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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Photo 112 - Snow Steam

Although we only received a little snow, it stayed with us for over two days. On the last snow day, it got so warm that when the snow started to melt it created steam. This is snow steam coming off of the field adjacent to our house.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Photo 111 - Ahh Snuggie

Short Person and her much requested Snuggie.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Photo 110 - Christmas Eve

"Twas the Night Before Christmas..."

Just after Santa realized she fell asleep on the couch and almost slept right through the delivery hour. Oops.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Photo 109 - Polar Express

I got tickets to the Mt. Hood Railroad Polar Express ride this year. I wanted to do it last year, but could not get work off. This year, there was no stopping me!

The Polar Express and Our Lives story is a weird one. The movie had come out, I had purchased it based on all the talk about how wonderful it was, sat down to watch it, and seriously thought it was the most boring movie in the world. Fast forward a year. Short Person was now four-years-old and the movie was on television. Almost out of a sheer... "it's a kid's movie, just put it on and hope she'll watch it" thing, I turned the channel and as they say, the rest is history.

I was apparently on drugs or turned into a vegetable for the first previewing of this movie because the second time I watched it, I thought it was the most magnificent movie I'd ever witnessed. It quickly became Short Person's and my favorite holiday show.

So, newly addicted to the wonder, I wanted the full experience. Being denied that first year was tough, but getting to go the second was awesome. The amount of cars needing to get in and out of the parking lot was massive, but somehow I wound up being one of the first in line. We parked close to the entrance, walked right in, got our tickets, used the restroom, and then boarded the train-- almost as easily as I typed that just now.

When the train started to roll, Short Person's eyes got really big, "I can't believe we're on the Polar Express!" she squealed. Later, when we had gained speed, after the hot chocolate and cookies had been served, the car started to sway a bit. This brought a delighted whisper from Shortie who said, "I think we're on the ice now."

I loved how expressive her face was during each moment of the trip. Below is the photo of her watching and waiting for the Conductor to come and punch our tickets-- and they do strive to do it like the movie. He came up to us and bellowed, "Tickets, please!" Held them up high above her head, punched the tickets a few dozen times, the little circles falling like rain above our heads.

Just when you think that the ride is probably at it's peak for recreation, they roll into the "North Pole". I don't think I'll ever forget the wonder and excitement on Short Person's face, and the buzz of the train, as all the kids started climbing up on seats to look out the windows at the elves. From that point on, there was an excitement level unmatched as each child waited for Santa to board the train and come visit them. She was so nervous. She kept telling me that she didn't know what to say to him.

When I told her that she should just tell him what she wanted for Christmas, she looked at me like I'd lost my mind and reminded me that she'd already told him what she wanted and stated that he was Santa and wouldn't forget something like that. (lol) So, I told her to say "Thank you" to him, since she probably wouldn't be able to do it later. At the end of the visit, Santa gives each child a jingle bell.

We stayed with my Great Aunt in Hood River and the visit with her was wonderful. The next morning when we left, we stopped off at the stable so that Short Person could see the horses. She fed them all a treat or two, petted at least one of them, and then laughed as they were let out into the pasture to run and play.

All in all, it was a wonderful experience. One I can't wait to repeat.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Photo 108 - Handmade Christmas

Ahh, the day of wrapping things up for Christmas is upon us. This year, a major theme or desire of mine was to hand make as many gifts as I could. I'm not sure why I caught that bug, I just know that I had a desire to give something other than the advertised... stuff. Stuff, stuff, stuff, we all have so much stuff. Anyway, this is photographic memory of the things Short Person and I made this year.

Santa Claus Ornament, painted by Short Person for her Aunt Dec

Short Person painted these magnets for her Great Grandma.

Coffee Travel Mug for my mom. I was trying to simulate her Coffee Pot People.

This little box we filled with Hershey's Hugs for LJS's mom. Short Person painted this and I think you can really tell how far her painting has come. She did a really good job on the hearts.

We painted little charms for each of Short Person's cousins and I added the cords and findings.

I was also way into the bottle cap thing this season and had fun making these bracelets. This first one a gift to one of the girls that watches Short Person after school and the second one was was for my niece.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Photo 107 - The Scary Room

The women and little girls of my husband's family (and some friends) went out for a Christmas tea today. The tea was held in a store that celebrates and sells Christmas all year long. The upstairs is full of nothing but ornaments and the downstairs is full of gifts, decorations, and cards, and outside there are wreaths and Christmas trees and the occasional turkey wandering around. Christmas, Christmas, Christmas-- except for one room. In one room, it is stocked to the hilt in Halloween. There are figurines and lights and scary monsters that move and scream. There are Halloween trains and pirates and grave markers. There are napkins and cups and candles. Short Person calls this room, simply, "the scary room". I call it totally cool.

As scary as this room is, it is Shortie's favorite. Although Christmas is by far her favorite holiday, there is no other place that she even wants to look at, she is so content to stay in this room.

Once tea had concluded, the had convinced her cousin and her cousin's friend to check the place out. All three of them were terrified of the place, which is why they are holding hands, and yet it must have been like rubber-necking at a car accident because they were all fascinated by the contents and wouldn't leave.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Photo 106 - Getting Caps On

My poor baby inherited my baby teeth, which consisted of basically hardened chalk. She has a mouth full of cavities, some of them needing caps which is what is happening in this photo. She wanted the picture taken so that she could see what was happening when she got done, so I obliged.

Her Daddy and I are very proud of her. It's never that fun going to the dentist, but she game through like a trooper and braved the nitrous, the injections, and at one point even asked for more. It was when they were putting the metal ring clamp around her gum to hold the plastic in place. She was crying that it hurt, so the dentist took off the clamp and talked to her about the need to be honest because if it really did hurt she'd need another shot. She tearfully explained that it really had hurt and lay back down for another dose of numbing stuff. After that, she was just fine.

She has another appointment of the same variety coming up, but we set it out to March to give her a break.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Photo 105 - Nativity Play

Short Person was tremendously excited this year to be drafted as a Shepherd in the Pre-K Nativity Play. It turns out that this year, the Pre-K class did not have enough students to pull off the play alone, so Kindergarten Enrichment got to help.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Photo 104 - A Gingerbread House

Short Person's Kindergarten Enrichment class got to make individual gingerbread houses today. I'd never seen an individual one and automatically assumed they were making an enormous one when they requested that we bring in things for decoration. These were so small, and looked so easy to make using a milk carton, that I think even I can tackle this project. Next year, that is.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Franklin Visits Again

Once again, I have missed the boat on taking a photo of Short Person with Franklin, although much of what he talked about in his entry I did take photos of-- I just wished I'd have gotten him in at least one.

Dear Class,

This weekend, i went home with Megan. I was going to go home with Aaron, but things were so chaotic when he got picked up, I think he forgot! That's okay though, cause I had a great time at Megan's.

Friday, we got to spend time with Sam and her boyfriend. Megan and I always have fun playing games with them. When Meg's mommy got home, we made homemade pizza and then got ready to watch the Phineas and Ferb Christmas Special. It was so funny!

Then Saturday, Meg and her family went to get their Christmas Tree. I stayed at their house because Megan thought it would be too cold for me. When she got home, she thought there was something with oogley eyes under her bed. Everyone looked, even Meg's dog Heidi, be we couldn't find anything!

Sunday, we went to go get another Christmas Tree! This time Megan took me with her. After her Daddy chopped down the tree, we got hot cocoa and cookies.

When we got back home, we kept very busy wrapping presents, making gingersnap cookies, and putting the lights on the tree. I am so tired, but it was a great weekend!


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Photo 103 - Christmas Tree Hunting

LJS cutting down our Christmas Tree and Short Person supervising to make sure he got it right.

I had really wanted a Douglas Fir Tree this year, but Short Person and LJS over-ruled me. When we got the tree home, however, I didn't mind. It turned out to be perfect.

In a twist of irony though, usually when you go into the fields to chop down your tree, it looks small and then you get it home and it looks huge. Strangely enough, this tree looked small and stayed small. It fit in our house, but it was smaller than what we are used to.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Photo 102 - Pictures with Santa

Annual picture with Santa, taken at the Fire Department. For awhile there, I didn't think we were going to get it. Short Person reverted back to the shy, frightened child for about 10 minutes, but after that, she was fine.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Photo 101 - Short Person's Christmas Program

There are times in life when you are handed poetic moments. Moments that come together with symbiotic finesse and leave you either breathless or grinning at the irony. This night was like that.

It was Short Person's first Christmas program. It took place in the same Church LJS and I were married in. We were married New Year's Eve, so the auditorium was still decorated for Christmas. The year's have taken their toll on the building, and of course it wasn't decorated the same, but it was still a sweet moment.

The only drawback for me was that they did some program called "The Spelling Bee". It was cute, but I felt like it could have fit in during any month. Call me crazy, but I actually like Christmas music. I wish we could have had some.

But the program itself was fun. Short Person's kindergarten class had a big moment during a song called the ABC's of Praise. Each child was given a letter, roughly the size of a poster, and they would rearrange themselves to spell out the different names of Jesus. They were supposed to dance as the moved the letters from one name to another, but only Shortie seemed to know what she was doing-- and what she was doing was having a lot of fun spinning in circles to each location where she was supposed to stand. When we got all done and we were leaving she told me that only she seemed to not be lost about where she was supposed to stand. She sounded very disgruntled with the other members, but not totally undone.

The photo was taken at the very beginning of the program. Short Person is in the first row that is standing, on the far left, in the red shirt.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Visiting With Franklin

Franklin visited us again today. Unfortunately, I forgot to grab a photo.

Dear Class,

Today, I got to visit Megan's home again. Everyone was really excited and talkative when we got there because they were getting ready to watch a big football game! I learned that Megan's mom is a Duck and Megan's dad is a Beaver. Megan said she was a Duck too, but I think it's possible they are a bunch of nuts. I've seen ducks and beavers and they don't look anything like them!

Megan and I watched the game for a little while, but we got bored and decided to play "Go Fish" instead. Then, it was bedtime. Megan has Christmas lights on her bedroom window. I watched them twinkle as I dozed off. It was a pretty lazy day.


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Photo 100 - Prayer Jar

This is the birthday gift I made for my sister Dec. The jar was something I painted at The Painted Plate, and it turned out so much better than I ever expected it to. It turned out so good the owner of the shop was impressed, so I was feeling pretty pleased with myself.

The day I painted it, I had text messaged my sister to find out what her favorite colors were. I had this vision of her using it for jewelry or jelly beans or something. But, the longer I had it with me, thinking about possible innards, the more focused I became on using it as an inspiration jar. I was going to take the clear marbles and print quotes on paper to glue to the back. But even as I looked into this idea, I got a better one.

Glued to the back of each glass marble is a Bible verse. I thought instead that it could be a jar that held a little pick me up when needed. Both as a verse and as an excuse to pick up her Bible and read a minute.

Sometimes, just holding my Bible makes me feel better. Maybe it could be catching.

She loved the gift, and I received a few requests to make one like it for a few of my friends. All in all, a good day.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Photo 99 - Thanksgiving

This year, we had Thanksgiving with my sister. It was such a nice day! Since my step-brother lives only minutes from my sister, LJS and I headed over to say a quick hello and visit. For as short a time as it was- half hour, I think- there was a lot of laughter, which is something I enjoy about being with J and K.

My Dad was at my sisters, along with Little Bit (who isn't so little anymore). The photo is of the adult table, with Short Person's Albuquerque Turkey as the centerpiece. After dinner, we perused the ads for Black Friday and I got geared up to both stay up until midnight for Toys R Us' online sales, and then to bounce back up again at 3:30am to go shopping.

Yes, I am insane. But after such a lovely day, it could only get better.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Photo 98 - Christmas Organizer

Years ago, I made a Christmas Organizer. It was a full 8-1/2x11-inch notebook size and, in my opinion, too difficult to manage. I liked the idea and had spent hours (days, really) creating them. But, they were so big! You couldn't take them shopping with you without hassle. Plus, the times have changed a lot since that day. We have Internet and email and e-cards, websites we visit and shop from, so the Organizer pages were in massive need of updating.

My mom created a line of Coffee Pot People, essentially coffee pots with personalities and biographies. Anyway, they are really cute and I thought I could use them as the design for the updated organizer since most people can't survive the holidays and those that do just have way too much energy for their own good :)

This is the finished product. Eventually, they will be sold and I'll try to come back and put links in here just in case you stumble upon the page and want to check them out.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Photo 97 - Short Person's Special Award

Short Person had Chapel at school this morning, and during Chapel she was one of five kids given a special award for Sensitivity. LJS and I are very proud of her. She had no idea she was going to receive it.

Today also marked the first day with her new haircut. We all went to get trims and she told Jenn while sitting in the chair that she wanted it short because she'd been brushing her teeth and getting toothpaste in her hair.

The first time we ever cut her hair this short, she was on the cusp of turning four. She loved the haircut, and loves it still. A princess who wants short hair-- seems kind of ironic to me.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

To Be, Or Not To Be, ARRESTED!

Today, my phone rang, and on the other end of the line, was a nice man who informed me that I had been "charged" with having a good heart, and that on December 15, 2009, I would be placed under arrest. He went on to say that escorts would arrive to take me to the Newberg-Springbrook Fire Department, where I could be placed under arrest, dressed in prison stripes, be fed a wonderful meal, and held until I was bailed out of jail. The "joke" arrest is to raise funds for Muscular Dystrophy. Instantly, I froze.

I've never been good at inspiring people. It's just not my strong suit. So, I panicked a bit at the idea of having to raise money to bail myself out of jail-- before 2:30pm, because I have to pick Short Person up from school! But, I want to do it. If for no other reason, that I strongly feel as though this qualifies as one of those moments where you can choose to live life and take the risk, or fade into the shadows from fear. And hey, let's face it, there's that small little photo opportunity that would be SO COOL. Maybe not of me, because... well... but of the "atmosphere". The event.

But, there's still that nagging feeling in the back of my mind. Would I be bailed out? Or, would I be the last one remaining at the end of the day? Considering that the phone call to my husband, who has no idea why I'm being arrested, as already told me that they can keep me!!!

I severely lack information. I have no idea how much money I need to raise. So here I sit, contemplating something I've never thought about-- well, except when really mad, lol-- to be, or not to be, arrested.

If you are reading this, please let me know if you'd be willing to bail me out of jail. I've been asking the people that filter into my office if they'd have $5 or $10 to contribute.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Photo 96 - Veteran's Day

Today is Veteran's Day and to celebrate the day off, I invited my sister, Dec, and my good friend, Chris, over. We had planned a movie marathon that started with watching Twilight, followed by Transformers, followed by Transformers II.

It was a wonderfully relaxing day of drinking coffee, talking, watching the movies, and sorting Barbie paraphernalia. In this photo Chris' son and Short Person are "helping" my sister.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Photo 95 - Birthday Parties and Franklin

This was taken at Short Person's cousin's birthday party. We had Franklin that whole weekend, which was a busy one. Again, I am regretting not having written down his visit with us, but hope to get to it soon.

We had a wonderful meal, which was prepared by my niece's mother-in-law. There was quiche and breads and eggs and bacon, but by far the highlight of the brunch was overnight French Toast that literally melted when it hit your tongue. YUMMY!


Updated January 24, 2010

I got Franklin's journal, since we have him again this weekend. Here's the entry I mentioned above.

Dear Class,

This weekend, I got to go to Megan's house. It was a long weekend and we did a lot of stuff. I got to visit both of her Grandma's, go to two birthday parties, and visit Megan's mommy's work.

The first day, I was at Megan's Daddy's mom's house. Her name is Grandma Linda. Megan and Grandma Linda went to go get their hair done so I stayed home with Megan's Grandpa Mike. We got to watch sports! I thought that was terrific since getting hair done is kinda girlie.

On Friday, Megan's Nana came and took us to Megan's G-Ma's house. We played and played and ate cookies and played some more, but the funnest part was when we left. Megan's G-Ma stood on the porch while we honked the horn and waved and yelled all the way down the street, until we couldn't see G'Ma anymore.

The next day, Saturday, we mostly rested. I was tired and Megan's mommy said we had a really busy Sunday. I found out it was going to be a noisy Sunday too! We had two birthday parties to go to.

The first party was Olivia's. She was 2-years-old, and she cried almost the whole time! My ears hurt from it. Next was Trinity's party. It was full of screaming kids too, but I was one of them. I got to play on the jungle gym, which was a blast!

Monday, Megan had to go back to school and I got to go to Megan's mom's work. That was bor-ing. I was glad when we got to pick up Megan!

It was a great weekend, but I'm excited to see who I get to go home with next!


Friday, November 6, 2009

Photo 94 - Overwhelmingly Deoderant

LJS needed deodorant. His order to me? Just get me the plain variety. Something normal.

Well, if you've been shopping for deodorant lately, you know that normal and plain can be very hard to detect in a see of anti-smelly hardware. I had to snap a photo and text message it to him so he could choose his own. I was simply too undone by the wall.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Photo 93 - McDonald's Filet O' Fish

If there is any one food that I cannot resist, it is a McDonald's Fillet O' Fish sandwich. I don't know why, but there's just something about that flaky fish smothered with tarter sauce on a bun that just makes my mouth water thinking about it. Ever since I was a Junior in High School and earned the right to go off campus for lunch, ironically the same year the McDonald's was built in our town, they have been my food of choice. Well, that's stretching it a bit. I do order other things. I just regret it afterward.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Photo 92 - Halloween Pumpkin Princess

Short Person and LJS before leaving for trick-or-treating. Shortie was a pumpkin fairy.

We were meeting a friend of mine to go to the annual church carnival at the Christian Church, but before that I was going to take her trick-or-treating around a couple neighborhoods. It is so much fun to watch her face as we approach decorated house after decorated house. She's so excited and happy to look at and see everything. She loves complimenting people on their houses and costumes when they open the door to give her a treat.

It's sad to me how few people answer their door anymore. On one block, there were only three houses with their porch lights on. It makes me wonder if this tradition is dying a slow death brought on by paranoia of poisoned candy and the convenience of going to a downtown business district for a few tootsie rolls. Personally, I love going door-to-door. We get lots of variety and this year even a full size candy bar!

Once we finished the two neighborhoods, we left to go to the Church. Each year, they put on a carnival, complete with bouncy houses, games, and more trick-or-treating through about 50 classrooms. They give free pictures too and a free dinner of hot dogs, chips, and drink. This was our second year attending and it was fun, but we go so that we can see Kim, our friend, and her kids.

On the way there, we drove by the house that had the Mystery Machine van. They'd been decorating for weeks and Short Person really wanted to see if the gang was there-- or if they were on a case. When we drove by the house, things were in full swing. There were cars and people EVERYWHERE! I think that there were more people at this one house than there were in both neighborhoods we had just visited combine.

I pulled over, we got out of the car, and were greeted with a Belva look-a-like who informed us that Scooby had to take a small break, but would be back soon. Since we were running late to meet Kim, I told Shortie that we needed to come back later, but she didn't mind. Her feelings were summed up with her wide-eyed look and the exclamation that she "knew they were real!"

We did swing by on our way back from the Church and Scooby was there. Unfortunately, Short Person was too afraid to get her picture taken with him. I did get a photo of me holding her, her face buried in my shoulder, with Scooby and the Mystery Van behind us. Sadly, it truly is an awful photo, so it wasn't the one I chose to post. But, it will make it into the scrapbook someday, there for the memory, but obscured somehow by embellishments and journaling!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Photo 91 - Build-a-Bear

I had a day off and Short Person had a gift certificate from Build-a-Bear left over from her birthday. She'd never been and I wanted to surprise her with a fun day, so I loaded her into the car and off we went. First, however, we needed to stop and drop something off at one of the buildings where I work.

While I was there, my friend came over to talk to me and I told him over the car, while also asking Short Person to cover her ears, where I was taking her, and then I climbed into the driver's seat. In the baby mirror I've had suctioned to the front window forever, I see Shortie in the back seat grinning ear to ear. "I know where you're taking me." She said. "Oh yeah?" I replied. A delighted squeal came erupted from directly behind me, "BUILD-A-BEAR!!"

She chose a rainbow colored teddy bear and named her Bella. The picture is of Bella getting her stuffing, sound, and heart put in.

Afterward, we stopped at Annie's Pretzels for a snack. Cinnamon and Sugar pretzels for her and a cheese pretzel for me.

I love days like this, where savoring time with Short Person is all that needs to be done and responsibility can wait.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Photo 90 - Grasshopper's Bad Day

This poor little grasshopper- well, maybe not so little- somehow found his way in between the glass of both sliding doors. Closing the one side did nothing but trap him in a smaller and smaller space, and after much examination, Short Person and I could not even figure out how he got in there. We were too scared of the hoppy thing to do much in the way of research anyway. lol

So... it was LJS to the rescue! We made him make sure that he could rescue the grasshopper and set him free to live out the rest of his days hopping around our yard. I'm way not into bug cruelty by keeping him trapped.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Photo 89 - An Attempt at Lumpia

My first attempt at making Lumpia. It went okay, but was nowhere like I remembered it. There are some memories you simply can not recreate. Me trying to cook something from my past so did not work. This is pre-lumpia wrapper, which we actually chose not to do. I don't think the wrapper would have made it taste anywhere near my memory either, so it's all good.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Photo 88 - A Comfortable Position

I love, love, love it when Short Person watches television like this. On my tummy, head on my hands, was my favorite position-- right up until I got old and realized that it might have been my favorite position, but it wasn't my body's.

She's watching "Casper meets Wendy".

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Photo 87 - Franklin Visits Again

Franklin visited us again yesterday. Short Person decided he needed to brush his teeth before school too. I wish I had remembered to write down what we did this time, but I forgot. Maybe the next time he comes home with us, I'll be able to spend some time typing up what I wrote.


Updated January 24, 2010
We got Franklin again this weekend, so I am taking the time to write his visit with us for the above day.

Dear Class,

Today, I got to visit Megan's house again. Megan was really excited because someone named Sam came over to watch her. Sam is a girl. Megan and I played and watched a movie. When Megan's mom came home, we ate dinner of Spaghetti O's and Meatballs. After dinner, Meg took me into her room and we started going through all her things looking for something to share for "A" day.

I'm not sure what happened after that, but I think Megan started having a bad night. Things got really loud for a minute, but Megan's mom decided we needed to go for a walk outside to cool off and collect our thoughts. It was cold! so I know cooling off worked. When we got back to Megan's house, there was some talking about how tired everyone was, so we all went to bed early. Megan's mommy told us to dream about our field trip and the big pumpkins we were going to get. I'm so excited for tomorrow.


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Photo 86 - A Foot Colored Black

I don't know why. I have no reason, no rhyme, nothing. Short Person thought I needed my foot colored black. Praise the Lord for Crayola Washable Markers. And yeah, I'm ignoring the fact that I said yes to her when she asked me if I could. Hey, it's definitely one way of entertaining a child. Not saying it's the right way, just that it's a way.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Photo 85 - A Simple Short Person Photo

A simple photo of my little girl. She was sitting in front of me and we were messing around with the camera.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Photo 84 - Relatives Visit the Painted Plate

Introducing Mike and my niece and grand-nieces to The Painted Plate. This little one doesn't like to get her hands dirty, so the hand-print was a hard won one.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Photo 83 - Nails with Kim

I've created a monster. Short Person has been getting her nails done nearly since birth. I have a feeling that, if it were up to her, manicures will be an on-going tradition.

After my nails were done, Kim and Meg chased eachother around blowing into eachother's faces. The giggles were wonderful to hear, from both of them.

Untold Stories - The Contemplation of Life

I looked at the EPT. I looked at the directions. I looked at the lines on the stick, holding them under the light to be sure they didn't fade. I walked away for a couple minutes and came back to look at it. They were still there. It was definitely reading positive. Holy cow. I immediately burst into tears, a recurrence that would happen all to often over the next nine months, and picked up the phone to call Kim.

I don't remember much of the conversation, but I remember somewhere in there the worlds "I'm pregnant" and "Thank you" came out. I remember telling her that I needed to go shopping for a wedding present for some friends of ours. I remember hanging up. I grabbed my keys and drove the 45 minutes to JC Penney where our friends were registered and tried to think about the best way to tell Mike.

I was in shock. I don't remember daydreaming about anything on the way there. I don't remember wondering anything on the way there. I just remember that one minute I was in the car driving and the next, I was at the store. I wanted to go to the baby section and look around, but practicality held out and I went to purchase the wedding gift first-- then, I went to the baby section.

Little booties and socks, little hats and coats, cribs and toys and blankets and swings and... everything we'd soon be needing for a baby. They had little newborn outfits too, and suddenly I knew how I would tell Mike I was pregnant.

They had a little blue one with a cute puppy dog on the breast of the outfit. It came with a little hat and booties. I picked it off the shelf thinking that it had to be the cutest thing I'd ever seen. I took it to the counter and asked that they put it into a box. A plain white box with plain white tissue paper. There were some odd looks from the sales women, and a few moments of confusion, but finally they understood what I was looking for and I left the store with a plain white shirt box. The kind you'd get if you were purchasing some lingerie.

I took the box home and set it on the table, along with the wedding gift, went and grabbed the EPT and put it in the box, on top of the outfit. When Mike pulled the lid off of the box, the first thing he'd see was the test. Then, I sat down on the couch and waited for him to come home, anticipating his reaction, not knowing what it would be, but hoping for the best.

Mike's usual routine of coming home was to enter the house through the garage. It didn't matter if he was coming home from work or from fishing. He'd dump his things in the table, look through the mail, head to the bedroom for his slippers, head to the bathroom to wash his face, and then return to the kitchen, pausing to hear about my day in whatever room I was in. There was no change this day. I forced myself to sit on the couch and let it happen just like it always did, telling him about my day and then directing him to the things on the table. I let him know that the non-descript white box on the table was something for him.

I watched as he opened it, waiting for that reaction, the excitement. But, there was nothing. A curious glance and a statement, "I don't think it's going to fit, Dear."

"What do you mean?" I asked bewildered. Was he already thinking the baby would be huge? Did he think I was going to try to ingest it and put it on the baby via... esophagus?

"Well, it's a little small."


"What is it?"

I think maybe I was having an out of body experience, as confused as I was by the conversation. I couldn't read him. Was he joking? Or, was he suddenly blind? Surely he knew what it was, but I still put it out there.

"It's a baby's outfit." I paused, then asked, "Didn't you see what was on top?"

I watched as he opened the box once more and pulled out the pink and white pregnancy stick.

"Okay... so what is this?"

I was getting a little worried. This definitely wasn't what I'd had in mind when I put everything in the box. I know I wasn't expecting him to jump up and down and scream, but I figured he'd at least know what he was looking at. "It's a pregnancy test."

"Oh. What does it say?"

I eyed him skeptically, thinking that the baby clothes surely had to have answered that one. Was he joking now? Wouldn't the little blue outfit have been enough indication that we were having a baby? "It's positive." I replied.

"Oh. Well..." Mike sat down in the dining room chair with a thud. "Well... did you go to the Doctor?"

I responded that I hadn't, but would schedule an appointment when the weekend was over.

Looking back, I can remember that Mike seemed to be in a bit of shock, but at the time I was dealing with amazement of my own and it didn't register as much. I just remember that he disappeared into the garage. I remember thinking that he was going in there to clean up from fishing, but after a half hour of not hearing much moving around, I decided to check on him. He was sitting on a stool nursing a beer. Just sitting there. I asked if he was okay, and he said yes. I asked if he was excited, he said he would be more excited once the Doctor confirmed the pregnancy. I said okay. I shut the door.

An hour later, I repeated this. And an hour after that, I repeated it again.

On Monday, I scheduled an appointment with Dr. Christie and a blood test confirmed I was knocked up. I called Mike and his reaction was a lot less stunned the second time around.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Photo 82 - The Shoes Win

I've talked many times about how much I hate shoe shopping. I hate shoe shopping so much that I will, literally, wear my shoes until serious harm comes to my feet. In the case of these shoes, during the winter or spring, when it rained, my feet would get soaking wet. I finally caved and replaced them with new shoes.

Seeing this probably makes you seriously question my love of "Sex and the City", huh? Well, I always did identify better with Samantha than Carrie. Samantha would probably rather skip the shoes altogether.

Untold Stories - "We're Pregnant"

First, if you've caught only the title and are coming over here to congratulate us on a second addition to our family, I am going to disappoint you. There is no bun in the oven, we are not on stork watch, or in the family way, we are not expecting, or in a fix. No, we are not currently pregnant.

One of the online blogs I read is written by a woman named Grace, who started a blog for their expected child, now named Ian. I've been reading her blog for about six months now, following along as they chose baby names, testing a different one each week, as she struggled with bodily changes, eventually having to give up her love of running toward the end of term, and now with her baby's progress toward walking and crawling toddler. Anyway, reading her blog made me start remembering those days in the beginning with Short Person and I realized that I didn't have any of those stories on my blog. Since I view this more as my journal than fodder for the world review, it's important to me to put it here. Especially for Meg, who one day when she's full grown and through the angst-ridden teenage years, I hope, will still like herself and me enough to read it.

Considering the naked booty picture I just posted at Melody 365, that last is highly questionable.

It was August. I remember sitting in the car, counting days and months over and over again, going back to a recent doctor appointment in June, where I was certain they'd have noticed if there was a baby in there, forward, filling in dates. I sat in the car, looking at the day planner, looking at the dates, thinking about all the other pregnancy tests I'd purchased over the last seven years of fruitless attempts. Hundreds of dollars and dozens of heartbreaks at getting the same result. I lay the calendar aside, and went in to my nail appointment, looking forward to my hour of pseudo-counseling from my manicurist and friend, Kim.

As I sat there, having my nails filed, sculpted, and painted, I recounted the "symptoms". I'd been nauseous for a week and felt like a bloated elephant. I'd gained 10 pounds in two days and my mid-section felt like I'd swallowed enough water to flood the Willamette River. My breasts hurt so much that at my aerobics class, I had to stop after 5 minutes and went into the bathroom to cry and soak them in cold water, hoping for relief. It had been two months since my last period, but I was still unwilling to buy a pregnancy test. I just couldn't bear the heartache again at having it say the same old thing. She argued with me and when I left, I stopped by the drugstore to pick up an EPT.

I felt a lot of emotions walking the aisles of the store looking for the small shelf of home pregnancy tests. Trepidation about what I might feel if it was negative. Trepidation about what I might feel if it were positive. There were a lot of things also going through my head. Seven years of trying and failing to get pregnant. My doctor visit when I was 20, when I was told by the specialist I'd been seeing that if I wasn't pregnant by 22, it was probably not going to happen. At the time that diagnosis was rendered, I wasn't engaged or married, so things weren't looking good already. The year of fertility drugs, which we eventually stopped due to my lack of normal body function- I didn't ovulate, a necessary process for getting pregnant. The mound of adoption brochures we'd gone through. All of it was jumbled around, tangible and overwhelming.

I tried to push it all aside and truck on, doing my best to bury it all behind a facade of "just another day". But, there was that seed, already planted, of hope. It kept poking through not letting me rest. It had begun to grow at my first diabetic consultation when I was told about a condition that diabetics get where the ovaries are basically "encrusted" with sugar, preventing ovulation-- sort of like a candy-coated peanut. The nurse had said that once it was under control, I'd see my body fix itself and many diabetics got pregnant soon after. Hope. It made my stomach flutter like a butterfly's.

I remembered hearing that prognosis and laughing about all the money we'd wasted on condoms and birth control pills early on. If only I had known, I could have saved all that money and gone to Europe or something. I could trace the diabetic symptoms back as far as my junior year in high school. That's a lot of cash I could have had for other things.

I purchased the test and took it home, immediately going in to take it. I just wanted to get it over with and done. Move past the heartbreak, if at all possible, and start getting mad about the $15.00 wasted. The test said you needed to wait three minutes for results. They appeared in 3 seconds.

I was pregnant.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Photo 81 - A Day With Franklin

One of the things they teach in Short Person's kindergarten class is journaling. As part of this lesson, Franklin the Turtle goes home with a student each evening and the child (technically, the parent) must then write in Franklin's journal what happened during his visit. Yesterday, was Shortie's turn. Below, is the entry from our home. Meg will have another turn in approximately eight days.

Dear Class,
Yesterday, I got to go home with Megan. First, we had kindergarten enrichment class where we got to sing songs and have lots of fun. Then, her daddy surprised Meg by picking her up, and I learned that lots of fun things happen with Megan's daddy. Right away, when we got to her house, we got really busy. We rode a tractor lawnmower to mow the lawn; we went on two bike rides; we played in the boat; and, we zoomed through the house on her scooter, over and over again. I got to ride in the basket, which was a blast! When Megan's mommy got home from work, Megan was tossing me high in the air and catching me. She was giggling and I was dizzy. We ate dinner right after that. The pancakes and bacon smelled so good my tummy growled, which made everyone laugh. Then, it was cuddly time on the couch with Megan's mommy. I was so tired I fell right to sleep. Megan let me sleep in the bed with her. In the morning, Megan's mommy took a picture of Megan and me for her journal. I smiled really big. I can't wait to visit again, but first... I wonder who I get to visit today! ~Franklin

Monday, October 5, 2009

Photo 80 - Sink of Suds

Short Person helped clean the house. As she was cleaning the sink, she kept stating that we'd have the "cleanest sink on the planet". Judging from the amount of soap she used, I'd guess she was right.

The Top 5 at 5 on the 5th

"Hello and Welcome to another cold and cloudy Oregon Morning with Short Person's family. We have a few highlights to get through before moving on to our regular newscasts, so without delay, here are the top five at five, on the fifth.

One. Short Person informed her family a few weeks ago that she was going to live in her house forever. The home, located on a quiet dead end street, has been her place of residence since birth and she feels quite attached to it. When her dad asked her if she wasn't going to grow up and get married and have children, Short Person responded that she was going to do these things, so mommy and daddy would have to move out.

Two. Soon after Short Person's parents were informed that they would need to vacate the premise once she had grown up, she came home and informed her mom that she was 'in love' with a boy named Aaron. When questioned what, exactly, this meant, Short Person replied that it mostly meant 'it's when you find a boy handsome and you hold hands a lot'. Short Person's mother breathed a sign of relief and told Shortie that she was happy to hear that she wouldn't need to be moving out so soon, to which Shortie laughed and said, 'No Mom, it's not like we're getting married or anything!'

Three. On September 26, Short Person's mother had a birthday. Short Person woke her mom up at the early hour of 6:00am, excited like it was Christmas, and proceeded to start listing the items that she had gotten her mother. When Shortie's dad yelled from the bedroom not to tell her, Shortie replied, 'Don't worry, Dad, I'm not telling her what color the flowers are, or what's on the mug, or what's in the snowglobe! So, it will be just fine.'

Short Person's mom and dad agreed emphatically that she would probably not be working for the C.I.A. any time soon.

Four. Mommy and Daddy were riding with Short Person in the blue truck, talking about Short Person's reaction to the image of her father, in her birth photos, without his usual beard. Mommy commented about how distressed and upset Short Person was at the idea of her dad without his facial hair and told LJS that Shortie really didn't like the look of him without it. Short Person, overhearing this conversation, piped up from the back seat and said, 'I don't like it, and if you ever shave it off again, I. Am. Moving. Out!!' Mommy and Daddy were unable to comment due to their joint uproarious laughter echoing throughout the cab.

When asked later where Short Person planned to move to, she replied, 'Aunt December's!'

Five. Short Person set aside her disgust at having the 'late mommy' this morning after finding that her daddy had forgotten to make her lunch. Although it caused everything to run 10 minutes behind schedule, she stated that she understood and that daddy was going to be in 'big trouble'. True to her word, when daddy went to pick her up from school, Short Person looked at him and in a dire voice said, 'Daddy, we need to have a talk' and then started in with her favorite new word, apparently. 'Apparently, this morning, you forgot to make my lunch. Apparently, I am going to have to do it myself, or apparently, mommy might need to do it from now on'.

When questioned about this new word, her mother responded, 'Apparently, I say that word a little too much.'

That concludes our top five at five on the fifth. Stay tuned for more to follow, just after these words from our sponsors..."

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Photo 79 - A Nekked Forrest Booty

There were a great many photos I could have uploaded today from our trip, out to Jim's, to fish the lake. But, none would speak better than this one. Apparently, for a diva such as Short Person, walking without pants is a preferable alternative to putting the pants back on that got wet. A result of peeing behind a tree.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Photo 78 - Not My Daughter

I always thought that this moment would not come. "Not my daughter", I'd think. But, it happened. We have met the day where personal expression did not happen in meticulously chosen outfits that were impeccable-- not by my choosing, but hers. She always, always dresses herself with utmost care, everything matching to the extreme. Hair in a headband, makeup, jewelry. Until today.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Photo 77 - Forbidden Scents

Over the last several weeks, we've been painting and replacing carpet. It was a much needed upgrade to a worn down building, but the smell has been atrocious. The carpet glue had been giving me migraines off and on for a few weeks, so when we hit the third and final stage of replacement, I was ready to do anything to keep the smell at bay.

Candles would have been a wonderful way to do this, but we aren't allowed, obviously, to have fire in a public building. While grocery shopping the other day, I came across a candle warmer and thought, "Hey, I have an idea!" Having had a bad experience with glass getting too hot a few years ago, jars placed on heat give me the weebie jeebies, but I knew I wanted to recreate the effect. I solved this by purchasing oven-safe ramekins.

About a week ago, I had ordered some holiday scented aroma melts from Partylite and thought that melting them down would be a nice scent for the office, but since the carpet had just been replaced, I couldn't wait for them to come in. I purchased three candles instead-- Pumpkin Pie, Apple Cider, and Orange Spice-- melted them down and removed the wick. For a week, I've been rotating the scents and listened to the compliments on how good the office smelled. All that ended today.

Today was an aggravating day at work, anyway. Not only was I starting the day upset because I had to work on a day I'd taken off, but the Mayor's wife came in before lunch with both barrels firing and threatening lawsuits. She walked through the door, was greeted by the receptionist, and then started in on how she had a problem with the scents and was going to file an ADA complaint, then proceeded to talk about how she was an expert in EPA standards and knew that I was trying to kill the entire office by putting scent in the building. I am not kidding!

Dang. I was so proud of myself for solving the flammable problem too. As it turns out, there is a movement by the EPA to remove scent from the workplace. People have been fired because of the way they smell!!

As I write this I wonder, if she can sue us for making the place smell good, can I sue for the three weeks of headaches? *sigh*

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Photo 76 - Writer's Block

No matter how many books I acquire these days on writing, blogging, and journaling, somehow the words aren't coming. I've never been this scared in my life about writer's block because somehow, this time, it's different. I am missing the passion to write. The soul-grabbing, psycho-inducing, searing need to put words onto paper.

I know a lot of it is sheer exhaustion of having no time to myself. I know a lot of it is a lack of time to think and create. But mostly, I miss my muse. SO, so much.