues it was a really nice quick visit. Just the idea that we live close enough to have a nice quick visit is great. Anyway, we introduced my parents to the wonders of Ikea, Cuban pork sandwiches, and the Dallas Farmer's Market.

We think this is among the better markets we have ever experienced. It is almost strictly produce based with just a few off shoots of flea market fare or fair food, but that is okay because the produce is awesome and it goes on everyday. Here are some pictures from the first time Sergio and I went to the market and we allowed ourselves to buy anything we wanted without taking into account that we couldn't possible finish it all before it went bad. We figured it up afterward. We spent $25 dollars on all of this stuff. Had we bought the same items at any local market in Portland we would have spent roughly $52. And it wouldn't have tasted as good either.
This time we bought greens and purple hull peas. Wish me luck as I attempt to cook both of these items for the first time. I think the key is lots of bacon.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Just a pillow on a blanket on the floor...
...Just a 14 year old, three pound chihuahua IN a pillow on the blanket on the floor.

Pita likes to hide in blankets so that when you collapse onto something your heart stops halfway down because you might be about to land on her and not know it. This is my in-laws dog.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


I hope somebody still checks the blog from time to time. We have been a little preoccupied lately with moving, traveling, job-hunting, and other expected and unexpected events. Energy levels have been low. This is just a little note to say we will be focusing on the blog again and to check back for more frequent posts. They may not be better, but they will be there!

Monday, August 04, 2008

These Colors are Like My Dreams, Red, Gold, and Green

We painted. And this is what happened. Three walls in our living room are yellow or "Brass," and two great big walls are green or "Sweet Annie." Because the room had to be painted with semi-gloss, the yellow is what Sergio refers to as "Nacho cheese." And that is pretty much right on. But we both really like it anyway. It makes the room so much more homey than the normal sanitorium white walls of most apartments.

Unfortunately, the kitchen chairs turned out funny. They were meant to be bright red. Think Fire Engine. Instead they turned out Watermelon. Or maybe Salmon. This is what happens when you buy $3 Oops paint at Lowe's thinking it will work just fine. I was quite disappointed at first, but have since learned to like the fruity chairs. We also have a bright red bowl on the table, pumpkin orange measuring cups hanging from a shelf, and tomatoes on the table. Our kitchen is a cacaphony of oranges, reds, and pinks.

So now I can mark one thing off of my list of fifty things to do before I croak. I painted my house obnoxious colors just because I could.

Saturday, August 02, 2008


The Dark Knight ♣♣♣♣
We thought it was awesome.

Lars and the Real Girl ♣♣½
We enjoyed it. Not everyone will.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Where in the World Are Dawn and Sergio?

Little Rock.

We have been to Dallas and seen our apartment. We painted and cleaned and tried to get to know as much of the city as possible in five days, with mixed results. And then we turned around and came up to Little Rock.

All of these things deserve a post of their own but we can't seem to get internet anywhere right now and our pictures are trapped on our computer. This is my parents computer, if you were wondering.

Good things about Dallas so far:
Grilled cuban sandwiches
spicy thai that delivers
good food on every corner at affordable prices
our apartment
our neighborhood
the pool
the building Sergio will be working at

Bad things about Dallas so far:
no free wifi
the tollway
loopy one way streets
the insane heat

On a different note, my nephew is two now. I wish I had internet on the right day or could post a picture now, but this will have to do. Happy Birthday David! It turns out that two likes to push noisy things around the house, spin cars in chairs, and hit golf golfs (golf balls) with spoons (golf clubs).

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Flash Update and Some Pics

Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska, and Missouri are done. Taking a brief break in Fayetteville to barbecue, visit with friends, and finally see the first baby of the group. We'll be checking out Dallas and our new apartment by Friday afternoon.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Home Stretch

My brain is mush. Why are the last three weeks of grad school the busiest and hardest we have had the entire time? Seems like bad planning. Sergio is bored silly waiting on me to finish class and can we GO already? I have no idea how to make that last sentence grammatically correct. Because my brain is mush.

We are out of here tomorrow as soon as my classes are over at 1:30. Phew.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Dawn has the Cheekbones, I Have the Cheeks

This week we tackled the NEED TO DO's. Yard sale and donation trips on Saturday, cleaning out closets and junk every other day, and now we are back to donating and maybe selling more books. We also attempted to load my old trunk into the car to be shipped on Greyhound, but learned a lesson in square pegs and round holes. We aren't sure what to do about that at this point.

And it has been very hot, leading us to take cold showers, eat every meal outside the house, and not dry my hair. Here is dinner out, non blow-dried hair, after a cold shower.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Getting Things Done

Sergio and I have a list of items that we are trying to check off before we leave Portland in two weeks. TWO WEEKS! This list involves things like swim in Oneonta Gorge one more time, go to the coast again, eat pho, shop at the Saturday Market, and so on and so forth. This is our WANT TO DO list. It has very little to do with our NEED TO DO list, which involves things like sell our stuff, donate our stuff, throw away our stuff, clean, turn utilities on or off, change our address, figure out our new address, and so on and so forth. In fact, that NEED list is being avoided with all of our combined might.

Last weekend we marked one thing off of the WANTS, though. We drove out to the coast on Sunday and walked around the cute town portion of Cannon Beach. We explored all the funky sea life attached to Haystack Rock (if you blow on the seemingly inanimate objects it turns out they will either move or spit). We had lunch at a brew pub next to a fire place (because it is still cold and windy on the coast). After that we bought a small kite at a kite store and drove further up the coast. We got out at a little space in the trees that had a hiking trail down to a secluded surfer's beach and we hiked. Along the way we stopped to marvel at the enormous slugs (a practice that just never gets old), and at one point came face to face with a little black and white snake. We were less fond of this. A little further down the path we saw another of the same sort of snake in the path, but not until we were quite close. Sergio, the snake, and I all jumped about a foot, but Eliot never noticed a thing. He's an awesome guard dog. As soon as we got to the beach we realized it was anything but secluded and turned right around. We stopped a little further up the road at a quiet wind-surfers beach called Manzanita. It was here that we let Eliot off of his leash, set up the kite, attached it to the dogs harness and let him fly the kite all day long. Yes, it is so very easy to fly a kite on the windy beaches of Oregon that a mini poodle can do it. Everyone should try this sometime. Eliot spent about an hour fetching a huge stick out of the water while pulling a kite. He slept well that night.

It was a lovely day and certainly something we will miss about this part of the country.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Told You We Could Manage Movie Reviews

You Don't Mess With the Zohan
There were two jokes in the whole movie. They just used them over and over and over again. The worst part was that Zohan is an alpha male character instead of Sandler's normal "quirky guy the world has spit on" character. It was hard to find the charm that usually accompanies his movies.

National Treasure II ♣♣♣½
I don't know why people give these such a hard time. A little history, a lot of adventure, and a healthy dose of the absurd. What's not to like?

Get Smart ♣♣♣½
We thought it was really funny. A perfect summer afternoon movie.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


So we don't post for two weeks and then when I do it is just to whine about being left on hold for 40 minutes (it took 48 1/2 minutes to reach someone, if you were curious). Partly we aren't posting because we are lame, and partly because we are busy with boring things and have no internet anyway. I am currently in a coffee shop downtown applying for jobs online and waiting for a transcript scan to upload. Exciting stuff.

Anyway, I only have a couple of minutes, but I wanted to say hi and that you should check back and hear all about:

My best friend's wedding (not the movie)

How I still don't fit into the small town I partially grew up in and still have the ability to make grown men that I barely know yell at me for being a "naive little girl" since I don't believe Obama is the antichrist. How dare I?!

How a poodle behaves when he finds four miniature chocolate bars in the bottom of a gift bag that I forgot all about. LIke he is on speed. That is how he acts. Except it is really sad and not funny like it sounds like it might be.

How Sergio and I played trivia at a bar with some friends and thought we did really well but ended up third to last.

and finally, how Sergio and I finally saw an Adam Sandler movie we just didn't like much at all.

So check back. We'll do better. We promise. And if not, we will at least post movie reviews sometime.

Monday, June 16, 2008

On Hold

I have been on hold for forty minutes now. Listening to extraordinarily loud classical music with the phone ear and soft rock from the bakery speakers on the other ear. C'mon Texas. Answer your phone.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

THE GRADUATE............................................................ Dawn is older than me after all

June 1st turned out to be quite a day. My beautiful wife graduated with her masters degree and one of my best friends became a father (more on the fact that I have a friend with a child later). Quite a day. Good job lady.

We would feel bad if we didn't mention that in the last couple of month's our friends Sam, Nikki, and Ryan also graduated, Congrats everyone.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

We Should Probably Post Something...

so here are some random thoughts and updates...

Sergio is going to make an appearance in court tomorrow. As a lawyer. In case there was any confusion.

A student shook my soda today and my first thought was that a wet willy would do this kid some good. I did not act on that thought. Instead I told him his apology wasn't worth anything and broke his spirit. Job well done.

Eliot loves his carrot. A lot. SQUEEK!

If you want to see the rest of our pictures from spring break, or the new car, we loaded them into flickr. Link on the side of the page.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Wild Dogs. Burned Out Pre-teens. Same Difference.

To choose to become a teacher is to choose to count down to summer for the rest of your life. I have realized over the last couple of weeks that even if you know you aren't going to be having a kid-like summer vacation, you will still look forward to that last day of school like a giddy ten year old. And if you wonder why, let me have you imagine what it is like to try to harness 28 to 33 raging hyenas on a daily basis and make them learn about medieval Europe. Not possible and a bit dangerous.

Just over two and a half weeks to go...
unless you go by just school days because then it is 13 and half days...
but I have to miss two days for a wedding in Georgia so...11 1/2...
and I forgot about memorial day so now we are down to 10 1/2...
which means just 84 hours.

and I think I can deal with that.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Jumanji: I'll Yell It Three Times If You Don't Read This

Dawn's next 25:

1. Get to a point in my life where I never have to take another math test ever again. And I really mean never again this time.
2. Own a horse
3. Beat Sergio at the game of Risk
4. Play golf well enough not to wonder why people play golf
5. Vacation on a sail boat
6. Really take up photography as a hobby
7. Go to a costume party
8. Have my teeth professionally whitened on a regular basis
9. Have both medical and dental insurance
10. Read the Little House On the Prairie Series to my kids
11. Conquer my fear of the telephone
12. Host a dinner party
13. Go to a spa
14. Eat at a Michelin rated restaurant
15. Sit on a porch swing and watch a often as possible
16. Kayak
17. Have an old-fashioned photo made with Sergio (like in Branson!)
18. Scuba dive
19. Ride in a hot air balloon that is not still tethered to the ground
20. Research my family history
21. Love my child as much as we love Eliot
22. Not have to wear contacts/glasses anymore
23. Paint my home obnoxious colors just because I can
24. Take one change of clothes on a vacation and buy a new wardrobe along the way
25. Have one home/town in which my children are raised

Sergio's Next 25
1. Climb a fourteener
2. Write a book
3. Fly fish
4. Move Cattle
5. Adopt a child
6. Close my eyes in a field in Montana
7. Cook a meal for my parents and my in-laws, at the same time
8. Help my niece learn spanish
9. Help my niece remember me
10. Get to know my nephew
11. Get to know my next niece
12. Brew my own beer
13. Pray for everyone but myself
14. Enjoy a wheat beer while standing in direct sunlight
15. Gawk at my wife, again
16. Hug Eliot, again
17. Enjoy a pilsner while standing in direct sunlight
18. Explain 1984 to a child
19. Play in the world series of poker
20. Explain football to a child
21. Lose the world series of poker before I get cocky and think I could do that for a living
22. Stop moving
23. Wear a bow tie and suspenders with a vest
24. Get my hair cut once a week
25. Win a Criminal Trial

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Some Like It Hot. Just Not Us.

It has been hot here since Thursday. Really hot. Since it so rarely gets hot in Portland none of the apartments have air conditioning. The best thing you can do in these situations is to leave home and find things to do in either shaded areas, the car, or air conditioned buildings. None of that is a problem for Sergio and me. If we get hot we go. Eliot, on the other hand, isn't welcome to that many public places and is also covered in heavy black fur. He has been visibly miserable for days. Panting, moving from linoleum surface to rock surface to linoleum surface, and draining his iced water over and over again. The few times he has tried to sit with us on a hot couch or bed he immediately rolls onto his back in front of a fan and whines. Good times. Yesterday, Sergio and I took action to help him out. We gave him a terrible haircut to give him some relief around his head, rode around in the car with the air conditioning on full blast and stopped by PetSmart. He chose a toy all by himself despite our best efforts at getting him interested in cooler things. Yup, it's a carrot. It squeaks.

Sergio and I decided to take advantage of the weather and go for a bike ride at Sauvie Island. It has this really popular 12 mile loop that is almost perfectly flat the whole way. If you come to Portland in the spring or summer it is worth going around the loop. It is almost like stepping back in time. Very agricultural, one school, one community church, a general store. Most of the rest of the island is a wildlife preserve. It would have been just lovely if we hadn't gotten lost. Instead of doing a nice little 12 mile loop we managed to do a 24 mile out and back. This might not be a big deal for someone else, but for a girl who has used every excuse she could since starting grad school to let herself get mostly out of shape and is still coming off of a chest congestion was pretty darn hard. Now that I am no longer on the bike I think I can admit that it was mostly fun.

Friday, May 16, 2008


Eight sounds very much like an adult on the phone, has sleepovers for her birthday party, and feels ready to ride a roller coaster that goes upside down...maybe.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

We Wuv You, Moms

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Is this how it was when we were growing up?

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Movie Reviews

Sweeney Todd ♣♣
We didn't like it at all, but I think it did exactly what it was supposed to do so it gets a full two points. I suppose if you liked the story you would also like the movie.
I am Legend ♣♣♣
If you want to feel alternately nervous and sad for two hours then this is the movie for you.
Forgetting Sarah Marshall ♣♣♣½
Another Apatow and Crew creation. Pretty much always a recipe to make us happy.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

And Like The Sands of Time So Are Our Law School Years

I finished my environmental law final this evening, and with it my second year of law school. I happy.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Whiney McWhinerson

So, I should be in class tonight. Instead I am surrounded by used tissues on my couch. I managed to catch this cold Friday morning just before I had to go to a class entitled Visual Metaphor that lasted all through the weekend. It turns out that it isn't a smart move to choose a class based solely on the date it is offered without reading the details.
Had I read the details I might have realized Visual Methaphor means "acting out fairy tales and fables in funny handmade masks." It also meant lots of work with scissors and construction paper, as well as, "Now everybody stand in a circle, squat, growl like a bear and stomp around the room." And then we acted like frogs. And then like royalty. And then my soul died.
Let me just say that there was no part of this class that made me happy except that it only lasted three days. The fact that every time I growled like a bear I then coughed and hacked for a good ten minutes only made it more awesome. I spent yesterday trying to sleep off this cold, but between you and me, I think I needed some of that time to recover from my weekend.

Picture below: This is the mask I made in class by smearing vaseline all over my head and then having cold, wet plaster stuck to my face. After that I added more plaster to the nose, cheeks, eyebrows, chin, and jowls to make it look like a grumpy old man. I think I succeeded at making it look like an old woman two weeks dead.Edited to add: This was a class I took for grad school credit with other adults, not something I did with my seventh graders. There was some confusion on that point.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Review of the Gospel

I'm so fully engrossed in my finals this week that I managed to finish this book today. A short review is in order. I liked it, not because it was a good book, but because it was about an interesting topic, the religion of the founding fathers and by proxy our country. How's that for short, anyways it's worth a read, if your interested.

Memorable quote
"As in so many things, the wise American president can learn much from Lincoln, who once told some visiting ministers that he did not worry whether God was on his side or not, 'for I know that the Lord is always on the side of the right.' It was, Lincoln said, 'my constant anxiety and prayer that I and this nation should be on the Lord's side."

Saturday, May 03, 2008

My Administrative Law Final is Over

Two down, one to go. Meanwhile Dawn made a paper mache face mask today. She also learned to do improv, and if you know Dawn you realize how much worse her day was than mine.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

My Criminal Law Final Is Over

I got to school at 8:00 AM and I studied till 12:00 PM, then at 1:03 PM I checked out an exam that had to be back at the registrars office at 4:03 PM. The test was the only grade I would recieve in a class that lasted 17 weeks. Boo. I say Boo.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Abuse? Perhaps

This is what happens when your dog can't reach the peanut butter on the top of his nose. The sad part is he doesn't even really like peanut butter.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


So this is worth a look, though I'm sure Dawn will be torn.

Phallic Food = Family Friendly

Good morning. A quick Portland story to get you started today. Sergio and I finally went here on Sunday morning. It is a Portland landmark of sorts. A donut shop that is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. My guess is that it once catered mostly to drunk people stumbling from club to club in Old Town. Why do I think this? The menu includes not only donuts with coco puffs and cap'n crunch on top, but also the Nyquil and Pepto Bismol glazed varieties. Mmmm! It has, however, become one of the top listed places in every travel book or magazine article written about Portland, guaranteeing that it will be swarmed by suburban family crowds on the weekends.
As Sergio and I made our way to the teeny shop situated next to an adult movie theater and up the road from many strip joints, we passed one such family. The young son (let's say ten yrs old) was struggling with an oddly shaped donut the size of his head. We were mildly curious about what he had found. And then we saw it. What we can't decide for sure is whether the parents realized what the kid ordered and didn't mind (very Portland attitude), or if they just didn't notice at all. Either way, I will never forget the image of a ten year old boy walking down the street eating a very large donut replica of the male anatomy.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Spring Break Part Three

You might have thought I got lazy and abandoned the Spring Break posts, but in fact I simply got lazy. I never abandon a post! Actually, nothing about that last sentence is true. I start posts and delete them all the time. You would thank me for that if you ever saw them. Anyhow, I was going to make this the final spring break post but then I saw the number of pictures there would be if I put California, Nevada, and Arizona all together. The page might never load. Instead, this is just Arizona. Everything but the Hoover Dam is from Petrified Forest National Park. That picture of the old dead log? It's a rock! It was a tree several million years ago, but now its a rock that people sometimes make jewelry out of. Also, old women jump out of their RV's to steal some. Not Allowed. The rocks on the ground in the square formations, along with the rock drawings are leftover from a settlement. All in all, a really cool national park. We had heard from multiple sources that we should take the Hoover Dam tour if we had time and I was really looking forward to going. Unfortunately, we got there pretty late and were way behind schedule already for that day. We jumped out to take a couple of pictures from the Arizona side, and then saw all we could see from the car while we waited over a half hour to get across the dam. Sometime soon...hopefully...Vegas and San Francisco...maybe.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Think About This Next Time You Get Into An Elevator

A lot of people have been linking this article and accompanying video so I'm not being original, but this is worth a look. Dawn and I talked about it and the video made us both very uncomfortable, very sad. Anyways, watch it, enjoy.

Monday, April 14, 2008

On the Way to Work or The Crazy Old Man Two Step

Guy 1 walks over to guy 2 on the train today. Guy 1 leans over guy 2 and coughs onto guy 2, then immediately turns and walks the length of the train. Very odd, gross. Guy 2, looking confused, continues reading and being a normal person on a train. Meanwhile, guy 1 has just turned back toward guy 2 and is walking with purpose. Guy 1 again gets to guy 2 and coughs, loudly, then walks off again. Still gross, now more odd. This time guy 2 looks mad but he sees that guy 1 has taken a seat at the other end of the train, so guy 2 shakes his head and continues to read. This lasts for maybe 10 seconds before guy 1 decides he has another cough in him. As he appoaches guy 2, guy 2 states, "if you cough on me again I'm going to punch you." Fair warning, well deserved. So guy 1, looking chastened, kicks guy 2 in the shin. Now comical. Guy 2 gets up and guy 1 starts making laps of the train until the next stop where he gets out. Ahh, public transportation.

Sunday, April 13, 2008


Sergio has been playing with HTML for the past few days, and figured out how to do a bunch of stuff that makes the blog more ours and less blogger. He was also the one to post the last three items, totally taking up my slack with the blog lately. Very nice. The picture at the top is Portland. We will continue to play for awhile, so bear with us while we learn. Also, you might let us know if anything we are doing is causing the page to load slowly for you. Otherwise, what do you think?

And The Poor Rich Get Richer While the Real Poor Get Dumber

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My problem with this practice is not necessarily that private schools are getting title 1 funds but that the distribution model is different for private and public schools.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Absolutly Hillarious

Some of you may have seen this on the news, but for those of you who haven't this is an advertisement Absolut Vodka ran in Mexico. It has apparently caused quite an uproar in the US but I think it's great, and in any case very good advertising.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Movie Reviews

Facing the Giants ♣♣
This is a simple little football movie that (I think) was made entirely by a church and its congregation. Writers, actors, caterers, etc. It is heavy on the religion, and not necessarily something we would have watched on our own. We both agreed, though, that the production value was incredible for a small independent film, and we applauded the project on the whole. Once in a while I broke out in a mild blush at a poor acting moment, or overly earnest dialogue, but not a bad way to spend an hour and half.

Enchanted ♣♣♣
Okay, I'll admit when I saw these previews I could not figure out who would want to see this movie. I don't know exactly what I thought it would be, but I was not interested. Neither was Sergio. But then something strange happened. It got great ratings and wonderful reviews, and of course, I had to know what the big deal was. One word: charming. No, wait...two words: charming and funny.

Michael Clayton ♣♣♣½
Good story, good acting. The only problem was Sergio telling me that this could really be what it's like for some lawyers. Scary thought.

The Darjeeling Limited ♣♣♣½
Totally Wes Anderson, but a little less goofy than his latest movies, like Zissou. Made me think more of The Royal Tenenbaums, which is my favorite...yippy!

Waitress ♣♣♣
I watched this awhile ago, so my rating might be a bit skewed. Sergio didn't pay attention, so this is all me. I wanted to see this movie because I wondered if the ratings had been skewed by the untimely and tragic death of the writer/director/actress. Verdict: I don't know. I liked it a lot, but I can see that some people might not. If you miss seeing Andy Griffith on television then check this out. He is pretty funny.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Spring Break Part Two

Before we get to the spring break trip, I think I would like to rant a bit. Since we moved to Oregon we have seen a series of commercials for a certain brand of chicken that comes from either California or Oregon. It features two goofy, redneck chickens trying to convince Oregonians that they aren't "from Arkansas." Of course, this is in reference to Tyson...but how many regular people know that Tyson is headquartered in Arkansas? The latest commercial, the one that finally set me off asks, "What's the opposite of Oregon? Arkansas."
Um...what? It basically just comes across as a smear campaign against Arkansas and all of our sneaky, dirty, backwoods ways. Also, I can't tell you how many times Sergio and I have compared the two states. You step outside Portland city limits and it's just not that different.

Anyway, back to spring break. After Oklahoma there was Texas and New Mexico. We stopped outside of Albuquerque for a night. Somewhere in Texas (I think) we saw an advertisement for the largest cross in the Western Hemisphere. We didn't bother to exit and see this cross because, HEY, it's BIG. We could see it from the road. Though it certainly was large, I felt like I had seen bigger crosses before at some of the mega-churches. I would be interested to know exactly how they are measuring. Perhaps the girth of the cross is what earned it the honored title of Largest Cross in the Western Hemisphere. You have to love America and its dedication to completely obscure objects. Stay tuned for our brief encounter with the World's Largest Thermometer!

I don't know why we can't get some of our pictures to flip, but you get the idea. Also, I can't remember what state that Navajo store was in, and I missed the New in the New Mexico sign. The speed limit in both NM and Arizona was 75 mph, so you can see how I might not have had time to frame the shot.