"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both." ~ Benjamin Franklin

No One is Safe

>> Thursday, March 30, 2006

Yesterday we did aour first big mailing. A large list of who we know hoping to gain necessary funds for fliers, yard signs, etc. If you didn't get a mailing and want to help out there is a donate link at the top right of this page. Anything is so appreciated.

I also set up our "big" photo shoot for tomorrow. Which, of course, meant we had to go shopping for coordinating clothing. Well, I did, anyway. I have nothing to wear anymore. I scored a cropped denim jacket and a pale green shirt. Brenna got a green shirt to go under a denim dress. Doug got nothing as I was trying to dress Brenna & I to coordinate with a great olive Johnson & Murphy silk sweater he has. HA!

Brenna slept through the night the past two nights but developed a couch and a runny nose so we are skipping play time at the gymnastics school today so we don't expose anyone. Yep, we're considerate that way. It amazes me when people aren't.

Doug got some nice press in our local paper yesterday. I submitted a photo from the Easter Egg Hunt with a bio and here is what they printed. Nice, huh?

Ah, well, I suppose I have rambled on long enough and should get back to work. I have a letter to compose, a TV station to supply info to and fliers to design. *sigh* I don't think I am paid well enough for this.


A Very Long Night

>> Tuesday, March 28, 2006

I was exhausted yesterday. I'm sure it had something to do with the fact that it rained all day and was grey and dreary. Ick. Or maybe it is due to cutting my nap short to work on campaign stuff. Either way I was easily asleep by 9pm.

Which, in hindsight, was a very good thing.

At 12:30am I was very rudely awakened by fussing from Brenna. I lay in bed a few minutes waiting- hoping- she would calm and go back to sleep. No such luck. So I schlepp up the stairs into her room and see her gripping the side of her crib like she is jailed and crying. As I enter she stands and holds her arms out to me. We cuddle, she calms and falls asleep. I try to place her back in her bed... And she screams. Repeat steps above twice- with the same results.

OK, so I pull a couple of knot-blankets and a pillow to the floor. Brenna lays right down when she sees that mommy will be right beside her on the floor. She is sleeping. I try to move her. Screaming follows.

Ugh. I am tired and uncomfortable, not to mention a little cold as the knot-blankets aren't quite mommy-sized. In my mind I figure that since Brenna seems to just want cuddling it should be OK to put her in bed with us and we can all be comfy. It worked in my theory.

So I put on some warmer clothes and back upstairs we go, settling on the floor. This time when Brenna falls asleep I decide to just leave her there. Slowly I get up and move away from her. Just as slowly she raises up and begins to cry. I move back toward her, she calms and snuggles close to me whan I lay back down.

And the rest of my night was spent like that. The only thing I can figure is that she wasn't feeling well and just wanted the security of mommy.

That had better be the reason because I don't plan to spend many nights like that.


Six Months

>> Monday, March 27, 2006

We have begun potty training. Yes, Brenna is "only" 17 months old but I decided that I am not going to be buying two sizes of diapers come October. Not gonna happen. So every hour or so we sit on the potty.

And nothing happens.

So I put Brenna in her Dora Pull-Up and we go about our daily business.

And then she poops. In the Pull-Up.

So we go to the potty and dump in the poop in the hopes that she will begin to make the connection that poop goes in the potty.

She actually pooped in the potty -twice- at her aunt's house on Friday. Of course. But nothing for mommy yet. Trust me... when it's there you will hear about it!

And now I smell something funny. We just finished in the bathroom 20 minutes ago. I think she does it on purpose.


Sorry I've Been Gone

>> Saturday, March 25, 2006

I spent the end of last week at Campaign School. Two days of in-depth here's-what-you-need-to-do-to-win stuff. Basically "How to Run a Campaign for Dummies". And I needed it. And now I need help! Mostly babysitting and housekeeping so I can make all the necessary appointments and schedule all the necessary meetings for Doug. Want to volunteer? Let me know!

We made an "official" public appearance today at our local Jaycees Easter Egg Hunt. Brenna, and most of the kids around her, had to be shown what to do but once they got the idea they were off an running. It took mere minutes for the field to be cleared.

Here's Brenna just getting started.

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Here she is showing off her eggs with daddy.
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And here she is with mommy wondering when all the pictures will be over so she can get the stick she sees in the distance.
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Baby's First Pictures

>> Tuesday, March 21, 2006

The ultrasound went well. Baby was very active the entire time; flipping from front to back and side to side and squirming around. The heartbeat was 162 bpm; take that as you will. The technician said that she didn't see anything to cause alarm. Blood had to be drawn and that, with the ultrasound photos, will determine if further tests need to be done.

So, without further ado, Baby's first pictures:

Here you see the little "alien" face looking right at the camera.
Baby pic 1

Here is a side view of baby, head to the left. Above the head you can make out little fingers. Baby liked it's fingers- they were always near the face.
Baby pic 2

And here's baby waving bye-bye.
Baby pic 3


Customer Service

For Mike who likes stories about "owning the brand". I made dinner on Sunday night, which entailed me getting in the car and picking up the take-away from Chilis. We ordered three items and there were three containers in the bag, so I wasn't worried. Except the lettuce wraps Jody ordered come in separate containers to keep the crisp things crisp and the warm things warm. There should have been four containers, we were missing the chicken for the wraps.

Jody got on the phone right away and called the store. After appologizing, they remade the entire order since Jody hinted that my pasta would be cold by the time I got back. The manager took an embarrasing situation, fixed it and guaranteed that Jody and I will continue to be their customers.


It's Ultrasound Day

I woke at 5:30 this morning. It probably had more to do with the fact that I was in bed at 9:30 last night than that I am worried about today. I was also very aware of a nagging in my head. Well, two, actually.

1) We upped our life insurance a month ago and haven't heard from anyone about the blood work and such that are needed. I called our insurance guy about this and he hasn't called me back yet. I hate that.
2) We haven't gotten our deposit back from the Polk City Community Center. We rented the center on Feb. 28 for a political thing. I was told that our deposit check wouldn't be cashed and would be returned. Nuthin' yet. I need to call.

So, anyway, ultrasound day. I am approximately 11 weeks along and, due to my "advanced" age ('cause you know those eggs have been hanging around for close to 36 years and there could be a dud), the baby is getting checked for any signs of Down's Syndrome.

And, as an added bonus, since yesterday was the first day of spring today we have snow. Yep, it looks like a couple of inches and still falling. Grrr...


Long Awaited Videos!

>> Sunday, March 19, 2006

As promised, from last week:

The Cabinet Monsters!!

Brenna decided to try on my favorite shoes. Don't they look terrific with her jeans?

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And here she masters walking in a heel:


And You Thought Roomba Was Only For Vacuuming

HA! Yet another great use for your Roomba: Roomba Frogger!

I wish I would have thought of this when my Roomba was on the fritz. What fun!!!


Happy St. Patrick's Day

>> Friday, March 17, 2006

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!

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Brenna the Bully

>> Thursday, March 16, 2006

Zippy videos seems to be down! Damn! I have a great clip of two cabinet monsters that I wanted to share! Later, I promise!

After a morning of fun, running and laughter I settled the monsters down for lunch- pigs in blankets, veggies and string cheese. Brenna stripped her pig, Koen ignored his veggies. I enjoyed a couple of biscuits, warm from the oven, covered in honey. Mmmmmm... More, please.

Then naptime. We set up Brenna's toddler bed last night just for today. Koen snuggled down and went right to sleep. Brenna fussed and wanted in with Koen. Yeah, like either of them would have slept. She quieted down in a few minutes and we all settled down for what I hoped would be a l.o.n.g nap.

I fell instantly asleep- thanks to my restless pregnancy dreams from last night (influenced by Monday night's episode of Medium which we watched last night. Man, I love the TiVo)- and was roused much too soon by fussing and hiccups.

One hour, folks. She napped for one hour. And she wanted cousinn Koen to wake up, too. I removed her from the room and Koen slept for 2 more hours. TWO MORE HOURS!!! Why can't my kid sleep like that?

So now it is 3:18pm according to the clock on the geeky bar computer and the kids are enjoying goldfish crackers and juice and being entertained by Toy Story and jumping on a foam chair. When Brenna isn't stealing Koen juice, crackers or upsetting him in some other way. Every few minutes I have to "fix" something. My floor is covered in baby goldfish. Oh, well. That's what the dog is for. :)

I was thinking about tacos for dinner but I am close to having Doug pick up a pizza. Mmmm, meat & cheese. Yep, I think that is going to happen.


This Morning at Casa Geek

Brenna's cousin Koen is spending the day with us today. This is how we spent the first half hour (click the photo to see the video):

And playing downstairs. Sometimes you forget just how much fun beanbags are!

Hopefully they will nap at the same time this afternoon!


Something's In The Shower With Mommy

>> Monday, March 13, 2006

As I mentioned in A Shower Story it is rare that I get to shower alone. Today was no exception. I said "shower" and Brenna ran for my room. The Wiggles weren't enough to keep her away.

Somewhere between the kitchen and the shower someone filled her diaper. OK, no problem. A quick clean up before entering the shower.

And we're in. I begin washing my hair and give Brenna a washcloth. In a couple of minutes I smell something. I don't give it much thought since there is a dirty diaper in the room.

I rinse the shampoo from my hair and apply conditioner. I open my eyes and look at Brenna. And see a curious brown mass on the floor of the shower.

You guessed it! Brenna pooped in the shower. Poop in my shower. UGH! Luckily the toilet is very close. I- very carefully- kneel down, open the shoer door and grab some TP with my very wet hands. I scoop the poop and deposit it into the toilet. Blech! And then I dump soap in the affected corner and rinse. Alot.


Brenna Video

>> Saturday, March 11, 2006

Click the picture above to be taken to a very adorable (as if Brenna could be anything but adorable!) video of Brenna.

I am trying to embed the video but it is just not working. Maybe it's the format...

Anyway, enjoy!


The First of Many

>> Wednesday, March 08, 2006

It's confirmed: I'm pregnant. What should have been a quick 15 minute appointment stretched into 1 1/2 hours as my doctor got called across the street to deliver a baby. Brenna was not amused. Doug took her walking through the halls where she found a box to push and she demonstrated her dance moves for anyone who would watch.

Because of my "advanced" age (35) we had to go through all the possible things that could go wrong, mostly genetic problems because my eggs are so "old". The numbers are scary; definately more of a chance of problems than I thought.

But so far, so good. I'm measuring correctly for 8-9 weeks. I go back in 2 weeks for an ultrasound and lab work to begin the extra precautions. Better safe, I guess.


Call me Grace

>> Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Ever wonder what you could possibly do to impress your brand new co-workers in your second week of work? How about slipping on absolutely nothing and ending up falling in the hallway; injuring your elbow and knee in the process? I DID manage to escape without breaking my latte mug, but I also spilled hot cocoa all over the floor. I need a special helmet.

Only 2 people actually saw me, thank goodness.


Civil War in Iraq

Via No Speed Bumps.

A small picture of Iraq from a reporter willing to leave the hotel room...

Dude, Where's My Civil War?

I'M trying. I've been trying all week. The other day, I drove another 30 miles or so on the streets and alleys of Baghdad. I'm looking for the civil war that The New York Times declared. And I just can't find it.

Maybe actually being on the ground in Iraq prevents me from seeing it. Perhaps the view's clearer from Manhattan. It could be that my background as an intelligence officer didn't give me the right skills.

And riding around with the U.S. Army, looking at things first-hand, is certainly a technique to which The New York Times wouldn't stoop in such an hour of crisis.

Let me tell you what I saw anyway. Rolling with the "instant Infantry" gunners of the 1st Platoon of Bravo Battery, 4-320 Field Artillery, I saw children and teenagers in a Shia slum jumping up and down and cheering our troops as they drove by. Cheering our troops.

All day - and it was a long day - we drove through Shia and Sunni neighborhoods. Everywhere, the reception was warm. No violence. None.

And on a related note...


A Visit to the Coffee Haus

>> Sunday, March 05, 2006

Doug & I went out tonight for a movie & dinner. WooHoo! I haven't been to a movie since I saw Must Love Dogs with my sister. :)

Sooo, did we go see one of those "Oscar worthy" performances? (Excuse me while I choke on that phrase) Nope. We saw Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire on the IMAX. Let me just say that it was a whole lotta screen for that movie.

Whilst we were enjoying a child-free evening Miss Brenna was being entertained by the Coffee Family. Meritt took plenty of photos so venture on over (you may have to scroll down as I can't link to the post... Why is that?)

Anyway, little miss was plumb tuckered out and with a tummy full of goodies (and she was stealing more of Coffee Kid's cake when we arrived) she fell fast asleep on the way home.


A Shower Story

>> Friday, March 03, 2006

I have been having trouble loading anything Blogger on my laptop for days. Today I decide to use the "geek bar computer" and viola! everything loads quickly. So it must be my laptop. Grrr!

Not that I really have much to say. Life here at Casa Geek has been pretty dull. I'm still exhausted and the afternoons bring on a feeling nausea, usually before I begin to clean the house and think about making dinner. Hmmm, could there be a connection? I have tried taking my prenatal vitamins at different times to see if the vitamins are bringing on the gack. They don't seem to be, which is good.

Yesterday brought the usual activity- a visit to the local gymnastics center so Brenna could play with other kids- which meant that I had to shower. Showers haven't been the same since we moved in to the new house.

When we were in Ireland Brenna had her first showers. There was no choice as the B&Bs only had showers. To say that Brenna hated them is an understatement. The minute she heard the water start she would scream. Needless to say, we made short work of bathing her.

Fast forward to the new house. We have a large walk in shower with a "rain" showerhead and a seat. There is plenty of room for Brenna to enter and stand to the side where she only gets a little wet. She spent a couple of weeks opening and closing the shower door (while I was showering) before she worked up the nerve to enter (fully clothed). As this kept happening I decided to just cut to the chase and stripped her down to a diaper as I prepared to shower. And now we have a system.

I prepare the shower, get myself ready, strip Brenna nekkid and she runs to the shower. She stands to the side as I do my best to clean myself then I bend down and she gets a scrub and dragged under the water. Warm lotion application is next; then I get out, wrap a towel around my head and put on a robe then wrap her in a big fluffy towel and deposit her in my warm bed (putting a diaper on her before I have a chance to regret putting her in the bed) where she enjoys the Doodlebops or the Wiggles while I finish my morning rituals.

Yep, she has a tough life. Someday when she tells me that I'll show her all these posts about her awful childhood. :)
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Week's Nearly Over

>> Thursday, March 02, 2006

Thank goodness! I am exhausted, and Ethan is still hanging on me & crying when I drop him off at daycare. They say he has a good time after I am gone. Wish I could just see it so I could feel better about it. At least I don't have a lot of time to sit & worry about it when I get to work.

Carter loves it. He asks me every night if he is going to go back tomorrow. That helps a lot to reduce the Mommy guilt complex!

Work is going well. I am picking up relatively quickly and helping with some of the easier busy-work to lighten the load for everyone else. My boss is really cool; he keeps telling me to go home early. He said if I have everything done, there is no reason to stay just to fulfill my 8 hours. One of the perks of being a salaried employee. And one of these days I am probably going to have to stay late/work extra. It will all work out in the long run, I'm sure.

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