Let's say I try and bite you. How much is it gonna hurt? I'm...

June 27, 2008

I Like To Watch - repost

originally wrote this on a myspace blog. Tonight, when I put my son to bed, I was so overwhelmed with love, I wanted to repost it...

I love to watch my son sleep. His chest falls silently and rhythmatically. His little pacifier jumps up and down double-time making squeeky little smacking sounds in his mouth. Sometimes he snores. Even though his hands are tucked safely away in little baby mittens, you can still see his fingers working their way around the stuffed monkey he hugs while he sleeps.

Sometimes he dreams. I'm not sure of what. It used to be obvious that he only dreamt of nursing. Even after his pacifier would fall out, his lips would pucker up and his mouth would move up and down. Now he smiles in his sleep. He occassionally makes a noise that might mean he is dreaming of laughing. If he is, then I am sure he is dreaming about Shawn.

Before Shawn and I go to bed everynight we stand next to his crib with our arms around eachother. We usually don't say anything, but I'm sure we are both thinking the same thing. We stand there in silence trying to wrap our minds around a new kind of love.

Mom used to say, "When you have a child, you will understand" and mom was right. Now I have a child, and I understand that I will never understand. I'll never be able to articulate the way I feel. I'll never be able to tell you how much I love my son. I'll never be able to express how deeply I care for him. I'll never be able to contain myself when he smiles or laughs. I'll never be able to maintain my composure when he bobbles his head at me, or gives me kisses, or laughs aloud. I'll never stop being amazed at the fact that he grew inside me, he came out, and now he is still growing outside of me. I'll never stop being amazed at the way love can grow with every breath he takes while I watch him sleeping.

Some people say that babies are a natural part of life, and therefore; by definition, not a miracle. I say that babies are a wonder, a marvel, a manifestation of the work of God, and therefore; by definition, are indeed little miracles. And I'm the mom... and that means I'm right by default.

June 25, 2008

Multnomah Falls

Yesterday we went to visit Multnomah Falls. It was such a beautiful day for a hike! The sun was burning so hot and bright in the sky that, inspite of the misty microclimate, it was comfortably warm at the falls. It made standing in the spray of water coming off of the rocks very pleasant. The whole scene was so lovely that upon stepping up to the first viewing area, we were all instantly happy.

We paused for some pictures at the base of the waterfall. This is when Caleb first realized that the white crashing stuff was water. He was quite delighted about this and after two pictures he refused to turn around and look at the camera. We have about 8 pictures of the back of his head and a waterfall in the background. After pictures, we started for the hiking trail.

The first place that the trail leads you is to a bridge that takes you to the other side of the waterfall. This leg of the trail is short (only 0.2 miles), not very steep, has a guard rail along the edge, and has a bench or two at every switchback. There were so many people crowding the bridge that it made the dog nervous. We walked across it without pausing and decided that we would enjoy it more on the way back.

To the trail! We started off strong, maybe a little too strong. I had the feeling once or twice that Shawn was racing me to the top. Instead of leisurely strolling, we were goal-oriented marching. That's what I get for going hiking with a Marine. We walked at a pretty moderate pace, even passing people, until we made it to the first resting area.

I would have liked to sit an enjoy the view a while, but apparently this is the make out spot from a 1950s movie. Two people were sprawled out on the only bench without regard for the dozens of jello-legged people coming along the path. Another couple slurped, slobbered, and cooed at one another while sitting on the stone ledge at the rear. It was so disgusting. I''m all for sharing a romantic kiss at a view point. but I am seriously suprised they didn't pass out from lack of oxygen to the "brain".

After giving the dog some water we left makeout point, and started on our trek once again. Little did I know, that tainted bench would be the last one we would see along the trail. As we climbed higer and higher, the trail got steeper and narrower. I kept waiting for places to rest, but they didn't come. Finally we came to a stop at the end of a switchback where there was a small stone retaining wall. We stopped about every 3 or 4 switchbacks for rest before moving on.

As we neared the top, and the begining of hopelessness, the people coming down were very encouraging. "You're half way", "almost there", and "just 3 or 4 more switchbacks" were much appreciated encouragement as we climbed up the falls. Everyone assured us it was worth it, and even though I had said "Let's just rest a while and then go back down" more than once, we always seemed to continue walking.... up.

When we got to the top, we went off the trail to a secluded little clearing in the woods to have a picnic lunch. When what to our wondering eyes should appear? The slobbering couple from makeout point, in the woods, still making out. We set up our lunch anyway, and once they realized they were no longer alone, they left (THANK GOD). The rest of our lunch was mostly peaceful. Shawn fell in the water trying to get a drink for the dog, who turned out to not even be thirsty. We spent most of our time waiting for his shoe to dry.

The way down went alot faster than the way up, but I have to say, it was also alot harder. My legs were so warn out from climbing already that my legs were shaking from the start. Everytime I took a step one poor leg was forced to hold all of my weight, plus control my movement downward. Everytime I stopped my legs were visibly wobbly. I contemplated as I walked how, on the way up, you relish every dip in the trail, every tiny bit that might even be slightly less inclined, and on the way down you long for flat land. I never would have guessed that going down would be more painful than going up, fortunately, as I said earlier, it went a lot faster.

After we reached the bottom, I went into the gift shop to find a souvinere for Caleb. The first thing I wanted was an imprinted penny, since we also got one for him at the zoo. The penny machine was broken! I went to find a little personalized license plate zipper pull for his diaper bag, but they didn't have his name! I searched for a larger one for his stroller, thinking it would be cute since Shawn had one when he was little. Nope! No Caleb. They had wooden pocket knives with the names engraved, but no Caleb. They had Milton, but not Caleb. The only thing I could find with his name on it was a flashing key chain for $6.99. I carried it around the shop for a while before realizing that my whole family could eat dinner for $6.99. I put the keychain back and left the shop empty handed.

That's not to say that I have nothing to show or my trip though. I have lots of cool pictures, and this morning I have the inability to move my limbs. I also have the memory of seeing Caleb's look of astonishment at the tallest bathtub spout he has ever seen.

The Cheap Vacation

Shawn is on vacation. I know for some people that means that they go away on "holiday", but we're broke. Our previous vacations would usually consist of one trip to a nearby beach or attraction, followed by several days lounging on the couch playing Mario Kart or Star Wars Battlefront. With our lack of funding, it looked as if this time off of work was going to be spent in the traditional couch potato position.

We have a son now and I really want to have family traditions. I want to be able to say that as long he has been with us, we have made the most of our time together. With this in mind, I have resolved to do something each and every day of this vacation in order to make the most of the time that we have to spend together as a family. When I first began to plan our activities, Shawn was less than pleased. He was skeptical about handing over "his" vacation, which I delicately explained was no longer "his", but "ours" as a family. He has admittedly had a fun time thus far. These are the things we have done as of today.

Saturday :
Car Show
There were booths for local vendors of all kinds of cool clothing and artwork, live music, and of course lots of classic hot rods and vintage motorcycles.
Cost: Free

Vancouver Lake
We planned this day at the lake, not knowing that there were boat races going on. We got to watch the boats, and even though we didn't really know what was going on, we still had a good time. A picnic lunch proved to be not only froogle, but filling, and a nearby play area allowed Caleb his first trip down a slide (in mama's lap, of course).
Cost: $2.00 parking

Oregon Zoo
Caleb's first trip to the zoo was a lot of fun for everyone. He loved to watch the marine animals, and especially loved the waterfalls, fountains, and other water features; with or without animals. We packed the same picnic lunch as the lake trip, but with some added snacking to get us through all the walking we would be doing. We were so tired that we didn't even get to see the penguins! This will probably be the most expensive of our vacation outings, but I think we really got our money's worth!
Cost: $19.50 admittance, plus I couldn't resist the cute zoo baseball cap for Caleb, which costs and OUTRAGEOUS $12.99!
But look, it's SO CUTE!!

Trip to Hillsboro, OR to visit Caleb's cousins
Grandma and Grandpa are babysitting in Hillsboro, OR while Shawn's sister and her husband are on a short getaway. Shawn's mom got a cold while they were out there, and because of the laws in OR was unable to buy regular old cold medicine without a prescription! We brought her some Sudafed and then stayed the whole day to visit.
Cost: Just the cost of gas, that I am not going to waste my time calculating.

Tomorrow we are headed to Multnomah falls, we also plan to take Caleb swimming, to the Aquarium (since he liked the fish at the zoo so much) and hiking / bird watching at the Audubon Society, where we will also visit their wildlife rehabilitation center. Many, Many thanks to my wonderful friend Janell, who is letting me try out her Ergo pack!!!

June 19, 2008

Where the Heck Did the Middle Class Go?

Oh yeah, that's right, they're all sleeping in their cars. We're all losing our homes and drowing deeper and deeper in debt while the upper class is still able to fill up their escalades. Oh my gosh, I changed my mind, I don't even want to talk about this.

June 17, 2008

Cheetos for Breakfast

In an effort to shed a few pounds I have decided to stop buying groceries. After all, without food, how can I get fat? My pantry has some simple items; tuna fish, tomato soup, sliced olives, and the like. I figure that if I am hungry enough, I will eat some of that stuff before I starve.

As my food supplies dwindle, I find myself increasingly desperate for sustenance. I search amongst the shelves like a lazy, hungry animal. Tomato soup? Too many steps to prepare. Tuns fish? I only have mayo, and who makes tuna salad without celery? Really, c'mon. Sliced Olives? The can opener is too far away.

Suddenly, the lethargic hunter spies something. A dash of color. A bright orange bag hidden in the back. Cheetos! So far my diet is off to a great start, I just wish I knew what was for lunch.


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