About Me

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Football!



Levi had his first ballgame today! He didn't play a whole lot, but made a really good block at the end of the game. Here's a couple of pictures, just trust me, one of those kids is him (need a better camera for football LOL).

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Quote time!

If we didn't live venturously, plucking the wild goat by the beard, and trembling over precipices, we should never be depressed, I've no doubt; but already should be faded, fatalistic and aged.

Virginia Woolf (1882-1941)

Growing old is no more than a bad habit which a busy person has no time to form.
Andre Maurois

When marrying, ask yourself this question: Do you believe that you will be able to converse well with this person into your old age? Everything else in marriage is transitory.
Friedrich Nietzsche

All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt.
Charles M. Schulz

Absence diminishes mediocre passions and increases great ones, as the wind extinguishes candles and fans fires.
Francois de La Rochefoucauld

Don't confuse fame with success. Madonna is one; Helen Keller is the other.
Erma Bombeck

Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.
Thomas Jefferson

Just because it is a good time for them [to call you], doesn't mean it has to be a good time for you [to talk].
Mary Cooper

Salus populi suprema lex esto - The welfare of the people shall be the supreme law.
Missouri state motto

Friday, August 28, 2009

Productive day

I had a very full day yesterday and I loved it! Here's the list:

*Did plenty of school with the kids (yes, I know I shouldn't be surprised by this, but it doesn't always happen)
*Washed Levi's shoes and hat
*Went grocery shopping (my favorite type of shopping!)
*Made lunch with enough for leftovers for today (taco salad, yum)
*Got dressed and ready for work on time (but didn't actually get to go)
*Took the kids to the park
*Took Levi to football practice (and got to watch it)
*Had a fantastic dinner at Sapphires with Doug where we had my friend, Susan, as our waitress (lamb chops with Creole mustard, horseradish, apple, mint sauce)
*Went to Susan's (and Jesse's) house and talked and drank and were just generally merry
*Fell soundly and happily to sleep curled up next to my fantastic boyfriend (my favorite way to sleep)

I would have liked to have made some money, but it was rainy and ick so didn't get to work. But, on the bright side, it allowed time for a wonderful, long, relaxed date. Also, I am not super (read: very bad) at maintaining friendships but I like Susan quite a lot so I was very happy to see her when we walked in.

Breasts in Mourning

I have been intensely interested in lactation for thirteen years and there are very few areas that I have had no contact with. This article by Jesse Bering in Scientific American magazine looks at the involuntary psychological impact of artificial feeding on the mother. It all makes perfect sense; if a baby is born but doesn't nurse, your body would naturally assume it died. Fascinating read.

Breasts in Mourning

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Holy Cannoli

The Turner Report: Court documents: Ex-wife claims criminal connected to prominent Missouri Democrats threatened to kill her

Read the link to the investigation details. Corruption, deceit, even bombing. Shady. I'm having a bad politics day. :-(

Disappointed

I am terribly upset about this. Jeff Smith was one of only a very small handful of legislators who I really felt I could trust. I'm afraid this will further diminish my opinion of people who have chosen politics as a career. I truly feel that he went into the field to help his neighbors and was able to accomplish so much while not appearing to bow to the lobbyists. I'm saddened that now I have doubts about the high opinion I had of him. I tell the kids all the time how important it is to keep your word and to be known as someone trustworthy. It is true that once someone has told you a lie, everything else they say or have said comes into question.

From The Turner Report blog:

The Turner Report: FBI wiretap leads to Sen. Jeff Smith's guilty plea
The Turner Report: Jeff Smith: Let's blame it on the dead guy

From his email newsletter:

Dear Friend,


Today, with great sadness and regret, I am resigning from the Missouri Senate.

During my 2004 Congressional race, I became aware of an independent effort to produce two mailers to benefit my campaign. Federal campaign finance law prohibits specific coordination between a campaign and anyone preparing an independent expenditure.

When the independent operator requested funding, I authorized a close friend to raise money for the effort, and my press secretary provided public information about my opponent’s voting record. I withheld my knowledge of these facts during the Federal Election Commission’s 2004 investigation, misleading investigators and filing a false affidavit.
The FEC cleared our campaign of wrongdoing. But in 2009, the government received new information and reopened its investigation. When questioned, I stood by our 2004 account and encouraged my close friend to do so, misleading the authorities. Today I am taking full responsibility for my mistakes, and have pled guilty to obstructing justice.
This event has humbled me. I have done some significant introspection and that has been the hardest part: coming to terms with my own poor judgments and mistakes.
I apologize to my constituents, my staff, my Senate colleagues, my supporters, and to Congressman Carnahan. I am sorry to be leaving an institution I dearly love and the chance to represent a City with so much potential. Most importantly, I apologize to my family for not living up to what you expect of me, or what I expect of myself.
But I’m proud of my work in the Senate. With the help of my legislative staff, colleagues, and issue advocates, I believe I positively impacted several policy areas. I worked to create the Missouri Teaching Fellows Program to bring top-notch teachers to struggling school districts, expanded early childhood education for impoverished City children, and helped add $5M in bonuses to the salaries of City teachers whose students make exceptional academic progress.
My office spent many hours working with advocates for eco-friendly policies. I led the drive to pass a Green Sales Tax Holiday for energy-efficient appliances, a tax deduction for home energy audits, and a mandate that Missouri increase its energy efficiency standard for state buildings.
Working with the Fathers Support Center of St. Louis, I sponsored and passed two bills that will transform our child-support system. One will help fathers struggling to pay child support avoid felony convictions and jail time by creating “fathering courts” to help non-violent offenders find jobs and resume support payments, saving the state millions in incarceration costs. The second will reduce erroneous paternity judgments and ensure that men with DNA tests showing non-paternity will no longer have to pay for children who are not theirs.
Finally, I helped successfully defend Missouri’s Historic Preservation Tax Credit, which has done more than any other program to revitalize formerly dilapidated urban neighborhoods, creating jobs and putting abandoned buildings back onto the tax rolls.
I hope that my Senate tenure, albeit brief, is remembered as productive and beneficial to those I served. I thank my colleagues with whom I worked on the above as well as my trusted and loyal aides: Stacy Morse, Christine Brauner, Johnny Little, and Kailey Burger.
I am saddened by the thought that some may give up on politics because I let them down. I was blessed to have so many amazing volunteers who worked to support me with no political experience and developed a passion for activism through their work. Today I fear that some of them – some of you – may feel as if your efforts were in vain. But they were not.
If you helped in my election to office, my 3-on-3 basketball tournament and community fair, my MLK Jr. Blvd. cleanup, or other programs I promoted, please don’t let my mistakes sour you on active civic involvement. There are no perfect people and no perfect candidates, but I hope you’ll find a candidate or a cause in which you believe and fight for it with the same zeal you fought for me. Because the real tragedy of my lapses would be if they discouraged people like you from civic engagement.
Mary Pickford once said that failure is not falling down but staying down. I won’t run for office again, but I’ll stay active in the causes that animate me – from urban education to preserving historic neighborhoods to providing health care for all – to try and help the City I love continue its return to the glory of its past.
Thank you for being a part of my life the last few years. I deeply regret the mistakes that have forced my resignation, but I hope you will balance them against the totality of my service, and that we can work together again in the future.
Best,
Jeff

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Undesirable effects

I pride myself on a few things, some important, like my parenting. I think I've done a swell job here. I actually enjoy spending time with the kidlets and others do as well. Also, I have a pretty darn good work ethic. I am active in politics and research my positions before blindly following a candidate or issue.

The silliest of my prideful talents, though is my athletic ability. I'm not a super athlete, but I have areas of natural skill. I can throw and catch reasonably well, particularly a football. Imagine my shock and disappointment when this weekend I tried to do the one thing I am good at without having to put out a lot of effort and failed. For some reason, I was so weak, I could barely complete a 30ish yard pass when normally, I can do much better.

After some thought, I think I've figured it out. It makes sense, but I've just never put it together until now. Women are weakest when menstruating. I love the female cycle and the complexities and strength it brings. I've always been aware of the pain tolerance variances at different points during the cycle. When ovulating, women have a much higher pain tolerance than at any other time during the month. Tattooing, piercing, and waxing, for instance are much easier at this time and much harder during menstruation. The inner strength and sense of wonder and appreciation associated with menstruating always empower me and make me feel a connectedness that I don't feel at other times of the month. Imagine my chagrin when I realized there is a negative consequence to menstruating - I can't throw a ball as far.

Not earth-shattering or even enough to make me change my love for the system, but still. Sheesh, I don't like being physically weak even if internally I feel stronger.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Meet the Parents

So, I met the parents yesterday. Not only that, but because I'm an overachiever, oh, yes, I am, I met the whole stinkin' family! It was Doug's mom's 50th birthday extravaganza and we (yup, made the first impression with the kidlets) went and had a great time.

I spent thirteen years in a family that hated me, so I was a titch nervous at first, but it was in a park with lots of room and activities so I was in my element. I didn't have to worry about the kids not being quiet or me not being demure; we were supposed to frolic and, as you may know, that's our specialty.

His family is pretty average, spanning the range of society from Tracy's family to my dad and his yuppy friends. They are, for the most part, very friendly and accepting. No one even mentioned (at least to me) the age difference or pointed out that I have a teenager.

There were only a couple of times that I had to bite my tongue or avert my gaze and they were much more minor than I was expecting. I have some, uh, lets call them unorthodox, beliefs, especially pertaining to parenting that I understand are outside of the norm and his family lives very much in the norm so there will certainly be areas of disagreement. Luckily, on first impression day, none of those surfaced. Because we have been friends for so long, I know quite a lot about his family, but since we've only been dating for a month or so it would be odd for me to know everything I do, so I had to feign ignorance on some things. That only became a real issue for me once when a person (actually only on the fringe of the family) was making a very good first impression of his own and I wanted to throw a big nuh-uh into the conversation, but had to keep my mouth shut. It's not my battle anyway, but still, I wanted to be an absent person's advocate and couldn't. :-(

I was worried the kids would be bored or not engage the other kids, but they really had a great time! I am so proud to be their mom and it's nice when other people get to see how great they are. Levi played football, whiffle ball, washers, and climbed on the play structure. He only asked to get his book once and that was when we were first getting out of the car! Paige immediately ran off with Taylor (Doug's little sister) and her friends and played in the sand volleyball pit, in the water sprinkler/fountain thingy, climbed the play structure, ate cake off a plate like a dog, and, basically, just got to be herself.


Photo Credit: Kathryn Fishman-Weaver

I didn't bring my camera or even phone, but Kat (Doug's long-time friend) took this one of her son, James, Paige, and two girls from Taylor's softball team. Paiger was the youngest one there, but held her own just fine.

So, overall, I think it went swimmingly. Doug reports that I passed initial inspection. Whew!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Eek, I might be old

Alright, so I don't feel or act old most of the time, which is good. Today, I feel about 85. This weekend was Tracy's weekend with the kids so I worked two doubles. In my defense, they were kick-your-a$$ doubles (32 hours in two days in an outdoor restaurant), but still, I'm beat after them. I used to be able to do that no problem, but every part of my body hurts. I don't like it, not one little bit.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Update

I'm sorry it's been so long since I've updated. I'm sure all my imaginary loyal readers are terribly disappointed. :-)

I've been busy (read: lazy) and haven't even been keeping up reading, much less writing blogs. I've also seemed terribly boring as of late. I know that a boring life is a good one, no major turmoil and all, but it doesn't do much to engage my creative side.

That being said, I am also happier than I've ever been. I hesitate to say anything because it always seems like asking for trouble from Murphy to brag about how happy I am, but - I'm seeing someone :::big, giddy grin::: and it's going incredibly well in this newborn phase. To be completely honest, it wasn't that big of a leap. I started dating my best friend, Doug, about a month or so ago. He was married up until January so I didn't even put him in the "datable" category, but when he wasn't married anymore I started to see him in a different way. It is nice to be so comfortable with someone that everything seems so easy with. Plus, he's awfully cute, I hadn't really noticed before we started dating, but he's cute on his own and we are really stinkin' adorable together (if I do say so myself). Another plus to dating your best friend is that my kids already adore him so there wasn't any awkward introduction. Sure, it was a little weird for them to see us be affectionate, but they were used to us being happy together.



Doug, kidlets, and Missy

So, what else is new? I've been working at the Pirate and just love, love, love it. There are some of the same little gripes that there are at other restaurants, but they are so much easier to handle when it is a job I truly want to go to every day. They are so accommodating with my schedule, I've been able to see the kids ball games and practices every week, he lets me work single shifts on kid weekends and doubles on kidless ones. I know it's a pain to keep track of my odd schedule on top of everyone else's, but he does it happily.

We have rats, as you know. We started with Snowball and Skunk, but then Skunk bit my Paigey and off he went to be snake food. We traded him in on Ice Cream who is just adorable and sweet. The pet store only sells male rats, so imagine my surprise when we ended up with babies. Ice Cream, apparently, is female. So, we traded the six babies to the pet store for a water bottle holder to put in a separate cage to make sure Snowball wouldn't eat them. Because this batch (yes, she's pregnant again) will be his, I *think* they will be okay in the same cage, but we'll see. There is plenty of food and water and space, so he shouldn't feel threatened enough to eat them, I guess we'll find out. They should be born today or tommorow if I've calculated correctly.


My dad and Pam and Kara, Tuesday, and Kane all came in to town for Fourth of July and that was really fun. I wish we lived closer, it's awful seeing the kids and barely recognizing them because they've grown so much since last time they were here. And, they all got to see Ice Cream's babies (because, you know, my dad thinks it isn't weird at all that we have pet rats, having pet rats with babies is just dandy). It was a great visit. I got to see Kara's new engagement ring. She seems very happy and she deserves it! They all like Doug, even my dad, whew!


I am officially the mom of a teenager. Levi turned thirteen last month and I have to say that if I have to have a teenager, he's an okay one to get. :-) He really is a great kid. For his birthday, *I* wanted to go to The City Museum in St. Louis on Monday and then stay the night and go to Six Flags on Tuesday. As it turns out, it wasn't *my* birthday so we went to Levi's last ballgame on Monday and then to Six Flags. I guess it's good that he didn't want to miss a ballgame, but :::whine::: The City Museum is so fun! LOL My favorite ride is the Superman (below), I love that free-falling, flying feeling. I forgot my camera (and I probably would have ended up losing it anyway), so that's the only pic I took with my phone, but trust me that a good time was had by all. Levi's favorite was the Tony Hawk. Both kids went on two other coasters, too. I was so proud of them for trying!




Other things we've done since I last posted:


The kids and I went on the coolest slip and slide ever at a homeschool play day. Super fun!



Paige went to Anna's 8th birthday party. It was a "glamour" party where they had a fashion show, did hair and makeup and nails, the whole nine yards. I thought my tomboy would be bored, but she had a lot of fun.



We went swimming lots.



We had lots of ball games.



I think that about wraps it up. Pretty good life, eh?