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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.