Friday, August 29, 2008


So here are a few things for today:

(1) Wiggly had his two month shots today. Talk about a stab in mommy's heart. I hated every minute of it. I've never heard him cry like that. He's been sleepy and fussy ever since. Poor kid. As of today my ginormous child weighs 13 pounds, 12 ounces and is 24 inches long. The doctor told me to keep doing what I'm doing. Apparently momma milk is magic.

(2) I just rambled on yesterday about my undying love for McCain. I just watched Obama's speech from last night and I'm thoroughly amazed. He is an incredible orator. I was brought to tears at certain points: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the rights of homosexuals. I was proud of him for not sinking to the points he could have against John McCain and instead talked about their commonalities. He really talked about the issues with such passion and charisma. No wonder this man has won the hearts of many. I feel as though this is finally an election where it's not "the lesser of two evils" to choose from. I would be proud to stand behind either of these men as my president...I would just much rather one over the other. (insert evil grin)

(3) So Sarah Palin. I have to find out more about her. What I, limitedly know at this moment: she's too conservative for me. We shall see. I'm happy to see a woman on the ticket who has the conviction that she does. From what I can tell, she really lives what she believes. Interesting. Time for research...when I get the chance.

(4) Hurricane season is really putting a damper on my life. Last year a Hurricane in Aruba sidelined our honeymoon plans, although it allowed us to glorious days in Puerto Rico, which we loved. This year, lovely Hurricane Gustav is preparing to ruin my plans for my first anniversary. Darn storms. I hope what they are predicting doesn't happen. Our country can't handle another "Katrina" right now.

(5) I love catching up with really old friends. Time goes so quickly.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Election Year

So, guess what. It's an election year. If you don't know that I'd like to know what sand your head has been in. I love this time. Every four years, there is a chance for change, for devotion to a candidate. For opinions. I look forward to it.

I am a registered Republican. I probably always will be. I am, however, not the typical Republican. I like to say that I would prefer to vote for the candidate than the party. I did, in fact, vote for Democrat in the last gubernatorial election in my home state.

I *love* John McCain. I love his politics. I love what he stands for. I love his history. I love him. I've been waiting (impatiently) for eight years for this man to run for president again and I finally have my chance. We agree on almost everything. I actually refer to myself as a "McCain Republican" and not a "Bush Republican." My lovely Democrat friends often fail to see the difference, but a liberal Republican will always see the difference. I believe in saving money and using it in the proper way. I work in the public service field and I recognize the need for a helping hand but not a hand out. I am anti-abortion as well as anti-capital punishment. I don't believe in stem cell research (at least the stem cells harvested from unborn fetuses, those found in other ways I'm completely behind). I believe in civil unions for all couples who are, of course, adults. I believe in education vouchers and protecting our environment. I believe in a strong military but not in being blind to a global world. I believe in gun control but I do not think guns kill people, rather the people behind them. I believe in tax breaks in some capacity for everyone. The jury is still out on my opinion on off shore drilling. I believe we have untapped resources for fuel and energy. I believe in national health care or just easier access to health care in general.

Okay. I'm stopping. I could go on for a very, very, very...long time.

My point in all of this is, I love to hear the opinions of others. I have a very dear friend who lives on the WEST Coast (sorry E) and she and I are on opposing sides of the fence politically. However, we compliment each other on having opinions and real understandings of what we believe in. I love talking politics with her. She's awesome.

My coworker, drives me crazy. She does not give background on her opinions about Barack Obama and I have no idea why she supports him so fervently. She refuses to discuss our differing opinions but would rather just tell me I'm wrong. This afternoon, I mentioned I was listening to the news about Bill Clinton's speech from last night in support of Obama. This was mainly in reference to B. Clinton's opposition to Barack Obama when he won the primaries. I thought the speech (or what I know of it) was nice. All she said was, "where do you get your news, Fox News?" (in a more than rather snide tone). My response? "No, NPR." Why is it impossible to see that someone who has differing opinions can still watch/listen to the news and have respect for what is being said. Am I not allowed to be informed on the whole campaign? Both sides? She went on to make a point to invite other coworkers to her Barack Party but stated, "I don't want to invite Ms. McCain" (meaning me). Annoying. Juvenile.

Don't refuse to give me the information because you don't want to hear what I have to say. I want to know about it.

Too often, I've had Democrats ruin it for me. They insist on just force feeding me their opinion. I just end up feeling sick.

We need more healthy debates. Too many people either sit quietly and are apathetic to the democratic process or are so loud about their opinions no one else can be heard. We need to talk. Get it out. Explain our points of view. Our country and world would be in a much better place.

(ps. I think I'm going to buy Wiggly a McCain onesie. hehe.)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Fur Babies

I've talked quite a bit about my husband and my son, but I haven't really talked about my first babies: my dogs.

We rescued Ruby in July 2006, when she was approximately six months old. She is a hound mix of some sort and is the most timid dog I've ever met. She is amazingly sweet and affectionate, but she never licks your face. She likes to curl up into a tight ball and sleep in a corner pressed up against something. She commandeered the oversized chair in our family room long ago and will look at you beseechingly if you are sitting in it. She loves it when my husband does not sleep in bed with me, because it means she can sleep on his side. She is *my* dog to the core. She will follow me from room to room and will not rest until I do. Poor thing wears herself out on the days I'm cleaning house. She can be super annoying and destructive, but gosh darn it, I love that dog. And I know, she loves me more than anything in the world.

I bought Rosie for Bubby's birthday last year. She is a pure bred Siberian Husky and she was 13 weeks old at the time (her birthday is 7.7.07!). I surprised Bubby and told him we had to go for a 3.5 hour drive to get his present. He loved her from the moment he saw her. She is incredibly happy and sweet. She is a loving dog but not especially cuddly. She will sit on you for a little while but then she gets antsy. She isn't as hyper as we anticipated but has crazy bursts of energy. I wish I could bottle it up and use it on days when I'm really exhausted. Her two favorite places in the house are next to the sofa or behind my feet in the kitchen. She's the best vacuum cleaner you could ask for, because she'll eat anything, including flour from my baking mishaps. Her favorite snacks are carrots and apples. And, anything Ruby is eating.

Our dogs love us and eachother to pieces. People called us crazy for getting a second dog, but it was the best choice for Ruby. Ruby is a much happier and less anxious dog with Rosie around. We have had much less damage done to our home (besides the carpet) since we brought home our second furry love. They are expensive and pains at times, but I wouldn't give them up for the world. There's nothing quite like coming home to two smiling dogs with wagging tails who have been waiting patiently all day to see your face. Makes a crappy day so much better.

The reason I post all of this, is because Rosie has been quite sick for the last few days. She has a gastrointestinal disease and a parasite. Poor baby. She spent two days at the animal hospital and Bubby has been beside himself. He's gone to visit her a couple of times and is so happy she comes home today. Sweet girl, I'm so glad she's better. I can't really imagine life without her. The quiet was a little strange.

Now ask me what I think tonight when they're running around chewing on eachother!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Beijing 2008

Have you been as obsessed with the Olympics as we have? I mean seriously, I think some competition or another was playing on our televisions around the clock for the last two weeks. I've loved every minute of it. I've felt a surge of pride and patriotism for this lovely country I call home: the USA. Every time we won a medal and I watched the flag raised, I felt incredible pride for our country and for each individual athlete who poured their heart and soul into those games. They are amazing people, doing things I only wish I could do with my body. I've found some love for sports I would have never really paid attention to, most notably swimming (hooray for Phelps) and beach volleyball (May-Treanor and Walsh are my heroes). I've always loved gymnastics and was rooting for Shawn Johnson and Nastia Liukin the whole way. It was awesome and I'm sad it's over.

Something else these games brought into my worldview has been China, in and of itself. China is beautiful, seriously. I've loved all of the shots of the Great Wall and temples. I've enjoyed the special op ed pieces on different events, people and places in China. It's amazing how little I knew about China. I've known some information on China but I'm ceased to be amazed by what an interesting culture, language and people it possesses. Chinese is not just one language but a combination of over a dozen dialects. More than a fifth of the world's population speaks Chinese in some form. Most of the games were played in Beijing, and others in other cities, but I found it odd that the equestrian events were in Hong Kong. One reporter on MSNBC equated the difference between Beijing and Hong Kong as the same as he distance between Chicago and Miami. Sometimes I forget how big China really is.

In these games, China won an astonishing 51 gold medals. The USA trailed them with 36. I think this is incredible in that China has an estimated 1.3 billion people and the US only has 300 million. That's a huge difference. It's like Ohio State University playing John F. Kennedy High School for a football championship. Yet the USA had 110 total medals and China only 100.

The topic I've known the most about in regards to China has been the one of human rights issues. I've always been fascinated by the on-goings amongst the people and government of China. The one child law was instituted in China in 1979. This law would not seem especially difficult for most Americans, since our average birth rate is less than 2 children per family right now. In China, however, this has caused a loss of multiple generations of children (or at least portions there in). China is a patriarchal society who rely on the birth of boys to continue one's family. The older generations depend on their sons and grandsons to care for them in their old age. Daughters, on the other hand, are not looked upon favorably because they leave their own birth families and become members of their husbands'. Shortly after Wiggly's birth, I saw a documentary entitled "China's Stolen Children," which explains how the one child law has impacted families, particularly the epidemic of kidnapped children. Did you know that a child born out of wedlock is not considered a person in China? Or that you can be forced to have an abortion? Ugh, it makes me sick to my stomach. I understand the need to control the population but in this society, it has done more harm than good. There are now three boys for every girl, families will die out without a woman to continue the family line.

Approximately 40 million baby girls have been electively or forcibly aborted in China since 1979. It makes me wonder what those girls, women could have been or become. Watching the athletes compete, made me wonder what other girls could have been there to make their country proud. Could they have been the greatest diver, swimmer, table tennis player, gymnast? It makes me sad to think about what might have been. Simply because boys are more valued than girls, we'll never know.

I also thought about some of the athletes as well, especially the particularly young ones. Most have been plucked out of their families at very young ages and forced to train in a particular sport by their government (this has also been a practice in many Soviet nations as well). I wonder about those who failed to obtain the glory at these games? What happens to them?

See, here I go worrying about things I can't possibly change.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

A New Member

We've welcomed a new member into our family. One of my lovely cousins gave birth to a baby girl on Thursday, August 21st. Miss Belle was 8 pounds, 13 ounces and 20 inches long. She's a lovely little thing. She has these adorable chubby cheeks and auburn hair. More red headed babies, YAY!

Wiggly is in love (well as much as a two month old can be). So here they are together. We didn't pose them this way, but found it quite funny.

A new generation. We hope they are close, much like I am with little Belle's mother and aunt. They have eachother as cousins and friends. I am overjoyed to watch them grow up. It makes me miss my brother's little boy even more, and wish he could be here as well. The holidays are going to be so much fun with little ones around.
Welcome to the world, Belle! We love you.
(as an added note: goodness Wiggly looks big next to her. I couldn't believe how light and tiny she is. Although she is about a pound smaller than he was, it's still amazing how quickly they change. Can time slow down a bit?)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Carolina State of Mind

In my mind I'm going to Carolina...

Bubby and I took a trip when we were juniors at our respective universities. We drove 2900 miles round trip. 10 days. So in love. It was a blast. One of the stops along our travels was Charleston. We fell head over heels for the place. Now, more than four years later, I long to go back.

In the months and years we spent at separate schools and in different towns, we dreamt of being in the same place and creating a life together. Not many of those conversations came and went without the mention of Charleston. At times, I think, these dreams and longings were what kept us together. We would talk about the colorful houses we saw in Summerville--the lovely little town we stayed in on the outskirts of Charleston with one of B's gracious fraternity brothers. The houses with the multi-level porches. A rocking chair and babies. Magnolia trees. Hot, sticky summers. A slower pace. We both grew up in a growing, bustling metropolis and knew whole heartedly, we would not be returning to that place. Avoid the rat race, we said. Charleston, or there about, seemed like the perfect idea for us.

So how did we end up here instead of there? Life happened. I was accepted into an accelerated graduate program in the area we live in and when I graduated, this is where we stayed. It is close enough to our families to visit when we want, but far enough away to avoid the unwanted pop-ins. We're comfortable here, but I still don't feel settled. I don't know that I want my children to grow up here. It's not a bad place. There is a lot of growth here and we're able to access pretty much whatever we want fairly quickly. There are four shopping malls within fifteen minutes of my house--which is wonderful except for the whole being poor thing (see reference below to the indentured servitude). It's still a busy area, which we were trying to avoid. As a fairly outgoing person, I've never made a really good friend here. I have a few from work--but none whom I would call a best friend. B is in the same boat. Maybe I just don't think we fit here. I wonder, though, if we would have an easier time anywhere. What makes me think the community would be easier to acclimate to in Charleston?

What does fit is B's job. He L O V E S what he does. It's foreign to me. I'm passionate about my work. Social work picked me not the other way around. But I've never loved my job. I wish I did. The red tape, the inability to help in the way I want, the political system, inane policy and mandates. It's hard. I find great joy in working with families and children, it's the other crap that ruins it for me. I wish it made me happier. I know I could find another job if we relocated, but I don't think (no, I know) B wants a different job. Even talking about moving is a touchy subject for him. It stings a bit. He has a deadline though, we must be settled in the house we plan on growing old in by the time Wiggly starts Kindergarten. We shall see.

We bought our first home a year ago in May and we are now indentured servants to the all mighty Mortgage. It's simply understood--we can't move any time soon. So why do I continue to desire to do so? Have I now built up this place on such a pedestal to which it can never really hold up? I certainly hope not.

For now, I can dream about the house we could buy with the multi-level porch, the rocking chair and the magnolia trees. The pitter patter of Wiggly and other babies' feet. Did I mention this house could also be nearly twice the square footage for the same price as our current house? *sigh*

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


“Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”
--Elizabeth Stone
Who knew this would be so difficult? This parenting thing. My son appears to have his first little cold. It doesn't seem to be bothering him, so why does it bother me so much? Because, dear friends, I worry. It's my nature.
Wiggly has always been a little congested since the day he was born. Not that this is out of the norm, seeing as how he was floating around in fluid for nine months. Lately, it seems worse. He makes snarfling noises with his nose and I worry that he can't breath well enough. The pediatrician's advice? Use the nose sucker and saline drops. Is this working? Of course not. When I bring the bulb syringe near Wiggly's face, he begins to shriek like his brain is being sucked through his nasal cavity. I can't imagine that it feels great. A torture device in his opinion. I cried with him last night while we had to go through this procedure for the hundredth time. And if you were wondering, no I don't do well watching him get shots, either. I'll be a mess the first time he bumps his head or scrapes his knee.
This is a little thing to worry about. I worry about the bigger things as well. Too much. Will he grow up to be the best person he can be? Will I always be a good mother? Will we always have all of the things we need? Will he remember me when I pick him up from daycare? Is he being cared for in the way I expect? Will he resent my career and inability to stay home with him everyday? Will he love to read like we do? Will someone hurt him? Will he never question how much he is loved? Will the mortgage always get paid? How can I keep him safe when I can't be with him every minute of the day? Will Wiggly grow up?
Will I ever stop worrying?
I asked my mother recently if she ever stopped worrying about us and she said no. I think I have a better understand for the reasons why my parents have put up with the millions of things my brothers have done wrong. Ultimately, my parents love them. My brothers screw up, more frequently than they do the right thing, but my parents still want to see the best in them. They want the best for them. I hope I never lose faith in Wiggly. He's so perfect now, but I realize he will grow up and make mistakes. I will love him despite and for all of those mistakes. I just hope he doesn't walk the same path my brothers have--I value my sanity too much.
My mantra, for now, each day as I drop him off and go to work is: He's fine. He's well. I'll see him tonight. He knows he is loved.
It's all I can do.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Strange Regret

Two posts in one day? Don't expect it much.

Wiggly was born eight weeks ago today. Mommyhood is still sinking in--this understanding of responsibility over another life. (insert multiple cliches). 9 pounds and 11 ounces of pure love. This little boy, this light, was brought into my life faster than I could have imagined. I don't know that we really expected him to be conceived so quickly, so easily. Bubby says almost every night, he can't believe Wiggly is here and we get to keep him, like, forever (or for the length of his childhood).

Some may know, we changed his name at the last minute. Wiggly should have been something completely different. Sometimes I regret not using the name I had originally intended for him. For nearly 17 weeks, I walked around with my big baby belly and called him a name, and now he's living, breathing, smiling outside of me and I call him something different. Wiggly fits his name to the nth degree and we know the sentiment behind his name means the world to the family members he was named for. I, still, however, miss the other name. I fear I will never call another child that name, it's been tainted, used. Another human born from me could never carry that moniker because, in so many ways, it belongs to Wiggly. This boy who I know so intimately, from his hiccups and kicks to the rump that stayed wedged in the right side of my rib cage for three months, carries two names in my heart. I love the way the original name sounds, its seeming obscurity and opposing warm familiarity, it's softness and yet complete maleness. I miss calling him one but delight in calling him the other. I remember the look on Bubby's face when Wiggly was born and announced what he should be called. How could I argue with that?

My next boy, if I should have one, will be given another name. When someone else is pondering the use of Wiggly's original name, I find myself having a pang of regret and envy. I can't use it, but she can. Only a true name nerd would spend this much time worrying about things such as this. I think and ponder the naming of offspring far too much.

When he looks through some of the books he received from loved ones with the inscription written out to the original name, we'll have a funny story to tell him.

With the mild sadness over the loss of the original name, I'm glad we went with the one we did. I hope he understands why he has the name he does, and why it is so important. His namesakes are plentiful, some here some in Heaven. All guiding him and loving him. We hope this makes him proud.

Why am I here?

So, I've fallen into the trap and decided to start a blog. I have random thoughts that run through my head all day long and I thought to my self "Self, you should write some of these things down." Here I am, doing just that.

In the span of a little over two years, I completed my Master's Degree in Social Work, moved in with my (then) fiance, started my first (real) job, adopted a dog, bought a house, got married, bought another dog, got pregnant and had a child. Whew, are you tired? Because I am. A friend once said, "Bean, you are on the fast track to death." I've never known how to slow down and really smell the roses, so to speak, and I'm trying to do so now. Bubby and I spent so much of our courtship in separate parts of our state, that I couldn't wait to just get on with life. When we were finally in the same place, we didn't really take our sweet time in creating the family and life that we've always strived to have. Here we are, with our home and our child and, of course, our crazy dogs and we're still trying to figure out what we want out of life. Or atleast, I am.

I have faith, in God, in people, in the universe. I believe there is an inherent grace that has been bestowed on me and I'm trying not to take it for granted. It doesn't make sense most of the time but I think things generally work out the way they are supposed to. Tragedy and Sadness can coexist with Renewal and Joy, even when I have a hard time wrapping my brain around it.

I am who I am. I bumble along and babble a lot.