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

>> Thursday, September 28, 2006

Brenna's room is full of faeries. Her clock and the matching lamp I made, a couple of pencil sketches we purchased at the MN Renaissance, one before she was born and one she picked out last year and a Ruth Thompson print of Ember.

We added to that collection at the Des Moines Renaissance. We had a sketch done of Brenna as a faery. Adorable, isn't it?

Click the picture for a larger view.


How Do They Do It?

>> Monday, September 25, 2006

I can barely get to the computer to check my email right now. Blogging is so far down my list of things to do and I feel badly that nothing has been added since Friday. Still working on that "schedule". HA! Like I will ever have it together again! Doug was lucky to have a warm dinner tonight!

Life is settling down a bit. Caelan had to go in to the Dr Friday to have her weight checked. She had lost a bit before we left the hospital and they just wanted to keep an eye on it. However, when we got there her weight was not the biggest issue- her jaundace was. So she spent as much time as possible this weekend sunbathing.

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Sunday was a perfect day- sunny, breezy and cool without being cold. We wrapped Caelan up and took her for her first outing- cousin Carter's soccer game. Brenna got to hang out with cousin Ethan on the sidelines. She did try to sneak on to the field a couple of times- she really wanted to kick the ball. Carter was so excited that we were there to see him. He would should from the field, "Jody! I'm in the game!"

Today it was back to the doctor to check on Caelan's weight and color. She looks much better but had only gained an ounce over the weekend. She is a sleeper right now and doesn't like to wake to eat. When she does want to eat she latches right on but if she doesn't want to eat you can't make her. Tomorrow she & I are going to a lactation class at the hospital to talk one-on-one with a nurse about it. I am a little worried.

Here's Caelan enjoying her favorite activity- napping:

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Brenna is really taking to her roll of big sister. She helps so much. Today she helped push the stroller and she pushed the buttons to open the doors at the Dr's office. She is trying to teach Caelan "This little piggy" on her toes and "Pattycake":

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And she loves to give kisses. It just amazes me how grown up she is.

So even though my house is in desperate need of a cleaning I have to say that I am so freakin' happy that it just doesn't matter.

Not right now, anyway. On Friday I will be freaking out about it as my in-laws will be arriving the next day to stay for a week. Sooo... if anyone wants to do a really good deed this week let me know. I have some bathrooms that are in desperate need of cleaning.


Thank You Dan!

>> Friday, September 22, 2006

A big "THANK YOU" to Kentucky Dan for the baby gift!

You can see just how thrilled Brenna is. We got home late Wednesday night and Brenna was waiting up for us watching Buzz #2. We put Caelan beside her for a picture. How dare we interrupt! Brenna is adjusting well- she loves "baby" and is very helpful. She is a terrific big sister!

Things have been busy but going very well. I am lucky that I have family so close to help us adjust. My mom spent the week with Brenna and my siblings helped out when she needed to work.

Hopefully next week we will have some sort of schedule and I will be able to check in once in a while!


I want out!

>> Monday, September 18, 2006


See more pix of Caelan Aibhlinn in action

Welcome to the world Caelan!
(click to enlarge)
Caelan Aibhlinn ("Kay Lynn" "Ave-Leen", it's Gaelic if you're wondering) made a surprise entrance today at 4:42am. Evidently she was jealous of Brenna having all the fun and decided to skip the last three weeks of baking. Ten fingers, ten toes and a head of dark hair; what more can you ask for? After the initial excitement, we are settling into a nice, boring routine. Boring is good when you are in a hospital. I like a nice, boring medical chart. She's officially listed as a preterm, but at 7 lbs, 11 oz, she is nicely developed.

Yes ladies, I have change a couple of the "tar" diapers. I'm a real man and proud of it.


What was I doing at 2:15 AM?

Well, I'll give you a guess. It wasn't sleeping peacefully in my cozy bed. Baby Geek #2 decided to make an unscheduled arrival early this morning, so I scurried over to Geekland to stay with Brenna until Grandma arrived.

Baby arrived healthy and screaming her lungs out at 4:42 AM. She has a head full of dark hair and weighs 7 lbs 11 oz. I have no idea how long she is. Her name is Caelan (forgive me if I misspelled). Mom and Baby Caelan are doing well, and Daddy is TIRED. I'm sure Geek Mom & Geek Dad will add more later.


The MisAdventures of Brenna the Faery Princess

>> Friday, September 15, 2006

Once upon a time two mere mortals were blessed by the birth of a faery princess. The two mortals knew that they had been given a rare gift and did their very best to raise the faery to someday take her rightful place.

Finally the day came when they could no longer keep their beautiful faery to themselves. It was time for her to meet the other faeries of her realm.

The little faery knew instantly that she was where she belonged. She was greeted by the Queen of the Faeries, given a necklace of welcome and sprinkled with faery dust.

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The little faery made herself at home and joined the other faeries on the toadstools where she learned special faery magic.
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So happy were the faeries that entertainment was brought in. Special guests were invited. The little faery was especially drawn to a handsome young knight. They clapped and played while the entertainers made everyone laugh.
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After the entertainment the little faery tried her new magic on the flowers. With a wave of her hand the flowers danced and twirled.
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As her final initiation a special dance was performed in her honor. The little faery and her knightly friend were the center of attention.
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Before leaving the realm the little faery was presented to the Queen and was granted a special place among her ladies.
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Note: The Des Moines Renaissance Festival has a permanent home now, complete with a village of shopkeepers, a jousting field and a castle. The organizers have done a really great job & I hope it will grow to be as good as the Minnesota Faire.

Also, for anyone who doens't know, the handsome knight is Brenna's cousin Koen. They are about 7 months apart in age and are the best of friends. And, yes, I made Brenna's costume as well as Koen's tunic. You may all tell me how talented I am. lol


So Much to be Done

>> Thursday, September 14, 2006

This week feels like I have been going non-stop. So much to get out of the way, loose ends to tie up, things that still need finished.

Today we go play at the gym, a weekly ritual that Brenna looks forward to...alot. Then we have a UPS run to make, a stop at the grocery store for milk and a few other essentials that I seemed to forget the other day, home for lunch and naps, back out the door so I can get a haircut & Brenna can spend some time with Nature Girl and back home to make dinner. Somewhere in there I really need to do a couple loads of laundry and vacuum.

Of course my day wouldn't be complete if Brenna & I didn't put together her alphabet puzzle a few times, read a couple of books, color and play in her kitchen. And, honestly, these "tasks" are much more important than laundry and vacuuming.

And now I'm off... Hopefully tomorrow I will get around to posting the pictures of Brenna the Fairy Princess from the Renaissance Festival last weekend.

Update: 1:38pm

After our morning activities and making Brenna lunch (the thought of eating made me ill) I succumbed to the rest my body was begging for. Buzz #2 went into the DVD player in my bedroom and Brenna watched it while I (kind of) napped.

I am having some very light contractions today. They feel weird but don't bother me like the pains that come with baby dropping lower and my body stretching to accomodate her. Now those can take my breath away and make me stop in my tracks.


I'll be with you shortly

>> Tuesday, September 12, 2006

From time to time I get asked about my recent lack of posting. There are several answers; first and foremost I like spending time with Jody and Brenna. I also like making house and car payments (and buying small things like food and clothes), so I've been catching up on work after the campaign. The last reason is because my current contract forbids me from making public statements about certain state agencies. Well, not forbids per-se, but I thought it was best to steer clear of it altogether.

The good news is that the muzzle will slip in the near future. I have accepted a contract that is not affiliated with a government agency and I will be able to talk about current events again. Yea! I will still have the time issue while trying to balance family and contractual obligations. But I won't have to worry about losing a contract because of my politics. Before you ask, the reason for the muzzle is becuase I have access to confidential information as a part of my job. In fact my job is to take the millions of transactions and turn it into something that can be easily understood and digested.

I haven't been hiding under a bushel though.... (the back of my shirt reads "Less Taxes, Less Government, More Freedom, Freedom Works")


Another Week Closer

And a couple more pounds. Things must be getting cramped, baby is slowing down in there. Everything is looking good. Baby is turned; I have a tukkis in my ribs constantly. Unless she rolls over and it is against my spine. Also very comfortable.

Even maternity clothes are uncomfortable. Upon arriving home off came the stretchy-panel-under-the-belly jeans and maternity top and on went the tank top and sarong- my at home uniform. Ahhh... comfy.


It's another cool and rainy day here; what the Irish call "soft". It's late in the year for so much rain and I am sure the farmers are cursing it. Not enough during the growing season and too much at harvest. The creek in our back yard is at it's banks again; it was higher over night, all the grasses are flattened.

No outdoor activities today. Should be a good day for napping. Ahhh, napping.


In Honor of Capt. Louis Joseph Modafferi

>> Monday, September 11, 2006

(This post will remain at the top of this blog until midnight September 11.)

CAPT. LOUIS MODAFFERI, 45, of New York, a firefighter, wasn't scheduled to work Sept. 11 but joined his squad when he heard the World Trade Center had been attacked.

AS I searched through Google I found this statement to be the very essence of this fallen hero.

A father of three he rarely spoke of his accomplishments but praised his children to anyone who would listen. The Captain of Staten Island's Rescue 5, Capt. Modafferi also worked on a federal rescue team aiding victims of plane crashes and hurricanes. He was a modest man who relieved stress by vacuuming.

Before he bacame a firefighter Louis worked as a waiter, a chimney sweep and a mechanic. A man with a love of Trans-Ams he sold his prized car to buy an engagement ring for his wife. When she opened the ring box it was empty except for a tiny Trans-Am. Louis and Joanne were married for 20 years.

So many words were used in the tributes I read to this hero: husband, father, best friend, loving son, modest, selfless, giving, dependable, respectful. This is a man who is much loved and missed by all who knew him.

Thank you, Louis, for being who you were. Your bravery will be remembered always. We will never forget.


>> Thursday, September 07, 2006

I'm working on my 9/11 tribute. I plan to have it up this weekend. We will be honoring Capt. Louis Joseph Modafferi, 45, of New York, N.Y.

To see what I'm doing go here.
2,996 is a tribute to the victims of 9/11.

On September 11, 2006, 2,996 volunteer bloggers
will join together for a tribute to the victims of 9/11.
Each person will pay tribute to a single victim.

We will honor them by remembering their lives,
and not by remembering their murderers.



>> Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Jarod and I made it back to civilization safe and sound. Pictures of our Ozark adventure can be found just over the next hill...


T Minus 4 Weeks And Counting

I gained four pounds in the last two weeks. Four! Ugh! No wonder I'm moving slower. And waddling. Oh, sure, some of it has to do with the fact that baby is head down with it's butt in my ribs, but still. And now my iron levels are low. Another daily pill. Yippee.

Because we switched hospitals the c-section had to be rescheduled for later in the day. Now it is at 1pm, we have to be at the hospital by 11am. OK, no waking ap at 4am... good. But still no food or drink after midnight. WTF? I can't drink anything for over 13 hours? I'll be awake til midnight making sure I don't dehydrate the next day.

Today I got to watch Doug's cousin's 2 1/2 month old son for 4 hours. During that 4 hours I got nothing done. Between Brenna & the baby I didn't have a chance. (If baby's daddy hadn't been working in the attic & using Brenna's room for access Brenna would have had a nap during that time. Unfortunately I couldn't get her to stay in the spare bed... So no nap. For either of us.)

I'm afraid I may not get out of my PJs for days at a time when baby comes. I'm afrad I may not shower more than twice a week. I'm afraid I may lose my mind. Honestly, what were we thinking? Aaarrgghhhh!

On the baby name front I have added Caelan (KAY-lan) to my list. Doug is considering it. I am letting him believe that he has a choice. :)


Well, I Never Thought He'd Live to a Ripe Old Age

>> Monday, September 04, 2006

Crocodile Hunter Dead at 44

I remember watching him when his show was first on US television. He was entertaining, if a bit over the top. I always thought it would be a snake that got him, though.



Scammers At Your Door- A PSA

>> Saturday, September 02, 2006

So my sister was telling me that there were people arrested in her neighborhood for selling magazines as a fundraiser. It seems that there was no fundraiser. Ballsy, huh? So you can imagine how stupid I feel right now... I bought magazines from these people.

Yep, this kid (early 20s is a kid to me) comes to my door, says he goes to the local community college, that his family lives just up the street (we just moved here, I wouldn't know any different) and he is selling magazines as a fundraiser for his broadcasting class. He seems nice, very personable, and even though I can get magazines at very discounted rates through my sister or sister-in-law as they work for a distributor, I like to help kids work toward their goals. So I bought two magazines.

Well, it turns out that this kid doesn't go to college, doesn't live down the street and isn't trying to raise money for anyone- except himself. He was just a door-to-door salesman. According to the police I will get the magazines (if the guy who sold them to me wasn't one of the 3 arrested and the police didn't confiscate my checks). The fraud part was the stories they were telling to get the sales.

So now I am waiting for the police to get back to me about my checks. If they don't have them I will have to stop them through my bank- at $30 per check. Still less than the checks were written for, but still. The officer I spoke with said that some of the local banks are waiving the cancel fees because of the fraud. I will have to see if my bank will do that. Or maybe just charge me for one check and not two.

Now, here's the warning for everyone: the company that is doing this is called Integrity or Integrity Sale. On their order forms is the web address of www.integritysale.com. It is a phony web address. The business address is Integrity Sales LLC, PO Box 10025, Glendale, AZ 85318-0025. Do Not Buy Magazines From This Company According to the local police they arrested 3 of the 5 people who were working in this area, held them, fined them and let them go when they served their time/paid their fine. As far as the police know they are on their way to Utah. Heads up Utah.

Update: my bank, Principal Bank, reversed the stop payment fees so I am not out anything. They are local as Principal Financial is based in Des Moines but are an online entity. If you are looking for a new bank keep them in mind.


A Spa Party?

Char suggested that I have girlfriends over for a "spa party" this weekend since Doug and my brother are out roughing it. Jennifer and Fantastagirl both thought it was a great idea. And it is... except for one little problem. I have exactly one friend here.

Yes, one. And I think she will be busy this weekend with a funeral and some serious consoling for her youngest daughter.

You are all still stuck on the fact that I only have one friend here, aren't you? Well, here's how it happened.

I moved to the Twin Cities (Minnesota) in 1993. I moved to Iowa and married Doug in 2003. Except for a 5 month stint I haven't worked in this area so I haven't had the opportunity to meet that many people.

'What about my neighborhood?' you ask? Well, we are easily the youngest people around here. (Except for the people who live next door and whose nanny we know better than we know them). Most of the people in our area have reached their mid-life crisis and spend their time taking care of sports cars, not kids.

And I have yet to meet any moms at any of Brenna's activities that I want to spend any additional time with. I'm older than most of them (that's what you get for waiting to have kids) and our interests are very different.

Which leaves the people I spend most of my time with: family. I am very lucky that my siblings and I are close, in proximity and feeling. And I am sure I will spend time with them this weekend. But it is Labor Day weekend and everyone has plans of their own.

So no "spa party". I'll spend the weekend making costumes, watching "Buzz" and maybe going to DSW to check out their summer clearance. And, honestly, shoe shopping makes everything better.


If you live near a DSW and you need shoes get there this weekend. I got a $70 pair of Franco Sartos (a pair of 3" slingbacks in brown and tan that will look killer with jeans) for $22. Doug took the camera with him or I would show them to you. Sweet shoes! Be very jealous.


Gimme A Ticket For An Aeroplane

>> Friday, September 01, 2006

I want to go somewhere! Somewhere new. Somewhere different. Somewhere amazing.

Unfortunately a trip to the car dealership for an oil change does not fit that description. And that is what I will be doing today.

Doug will be disappearing this long weekend to check out our new Ozark land with my brother. They'll be "roughing it" for 3 days. Brenna & I will remain at home. I'm sure we'll watch "Buzz" a dozen times. In between I'll be working on Renaissance/ Halloween costumes for Brenna & her cousin Koen.

OK, so that is probably all the excitement I can honestly deal with. Baby is moving down- I can tell because my "under the belly" maternity jeans are moving lower so I am constantly tugging them up. Very attractive. Especially when my maternity shirt isn't quite long enough to cover the skin that is now exposed. It's one thing to hang the belly out on purpose. Quite another to look like you have trucker belly.

Five looonnnng weeks... Time is crawling... crawling... crawling...

If I could go to Europe for a couple of weeks (HA! Like they would even let me on an international flight now!) the time would fly.

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