Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A slightly bigger Ethan

Ethan is now a little over three months! My goodness. It seems so long, yet so short of a time! It's definitely hard to remember what it was like before he came, but we're okay with that. We went for a checkup yesterday and he weighs a little over 12 pounds! Derek took that as confirmation of his chunkiness, but the fact that he has outgrown his swaddler is good and bad. I'm just wondering how long it will take for him to sleep through the night without it. I didn't get to see how long Ethan was, but since he looks somewhat normal I'm assuming he's proportional.

My goodness is he cute! He loves to sit up, even though he can't do it by himself yet. He likes to slap his fists to his belly. I'm not sure where that came from but its kind of like a king of the apartment thing because he usually squeals a happy call when he does it. You can tell that he's trying to make sense of the world around him by the earnest faces he makes. And he's definitely more like his daddy than me; not just in looks but in his sweet disposition as well. It was about an hour past feeding time when he first started to get hungry while we were waiting for the doctor, but he barely fussed. He played with me for a while instead. His favorite thing to do, besides laughing and smiling, is to jump up and down. When he sees us coming to pick him up he gets so excited that he moves his limbs around as fast as he can. Okay, I'm done now. My goodness I'm long winded, (or would it be keyboard happy?). Here are some pictures to gratify having to get through the text block.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Lost in Translation

My wife has been begging me to write something on here and I have finally decided to do it. I just never knew what to say. I have enough trouble writing in my own journal. What can I say that will be worthwhile for anyone besides myself to read? So that's why I am just now attempting to write a blog post. Maybe if I do a bad enough job at this, Jo won't ask me to do another post. Actually, she'll probably make me post more often as a punishment. Can't win 'em all.

First off, I read an article not too long ago about companies hiring people to teach their group how to speak and understand "text language"(referring to the form of writing used in sending a text message via cellphone). I don't understand why companies want to use a juvenile form of writing in such a professional setting. That's like saying to everyone, "Yes, we are happy to promote and encourage laziness." I understand that text language is another form of shorthand that makes note writing easier, but when people have forgotten how to spell things out and begin using this text language in emails and even resumes, I worry about the future. Even here at college, I am astonished at the number of people who cannot spell the simplest of words or punctuate the easiest of sentences. I held a lead position at one of my jobs and saw a number of resumes that used text language instead of writing out the actual words. They were the first resumes to be thrown away. I also never waste my time on reading comments posted about something if they use text language because, to me, if they can't take the time to spell out their message, it's not worth reading.

I especially can't stand it when people begin speaking in text language instead of using normal speech. I can understand when you write "LOL" in a note since it is hard to describe laughter, but it drives me nuts when people actually say "LOL" instead of actually laughing. And I don't understand why people can't say a few extra syllables these days. Ex: "Prego" - apparently this is "pregnant", but I can't help but think of spaghetti sauce when people say this; "Addi" - this is supposed to stand for "address", I guess it's hard to say those double s' at the end; "Rents" - this is apparently the new form of "parents". These things are ridiculous and I think it goes way beyond slang. I feel like I'm surrounded by an alien language in my own country, but maybe I'm just old fashioned. I don't know. It just makes me fear for our future and wonder to what point our laziness will progress and what things will be acceptable in a professional setting that really shouldn't be.

Whoa, sorry about that. I didn't mean to use this blog as a venting session. Guess you'll never want to hear from me again, huh? I just hope I'm not alone in thinking this.

As a positive note, I'm a very happy person despite my "non-conformist rants." I am very involved in a big film project and I just got a promotion to "Production Manager" in my job. Yay!
"God has given me this talent. What kind of person would I be if I did not share it?"
Felicia Opare

Sunday, August 16, 2009

...and baby makes 3...4...5?

Those of us who pay attention know how wondrous nature is. Almost every religion personifies nature in some way. My own religion sees her as a creation and servant of Christ. Pagan religion reveres and worships her. Taoist, and Buddhist alike, believe we are most at peace when in harmony with nature. Existentialists believe we are merely a lens, and invisible eye from which to view nature. And though he was a bit off with his theories on chaos, Dr. Ian Malcolm was right when he said, "If there is one thing the history of evolution has taught us it's that life will not be contained. Life breaks free, expands to new territory, and crashes through barriers, painfully, maybe even dangerously." "...I'm simply saying that life, uh... finds a way. " Of course I'm taking the liberty of interpreting Malcolm's "life" as nature, because I can. We see stunning examples of nature's power when wind and water change a landscape; when vegetation inhabits the cracks in a sidewalk; or when a salmon swims upstream to breed. Nature never ceases to amaze me. It is enormous yet infinitesimal. Bold yet cautious. Dangerous yet incredibly gentle. Brilliantly colorful. Awe inspiring.

Now to change tone a bit and let you know why I went on a long ramble about nature. While I was in high school my parents allowed me to get a cockateil. I named him Napoleon because though he was small, he was fearless and quite pushy. We called him Nappy for short. Horrible I know. While I was in college Nappy, of course, had to stay home but eventually was introduced to a new friend, Possum, who was given to my dad. Now that is a horrible name. Nappy and Possum became wonderful friends, Nappy even became very protective of him. No one was worried about breeding because both Napoleon and Possum are male, or so we thought. Earlier this year I got a phone call from my sister Ashley (she's wonderful at keeping me informed) telling me that the birds had started building a nest in one of the corners of their cage. Another phone call reveled that eggs had been laid, but they never hatched. Now the question was, which boy laid the eggs? Hmmmm... Finally, we accepted that Possum is a female, without checking under her skirt. Not too long ago I was told that eggs were again seen in the bottom of the cage, and this weekend they hatched. Three eggs, one at a time. Now Nappy is a proud, strutting father of three. What will happen from here? Who knows? My dad is caring for the little family, but the only thing that is certain is, life will always find a way.

Unfortunately the babies didn't live for very long.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Primeval Scream

Derek and I are quiet people. We don't play music loud, we don't turn movies up too much (until Derek gets his dream surround sound entertainments system, heaven help us), and we even speak in quieter tones. I've been caught mumbling more than once. That's just how we like it. Ethan has been born into a home of calm, and he shares in it. Even when he's upset he doesn't really scream like other babies. I cannot say how long this calm will last once he can talk, or once he has siblings, but for the moment it's quite peaceful. I think greater powers decided we needed a bit of a shake up.

This past week we babysat our friends' two wonderful children. Rachel, a little over two and a bit rambunctious but so sweet, and Hyrum, 7 months, suave and smiley. Ethan, though he is almost 3 months, and though a good number of our friends have kids, hasn't spent a lot of time with other children. I was a little worried at how he would react to the change, especially in noise level. When Rachel gets tired she gets more active and almost overly helpful. She wanted to be helpful when it came to Ethan especially. She wanted to do everything for him, so it was no surprise when she wanted to help Derek burp Ethan. What was a surprise was how she wanted to help. As Ethan was propped upon Derek's shoulder, bouncing around as he usually does, Rachel got as close to his face as she could and screamed. Screamed right in his face. Wendy, Rachel's wonderful momma, explained to me later that she does that with Hyrum because it makes him laugh. Ethan stopped bouncing, looked blankly at Rachel and screamed back! He wasn't crying but he wasn't laughing either. He just screamed back as many times as she screamed. Derek and I were stunned. We didn't know what to do, so we did what most other parents do. We looked at each other in surprise, and then laughed our heads off. Hyrum smiled, Rachel giggled and I think Ethan spit up a little. I still don't know what to make of it, but it will definitely be one of those funny, if not confusing, moments in my life. At least we know that Ethan can hold his own. That's my boy.

Thursday, August 6, 2009


I have always wanted to be a writer. It's fun, and it's liberating for a shy person who has trouble articulating her thoughts in speech. This is how I can show myself to the world. Even as a child I would write short stories, or poems, to express my love, or even to explain what mood I was in. I write for me. I write to connect with those who are most precious around me. Herein lies the problem. Most people, even those who know me well, have never read my works. I never saw a reason for them to. I figured if my writing was influential, or even good, a teacher would have told me so. Maybe I relied too much on their judgment. But, if only a very few have seen my writing how could the world know me?

Lately, Derek and I have been talking about my writing, about doing more with it. This Blog is my first attempt at expanding my horizons while affording myself a chance of practicing. Derek wants me to go further, perhaps to even publish a book of poems I've already written. At his request, I'm posting a poem of his choice, written years ago. Some may hear on echo of Yeats in the style. I patterned it after him for a homework assignment.

My Son

What world do you enter here,
among the broken willows and forgotten rose?
With darkness on the wind,
from every corner evil blows.

I am sorry, my beloved son,
that this place is no more safe;
that I could not change it,
nor satisfy your grace.

There is hope, among the deep,
rejected by those who cannot see,
burning bright, an ember yet.
But you will stand; you will not flee.

Oh my son, my love of life,
empowered and blessed are you,
for you have strength beyond your foes.
Remember, and be one of the few.

Happy Birthday to Me!!

Usually on occasions such as this the normal mode of writing includes the familiar groans of age and , "where have the years gone?" or regrets of not accomplishing more before now. As I really don't pay too much attention to my age I cannot gratify this habit so, instead, I have decided to brag about how wonderful my birthday was. It was amazing! Here is why:

Derek, who usually tries to work as much as possible, stayed home and took care of the baby so I could sleep in. I didn't even have to nudge him awake to get a bottle ready! He wanted to bring me a glorious southern breakfast in bed (including grits, eggs and bacon!) but I was in the mood for something lighter so he brought me Cinnamon Toast Crunch instead. That's good cereal. I worked-out without worrying about Ethan, and had an indulgent shower. I was able to talk to my grandparents and most of my family on the phone and share the excitement of being able to travel to my hometown at the end of September. Thank you Mom! Can I just say I love talking to my family? I do! Then, the three of us took a long walk to Broulims' where I picked out the flavor of birthday cake Derek would make me. That's right, Derek is going to make me a cake! The cat was in a good mood, and we even has an amazing thunderstorm (after we got home). Yes! Now, you may be thinking that this is too much, too perfect, but I'm not done yet. To help you fully appreciate my joy I will now have to go into more detail. Derek made me dinner.

Not just any dinner, a steak dinner. Derek made me Greek style Rib-eye steak (the size of my face) topped with feta cheese; a baked sweet potato topped with butter, cinnamon and brown sugar; and sauteed yellow squash with asparagus, mushrooms and onions. I'll just let that soak in...
The table was set with candles, cloth napkins and goblets filled with apple-pomegranate sparkling cider. I would have taken a picture but thought the better of it. I didn't want to distract from the moment. Then, being the gentleman that he is, Derek led me from the couch, where I was enjoying Sabrina, and seated me at the head of the table like royalty. The rest is too precious to me, and a bit too sappy, to share but I think you got the general idea. We shared love and laughter, we enjoyed time with each other and Ethan, and Derek even did the dishes. This was a day writer's immortalize. Thank you for your love and Happy Birthday wishes. As you can see, they were put to perfect use.