Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year's Quiz 2013

For my year end post, I'm trying something new. I've seen a few of my favorite bloggers do this quiz, and I thought it'd be fun to try.

1. What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before?

I made a human, which is pretty damn miraculous when you stop and think about it.


2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I did worry about some things before I really needed to, but I think I appreciated life as it happened. Willa definitely helped me live for the moment.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

You mean, besides me? Yes. Many many friends, and my sister.  

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Yes, my grandfather.

5. What countries did you visit?

No countries, but I did go to Kansas City, Boston, Palm Desert and Denver. 

6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?

This one is hard. I guess I'll have to go with being easier on myself and my limitations.

7. What dates from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

March 27, 2013, the day we became three. May 15, 2013, the day my grandfather died.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

I have a few achievements this year that I am proud of. First, successfully transitioning to working mom. Second,  breastfeeding Willa for seven months. My biggest achievement though: Willa.

9. What was your biggest failure?

I can't think of anything that I would classify as a big failure. A bunch of little things that don't mean anything. Six months ago, I may have said I regretted how Willa was born, but I've actually accepted that it happened how it happened, and how it happened is neither a reflection on me as a mother nor a result of anything I did or didn't do. So I can't say there is anything from this year I regret.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Food poisoning this summer, a stomach bug via Willa on Halloween and another small stomach bug on Christmas Eve. I have thrown up more times this year than I have in the last five years at least.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Tie between plane tickets to Boston and our freezer. I love being able to cook a lot on one weekend and freeze everything for future weeknight dinners. Makes it so easy on me.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Our families. Friends. Cooper for being such a great furry big brother.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

I'd rather abide by the rule that if I can't say something nice, my mouth stays shut.

14. Where did most of your money go?

We had a baby. Need I say more?

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Willa and her first, well, everything. Our trip to Boston. Seeing all my friends this year. An amazing year at work.

16. What song will always remind you of 2013?





17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

a) happier or sadder? Happier
b) thinner or fatter? Thinner but only because I was pregnant this time last year
c) richer or poorer? Poorer in the monetary sense, but richer in blessings
   
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Take more pictures.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Less critical of the expectations I have for myself.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

With family.

21. Did you fall in love in 2013?

I fell in love with my daughter while I carried her. I fell in love with her again when I first saw her as she lay on my chest. I fell in love with my husband again as I watched him stare at the tiny human we created.

22. What was your favorite TV program?

New Girl, Once Upon a Time, Elementary, Downton Abbey

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

Hate is a waste of time and energy.

24. What was the best book you read?

I read so many good books this year. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson. And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini. The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Arcade Fire

26. What did you want and get?

I feel like I could list so many things. But really, a beautiful, healthy baby.
27. What did you want and not get?

A clean house that is easy to maintain. The ability to clone myself.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

I didn't get to the movies much this year, but I enjoyed all the ones I did get to see. Ender's Game. Catching Fire. Now You See Me. Oz: The Great and Powerful.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

32. Willa had a doctor appointment so I took the day off. We had lunch with my parents, did some shopping and had my favorite tacos for dinner. I got a freezer for my birthday. Never have I been so excited for an appliance.

30. What one thing would have made your year more satisfying?

Less throwing up.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?

For the seven months I was breastfeeding, easy accessibility.

32. What kept you sane?

Bar Method. Willa. John. My mom and sister. 

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

I have a major girl crush on Jennifer Lawrence. She seems so fun and real. Also, Joseph Gordon Levitt.


34. Who did you miss?

My grandparents.

35. Who was the best new person you met?

Willa. (I feel like all my answers have been Willa, but that doesn't make it any less true.)

36. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.

Ignore the haters. You're not the jackass whisperer.

37. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

I don't need no money, fortune or fame
I got all the riches baby, one man can claim
Well, I guess you'd say
What can make me feel this way?
My girl




Friday, December 27, 2013

Nugget Month 9

Dear Willa,

Nine months. It feels like at this rate I'm going to look up tomorrow, and you'll be turning a year old. So much has happened in the last month.



First Thanksgiving. We didn't do my favorite Thanksgiving tradition this year... the Turkey Trot. Your cousin Beckett was born two days prior Thanksgiving, so we opted to skip it for 2013. The day after Thanksgiving we did one of my other favorite turkey day traditions... the Parade of Lights in downtown Fort Worth. Opie and your cousin Lily also came with us. You loved the music and the lights on the floats as they went past us. The delight on your face was how I hoped you would react to the parade.




And then Christmas. I have always loved the holiday season. The little girl inside me still finds magic in this time of year. But I must say you have made it a million times more magical. Even though you had no idea what was going on, I had so much fun shopping for your gifts and helping you unwrap them and imagining all the future Christmas traditions we'll enjoy together.




I insisted that we take you to see Santa Claus for your first Christmas. Your daddy really didn't want to go to the mall (the mall is his least favorite place). So when I remembered that every year our city did a village of little houses with different activities including visiting Santa, he was happy. The first night we tried to go, we got there right as they opened, and we estimated the line was going to take about three hours. We didn't think you would last that long so we decided to come back another night. The second time we got there more than an hour early and were the third in line. I had thought we'd have one year when you did not cry at Santa, but that was not to be the case. Originally, you were in a good mood, but after waiting you had gotten cranky. The second I placed you on his knee, you screamed. 




This month you got four teeth on top. Four. In case I'm not clear enough, allow me to spell it out. Not one. Not two. Not three. FOUR. That two times what you got a few months ago. It made for a tough, exhausting week or so. There was one night where we were all up for two hours because it didn't occur to me or your dad that the reason you woke up screaming was because you were teething. Once we did realize it, we were able to get you to sleep again after relieving your pain.





You started crawling on your hands and knees a week or so ago. If you have far to go or want to go faster, you still crawl on your stomach. You can also pull up to standing now all by yourself and walk with assistance. It would seem your dad and I need to finish babyproofing this house as quick as we can.




When you smile it lights up your face and brightens up my day no matter what has happened. May you always find things to smile about.

Love,
Momma


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

ANSWER - Tuesday Trivia: Christmas

What Christmas song was written on a hot summer day by two songwriters who were hoping that wintry thoughts would cool them off?

"The Christmas Song," popularly known as "Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire." It was written in 1945 by Mel Torme and Bob Wells.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Tuesday Trivia: Christmas

Tuesday Trivia is a weekly post of interesting trivia questions. Leave a comment with your answer - or best guess - and come back tomorrow to see if you were right. Happy guessing!

What Christmas song was written on a hot summer day by two songwriters who were hoping that wintry thoughts would cool them off?

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

ANSWER - Tuesday Trivia: Science

Which chemical element got its name from a Greek word that means "stench"?

Bromine. Bromos is the Greek word that describes the element's pungent odor.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Tuesday Trivia: Science

Tuesday Trivia is a weekly post of interesting trivia questions. Leave a comment with your answer - or best guess - and come back tomorrow to see if you were right. Happy guessing!

Which chemical element got its name from a Greek word that means "stench"?

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

ANSWER - Tuesday Trivia: Baseball

How many innings did Jewish baseball great Sandy Koufax pitch in a 1961 game that started shortly after his 25-hour Yom Kippur fast had ended?

13. Koufax won 3-2 in a 205-pitch, 15-strikeout game against the Chicago Cubs.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Tuesday Trivia: Baseball

Tuesday Trivia is a weekly post of interesting trivia questions. Leave a comment with your answer - or best guess - and come back tomorrow to see if you were right. Happy guessing!

How many innings did Jewish baseball great Sandy Koufax pitch in a 1961 game that started shortly after his 25-hour Yom Kippur fast had ended?

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Book Review: The Casual Vacancy

The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling

Her first book after the Harry Potter series, The Casual Vacancy takes place in a small English country town. A city councilman dies, which kicks off a war in the town over his empty seat, and a political struggle the town has argued over for years comes to a heady climax. 

It is not a secret that I love the Harry Potter series. I am a huge fan of J.K. Rowling's writing style. She is such a good storyteller. I know many Harry Potter fans did not like her first book post-Potter. I am not one of them. I LOVED it.

There are a ton of characters, and each one lends his or her perspective to the story. There are very few likeable characters in the book, but the fact that so many are despicable is what makes this book so great because it makes the story so real. Like it could actually happen. 

Rowling effortlessly moves the narrative among her characters at a quick pace so the story never stagnates which can happen with a book that takes place in a small town. 

It's not a feel good story. In fact it's almost Shakespearean in how tragic the story ends. Actually it's not so much an ending as much as it's life moving on. A few characters at the end of the book have hope but most do not.

If you like a story that feels real, if a book does not have to have a happy ending for you to enjoy it, read this book.

Next month - As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner

Disclosure: No one paid me in any way, form or fashion for this review.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

ANSWER - Tuesday Trivia: Colleges

How many of the eight Ivy League schools were founded before the American Revolution?

Seven. Only Cornell University was founded after the Revolution in 1865. The seven that predated the Revolution are Brown, Columbia, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, the University of Pennsylvania, and Yale.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Tuesday Trivia: Colleges

Tuesday Trivia is a weekly post of interesting trivia questions. Leave a comment with your answer - or best guess - and come back tomorrow to see if you were right. Happy guessing!

How many of the eight Ivy League schools were founded before the American Revolution?

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Nugget Month 8

Dear Willa,

You adjusted to your first full month of formula with no problems, which is what I expected. I had a little harder time with it than I had thought I would. But after a week or so, I was fine.




This month you had your first stomach bug. Unfortunately, you got it the day before Halloween, and you still weren't feeling super great on Halloween itself. Of course, you passed your bug to me, and then Daddy got it so the holiday was pretty much a waste. I felt bad when I checked Facebook the day after Halloween and saw all the pictures of kids dressed up, and I realized I did not have a picture of you in your first Halloween costume. So a couple days later when we were all feeling much better, we put your costume on you so I could at least get a picture or two of you as a jack-o-lantern for your baby book.


 
 

A couple months ago, your Grandpa and Grandma brought back from Illinois your great-grandma Willa's christening dress. This dress was hand embroidered by your great-great-great-grandma and is about 100 years old. So it is very special. For your baptism this month, this dress is what I wanted you to wear. Luckily, the dress had been preserved well, and once I got it cleaned, it was absolutely beautiful. Many people commented on your dress, and everyone who heard the history all agreed that it was a special thing that you got to wear the same dress for your baptism that your namesake wore for hers.


 
 

Last week your daycare had a little Thanksgiving lunch and invited all the parents. Since Halloween was a bust, this was my first school party as a parent. To say I was excited would be an understatement. I really loved getting to come see you in the middle of the day and have lunch with you. I hope it's something I never get tired of. I remember my parents visiting me at school when I was little to have lunch with me. It's one thing on a list of many I've looked forward to doing as a parent.


 
 

We've started giving you puffs and yogurt melts, and you LOVE feeding yourself. Though the sippy cup continues to be more toy than vessel to get liquid in your mouth. 


 

You continue to expand your range of exploration, crawling over to Cooper's water bowl so you can splash around in it. Or sitting up at the coffee table and pulling every single thing off its shelf. It's really quite fun to watch you. Especially when you look so proud of yourself.


 
 

Love,
Momma

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

ANSWER - Tuesday Trivia: Dogs

When it comes to hybrid dogs, what breeds are crossed to create a Chiweenie? How about a Cock-A-Mo? Or a Scoodle?

Chiweenie is a cross between a Chihuahua and a Dachshund; a Cock-A-Mo, between an American Eskimo and a Cocker Spaniel; and a Scoodle, between a Poodle and a Scottish Terrier. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Tuesday Trivia: Dogs

Tuesday Trivia is a weekly post of interesting trivia questions. Leave a comment with your answer, or best guess, and come back tomorrow to see if you were right. Happy guessing!

When it comes to hybrid dogs, what breeds are crossed to create a Chiweenie? How about a Cock-A-Mo? Or a Scoodle?

Friday, November 15, 2013

Book Review: In the Garden of Beasts

In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson

It's 1933, and Roosevelt has just named a new ambassador to Germany: William Dodd, a history professor from Chicago. Dodd takes his wife, son and progressive daughter with him to Berlin. Over the next year, violence against Jews escalates, Americans are attacked for not showing proper deference to Hitler, and new laws are written. Dodd is in a precarious position as all the State Department is concerned with is that Germany pays its debts to America. Martha, Dodd's daughter, initially is infatuated Nazi Germany, and her love life takes on a life of its own as she is not discriminating of who she takes for a lover, one of them being the Gestapo head Rudolf Diels. 

This is now the third book of Larson's I have read. While I enjoyed both The Devil in the White City and Isaac's Storm, this one is now my favorite. Larson always tells two stories in one book, one of which is usually drier and a little harder to get through. In this book though, the "dry" story is the politics of 1930s Berlin, which you could only find boring if you weren't the least bit intrigued as to how the world managed to look past the hints at Hitler's character and ambition and were deluded into thinking the Nazi Party was good leadership for Germany.

The exhilarating side of the book was of course Martha's numerous love affairs because she had so many, and no one seemed to care about what she did. She did what she wanted, with whom she wanted, whenever she wanted, even flirting with the idea of joining the KGB.

If you like Larson's books or if you like WWII or European history, you should read this book.

Disclosure: No one paid me in any way, form or fashion for this review.

Next month - The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

ANSWER - Tuesday Trivia: Food

What popular appetizer bears a common Mexican nickname?

Nachos. They're named for maitre d' Ignacio "Nacho" Anaya, who created the quick snack for a group of Texas women at a restaurant in Piedras Negras, Mexico, in 1943 when he couldn't find his chef. One of the women dubbed the dish Nacho's Especiales, a name that evolved into just plain nachos.

Congratulations Laird Rixford for being the first - and only - to get the correct answer!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Tuesday Trivia: Food

Tuesday Trivia is a weekly post of interesting trivia questions. Leave a comment with your answer - or best guess - and come back tomorrow to see if you were right. Happy guessing!

What popular appetizer bears a common Mexican nickname?

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

ANSWER - Tuesday Trivia: Wine

What animal is pictured on bottles of Yellow Tail wine?

A wallaby - a yellow-footed rock wallaby, to be exact. The wallaby is a marsupial native to Australia that is smaller than its cousin, the kangaroo. Yellow Tail wine is made in Australia.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Tuesday Trivia: Wine

Tuesday Trivia is a weekly post of interesting trivia questions. Leave a comment with your answer - or best guess - and come back tomorrow to see if you were right. Happy guessing!

What animal is pictured on bottles of Yellow Tail wine?

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Not a Martyr, Just a Mother

Small goals. That's what they told us in the breastfeeding class we took before Willa arrived. It made sense to me. If you focus on the big picture, it can often be too intimidating, seem near impossible to achieve. But break it into smaller chunks and suddenly you're at your big goal before you know it.

Goal #1
Figure out how to breastfeed. What do you mean babies don't come out of the womb knowing how to latch on and eat the food they need to survive? I mean, shouldn't that be instinctual? Apparently, there's more nuance to breastfeeding than just sticking your boob willy nilly in the baby's milk-hole.

Goal #2
Breastfeed exclusively for a month, figure out how the pump works and start occasionally bottle feeding in preparation for daycare. Get past the sore nipples, leakage and clogged ducts.

Goal #3
Breastfeed until I go back to work and continue the occasional bottle feed.

Goal #4
Pump at work for a month. Continue breastfeeding. Realize taking your boobs out at the office even in private behind closed doors is just damn weird and awkward and quickly find a way to expose the girls as little as possible for each pumping session. Pray no one walking by can hear the mechanical pulse of the pump as it squeezes your nipples to extract milk in a way that is more than mildly reminiscent of a dairy farm. 

Goal #5
Continue pumping and breastfeeding until she is six months old. This is my ultimate goal due to the timing of my work trip last month. I wasn't sure how four days away from Willa would affect my supply so I knew six months might be potentially it for us. 

Stretch Goal
Continue pumping and breastfeeding until she is eight months old. 

As of Monday, I am no longer breastfeeding Willa, which means I made it past my ultimate goal. So much yay and squee and hallelujah! But it does mean I missed my stretch goal by a month. I'm okay with that. The last couple weeks I noticed my supply dwindling significantly. So much so that I was having trouble matching the number of bottles she takes at daycare. Since I was going to have to start supplementing anyway, I decided now was a good time to stop. We had made it to seven months. That is a lot longer than I dared to hope for back when she was a few weeks old.

What I didn't expect was how emotional I would get over this milestone. Breastfeeding is a commitment and sacrifice. Conceptually I understood that BW (before Willa), but I didn't really get it until I was in the thick of it. Once Willa and I had learned the art that is breastfeeding, and I knew I could do it, I made the commitment. I was going to do it for as long as I could. 

I sacrificed sleep in order to nurse her whenever she woke up for a late night feeding as I wanted to nurse as much as I could since I was working and was concerned about keeping my supply up. I kept social plans that would have meant a night away from her to a minimum. I only went to Bar Method on Saturday mornings so I didn't miss any feedings in the evenings after work.

I don't say this to make myself out to be a martyr but to illustrate the point that breastfeeding while simple in concept (boob + milk-hole = breastfeeding) is a lot of work. Work I willingly, gladly, proudly did. I believed wholeheartedly I was doing what was best for my daughter, and I would do it again without hesitation.

More than likely I will never receive a thanks for these sacrifices, the work and the commitment I gave so Willa could breastfeed as long as possible. And I am okay with that. My thanks, my reward will come one day many, many years from now. Maybe she'll have kids and realize when she makes those sacrifices that I did the same for her. (Thank you, Mom!)

Bittersweet milestones always have a way of bringing out my emotional side. I'm excited to move onto the next stage and be done with the pumping but sad to leave behind those times during each day when it was just the two of us.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

ANSWER - Tuesday Trivia: Dogs

What unusual breed was Hooch, the drooling, house-wrecking yard dog in the 1989 Tom Hanks film comedy Turner & Hooch?

He was a Dogue de Bourdeau, aka French Mastiff.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Tuesday Trivia: Dogs

Tuesday Trivia is a weekly post of interesting trivia questions. Leave a comment with your answer, or best guess, and come back tomorrow to see if you were right. Happy guessing!

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What unusual breed was Hooch, the drooling, house-wrecking yard dog in the 1989 Tom Hanks film comedy Turner & Hooch?

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Nugget (Month 7)

Dear Willa,

Happy 7 months, baby girl!




The month started with me in California for work. We all survived. Though I think your daddy was more than ready for me to come home, and you didn't grow too much while I was gone.




You had your first family vacation when the three of us went to Boston for a long weekend. It had been four years since the last time I was in the city, and I was way overdue for some Boston time. I was excited it to be back in my favorite city, but mostly I was excited to get to share it with you. It's not a trip you'll remember, but I will.


 

The flights this time went much more smoothly. You were a wiggle worm that would not sit still, but you didn't get fussy and start crying. We were able to keep you entertained or get you to sleep when you were tired. Thank goodness because it was a much longer flight than the one to Denver. 




We didn't pack the days with activities in Boston. Instead, we mostly hung out with my friends. Luckily, we stayed in a hotel downtown so when you got tired, we went back to the hotel for you to nap. On Sunday we rented a car and drove up into New Hampshire so we can see the fall foliage.


 



Last weekend we went to the Dallas Arboretum to visit the pumpkin patch. You were fascinated with all the pumpkins and various gourds. It was adorable.



Love,
Momma

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Holding onto time is like trying to keep water in a colander

Every day I have grand plans. And every day I am humbled by how little I get done. I am reminded that I only have so much time in a day. I have to prioritize and choose what things are going to get done and what things aren't.

It's not guaranteed that I'll be able to be productive after dinner because sometimes Willa needs more attention. And then after she goes to bed, there is precious little time left before I start my nighttime routine.

That means my house is a mess; I'm not getting as much reading done as I'd like; I'll be lucky to finish the baby blanket I'm working on by Christmas; this blog is sitting idle; etc etc etc.

It's not all because of Willa, but she is a large part of it.

I don't like my house being a mess, but sometimes I need sleep more.

Reading and knitting trade off. One night I work on one. The next night the other. As a result I'm not making progress in either as fast as I normally do.

And it's not that I want to neglect this blog. It's moved further down my priority list. Sometimes it's writer's block. I don't know what to write without resorting to parenting cliches. Sometimes I have topics I want or need to write about, but finding the time to commit them to the screen is difficult.

All this to say, I have not given up on you. Or this blog. Please don't give up on me. I will be back.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

ANSWER - Tuesday Trivia: Cities

Which is the least populous state capital in the U.S.? Which is the most populous?

According to the 2010 U.S. census: least populous, Montpelier, Vermont (7,855); most populous, Phoenix, Arizona (1,445,632).

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tuesday Trivia: Cities

Tuesday Trivia is a weekly post of interesting trivia questions. Leave a comment with your answer - or best guess - and come back tomorrow to see if you were right. Happy guessing!

<><><>

Which is the least populous state capital in the U.S.? Which is the most populous?

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Book Review: Sutton

Sutton by J.R. Moehringer

Willie Sutton was born in Brooklyn to a poor Irish family. He grew up in times when everything was scarce, including jobs. He began robbing banks and discovered he was good at it. Over the course of three decades he stole an estimated $2 million and his talent at committing the robberies in disguises earned him the nickname Willie the Actor.

Part truth, part legend, the book resembles Willie himself. How much is real? How much is Willie's imagination? It's hard to know for sure. Willie's own books contradict each other. 

But what Moehringer does with this story is art. He takes what should be an unsympathetic character and makes you feel for him. You want Willie to get what he wants... the love of his life Bess. You want him to find his freedom and his happiness.

One thing I found fascinating is that Moehringer didn't name any characters that weren't criminals. Instead they were given monikers like Reporter or Bartender.

Entertaining and well-written, I would recommend this book.

Next month - In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson

Disclosure: No one paid me in any way, form or fashion for this review.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Tuesday Trivia: Definitions

Tuesday Trivia is a weekly post of interesting trivia questions. Leave a comment with your answer - or best guess - and come back tomorrow to see if you were right. Happy guessing!

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What is an onychophagist?

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

ANSWER - Tuesday Trivia: Star Trek

In TV's Star Trek universe, what are tribbles?

Furry little purring creatures that are born pregnant and continue multiplying based on how much they eat - and they're always hungry.

Congratulations Laird Rixford for being the first, and only, to get the right answer!
 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Tuesday Trivia: Star Trek

Tuesday Trivia is a weekly post of interesting trivia questions. Leave a comment with your answer - or best guess - and come back tomorrow to see ifyou were right. Happy guessing!

<><><>

In TV's Star Trek universe, what are tribbles?

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

ANSWER - Tuesday Trivia: Baseball


What famously aggressive baseball player was thrown out at every base - including home plate - in a single game?

Lou Piniella, in 1970, playing for the Kansas City Royals.

Congratulations to Jeremy for being the first, and only, to get the correct answer!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Tuesday Trivia: Baseball

Tuesday Trivia is a weekly post of interesting trivia questions. Leave a comment with your answer - or best guess - and come back tomorrow to see if you were right. Happy guessing!

<><><>

What famously aggressive baseball player was thrown out at every base - including home plate - in a single game?

Friday, September 27, 2013

Nugget (Month 6)

Dear Willa,

It's been six months since you changed our family dynamic with your beautiful presence. Half a year. It seems like a lifetime ago, and I wonder what I did with all that time I had before you were born. I remember thinking in those early weeks that six months felt so far away. Yet here we are.




Yesterday I left for a work trip making this the first time I've been away from you overnight. When the time came for me to kiss you goodbye, I was definitely choking back tears. I'm sad not to be with you today, but I keep reminding myself that it's not that big a deal. It's six months, not your actual birthday. Still, every milestone in your first year of life is important. Thank goodness for FaceTime so I can still see you and talk with you and Daddy.




Speaking of my work trip, it was at this conference last year that I first spoke your name out loud to someone besides Daddy. Your dad and I had agreed to keep your name a secret from everyone except immediate family. But I was riding the high of just making your pending arrival public news, and when one gentleman asked me about names, I couldn't help myself figuring I didn't really know him and might not see him again. We hadn't officially decided on your name, but Willa was at the top of my list so that's what I told him.  




Last month we started you on rice cereal. Now you've added vegetables and fruit to your developing palate. You've had squash, sweet potatoes, carrots, peas, green beans, apples and peaches. And you love every bit of it. Seriously, you have not turned away anything we've tried to give you.




You've started army crawling. I love watching you see something you want and pull yourself on your stomach to get to it. Mostly you go after Cooper. Sometimes he'll allow you to play with his feet and sometimes he gets up and moves so he can enjoy his bone in peace. Don't take it personally. That dog gets overly protective about his bones.




You cut two teeth this month! I didn't even realize it until you grabbed my finger one day and stuck it in your mouth where I felt that first tooth. Then it all clicked into place, and I retroactively figured out why you had been so crabby recently. I have to be careful to make sure you don't chomp down with your teeth on my fingers now.




We've reached the beginning of the separation anxiety stage. Earlier this week when I dropped you off at daycare you started to cry as I walked out the room, which just adds to my guilt at leaving you for three nights. I hope you're having fun with Daddy and Cooper. I miss and love you, baby girl.

Love,
Momma

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

ANSWER - Tuesday Trivia: Baseball

What baseball legend hit a record three consecutive home runs in a World Series game - on the first pitch thrown by three different pitchers?

Baseball Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson, for the New York Yankees, in game 6 of the 1977 World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Jackson hit a record five home runs in the series.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Tuesday Trivia: Baseball

Tuesday Trivia is a weekly post of interesting trivia questions. Leave a comment with your answer - or best guess - and come back tomorrow to see if you were right. Happy guessing!

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What baseball legend hit a record three consecutive home runs in a World Series game - on the first pitch thrown by three different pitchers?

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Mentally Prepared

This week is a big milestone. One every first time mother dreads... the first night away from her baby.

I have a big trip for work that will take me away from home four days. That's not just one night away from my Nugget but three. I'm going to be gone so long that by the time I come back she'll be starting school. 

Okay, that's a bit of an exaggeration.

She will have probably forgotten me and think I'm a stranger by the time I finally get back.

A few months ago, when I committed to this trip, I knew what it meant, and I was okay with it. It's an important trip, and I'm still glad to be going. But it doesn't make it any less hard.

We went down to College Station last weekend for the A&M-Alabama football game and left Willa with my sister. Because I was not mentally prepared for the dreaded first night away yet, we drove back almost as soon as the game was over.

When I told John that I expect to be a complete mess on this work trip being away from my baby girl, he replied that he thought I was mentally prepared.

I am mentally prepared for this trip. Prepared to be a mess.

Thank the sweet grilled cheebus for FaceTime.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

ANSWER - Tuesday Trivia: U.S. Constitution

How many amendments to the U.S. Constitution were proposed in the Bill of Rights passed by Congress in 1789?

12. The first two proposed - dealing with the number and apportionment of the House of Representatives, and Congressional pay raises - failed to be ratified by three-fourths of the state legislatures. The remaining 10 were ratified and became the Bill of Rights.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Tuesday Trivia: U.S. Constitution

Tuesday Trivia is a weekly post of interesting trivia questions. Leave a comment with your answer - or best guess - and come back tomorrow to see if you were right. Happy guessing!

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How many amendments to the U.S. Constitution were proposed in the Bill of Rights passed by Congress in 1789?

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Book Review: Defending Jacob

Defending Jacob by William Landay

Defending Jacob is about an assistant district attorney whose son is accused of murdering a classmate. As the trial unfolds, the ADA Andy tries to find out what really happened to prove what he's believed from the beginning... that his son is innocent. 

I've been putting off writing this review because I kept trying to think of something else to say about it besides that I didn't like it. Let me try.

The characters were flat caricatures and it was hard to sympathize with Andy, the protagonist of the story. 

Yeah, that's about all I can say about it. Needless to say, I don't recommend this book. Let's hope the next month is better.

Next month - Sutton by J.R. Moehringer

Disclosure: No one paid me in any way, form or fashion for this review.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

ANSWER - Tuesday Trivia: Cities

What city is known as "the city of a thousand minarets"? How about "the city of a hundred spires"?

Minarets: Cairo, Egypt; spires: Prague, Czech Republic.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Tuesday Trivia: Cities

Tuesday Trivia is a weekly post of interesting trivia questions. Leave a comment with your answer - or best guess - and come back tomorrow to see if you were right. Happy guessing!

<><><>

What city is known as "the city of a thousand minarets"? How about "the city of a hundred spires"?

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

ANSWER - Tuesday Trivia: Meteorology

What are cirrus clouds - the thin, wispy clouds high in the sky - composed of?

Ice crystals.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Tuesday Trivia: Meteorology

Tuesday Trivia is a weekly post of interesting trivia questions. Leave a comment with your answer - or best guess - and come back tomorrow to see if you were right. Happy guessing!

<><><>

What are cirrus clouds - the thin, wispy clouds high in the sky - composed of?

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

ANSWER - Tuesday Trivia: Business

What is the oldest corporation in the Western Hemisphere?

Harvard University, which was incorporated as Harvard College, aka the Harvard Corporation, in 1650.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Nugget (Month 5)

Dear Willa,

What a big month you had. We took a trip to Colorado to visit some of my friends. It was your first time on an airplane. On the way to Denver, you did great not fussing much. It was a bonus that the people around us were very nice and understanding that it was your first flight. I wish I could say the same about the flight home. 
 
 
You did not get to sleep as long as you needed on the flight home as we had to let the woman next to us out to go to the restroom. As a result you were cranky and made sure everyone on that plane knew it. A kind flight attendant let me stand up in the back so I could have more room to rock you, and you were almost as grateful as I was. When we started descending into the DFW area, I sat back down with you, and you nursed and fell back asleep, and all was good with your world again.
 
 

You discovered the 80-pound sack of sugar we call Cooper. He loves you and likes to show it with continually attempting to lick any part of you he can get away with. You will sometimes reward his efforts with a giggle, which I'm sure only encourages him to keep trying.
 
 

You're the champ at rolling over and delight when you find yourself in front of our lamp with the floor-length paper shade that you love to kick because of the noise it makes. In fact, you're so good at rolling over that taking this month's photos proved difficult because every time I laid you on your back you promptly rolled over to your front.



When we had the quarterly birthday get together we do with my side of the family, we did what we always do for the third quarter birthdays... went swimming. You loved being in the water, which does not come as a surprise because you think bathtime is about the best thing ever.
 
 
 
A couple days ago, you had rice cereal for the first time. You try to grab the spoon as we feed you so I think it's safe to say you like it. Next up, pureed vegetables, yum!
 

Love,
Momma

Tuesday Trivia: Business

Tuesday Trivia is a weekly post of interesting trivia questions. Leave a comment with your answer - or best guess - and come back tomorrow to see if you were right. Happy guessing!

<><><>

What is the oldest corporation in the Western Hemisphere?

Monday, August 26, 2013

A Great Adventure

10 years ago today, I walked through DFW airport tears streaming down my face from saying goodbye to my parents.

I was embarking on a new adventure. Moving to a city where the only people I knew were my roommates and I only barely knew them.

It was what I had wanted. What I had dreamed of for a year and a half before that. 

But that was hard to remember as that plane took off and I left behind my family, my friends and my home.

Texas was where I was born. Where I had lived my whole life. Leaving it for the unknown that waited for me in Boston was one of the hardest things I've ever done. And also one of the best.

The next two years were a great time in my life. I loved grad school. I met people who became like family. People for whom I would do anything. If they called in the middle of the night asking for help, I'd grab my shovel and not ask questions. People I can still count on 10 years later to be there for me.

My time in Boston were formative years for me. A lot of who I am today is a result of that time. I have never regretted my decision to move back to Texas. It is my home after all. I love being close to my family.

There are times though when I miss that carefree time. Before jobs, before kids, before life got more complicated. Times when I miss the city of Boston. But mostly I just miss seeing my friends more than once a year or so.