Thursday, October 28, 2010

Happy Halloween

From my two original and strong-minded little girls: a slice of pepperoni mushroom pizza and an Adelie penguin. (The former because it's one of her favorite dishes and the latter because it sounds like Adelaide. Of course.)

Seen here with cousin Abby, aka Princess Aurora, aka Briar Rose, aka Sleeping Beauty.

Why, yes, they did choose their own costumes this year! (Pics taken at Boo at the Zoo.)

Thursday, October 21, 2010


And soon they'll be roommates, too.  I'm so glad my little girls play together.

They pop bubbles.  They play with dolls.  And they dance their little Angelina Ballerina mice off to bed.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Handsome Is as Handsome Does

I've had some problems with this pregnancy.  I've been sick and I've had complications and it's just not been easy.  But I am feeling better this week.  Still, every time I think I can finally relax and just enjoy the second trimester, something alarming comes up.  And yesterday I spent a couple hours in the doctor's office getting checked out.  (Everything is fine. But notice how obscure I'm being just to avoid saying "blood" or "bleeding." Oops, messed that one up.)

I left messages for Paul and my mom after my appointment and ultrasound yesterday, letting them know that I'm back to "taking it easy" (which means avoiding many fun things) but that the baby looks great and I check out OK, too.

My mom texted back asking if her grandson is adorable or handsome.  I think it's a little early to tell, but you be the judge.  (For the record, he's right on schedule for four months along at a grand total of 8 inches long and 8 ounces heavy. And he waves at the camera.)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Religion and Politics

So there's an election coming up and a post on politics is inevitable for me, don't you think?  But perhaps my topic is a bit unexpected.

This is where I come out in support of Christine O'Donnell.  Sort of.

Not her politics or her beliefs about sexuality or her honesty (finances, education) or her character or her fitness to serve as a U.S. Senator. 

It's the witch thing.

Liberals have jumped on O'Donnell's admission that she "dabbled in witchcraft."  (She's also a former Catholic, liberal, and she used to be pro-choice.)  They seem to believe that this history will discredit O'Donnell with the religious right.

Maybe it will, but maybe not.  After all, Evangelical Christianity is about being saved.  About turning from darkness into light.  Accepting Jesus Christ as one's Lord and Savior and being Born Again.  A fresh slate.  Perhaps you remember our 43rd President?  Many did not hold the "sins" of his "youth" against him because he repented.  And that's huge.  The importance to evangelical Christians of being saved cannot be over-estimated.

Despite this flaw in the logic of attacking O'Donnell's previous religious practices, there's a much greater problem with the approach and it's the same problem with "attacking" Obama by suggesting that he's Muslim.  Use of religion as a vilifying personal characteristic suggests that there's something terribly wrong with being of a particular religion.  Is that really what liberals want to say?

Liberals did crow about O'Donnell's comments regarding witchcraft, just as they enjoyed her filmed comments about the evils of masturbation.

But of course the ones most excited about O'Donnell's revelations were the media, and not because they're "liberal" but rather because this sort of sensational story is news, baby!  We tune in, we listen, we talk about it.  In short: it sells.  We're buying it. 

And so nothing will change and instead of talking about substantive issues related to the direction this country should go, we're talking about a political cartoon in which O'Donnell's limousine is drawn as a broom parked outside the Capitol.

Happy voting.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


one Angelina Ballerina 7th birthday party.  With the help of some wonderful kids, their parents, and my own family: Paul, his sister, Ann, her husband, Rob, and my parents (in town for the event).

Ellie wanted to invite non-ballerina boys in addition to ballerina and non-ballerina girls, and she wanted an Angelina Ballerina cake.  As our theme we chose the episode "Two Mice in a Boat," in which English ballerina mouse Angelina is partnered with a pirate-loving boy mouse named Sammy for a boat designing contest.  They can't agree on a theme - princess or pirate - and hijinks ensue.  In the end, they're forced to compromise and and work together, of course.

So we too started out dividing into teams to decorate cardboard box boats with paint, glue, flowers, flags, etc.  Much fun and mess was had by all.  They got pirate tattoos or ballerina glitter (or both) then whacked at a ballet slipper-shaped pinata.  We opened presents - the first time Ellie's been willing to do that! Still, being Ellie, she generously handed most of her presents back to her guests - then headed back outside for games.  Each child popped a balloon to reveal his or her task (e.g. dance a pirate jig, spin like a ballerina ten times. etc.).  Then they played Pirate Pirate Princess, a game that bears strong resemblance to Duck Duck Goose.  They wound up with a little Pirate King (Simon) Says.  And - finally! - it was time for cake and pizza, the highlights of the event.

Ellie had a great time.  And I love love love love love making her happy.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Pumpkins and a Birthday, Must Be October

Pumpkin picking . . . and not one photo of the field itself!

7th Birthday, Take 2:

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Found Moments

This morning we all overslept.  I got to wake up both girls, probably for the first time ever!

Paul headed out for doughnuts while I soothed the girls out of bed, towards the bathrooms, and into clothes.

No one was stressed or rushed, the girls enjoyed their doughnuts and sausages (because today was rescheduled birthday day) and everyone got out the door to school on time.

Only Mommy and Daddy didn't have time to shower and dress.  So Paul came back from dropping Ada at preschool and met me on the front porch.  We sat outside together for thirty minutes with our mugs of coffee, sharing a doughnut.

We chatted, we felt the fresh breeze on our faces, we enjoyed the neighborhood's changing leaves.  It was glorious.  Then we came back inside and got ourselves ready to face the day.  We were running a little late, but it was totally, absolutely, easily worth it.

Glorious autumn.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Birthday that Wasn't

Today, Ellie turned seven years old.  Seven!

Unfortunately, it did not go as planned.

She was so excited about her birthday.  She planned her birthday breakfast: doughnuts (a family birthday tradition) and sausages (that's all Ellie).  For her birthday lunch she requested that I bring some broccoli cheese soup to school.  I was to be her guest reader in class, and she chose Big Pumpkin by Erica Silverman and There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bat by Lucille Collandro for the event.  For special snack to share with her friends, we chose s'mores (last weekend's camping trip and summer grilling with Nana and Grandpa up on the mountain still fresh on our minds).  We packed graham crackers, chocolate bars, and "toasted" marshmallow fluffy spread for her classmates.  For dinner she selected spaghetti, red sauce, meatballs, corn, and garlic cheesy bread.  After Ellie went to bed, Paul and I decorated the kitchen table area with festive birthday fare and settled plans for the next day.

Then she woke up.  And she didn't feel well.  This happened a couple more times overnight and in the morning she tried to be excited but just couldn't maintain the necessary energy.  She couldn't stop coughing and bringing up phlem. (Yuck.)  She ran a low-grade fever.  She has been telling us for a while that she doesn't feel well, but couldn't describe the problem or any pain.

"I'm not very well, Mommy."

"Does your head hurt?"

"No, my head doesn't hurt."

"Does your throat hurt?"

"No, my throat doesn't hurt. I just feel yucky. I'm not well."

Well, the seven of us living in this house at present have passed around a nasty and long-lived cold and vicious cough.  I suffered through it for nearly two months (!) and I certainly felt yucky much of that time.  I thought Ellie's problem was a combination of the cold and wanting a break from school.

Today, with a fever and the violent cough she couldn't control, I knew I was wrong.  I took Ellie to the pediatrician, who sent us to the ER, where the pediatric nurse practitioner looked in Ellie's throat and found it full of impressive pus pockets.


So Ellie's back home, happier but still sick, and on antibiotics for strep throat.

October 11th has been rescheduled for this Wednesday.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Drunk Driving

St. Louis Cardinals broadcaster Dan McLaughlin was arrested in August on suspicion of drunken driving.  Other drivers called 911 to report an "erratic driver."  An officer responded and pulled over the local celebrity, who refused a breathalyzer.  (Booking photo courtesy of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.)

This story wasn't immediately of special interest to me, other than my obvious concern about drunk drivers on the same roads I travel.  Where it got interesting was in the discussion following the article, where respondants seemed split between certainty that McLaughlin would get a special treatment/a slap on the wrist and confusion over what he really did wrong.

These comments are representative of the latter point of view:
  1. He was drunk, so what, he didnt kill a puppy, DUI's are a revenue stream plain and simple.
  2. Looked like he had a good time. I agree, how can something be a crime without a victim?
    Checkpoints amount to an illegal search.
  3. Drunk driving is not a crime. In order to have a crime, you have to have a victim. Who is the victim in this case? I thought so. Oh, so you want to start criminalizing POTENTIAL crimes? God help us all.
  4. Anyone who drinks has probably driven home when they shouldn't have, so I would not claim otherwise. I don't know this guy or his drinking habits and I don't think most of these people do either. Could it be he was out with friends and went over his limit by one or two?
  5. Could've happened to anyone after a glass or two of wine in this spread-out town . . . 

Every now and then I'm confronted with evidence that others see the world very differently than I do . . .

Friday, October 08, 2010

What I've Been Up To

Family photo:

Apple picking:

And all church family camp (with running water and heated cabins):

(Both good photos of Paul, the girls, and me courtesy of brother-in-law Rob!)

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Post-Racial Society

Most people don't think they're racist.

And of course many people think that racism is so over

Because I occasionally have poor impulse control I click over from a St. Louis Post-Dispatch news story to its discussion tab.  And I'm always disgusted by what I find there.

For example, this morning's news brought word of a man named Lavell Collins who was shot and killed in the city of St. Louis last night.  No picture accompanied the story.  But perhaps because of his name or the neighborhood in which the shooting occurred, the five immediate responses to the news were:
  1. Are they sure it is not another case of suicide, or assisted suicide? That seems to be very prominent in North St Louis it appears from all the deaths of fine, upstanding young men.
  2. More thinning of the lowlife herd in NStL. It is long past time for St. Louis to DO something pro-active against the proliferation of lowlife violent crimes.
  3. Was he on his way home from church or had just delivered groceries to his elderly grandmother? Just another day in the neighborhood..... lalalalalalal
  4. Draw a line east-west down the center of the City. "Separate But Equal"! That's the solution.
  5. WONDERFUL,MAGNIFICENT,SPLENDID,BEAUTIFUL!These are just some of the words I use to describe my feelings when I here great news in the morning.This is how you thin the heard,just hope these lowlifes don't find out that this makes most white people happy or they might quit the destruction of their own kind.

But those comments and the many many just like them on news sites across the country are not racist.  They can't be.  Because racism no longer exists.