Saturday, January 31, 2009

Trying to stay sane...

Got Mr. Minute all weekend. DH is at some hippy retreat thing, so the MM and I are hangin'. So far we've played outside, taken a walk to visit friends, and baked cookies. Oh, and stolen Mom's shoes, chased the chickens, harassed the dogs, peed on the floor (don't ask), eaten lunch, eaten a snack, moved all the dining room chairs around, eaten some more, learned to open the freezer, and (mercifully) crashed out to take a nap.

So, I'm off to do some laundry before the M-Monster wakes...

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Moving right along

I haven't seen the inside of my office for more than 30 minutes at a time these days. In fact, the last three days I've been out of the office almost all day everyday. I've been at a conference, or out on my golf course, or in meetings for what seems like a life-time. In case you are new around here, or haven't read any of my old Pre-Minute Man posts, I LOVE LOVE LOVE my job. There isn't a thing in this world I love more....well, except Mr. M. .... ok. And coffee. But that's it. THAT'S how much I love my job. But some days, it wears me out. I worked almost 18 hours last weekend - 11 hours on Saturday - to get everything I needed to get done DONE by Monday morning. Now, it's true, I work EVERY weekend, but lately, I've been taking Saturdays off to spend with my Main Man. But this semester in addition to everything else I do, I am also teaching a class. The class is great, and I really REALLY enjoy it, but I'm out of practice with writing lectures and this Monday's lecture needed to cover a LOT of ground. All in all I think I did ok, but WOW was I crabby, and really just flat stressed out until it was done. It took me by surprise, I think, b/c I have had a really good balance with everything lately, and job stress just isn't on the table much these days. I mean sure, I get stressed, but not like enough to lose sleep over...but last weekend was certainly a lose-sleep kind of weekend.  And that totally stunk!

However, I've been doing really well lately, and have been just plain happy. Remember the bad old days - about 4 months ago?? I couldn't function some days. I'd literally sit down on the floor of my bedroom and sob. I felt as though I were the WORST mother out there, and I was totally CLUELESS as to how to raise a child, how to be a working mom, how to take care of myself, my home, my pets, my life...and  I was depressed a LOT. I also caught a lot of crap* from some jerks out there in blog-o-land, and got tired of hearing it, so I pretty much stopped writing anything of substance. Well, party people - I'm back. I have lost 20 pounds, I have a fabulous new wardrobe, my job just flat kicks ass, I have not one but two people working with (for) me, and they, unlike people in the past, ahem, are FANTASTIC. I have a wonderful office, and have I mentioned how much I love love love my job? And the BEST part? I'm making time to do the right thing for my little Dude. On days I teach, I'm at the office until 8:00 pm (which means an 11 hour day usually with no lunch break). But lately, I've been taking time to run home and spend an hour or two with my kiddo, and when the weather gets nice, DH and MM are going to visit me at the office and we can play in the park outside my building. Frankly, I get more out of it than MM does, I think. I miss him terribly when I don't see him, and I ALWAYS look forward to coming home these days.

With all that said, I'm also looking forward to next week - a HUGE turf/golf trade-show in New Orleans. I get to spend 4 days hanging out with some of my Australia peeps, as well as guys I've met at other conferences, and in the "biz". And I know I've mentioned this before, but I never have to pay for anything!! I love it! The guys are all so good to me, they treat me like a kid sister (but one that they like!). Which, yes, can be annoying sometimes, but most of the time, it's great fun. 

Are y'all bored with this post yet? Sorry, I'm sort of rambling, but it's been so long since I've had the TIME to post!! I thought I might actually SAY something.... although I'm not sure I did! LOL. Anyway, thanks for still reading. And I'll post more cutie pie pix soon!!

* I also had a LOT of support and good advice, as well as a LOT of wonderful and kinds words from many f you, so to those of you that helped me though that, I can not tell you how much that meant to me!!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Making Cookies

Minute Man and Mom bake cookies...

how's that for a little slice of heaven?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Getting bigger

MM had a pediatritian appointment today. My little dude is all the way up to the 13th percentile in height and weight. YAY!! When we brought him home, he was only in the 2nd percentile, so we are obviously doing something right. 

Of course, he's perfect. He's a great eatter, a good sleeper, and talks up a storm, but frankly, he is happy happy happy, and that is what counts most in my book!!

(and yes, these are really goofy pictures, but I'm having issues with my husband's #$&@! mac, and these are the only ones that would upload!!)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Today in history *new pix added

My "little" brother - M's Uncle Jude - attended the festivities in Washing today. He sent this dispatch to us, and has kindly agreed to let me post it. Enjoy. (He took some good pix, which I will try to upload tomorrow. Right now I need to put Jude's nephew to bed!!).

I wrote a brief narrative about my experience today, mostly to help myself remember it. As I am not generally much of a blogger or journalist, please feel quite free to skip straight to the pictures I took, which you will find attached.


My Inaugration Day

Today I was part of history. I was unable to secure tickets to the seated section of the Inaugural Swearing In Ceremony. The cold weather and huge crowds presented logistical challenges that made me hesitant to even attempt to attend. For various reasons, though, I felt compelled to go. As one woman's sign said today, "The Future is watching."

I drove in to Arlington (across the Potomac from DC) and stayed in a hotel last night. After a mostly sleepless night interspersed with some bizarre dreams, I woke up ready to get down to the Mall. I packed in a caloric breakfast in hopes of keeping myself warm, then headed over to catch the shuttle. On the way in, I wanted to save myself the 3.5 mile hike in the 20 degree weather. With the Metro rail cars all full and the buses missing, I hailed a cab and had him drop me off at Arlington Cemetery. I then walked across the Arlington Memorial Bridge, which comes out right behind the Lincoln Memorial. The Boundary Channel and the Potomac were both frozen solid, which I guess I should have expected. Fortunately, the weather didn't prevent a generally cheerful crowd from being in the mood to celebrate.

On the way across the Memorial Bridge, it occurred to me that I could climb the Lincoln Memorial so that I could get a better vantage while picking where I would stand. From there, I decided that the Washington Monument was looking lonely, so I hoofed it past the frozen Reflecting Pool and staked out a spot. I nestled up right next to one of the flags which encircle the Monument, but after nearly 2 hours, I finally conceded that being on a hill was not wise. I was also unable to hear the speakers or see the various jumbotrons screens very well. At any rate, the wind chill was too much, and it finally drove me to retreat back down to a more conservative spot.

The second spot where I decided to stand was across the road from the World War II Memorial, because there was an empty patch of grass right in front of one of the big screens. The people were friendly, and we anxiously awaited the remaining couple of hours before the actual events began. During this time, all of the presiding attendees filed in on camera and were announced.

When Bush 43 was shown on camera, the crowd made a point of booing him soundly. "GO BACK TO TEXAS" was my contribution. It was probably bad form (and was pointed out as such by Chris Matthews, among others), but given the political proclivities of the audience, I can't imagine anyone was surprised. Cheney came wheeling out in a wheel-chair, which drew an "Oooooooh" from the crowd. Sort of half "boo" and half "ewww". I actually found myself spontaneously hissing at the appearance of Bush-41, which caught me off-guard. I don't think I've ever hissed at anyone like that before.

The Supreme Court Justices came out to deafening silence, which I found interesting. Perhaps that was because the only name they actually announced was that of Chief Justice John Roberts, who is understandably a bit unpopular with most of those around me. Al Gore got a pretty big round of applause. The biggest cheers were for Michelle, Malia, and Sasha Obama, Bill and Hillary Clinton, and Joe Biden. The cheers for Barry (okay, Barack), were in a league of their own. The crowd around me broke into various cheers with little or no provokation. "YES WE CAN"; "¡Sí, se puede!"; "Fired UP! Ready to go!"; "O-BA-MA"; you get the idea. What with all the dignitaries and Congress-critters filing in, the Vice-Presidential swearing-in got started nearly an hour and a half late.

In the interim, we heard probably four different versions of Simple Gifts and that's not including a re-arrangement by John Williams and performed by Yo-Yo Ma and Itzhak Perlman. I think I speak for the entire crowd in expressing my gratitude for Biden not being allowed to give a speach. All other considerations aside, it was too darned cold for long-winded rhetoric today. Once Joe the Biden was sworn in, I felt like it was finally real.

When Barack Hussein Obama II finally stepped up to be sworn in on Lincoln's own Bible, it seemed very surreal to me. All the waiting and freezing my toes off, and at last I was going to get to see what Dr. King dreamed become reality. After a somewhat awkwardly administered swearing in, I took some pictures for "The Moment", though none turned out particularly well. There were lots of fists in the air, and yelling. This part seemed almost anti-climactic, after all the waiting. He just repeated after Justice Roberts, and all the sudden I realized we had a new President. At least he gave a decent speech afterward. I was somewhat perturbed to find him giving a relatively down-to-earth speech compared to what I had come to expect from an orator of his powerful standing. Ultimately, I think what he wanted to convey was a collective rolling-up of America's sleeves. Working together to make it work, if you will. Nevertheless, as I listened to Barack's first speech as our 44th President, I found tears freezing to my face. Somehow it was exactly the speech we needed at that time.

Once the President's speech was over, I was in a hurry to get clear of the freezing Mall. Despite my desire for the sanctuary of a warm building, I decided to walk the 3.5 miles back to my hotel. Maybe I needed some time to think. The Jefferson Memorial over-looking the frozen Tidal Basin made for a somewhat somber walk, which I think was a good contrast to the festive mood of the crowd during the ceremonies. I took a shortcut through the Pentagon's parking lot, smiled to the frozen MPs who were standing guard, and finally crossed the street back to my hotel.

When I turned the heat on in my car, the agony in my feet announced that they had regained at least some small amount of circulation. I took this to be a good sign, but I decided right then that it will be a long time before I attend another Inauguration. Unless they move it to April... DC is beautiful in April, when the cherry blossoms are blooming.

What the...? SNOW?!

We woke up (disgustingly) early this morning and there was an air of a holiday. Almost like Christmas morning, but not quite...more like a snow day! And that was before we even looked out the window. Sure enough, my little Minute Man somehow just KNEW that it was a snow day.

I didn't even know it was supposed to snow until late last night when I was at work and got an email message about classes being on a 2 hout delay. I checked the weather and sure enough, they were predicting snow. When I left work it was raining, so I knew if the temperature got colder, it really would snow. No one told Minute this, however, and yet, somehow the little dude knew. His first snow experience was not exactly his favorite (See first picture). But, by about 10 minutes into it, he started to enjoy himself. Then, well, he was ready to be done with it. My dog, on the other hand, LOVES the snow. She might look a little insane; that's how much she loves the snow. Poor northern-breed dog never gets to see it since I made her live in the south...but at least she gets to play in it once in a while. Like today!

My MIL gave MM a "snowman making kit - just add snow" for X-mas, and i laughed b/c while it was a very cool and thoughtful gift, I expected him to be 5 before he got to use it, but this snow is PERFECT for building a snowman. Maybe I'll remember to take some photos of that too. 

Well, for now I'm going to head back outside and play with the snow some more...then I'm going to camp out with some hot co-co and my computer and get some work done. Y'all enjoy your day.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

My son loves hats

I have MORE pictures even than this, but you get an idea. My son LOVES LOVES LOVES hats (and shoes).

 Next installation; Minute Man and his shoe collection.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Too cool for school

My son LOVES to pick out his own clothes. Here is an outfit he recently chose... and a pose to beat ALL poses!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Most of the time he goes OUT the dog door. The other day I snapped these pix; MM escaping IN the dog door.....check out the little crocks!

Wow, has it really been almost 6 months?!

Then and now. What an amazing transformation my life has taken. Here is a glimpse of a picture from one of our first days, and present day. Look at how much my little man has grown and blossomed. What a wonderful experience this is...

And, to those of you still waiting, I HATED it when a-p's told me "oh, once they come home you will totally forget the pain of the wait..." and I found that told myself that they must be NUTS! but you know what? They were right. We waited a LONG and painful 3 years to bring our little one home. The time has melted away and now I can't imagine my life with out the Minute Man. He is truly one of my favorite people, and he is an AMAZINGLY wonderful human being. I am sad sometimes when I think about the family that had to choose to leave him in a hospital b/c they couldn't care for him/feed him/etc. We will never get to share his pictures with his Vietnamese family. His birth mother will not have the chance to see his dimples, hear his laugh, or kiss his chubby (and very kissable) cheeks... How very lucky I am, and if you are out there, M's Birth-Mama, thank you for allowing me to be part of this little man's life.

The wait was definitely worth it. And you know what? I rarely think about the wait anymore. Besides, there is FAR too much laundry to do to dwell on that!

and now:

And finally, thank you to ALL of you out there who are still following the ol' blog. Thank you for your comments, your attention, your emails, and your interest. You mean a lot to me too!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Working around the house* updated

My father is a carpenter...and my son loves pockets, so it's a natural combination for Big Mama to make a little carpenters' belt for MM complete with lots of pockets.

Here is how the MM PREFERS to work... (I don't think my Dad would suggest this to anyone, however. It gets REALLY cold where he lives and works... although they do it like this is Scotland, I hear).

* what I didn't post is that there is nothing in back, and MM is running around in basically 1/2 a skirt. His tiny hiney is all you see from the back!! (I didn't post that for obvious reasons!!)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Helping around the yard ...and a bit on the terrible two's

So, I suspect but do not know, that the "terrible two's" as they are called, don't necessarily begin AT two. [Moms, can I get an "Hell yeah"?] I fear we may just be entering that TERRIBLE TWO Phase...My son, whom I ADORE and is easily the most WONDERFUL little man on the face of the planet, is just now 18 months old. And last night, I think we got a taste of what is to come in the coming months and days. In the course of about 30 minutes; Uncle Phil was used as a human trampoline and monkey-bar set (apparently the soft bits on boys are the BEST ones to jump on if you are an 18 mo old tornado), the dog was used as a drum to test MM's new stix, DH's beer was used to "decorate" the wall, the couch, Uncle Phil, the carpet, AND the baby (the beer that M flung managed to COVER all this in one amazing arc. It was AWESOME to watch...but very very messy!), dinner was eaten and then promptly spit back with M then looking at me and asking "more? more?", every toy box was emptied of its contents and somehow strewn into every room, nook and cranny in the house, AND each of our six (yes, 6) remote controls were systematically thrown on the floor and stomped on... fortunately we had no lasting casualties.

I am sorry to say I was so happy to get the little Minute Man to bed last night that he went to bed with out a bath. When he woke up this morning he smelled like a frat boy - beer and pee dominated - so into the shower he went before we even let our bok-bok's out.

Today he has been a true charm, other than every time we fill the dog food bowls, he empties them out...but that's ok. The dogs aren't fussy about where they eat their food, as long as the HAVE it!! Anyway, I'm tired just thinking about last night, and so, will leave you with some pix from this a.m.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

No outside play today

Rainy and cold. A proper January day here today. I'm not going in today because I'm leaving for a conference this afternoon. The Minute Man is making darn sure I don't get too much done before I leave (as you can see he's got a firm grip on the ol' laptop). But,that's his job.... or at least, he sez it is! 

I have a real "parenting" story, possibly as good as the last one, although it involves a different type of bodily function.... I don't have time to share now, but hope to have some time this week. It's worth sharing!!

Monday, January 05, 2009

Another nice day

The weather here is just perfect today. No sun, but warm (in the 60's). MM LOVES LOVES LOVES the out-of-doors, as I have mentioned, and likes to just hang out when it's nice out. In fact, even when it's NOT nice out he likes to be outside!! One of his favorite pass-times is "feeding" the dogs. He works very hard at this and always has a good time. In fact, sometimes he will pick up individual pieces and actually feed those to the dogs...but mostly he uses the scoop to scoop food "into" the dog bowl. You know, a few even make into the bowl! The dogs are really good sports about the whole affair. 

My son just turned 18 months old. He continues to be a true joy in our lives. When people ask me now how he is I can sum up the entire experience with one word: wonderful. You see his pictures, right? Every ounce of cuteness, personality, and spunk that you see comes out in his daily life. And by all accounts he really is just wonderful. 

So, now if any one out there could just tell me how to KEEP him this wonderful, that would be great!! ;-}

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Minute Man feeds himself...

My Mother (AKA Big Mama) has encouraged me to allow MM to feed himself. My therapist also said it was a good idea, so on the advice of the two omen I listen to most in my life, I have begun allowing my little critter to "feed" himself. Now, he's been finger food-feeding himself for ages, but I'm talking using a spoon and/or fork and sticking it in the bowl/plate, and shoveling the food into his face... all without the help of yours truly. I told my therapist that my biggest "issue" with this was that he makes a HUGE mess. She said (as my Big Mama did) "well, so what?". So what indeed.

I have become better about letting MM feed himself, and do it with more than just foods that don't make a mess... case and point; DH grabbed this little gem at breakfast the other day... The Minute Man is feeding himself, his shirt, my shirt, his face, and the two dogs sitting below us that you can not see.... BUT, he loved it. And so what if he made a mess, right? We jumped right into the shower and all the yogurt came right out of my hair after all!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Getting ready for bed

Little man went to bed last night a full 2.5 hours earlier than usual. He's cutting a BUNCH of teeth, so maybe that was it, or maybe he was fighting off something... who knows, but for the first time in like 5 months, DH and i sat on the couch and read (for fun!) together. 

Anyway, I've been trying to post these pictures for roughly 12 hours - MM doesn't care for me taking time away from him to do ANYTHING, especially work on the computer!!  So, in order to get back to my little man, I'm going to leave this post boring you as it has, and go chase my kiddo around some more. 

Oh, and Happy New Year, y'all!