Sunday, March 29, 2009

03.29.2009 -- Gabe's Blessing Day

I almost always regret not getting good shots of everyone when I get out my camera. Today was no different. Many important people aren't pictured here. Also, about half of these were taken by one of my fantastic brothers-in-law. Thanks, Jack! (Hope you don't mind how I've cropped them.)

03.29.2009 -- Normal Fish and Gabe's Blessing Day

I promised, and I delivered. Watch the video (taken today) and be demystified!

(By the way, if you like this song and want to hear all of it,
you may want to know that it contains
some pretty naughty words...)

Today was Gabe's blessing day.

It feels like it was yesterday. (Literally.)

Maybe this was because it started so early for me and my sleep schedule has been sort of mixed up lately. I haven't been sleeping much. It's standard for me to burn the candle at both ends when I'm anticipating something fun or major. This was both fun and major, so it makes sense.

Biggest surprise of the day? The snowstorm that deposited 4-6 inches in a couple of hours. It started just as we left for church. Speaking of church, we were actually on. time. That was a miracle. I left just enough time for myself to take a shower, dress, and put on mascara, but we got there on time. Hooray!

Brian blessing our children ranks high on my all-time-favorite's list.

We loved seeing friends and family and loved spending time with people afterward at home. Not all of our loved ones were there, of course... We missed you!

I'll write more on this later. Right now, I'm going to enjoy my four-month-old son!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

03.28.2009 -- What's Wrong with this Fish?

I am stoked. I just made my first movie.
Purpose? To show you this fish's strange behavior.
(Oh, and Gabe snuck in there, too.)
Now, don't get your expectations up... this is just something I did today while doing everything else. (Well, some things that Brian didn't already do while I was gone to yoga before he left to go skiing...) Rudimentary.

Did I mention that I have the best husband, ever?

After changing Baby Fish and Book Storage's water today, I was listening to this song, watching Baby Fish do his dead fish act and I thought the song matched Baby Fish's demeanor surprisingly well. You can decide for yourself if it fits.

My good friend, Jami, used this song for a ski video she put together. I loved the song so much that I went right to iTunes to buy the album. I tried to put a couple of other songs to the dead fish footage because I didn't want to copy Jami, but this one just fit, so I put it back.

Post script: I think I have it figured out--why the fish stays up at the surface like that and swims strangely. It's definitely not rocket science. Stay tuned for my theory.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

03.25.2009 -- Heinz, Please


Tonight at dinner, Lucy tried some of her meat (grilled steak, if you're interested), and spat it out. Granted, it had come from the freezer that day, but she usually has no complaints with eating the small portion that she's given. It tasted fine to me, and Brian had no complaints about his.

To facilitate, Brian asked Lucy if she would like some sauce... I suggested maybe ketchup (catsup--whatever). This idea excited her. Brian came back from the fridge and made a small pool of ketchup for her to dip in. Dip, she did. Lucy proceeded to dip all of her broccoli, all of her edamame beans and lots of her rice into the ketchup, bite by bite, while making all sorts of yum-noises to advertise just how eatable this arrangement was for her.

(After an incident involving washable markers, non-washable
markers and a new pink dress at church, Lucy
has surprised us with these new additions to her

vocabulary: kissable, hugable, eatable, etc...)
Example: "Mom, are you kissable?"

Eventually, after all of her broccoli and edamame were gone, she returned to the beef, which she dipped in ketchup, chewed, then spat out again. To her credit, she did this with about half of the meat on her plate, although she couldn't bring herself to swallow any. I guess the ketchup could only get her so far tonight.

To be clear, this is a first for the equal opportunity ketchup-dipping. We'll see if it continues. I myself can remember biting into sticks of margarine and sneaking Velveeta when I was a kid, but I don't remember having any special relationship with ketchup.

As for the continuation of my love for margarine or Velveeta... I converted to butter when I married Brian, and use butter in baking and sauteeing--almost never cold. I don't know that I've ever bought Velveeta, but once in a while, processed cheese (plastic-wrapped singles) is (was) one of my (secret) guilty pleasures.

I blurred out the bum lines. Does that make this picture okay?
It was too good to pass up.

Monday, March 23, 2009

03.22.2009 -- Family Evening

Lucy wants every night to be "Family Evening." Can you blame her? Tonight, we went skiing at a nearby park. Technically, she and Brian went skiing. Gabe and I went along to watch. We had lots of fun!

Have I been enjoying the sun lately? Absolutely. We've been outside quite a bit lately--shoeless and with sunscreen--but I try to remember how fun the snow is and that it doesn't stick around for long in the spring. It's much better than winter snow because my grass is already de-pooped and raked beneath it!

Tonight, we had to take advantage of it and, as you can see, I brought my camera along even though the light was fading and it was still snowing.

03.22.2009 -- Monday, Monday....

Whenever I try to plan a blog entry in my mind, it explodes... (The plan, not my mind.) Aw man, scratch that. See? I am here in front of the computer only because it has been so long since I have been here. That is no good reason to subject any third party to a lame-o blog entry, but nobody's making you read this. (In case you missed it, that was your cue to go to Zeer or Facebook... something more interesting...)

the boys before bed -- only missing Izaak!

This past weekend, I got to party with some of my nieces and nephews. I actually got less of them than I was expecting because a sister-in-law hijacked them for a few nights. I hold no rancor for her, but I was looking forward to having lots of time with them. As it turned out, I got only about one-third of lots of time with them.

Maybe people believe me when I say this, maybe they don't: I love to be taken out of a routine. Anything new invigorates me. The crazier it is, the better. It activates some of my favorite brain parts...those problem solving parts that sometimes shut off once I've got something down.

Now we're back in the swing of things. Which, for me, being a Monday... (Strike that. I am not a Monday.) For me, Monday usually means getting very little but mental preparation done for the week.

It hasn't really been too bad, I guess. I did spend quite a bit of fun-time with Lucy today. First we went outside to make a snowman with Lucy's friend, DJ. We ended up making two snow people, then came inside, played a game and did puzzles.

When it was time for DJ to go home, Lucy and DJ were both reluctant, but Lucy borrowed from her Aunt Rebecca's playbook and sent DJ home with fruit snacks (her idea). I've gotta say, they're pretty adorable, those two. When they say goodbye, the often give each other a tender hug and a kiss. As innocent as can be, of course.

Where was Gabe during all of this? For the first bit, he was napping in our big weather-proof stroller a few yards from the snowmen. Second bit, inside--he was in my arms, of course!

Brian has a new diversion: Crossfit. I checked their blog this morning and it made me want to do burpees and push-ups and lunges and lots of other things. So I did. This morning wasn't a total waste fitness-wise.

I guess I even got some laundry taken care of today. So things are humming along--not so bad for a Monday.

This post pretty much sums up my mindset lately, which, in fewer words and one simple metaphor, could be described thus: treading water with a half-patient, half-amused smile on my face.

Monday, March 16, 2009

03.16.2009 -- Whatever

I'm so disappointed in Miss ROSE. It's pretty evident now that all I will get from this person or people is a form letter. So sad.

Here's her reply:

How was your days?.

Mine here is very hot and like you know i are living in the refugee Camp here in Dakar Senegal.In this camp i are only allowed to go out only on monday's and friday's of the weeks.Its just like one staying in the prison and i hope by Gods grace i will come out here soon.i don't have any relatives now whom i can go to all our relatives ran away in the middle of the war the only person i have now is Rev.Rochas Danka who is the pastor of the (Christ The Head of All Churches) here in the camp he has been very nice to me since i came here but i am not living with him rather i am leaving in the women's hostel because the camp have two hostels one for men the other for women.

The Pastors Tel number is ( 00221 76-750-3477 ) OR (+221 76-750-3477) if you call and tell him that you want to speak with me he will send for me in the hostel. As a refugee here i don't have any right or priviledge to any thing be it money or whatever because it is against the law of this country.I want to go back to my studies because i only attended my first year before the tragic incident that lead to my being in this situation now took place.

Please listen to this,i have my late father's statement of account and death certificate here with me which i will send to you latter,because when he was alive he deposited some amount of money in a leading bank in Europe which he used my name as the next of kin,the amount in question is $4.7M(Four Million seven Hundred Thousand Dollars).So i will like you to help me transfer this money to your account and from it you can send some money for me to get my travelling documents and air ticket to come over to meet with you.

I kept this secret to people in the camp here the only person that knows about it is the Reverend because he is like a father to me.So in the light of above i will like you to keep it to yourself and don't tell it to anyone for i am afraid of loosing my life and the money if people gets to know about It.Remember i am giving you all this information dueto the trust i deposed on you.I like honest and understanding people,truthful and a person of vision,truth and hardworking.My favorite language is english but our language is french but i speak english very Fluently.Meanwhile i will like you to call me like i said i have a lot to tell you.
Have a nice day,
Awaiting to hear from you soonest.
Miss Rose Guei.

Lame. I wouldn't have bothered to post this, but for my previous promise to follow-up.

Friday, March 13, 2009

03.13.2009 -- Scammer

I asked Brian last night if he read my blog and he said he skimmed it but that it didn't make sense to him.

Here's the scoop for anyone else too busy to read that entry enough to understand. I am currently being phished. I received a bogus e-mail from somebody who is trying to get money from me.

Having always wanted to see how these things actually work, I decided to reply. My reply got a speedy message back and so we are in full swing. Weirdly, this person says that they're in Dakar, Senegal. What are the chances that I happen to have lived in Dakar, speak French, AND the local language, Wolof? Pretty small. Another coincidence is that my host mother in Dakar was from the Ivory Coast.

This just makes me grin.

Here is the reply I got:

How is your day?.

Mine is a little bit hurt over here in Dakar Senegal.
My name is Rose Guei I 'm 23, from Ivory Coast in West Africa,5.11ft tall, Fair in complexion,(never married before )presently, i am residing in the refugee camp here in Dakar, as a result of the civil war that was fought in my country.

My late father! Dr, Robert Guéï, was the managing director of Guei and Associates (Ltd), and he was the personal advicer to the former head of state,before the rebel's attacked our house one early morning they killed my mother, also with my father in cold blood.

It was only me that is alive now,but I managed to make my way to a near by country Senegal, where i am living now in a refugee camp,and this computer which i use to email you is belonging to our revrend pastor that has the church here in the camp.I would like to know more about you.Your like's and dislike's,your hobbie's and what you are doing
presently.I will tell you more about myself, in my next mail.Attached here, is my picture's.
Hoping to hear from you soonest,
Miss Rose Guei.

And this is what I sent back:

Dear Rose,

I am amazed. It is true that we are meant to be together, as I spent nine months in Dakar.

Si vous preferez, nous pouvons continuer nos conversations en francais. Mais votre anglais est impeccable. Dites-moi ou se trouve le camp refugee? Vraiment, Dakar me manque et j'ai encore les amis la-bas. J'ai habite avec une belle famille a Zone B. En plus, mangi lakk Wolof! Ndax yangi deeg Wolof?

J'attend votre message avec impatience.

OTHER NEWS: Gabe is teething. This means holding him more and lots of chewing. :)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

03.12.2009 -- A Love Relationship

I am overflowing with excitement. I just got this message via e-mail:

Hello dear, I viewed your profile at (dating site)
when i was searching for my soul mate and it excite
me so much, and i decides to contact you with a
proposal of having love relationship with
you.please i have a lot to share with you, if you can
reply me directly with my private mail box at
( Am waiting for your mail so that
i will share all with you and also give you my
pictures.thanks keep fit.
MY NAME IS miss ROSE(milkrossy)

I have to admit, I'm a little nervous. I've never met miss ROSE, but it sounds like she really had a powerful feeling when she saw my profile at Zeer. (You can personalize a message when you ask someone to be a friend--much like Facebook.) My profile picture there is a photo of me on the beach in Costa Rica with my arm around an enormous pig. Maybe miss ROSE is an animal lover too.

I feel like this could be really big. Man, I can't mess this up.

What if we are soul mates?!

This is the content of my e-mail to Miss ROSE. I don't want to be too forward or too assuming. Here it is:

Dear Rose,

Thank you for your note.
I would like to see if we are soul mates.
Could you send me your photo?

Thank you,

Stay tuned for updates!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

03.11.2009 -- Last Night's Activities

Lucy playing hair stylist

Gabe checking out the fish while I made dinner

Monday, March 9, 2009

03.09.2009 -- Interview with Lucy

1. What is something I always say to you? "Barring" (made up word)

2. What makes me happy? "When we say “Queen, queen, queen!”" (Before dinner each night, Lucy asks me, "Mom, who's Daddy?" I say: "the King." Lucy asks, "Who are you?" I respond, "the Queen." She continues: "Who is Gabe?" I say, "the prince." Lucy says, "Who am I?" I say, "the princess." And finally, Lucy says, "Who is Zoe?" I say, "the royal dog."

This is a routine that Lucy made up and, if deviated from, she will correct with ardor. If anyone refers to our home or house either directly or indirectly, she corrects whoever was speaking, "No, the CASTLE!!!" For example, if I were to say, "Do you want Zoe to come in?" Lucy would say, "No, you have to say CASTLE!!!" We're going with it.

3. What makes me sad? "When I say bad stuff, like, like when I cry, and when I say, “Mom, mom, mom!!”

4. How do I make you laugh? "You do this: explosive sound with lips."

5. What was I like as a child? "Um, just ...." (She looks at me with a big grin and cute squeaky sound.)

6. How old am I? "Could you tell me? I can’t know that."

7. How tall am I? "I don’t know that. I don’t know how tall are you."

8. What is my favorite thing to do? "PLAY."

9. What do I do when you're not around? "You just hang out with Gabe...right?"

10. If I became famous, what will it be for? “For when I fell on you for a couple of days.”

11. What am I really good at? “You’re good at reading books to me.”

12. What am I not very good at? "Shooting."

13. What do I do for my job? “Work on your ‘puter. Is that right?”

14. What is my favorite food? “Ummm…Oatmeal. Is that right?”

15. What makes you proud of me? “Um, when you help me get my clothes set up. And separate them, too. “

16. If I were a cartoon character, who would I be? “A graaaaa mommy….oh, a mean mommy.”

17. What do you and I do together? "We dance together (is that right?)"

18. How are you and I the same? “Dancing!”

19. How are you and I different? “Play.“

20. How do you know I love you? “Because you miss me.”

21. Where is my favorite place to go? “To Mo Bettah’s. Right?”

1. What is something dad always says to you? He says, “Sweetheart, I’m gonna come back if you sleep and you will watch your fishies if you want.” (As she watches her fish.)
“When I go to sleep, he says, ‘We will make some puff-up pancakes, sweetheart daughter.’”

2. What makes dad happy? “Play.”

3. What makes daddy sad? “When I say ‘Whaaa, I don’t wanna go to bed.”” (in a whiny voice.)

4. How does your dad make you laugh? “Hmm, hmm. Maybe do this (all sorts of crazy noises with her mouth.)”

5. What was your dad like as a child? “He liked to play.”

6. How old is your dad? “Could you tell me? I don’t know. 4 months old?”

7. How tall is your dad? “I don’t know….um…A lot of months tall. As tall as the fishbowl --not very tall.”

8. What is his favorite thing to do? “He loves to play with me. He plays house and I love him. … I love him, too.”

9. What does daddy do when you're not around? “I don’t know.”

10. If your dad becomes famous, what will it be for? No response

11. What is your dad really good at? “He’s good at skiing.”

12. What is your dad not very good at? “Opening bananas (As she eyes the bananas on the counter.)”

13. What does your dad do for his job? “He goes to work and works in his office – he sells money so he could dig holes.”

14. What is your dad's favorite food? “Batman cereal.”

15. What makes you proud of your dad? “When I say, Daddy, Daddy, Daddy!”

16. If your dad were a cartoon character, who would he be? “He would be Houn. He looks like a Honk. Like Aunt Becca made a honk. Like a road. A road doc.”

17. What do you and your dad do together? “We play house—the Queen and the prince and the prince..”

18. How are you and your dad the same? “We both like playing with each other, and we don’t like to fight.”

19. How are you and your dad different? “He doesn’t….. I do skateboard.”

20. How do you know your daddy loves you? “He loves me because I eat healthy food like cereal, oatmeal.”

21. Where is your dad's favorite place to go? "To um… to Mo Bettahs."

During this interview, which, incidentally, took FOREVER... Lucy pointed out that it wasn't really fair for me to get to ask all of the questions. So we took turns. She asked questions and typed the answers. Her questions would probably be a lot more interesting, but I couldn't type them as she asked, because it was her turn at the computer. Oh well.

Friday, March 6, 2009

03.06.2009 -- Rubbers?

Lucy, coming from our bathroom: :"Dad, I've got the rubbers!"
Brian and I look at each other.

Lucy emerges with two different massage thingies in her hands.

(I think every other year, for Christmas or BT's birthday, I've given him massage thingies as a gesture that I will continue to rub his back for him when he's tired.) These have doubled in value because Lucy things they're fun and often suggests that we give backrubs. With a rollerballmassage tool in her hands, you could do a lot worse than a backrub from Lucy.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

03.05.2009 -- Dairy Queen

All bundled up to watch ice carving at Soldier's Hollow...

His hair is growing back and it looks pretty red!

Those cheeks are even more kissable than they look.

One thing my sweet mother-in-law likes to say is that Gabe has his very own "Dairy Queen." Well, this Dairy Queen has gone Dairyless.

To spare you the details, I will just say that his diapers told me something was off. I've also realized that some of his skin issue (like a sore bum and eczema-like scaliness) were probably related, too. After some searching on the internet, I found that there was a good chance that Gabe is allergic to cow's milk and that I would need to cut it from my diet if I wanted the symptoms to go away. I started yesterday. I sometimes joke that Lucy is made up of some high percentage of milk products (yogurt, milk, cheese, etc..), but never stopped to think how much of my diet included milk--that is, until it was making Gabe sick.

I am actually seeing an improvement already, if you can believe it. (Apparently, it takes 10 - 14 days for the proteins to work their way out of a system.)