Thursday, December 31, 2009

A New Year

Here we are on the 'Eve, and Bryce has suddenly come down with a 102.5 fever. Poor kid woke up red faced and howling, I picked him up and it was like holding a hot water bottle. He's since cooled down, and calmed down, and he's watching some old Sesame Streets with Courtney in the bedroom. And so, it looks like out New Year's Eve will be spent hoping he feels better in 2010, maybe waking up to comfort a few times on either side of the year. Not that we had plans, mind you, but it's too bad to spend an evening feeling sorry for a baby rather than waiting out the old year in contentment.

But it is a New Year coming up tomorrow, and that means some consideration is in order, perhaps even a resolution or two?

The Old Year-

Relatively peaceful compared to 2008, no cancer, no birth, no book.

Well, the book did come out in 2009, of course, and a brief flurry of signings and events was pretty fun. Some doors opened, and I accomplished some more writing-related goals. In that regard, I end 2009 in a better position than I've been in before, and many things that I found intimidating (article proposals) are no longer things that I really worry about.

Bryce has gone from a barely walking, barely talking infant to a real, honest to goodness toddler, full of energy and a constant stream of commentary. His memory often surprises me (he easily rattles off the full alphabet, and recites long passages from his books on a regular basis). Parenthood is, well, incredible, and I don't know how we managed to get along without him for so long. What did we do with our time? I guess we just watched a lot of movies.

Courtney is plugging away at her job, which will soon be coming to an end. In order to increase her prospects she obtained her licensure this year, and is eager to take a crack at the job market sometime in the fall.

Overall, just a feeling of steady advancement on our life-path, and after the turmoil of 2008, I am pleased with the relative gentleness of 2009.

Now, how about the Future?

That's a tough thing, isn't it, to verbalize one's goals. I have some, mind you, but I intend to stalk them quietly through the year and then climactically leap upon each one and throttle it into submission. For that sort of thing, you need quiet, you need tactical advantage, you need the element of surprise. If I were to write it down here for all to see, well the goal would find out and take the initiative to flee and I'd never be able to catch up. No, this is better, circumspection, silence, soft-footedness and patience.

Besides, if I wrote them out here and didn't accomplish them, then next year I'd just keep reloading this page and crying and crying. And I already do enough crying now that youtube has made it so easy to rewatch all the "very special" episodes of Diff'rent Strokes.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Post-apocachristmas

It's December 28, 2009. I've propped myself up in a corner table at the local Flying Star (which I still call Double Rainbow out of habit, despite the name change having occurred, what, ten years ago or so?), in front of a window affording a view of the abandoned mixed-use condos across the street (fluorescent green posterboard "for rent" sign hanging akimbo from an aesthetically rusted porch, the empty, mostly-finished shop space behind it still visible despite the gauzy curtains that someone put up in a half assed effort to block casual eyes). Got a moment here away from the baby, away from family, some time to catch up on various to-dos.

This is one of them.

The subheading on this blog reads, as it has for over six years now (!), "Harrowing Tales and Thrilling Adventure!". Christmas, I suppose, counts for both. Christmas happened, and it was our biggest and most complicated for many years, involving not just Bannermans, but also Kronemans and FitzGeralds. Brittany, my sister of course, lives here now, as does Robert, Courtney's brother, and Denise, her mother. Throw them into the New Mexico Christmas mix, along with my grandmother and uncle, and my mother visiting for the holidays. Bryce is now almost, very very close, to two years old (22 months in January), and thus aware of the X-mas thing in a way that he just wasn't last year. We have a real tree festooned in the appropriate way, and he is very good at "looking but not touching", bending way over to peer at the ornaments on his level, being oh-so mindful not to touch, until, of course, he forgets himself and pulls a skiing reindeer, his particular favorite, off. The Christmas tree is not the first source of "time-out" (that would be his experiments in dog torture), but it his most frequent.

"Remember Bryce, look but don't touch."

"'Member Bryce, don't look but don't touch."

"No, you can look, but don't touch."

"Don't look! Don't touch!"

But the fine point is irrelevant now anyway as he is exploiting what he hopes is a loophole in the instructions.

"No, Bryce, don't touch the tree with your face either."

And around we go, until the dreaded "If you touch it again, that's a time out". "Time out" is still a novel concept and at this point he is just as likely to take one of three options- 1) Stop touching, with a vaguely defeated look on his face; 2) Keep touching in feigned obliviousness; or 3) skip to the chase and with an announcement of "Time out!", walk into his bedroom and take the appointed "time out" seat.

Time-out lasts for 15 seconds, at least when parentally initiated. He sits by his big stuffed bear on the floor and I stand in front of him with arms crossed, a serious expression on my face, and we count. Typically he lays down after a second or two, simply stating "Laying on top of big bear". I suppose that's okay, but attempts at standing are met with me picking him up and putting him back down. It's sort of a game more than half the time, but it does serve to interrupt his desired activity, and is thus successful at causing him to consider the consequences of touching the tree or stomping on the endlessly patient Sharka's tail, or what have you.

And there were presents of course, lots of them, way too many, probably. And now, three days later he is still asking for more- "Want to open another present! A present from Nonny!". We tell him that the presents are "all gone", and he accepts it. We've hidden most of his gifts away from him for now, the theory being that it's best to parcel them out in a rotating fashion.

Christmas for the grownups was as it should be- frantic, stressful, wonderful. Every one of us undoubtedly had our moment of "Oh, shit, why do we do this again?" and also our moments of love and comfort. Most of the planned events went semi-awry but also worked out just fine, and a good time was had by ALL, hopefully. There was eggnog and rum and wine and mulled mead (a revelation! Sure to reappear next year) and beer. Ham and cookies and candy and more candy and more candy. And, of course, the candy. We made an attempt on a farolito walk and made it a whole block before the baby decided that he was both too cold AND unwilling to put a hood or mittens on.

And now, things are winding down. Courtney has the rest of the week off and my mother's in town till Wednesday. Things are quite now, peaceful, the only big family thing left is the requisite trip to see Avatar just like every other family in America. Oh, I suppose New Year's is coming up, but we've always been quite reserved when it comes to that day, usually opting for a night of board games or a few movies instead of whatever it is that you people do.

Speaking of you people, here's to wishing that your holidays were as enjoyable as ours, and as stressful, because why should we suffer alone? And a Happy New Year to you!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Cars

We are rapidly approaching the time when we will be needing a new car. The Rav-4 has 170k on it, and though it is still running well, it's got an oil leak that we've already sunk $1500 into to no avail.

What we need: a solid vehicle with good gas mileage that can accommodate 2 dogs and a car seat. My ideal would be a wagon (SUVs are too big, gas-guzzley, and the dogs can't see out the windows when standing on the floor).

What I'm looking at: Mazda5, Hyundai Elantra Touring (surprisingly well-ranked by Consumer Reports), Pontiac Vibe, Kia Spectra5, Toyota Matrix. I would love to consider a Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen or a Subaru Outback, but both of them are a bit pricey. Maybe an older model...

If anyone has any recommendations I'd happily entertain them!

Happy Holidays!

Home for two weeks!!! God, I love working for the University.

This was Bryce's first Christmas to actually be somewhat aware of what was happening. He now knows who Santa Claus is, and he seems to have developed an insatiable desire to open presents. He had something like 50 of them, and even today he is asking for more. The joy seems to be in the opening of them rather than in the gifts themselves. I'm thinking of getting him a refrigerator box... can you still get such a thing? Best playhouse I ever had...

Trying to decide what to do with all this free time has been something of a challenge. We'd like to go on a sleigh-ride or sledding/tubing one day, but GOD it's cold in the mountains right now. I guess that's the price you pay for winter sport. Bryce did get a smashing snow suit from Grandfather JD and Grandmother Cora, so we certainly better put it to use. Just got to find him some mittens that he can't take off.

Ty is enjoying his new e-reader and has already loaded almost 20 books onto it. He has it in hand more often than his laptop these days. Dad sent us a webcam that is VERY unfortunately not mac compatible (despite the indication on Amazon that it IS). So hopefully we can exchange that soon and take our Skyping to the next level.

Hope that everyone had a lovely holiday, and that you all have a wonderful 2010!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Okay okay!

For all of you who have been asking me, here is a link to Bryce's with list.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Just don't blog like we used to

Facebook is an evil thing. For one thing, it's keeping me from updating the blog at all. I think it's got Ty as well...

Tomorrow we're attending Thanksgiving with some 12 or so people. My brother is creating a marshmallow-cranberry thing called ambrosia and the sausage bread stuffing that will be put in the turkey tomorrow. He's nervous because we got a free-range, all-natural turkey, and he's worried that it's not going to be as good as a butterball 'cause it's not injected with brine and sugar. I've told him no worries.

I am off work tomorrow and Friday, and I took Monday off as well. Here's to an EXTRA-long weekend!! Instead of shopping on Friday, we're going to go to the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center to celebrate Native American Heritage Day 2009 (Congress has to renew it every year). Looking forward to that.

Otherwise just kind of trying to figure it all out. I've got 14 months left on our grant and it's probably time to start looking for something new, now. We'll see.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Halloween 2009





Bryce's second Halloween! He's some kind of Robot/Knight/Space Man thing... Not really sure, but he sure looks super!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Dear New Mexico:

Dear New Mexico Legislature and Governor Bill Richardson,

Please, PLEASE raise my taxes, and don't cut the (already pathetic, sorry-ass) education budget. We can't afford to produce any fewer, less-educated children in this state.

Sincerely,
Courtney

Saturday, October 17, 2009

He figures these things out

He watches us. And apparently, he learns...
video

I thought that I'd film him having gotten up onto the "big boy chair." Something else happened instead.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Sicko

And now... illness. This totally sucks. This is my week, my ONE WEEK, when there is *nothing* going on at work, and I don't have my sociology class. And this is the time whatever virus decided to infect me. It couldn't have happened during a week when I would actually be getting out of something unpleasant - no. It had to attack me two days before we're supposed to go out of town for our anniversary.

And it looks like it got mom too, so there goes our babysitter.

And Bryce had a temperature of 99.4 when we put him to bed tonight, too.

Annoyed. And feverish.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Three... more... days

The study I work on has three more days left of data collection for this round (we do two rounds each year). I cannot believe how much effort has gone into this one, and frankly I wonder how we all managed to survive it. I've been working multiple 12 to 15 hour days, regularly. Ty, of course, also puts in so many hours whenever I do. And, what's worst, I don't get to see Bryce too much. I even had a dream that it had been an entire year since I last saw him.

But, thankfully, all this running around will come to an end on Friday, whether the project gets all the data we need or not. The intervention phase of the study starts on October 12, and no data collection can go on at the same time - they have to be independent of eachother.

I'm taking a couple of days off in a row next week, and Ty's taking me to the Laughing Lizard Inn in Jemez Springs. We will eat a fancy supper and just veg for the evening. Bryce is staying with mom (Thanks Mom!!). Robert will watch the girls, so I feel pretty comfortable that everything will be okay.

I love doing research. I love my job and the work that I do, but I tell you: I am SO READY for this craziness to be over already!!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Worn to a nub

Everyone. Everyone around here is worn to a nub. Been a big few weeks for Courtney at work, 12 hour days and loooong periods on the road. On top of that, she's got a class on NM cultures with loads of reading and a test this week. Of course, 12 hour days for her means 12 hour days for me too, and a generalized lack of energy for all at the end of the day. It feels like everything is on hold for now.

Hopefully I'll be starting up doing examiner articles next week, which should be interesting. The rumor is that they actually pay real money, who knows how much? But real money on the internet? I haven't seen that since Brijit.com gave up the bizarre business plan of sending out checks for no particularly good reason. Next week, incidentally, marks a sea-change in my life overall. You see, starting next week, Denise is going to watch the baby every Wednesday afternoon, to which I can only offer profound, deeply felt thanks and a one-man chorus of infinite Halleluja!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Us on the Annual-Versity eve







Anniversary No. 6

Six years ago tonight, at just about this time, my stomach finally quit hurting and I was finally able to eat something. I also took my hair down from a very, very elaborate braiding. It was poofy for the entire next day!


Six years ago tonight, we got hitched. I hear it was a really great party, but sadly I can't remember it all too well - it kind of went by in a blur. Should have taken that Valium... :)

We celebrated yesterday in Santa Fe with Bruce and Grandma at (you guessed it) Harry's. Bryce had soup and lots of bread with butter (pictures to be included when I can get Blogger to order them properly), Ty the lamb chops, and I had some blackened catfish with grits & collared greens. Harry's always provides a nice, relaxing atmosphere and spectacular food. They absolutely didn't disappoint this time - and I'll say it again: if you're ever in Santa Fe, it's a must-eat.

It's nice to be married for 6 years. It also really doesn't feel like that long. Gotta say, I'm looking forward to the next six too!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Ow.

Why, why do we eat what's put in front of us, when we know better? Tonight, ate (1) probably a whole basket of chips and salsa and some guacamole, (2) one steak fajita with onions and peppers, (3) a sopaipilla with honey, (4) a couple more pieces of steak, some of Bryce's beans and rice, (5) a margarita, (6) about 1/5 of a huge ice cream sundae, (7) a big-ass piece of German chocolate cake from The Chocolate Maven in Santa Fe. I am in such pain and I just know I may not fit into my jeans anymore after this.

But god, it was soooo good!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Bryce in boots

Bryce enjoys wearing his new galoshes... they look just like little fire trucks. He is also sporting some fabulous sports pajamas - 24 month-ers, I might add!!



Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Bryce at the zoo


We went to the zoo again today. I have to say, this Biopark membership has absolutely been the best birthday gift I've received in a long time. It's probably paid for itself a few times over by now.

Bryce is getting to the point where he walks by himself a lot of the time. This is good and bad - good, because it gives my arms a break; bad, because I get less exercise. I think I'm willing to sacrifice the workout, though, in favor of his becoming more independent. He knows the names of almost all the animals, including something called an Ankole-Watusi, which looks like a longhorn with exceptionally huge horns. He enjoys the chimpanzees best, and even knows many of their names: Alf, Elaine, and their little daughter, Kianga, who is 2 years old and very, very active.

Lately, though, his favorite thing to do is run up and down the bridge that is part of the siamang exhibit. Today, there were two boys there a little older than 2 years old. Their moms were fabulous, and made sure that they were careful around Bryce. All three of them were running up and down, up and down the bridge. They had a great time. It was hard getting Bryce to leave.
On our way out, we noticed that the gorillas had returned to their enclosure after the keepers were in there, spreading food around. The big male saw Bryce playing on the observation deck, gathered up a bunch of fruit and some grasses, and came right up to the edge of the enclosure to watch. Had to get a picture - he was just so cool.

So ended a pretty nice morning at the zoo. We also got to Other Mothers and loaded up on fall clothes, then came home and both of us crashed. What a fantastic day.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

New Bryce Pictures




These are from Bruce's 51st birthday party at (where else?) Harry's Roadhouse in Santa Fe. Bryce had spaghetti. All over him. The first picture is from our house, taken this morning. Bryce has been carrying around his soft teddy bears lately. It's really cute.

Friday, August 28, 2009

One Way to Increase Your Blog Hits

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article6813576.ece

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Frustration

I think my flirtation... er... short term relationship? Poorly thought out marriage? to social media may well be coming to a close. Twitter is just like blogging, only necessarily shorter. Facebook is noisy. A constant clamor of people you vaguely remember from highschool telling you what Sex in the City character they are and sending you pretend alcoholic beverages but not really communicating for the most part.

I stopped posting so much because I became frustrated with the essentially one-way nature of communicating via blog. But twitter and facebook are just as one-way most of the time. I fantasize about pulling the plug on this whole internet thing and just focusing on meeting people for drinks over at the local bar, or some other variety of the increasingly fantastical "hanging out" in real life, but our life just doesn't seem to be in a place where that's a possibility right now. My work, such as it is, depends on emailing and internet research. My social life, such as it is, has become consistently awkward to schedule. We're in a different life stage than most of the people we interact with, and it seems like we just don't know what to do with each other anymore. The few parents that we actually know are just as busy and baby schedule constrained as we as are, or more so, so little actually happens on that front either.

I'm not going to make any attempt to make this more cohesive than it is. Just consider it a big blob of New Parent Angst 2.0 or whatever.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Things Bryce Does- 17.5 Months Old

Bryce frequently requests that we sing the song Carrickfergus. He calls it "Deepest Ocean".

Bryce tells us stories. Two nights ago, he told us about the time, a week before, that Tesuque jumped on him and scratched his foot. "Sukie jump inna car! Owie on foot! Bandaid. Bandaid. Pulled it off."

Bryce enjoys the aquarium, and has favorite fish. "The sharks!" he says. "The rays! Annda puffer fish. Is huge!" The puffer fish comes right up to the glass and looks at Bryce. It is, in fact, huge.

Bryce knows portions of the alphabet. He fills in the blanks when someone recites it for him.

Bryce builds with blocks. He puts a triangle piece on top of a structure and says "I like that house!"

Bryce calls anything that looks monstrous, for instance, an ogre on the cover of a book, a "dwagon". He does not seem to think that they are scary.

Bryce is afraid of the shower head. He gets scared in the bath because of it. I lifted him up to touch it so that he could see that it wouldn't hurt him. "Shower head is bumpy," he says. "It's just funny! It won't hurt you."

Bryce talks all the time.

Bryce makes up stories. On the road we passed a construction site. "Bulldozer!" he says, then, as we continue driving- "Bulldozer go up in the sky! It fly away! It fly! Up in the sky!"

Bryce loves Sharka. Sharka is patient, protective. She gives him a lick when she first sees him in the morning.

Bryce says funny things and when we laugh, he repeats them, louder and louder each time without understanding what makes them funny. Just like me.

Addendum: Bryce knows the difference between Brett and Jemaine on Flight of the Conchords, and can name them when he sees their pictures.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

My dream car

I've become a mom. My dream car is a station wagon.

Bryce buries me in books.


This was too cute not to post. The books he has in hand are the Lord of the Rings trilogy!

Passed it!

Today, I passed the Master's level ASWB (Association of Social Work Boards) examination! This is a feat for me, considering I got my degree a little over 3 years ago, and it wasn't in clinical social work. The bulk of the exam is about direct, clinical practice. So! I am now officially competent to practice social work at a Master's level. Unfortunately, in New Mexico, you're also required to take a 3 credit-hour course in New Mexico cultures. I am therefore starting a Sociology of New Mexico class at UNM on Thursday. Ah well! Hopefully, I'll be completely officially licensed and legal and whatnot in December.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Bryce Sings the Hits



Bryce, 16 months, sings some favorites, with a little off-key help from Papa. Also, a somewhat awkward face-plant.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Botanical Gardens





Had a lovely day at the Albuquerque Botanical Gardens on Sunday. I particularly enjoyed walking through the children's garden, and Bryce liked touching the giant ant. There's also an enormous pumpkin you walk through with giant seeds dangling in netting to look like pumpkin guts. It's incredibly cool. As soon as it gets cool, I intend to spend a lot of time there. As it is, we've pretty much got to get out by 10:00 a.m. to escape the heat. Thank goodness our membership includes the aquarium, and that it's right next to the botanical gardens. This is by far the best birthday gift I've received in years. Thanks everyone! And thanks for the bike, dad!!

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Camping Pictures







Had a great time camping last week at Big Tesuque campground (sans our own little Tesuque). Sharka, Bryce, Ty and I had a wonderful time, despite getting run off the mountain at 2:00 a.m. due to lightning and heavy rain. The tent held up beautifully, though, and everything inside it was still nice and dry when we broke it down at 9:00 a.m. The wildflowers were amazing, and the stars were incredible. We'll definitely be going again, hopefully soon. Oh, and in case you're ever in the Santa Fe area, it's a free campsite and a great place to stay less than 20 minutes' drive into town.






Monday, June 08, 2009

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Tomorrow

This week is rough for us. I have a conference tomorrow at the UNM Continuing Education center that I've been planning for two months (would have had longer to do so, but the idea got nixed, then insisted upon... it's a long and painful story). I feel like I've been planning my wedding all over again. I have bouts of what must be PTSD.
Ty's article is also due this week. He got an email from the Alibi's editor two weeks ago asking if she could move up his deadline from mid-July to early June. Sure! Why not? He's going to pull it off though, and with a pretty darn good article, in my opinion.
With all this going on, neither of us is particularly pleasant to be around. All of you who live out of state should thank your lucky stars you're not too close to either of us (though you may regret not being near the delightful babykins pictured in the previous post).
I can hardly wait for tomorrow at 5:00.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Bryce in Ty's old baby outfit

video
Bryce hauls baby butt all around the garden at the Harwood Arts Center, a block from the house. He's wearing a baby outfit that Ty's mom preserved from Ty's own baby-hood. It fit him beautifully, but I think that now it's already too small. Shame.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

What's been going on...

Sorry, we've been really bad about posting new things to the blog these days. What with the Twitter and the Facebook and the work and the baby and the dogs and the living... kind of got side-tracked.

Quick Updates:
1. Ty is working on article for the Albuquerque Alibi on Urban Exploration. Should be featured in July or so.
2. Bryce is a walking, talking 14-month old. He has more words than I can count and is starting to make rudimentary sentences, such as, "Mama, mama work," and "Do Papa water, please."
3. I am working like crazy. Just got two new grant proposals out for some of those Recovery Act (aka Stimulus) funds.

We have some pictures and videos of the munchkin, and will post these as soon as time allows.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

A Tale of Two Dogs

We have two dogs. One of them is a little bit nuts, and the other is completely and utterly insane. I have a warm, soft Sharka curled up next to me on the sofa right now. She occasionally lifts her head to listen if she hears something outside. But, once she's figured out it's not a threat (or I tell her it's okay), she sighs and happily lies back down as I scratch her behind her ears.
Tesuque is currently out in the back yard. She is having barking fit after barking fit. I would let her in, but the barking fits do not stop simply because she is indoors and Bryce has just gone down for the night. When Tesuque hears a noise (or thinks she hears a noise, as is normally the case), she doesn't waste time listening again to be sure there's an imminent threat, she just immediately sounds the alarm.
Tesuque is kind of a problem. It's like she has an anxiety disorder - she is ever on a hair-trigger, and she can (and does) go off at any moment. Taking her for walks is stressful, leaving her at home is stressful... in fact she recently started turning on the stove in our absence, apparently searching for food on the stove top. We've come home three times to a very strong gas smell in the house. The only thing that works these days is to run her. Hard. Every morning. The problem? She seems to be getting stronger and has even more energy!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

2009 MS Walk


I'll be walking as part of a team from UNM to help end Multiple Sclerosis. You can sponsor me, or better yet - JOIN MY TEAM (or volunteer to help out at the event) if you live in Albuquerque!


Nearly half a million Americans live with MS. The National Multiple Sclerosis Society not only funds research for a cure, but they also are an incredible resource for people living with the disease and their families and friends. They provide information and referral services, sponsor support groups, and in some communities, provide counseling.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

My beautiful son


Thursday, March 12, 2009

This Week's Alibi

So, if you haven't already, please check out a copy of this week's Alibi.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Friday, February 13, 2009

Baby Butt


Why? Because it's cute and it won't a baby butt for much longer. If it looks like he's bruised, don't panic. He was born with mongolian spots.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Please STOP screaming!

30 Minutes. That's how long he's been screaming.

30
Agonizing
Soul-crushing
Minutes.

He's got a dry diaper: check. He had a nice breakfast: check. He is in warm clothes that fit him fine: check. He was rubbing his eyes and getting cranky: check.

The kid needs a nap. WHY WON'T HE SLEEP!!?!?!?! How does he have the energy to just scream and scream and scream?

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Good News

I just talked to my editor over at Arcadia. He said, and I quote, "The book is cleaning up." Apparently sales figures are looking really good all ready. So, thanks everyone!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Primal

The problem with playing blocks with Bryce is this- I get into it. I become invested in my tower. I want it to be tall.

And then when he wrecks it, I can't help but feel a little disappointed.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Bloganization

Okay, let's talk plain about something.

You're here for the baby pictures, aren't you? Oh, come on, don't be "polite" about it. We both know that this has been coming for a long time. I'm being honest with you, please be honest with me.

Yep, that's what I thought. If you're hitting this site, chances are that you'd prefer to see a video of Bryce taking his first steps, or playing with cars, or having a bath, or just sitting there being a cute 10.5 month old, or Bryce doing anything at all than say, an overlong first-hand account of some folk-singer you never heard of and his descent into madness and eventual suicide.

I get it. I'm okay with it. Heck, I'd rather see the Bryce pictures myself, all things being equal. That's why I'm starting a new blog over here. http://superduperficiality.blogspot.com. It's called "Self Indulgence" because that's what it is. If you want to read whatever eclectic interest has popped into my magpie mind, that's the place.

But if you want family updates/baby pictures/videos of milestones? No need to add any bookmarks. Nothing's changed.

Friday, January 23, 2009

It's Official

The kid walks!

video

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Bryce and the cars



Bryce discovers momentum. This is actually, really and truly, the first time Bryce figured out that those suckers could be rolled.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Sherman Alexi-

"I don't believe in heroes. I believe in heroic moments."

A heroic moment.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Late Christmas Pictures




Sorry, these are a bit late. But, they're cute, so...

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

The Sacred Past- The Petroglyphs



What a strange city this is. On the fringes of the far West Side, the housing developments march faceless and souless, one clone-home subdivision after another rising starkly out of the concrete covered desert. All context of place is strangely absent here, the snakeweed scrub and the sagebrush scraped from the ground along with all but the barest hint of natural topography. This is an area where the past is severed and the future is unthought of; this is the realm of a quintessentially modern world of short term vision, where land has no meaning until it is carved up for quick profits.

And yet, paradoxically, for an immediate sense of Albuquerque’s long history and its distant past, there is perhaps no better place to be. Because here, past the developments, past the bulldozers and the cleared land waiting for the next “KB Homes Community” that may never arrive in the current economic climate, there is a transcendent and sacred place.
Article Continued on Forgotten Albuquerque

Terrorists

Israeli shelling kills dozens at UN school in Gaza

• Reports of more than 40 killed in and around UN shelter
• 12 members of family killed in Gaza City air strike

The civilian death toll in Gaza increased dramatically today, with reports of more than 40 Palestinians killed after missiles exploded outside a UN school where hundreds of people were sheltering from the continuing Israeli offensive.

Two Israeli tank shells struck the school in Jabaliya refugee camp, spraying shrapnel on people inside and outside the building, according to news agency reports.

The medical director of the hospital in Jabaliya told the Guardian 41 bodies had been brought in so far and more could be on the way. Reuters journalists filmed bodies scattered on the ground amid pools of blood and torn shoes and clothes. A donkey lay on the ground in its own blood.

In addition to the dead, several dozen people were wounded, hospital officials said. The Israeli military said it was looking into the reports.

Elsewehere at least 12 members of an extended family, including seven young children, were killed in an air strike on their house in Gaza City. The bodies of the Daya family were pulled from the rubble of a house in Gaza city's Zeitoun district after it was hit by two Israeli missiles. The dead included seven children aged from one to 12 years, three women and two men. Nine other people were believed to be trapped in the rubble.

Hours earlier, three young men – all cousins – died when the Israelis bombed another UN school, the Asma primary school in Gaza City. They were among about 400 people who sought shelter there after fleeing their homes in Beit Lahiya in northern Gaza.

The UN, which said the school was clearly marked, said it was "strongly protesting these killings to the Israeli authorities and is calling for an immediate and impartial investigation".

"Where it is found that international humanitarian law has been violated, those responsible must be held to account. Under international law, installations such as schools, health centres and UN facilities should be protected from attack. Well before the current fighting, the UN had given to the Israeli authorities the GPS co-ordinates of all its installations in Gaza, including Asma elementary school."

The killings take the total toll in Palestinian lives since the Israelis launched their assault on the Gaza Strip 11 days ago to above 600. Doctors at Gaza hospitals say that at least one-fifth of the victims are children and a large number of women are among the dead.

Israel continues to insist that the bulk of those killed are Hamas and Islamic Jihad fighters, although its claim to be going to extraordinary lengths to target only "terrorists" has been undermined by one of its own tanks firing on a building being used by Israeli troops, killing four.

The sharp spike in the number of civilian casualties came as Israeli troops and tanks moved into Gaza's second largest city, Khan Younis, for the first time today, supported by intensive artillery strikes as the military pledged to press on with its attack.The heaviest fighting has been in northern Gaza, with witnesses reporting wave after wave of bombing strikes across the north of the territory accompanied by gunfire from helicopters and artillery from land and sea. Thousands of Palestinians have been ordered to leave their homes or forced to flee the fighting.

In Shajaiyeh, east of Gaza City, Israeli troops seized control of three apartment blocks and set up gun positions on the rooftops. Residents were locked in their homes and soldiers confiscated their mobile phones, neighbours said.

Three of the four Israeli soldiers killed by friendly fire died when a tank mistakenly fired on a building where the soldiers had taken up positions. There was heavy artillery fire to cover the evacuation of 24 soldiers who were injured, including the commander of the Golani infantry brigade, one of Israel's key fighting forces.

Israel's defence minister, Ehud Barak, said his country's troops would continue their operation despite mounting Palestinian casualties and growing international calls for a ceasefire.

"Hamas has so far sustained a very heavy blow from us, but we have yet to achieve our objective, and therefore the operation continues," Barak said.

The Israeli foreign minister, Tzipi Livni, said the offensive was intended to change permanently the shape of Israel's conflict with Hamas. "When Israel is targeted, Israel is going to retaliate," she said. Israel has rejected calls for a ceasefire.

The military said it had bombed more smuggling tunnels across the border with Egypt, in the south, and hit more than 40 other sites across Gaza including buildings storing weapons and rocket launching areas.

In Gaza, Mahmoud Zahar, the most senior leader of Hamas in the strip and a hardliner in the movement, appeared on the party's al-Aqsa television station and gave a defiant speech threatening attacks not only in Gaza but elsewhere.

"The Zionists have legitimised the killing of their children by killing our children. They have legitimised the killing of their people all over the world by killing our people," Zahar said. He urged Hamas fighters to "crush your enemy".

Another Hamas figure, a recognised military spokesman called Abu Ubaida, said thousands of Hamas fighters were waiting in Gaza to take on the Israeli military, and that rocket attacks would increase. More than 40 were fired into southern Israel yesterday, including one that landed in an empty kindergarten, which, like all schools near the Gaza border, has been closed since the conflict began.. Israeli police said a total of 520 rockets had been fired in the past 11 days of fighting.

Israeli troops are now deployed in and around the major urban areas of Gaza, particularly to the north, in Beit Hanoun, Beit Lahiya and Jabaliya. Using leaflets, telephone calls and radio announcements, they have ordered residents in many areas to leave their homes, forcing at least 15,000 Palestinians to flee to safety elsewhere. At least 5,000 are staying in 11 different UN schools and shelters.

The UN said more than 1 million Gazans were still without electricity or water and that it was increasingly difficult for staff to distribute aid or reach the injured. It said more industrial diesel was needed to reopen the strip's sole power plant, which has been shut for a week. Ten transformers have been damaged in the fighting.

More wheat grain is needed for food handouts, and the UN said Karni, the main commercial crossing, should be reopened to allow it in. Four ambulances and three mobile clinics were destroyed when bombs hit the headquarters of the Union of Health Care Committees in Gaza City.

John Holmes, the UN emergency relief coordinator, said Gaza represented an "increasingly alarming" humanitarian crisis, and that the territory was running low on clean water, power, food, medicine and other supplies since Israel began its offensive. Israeli leaders claim there is no humanitarian crisis.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

First Words

Have we mentioned Bryce's first word yet? It's "dog", but more often "gog". He also says "block" (or "gock"), and, for the first time a mere 15 minutes ago, "Sharka" (actually "Sarka"). As you can see, the kid's got a thing for his pets.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Sagas

Always one last saga to catch up on, isn't there?

So here's the story-

The pipe was burst, indeed, the water raining down through the ceiling, trickling somehow between the wall and the paint, terrible bladders of latex paint inflating behind pictures, knocking a mirror down to shatter on the floor. Many things ruined, Denise's computer, her printer, her television, her art. Definitely a disaster.

The manager of the apartment complex was asininely adamant that somehow, with two inches of water on the floor and all, the unit was still "livable" and that the Company would most definitely not be providing alternate lodging... An incorrect reading of New Mexico state law, I assure you. Denise went to the hotel anyway, we sent a nasty letter or two, obtained a phone number for the next step up on the chain of command (what's with these complexes?), called and called and called. Next time Denise showed up, the original manager offered her another unit. Nice how that works out, but why the stubborn refusal to look facts in the face at the beginning of this mess? So Denise moved, one floor down, two buildings over. And there she is today. Insurance adjusters are still involved and... investigating... but for now the situation is more or less Resolved.