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.

Friday, August 23, 2013

A Dog and His Girl

Cooper has always been a very sweet dog. Yes, he gets overly excited when people come over (ZOMG! PEOPLE! AT MY HOUSE! WE MUST BECOME BEST FRIENDS!). Or when he hears the word walk (MY FAVORITE THING!) or bone (MY FAVORITE THING!). And there's always a certain time of day when he starts sprinting around the house, which we like to say he's taken his crazy pill.

But he's never been aggressive towards other dogs or people. So when I thought about Willa and Cooper, I never worried that he might be aggressive with her. 

My concern was how neglected Cooper would feel when a baby would take up more of our time, and what I looked forward to was when she would be old enough that they could play together.

When we first brought Willa home and she cried, Cooper would worry about what was making that noise he didn't recognize. After a week, he got used to her and pretty much left her alone. We did our best to give him as much attention as we could, and he seemed to adjust to life with a baby much like it was before she came along.

However, in the last couple months, he's become increasingly interested in her. He lies near her and is always trying to lick her legs, hands or face (we do our best to keep him from licking her face, but he is sneaky, our dog).

Willa too has started to notice Cooper. I can see her watching him carefully, taking note of this strange thing that runs around and gives her weird, wet kisses.

When we sit with her and Cooper is nearby, she reaches for him and grabs hold of his fur. He just lets her, which is amazing because our baby girl does not have a light grip. I've got scratches on my hands and arms from her grabbing me. Sometimes I even get marks on my boobs from her gripping while she nurses.

So I absolutely love that he is not bothered by her grabbing handfuls of fur. I hope it's the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

ANSWER - Tuesday Trivia: Slang

In the late 18th century, what was the meaning of "lunatic fringe"?

Hair that came down over the forehead, better known today as bangs.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Tuesday Trivia: Slang

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!

<><><>

In the late 18th century, what was the meaning of "lunatic fringe"?

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

ANSWER - Tuesday Trivia: Fish


How did the cutthroat trout, the state fish of Idaho, get its ominous name?

Not for being a killer, but for the distinctive crimson slash mark under its lower jaw.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Tuesday Trivia: Fish

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 did the cutthroat trout, the state fish of Idaho, get its ominous name?

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Infinite

As a teenage Mochaface, I often felt infinite with the different paths laid before me. Each path representing a different life choice and the possibilities of what could be. I didn't think much about my own mortality. 

That's the privilege of the young. There is no worry, no fear. Just life and all its opportunities stretched before them.

As I got older and chose my paths, that infinite feeling became more elusive. I didn't even notice it at first. But I started to feel it less and less as my opportunities narrowed based on what I chose.

And now these last few months, I have felt incredibly mortal. It might be a natural part of getting older, and the recent death of my grandfather combined with the news of the woman who was thrown from The Texas Giant at Six Flags Over Texas and the sudden death of Kidd Kraddick has made me think about it more than I have before. 

But I really think it is motherhood that has made me realize how much this life is finite. And how much I'm grateful to experience it.

I know this is a morbid subject. It's just been on my mind a lot lately as we work to get life insurance and our wills drawn up.

I'm not going to make some proclamation about living each day to the fullest. But I am going to strive to find something in each day that made me happy and be grateful for it.

Weirdly, in addition with my realization of my own mortality, is again that feeling of being infinite. Something that usually occurs when I think about Willa and what life might hold for her.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Book Review: And the Mountains Echoed

And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini

And the Mountains Echoed opens on a father pulling a cart through an Afghan desert with his two young children while telling them a fable about a demonic being taking a beloved son to a fate that at first seems bleak but which we eventually realize might be the better path. This story becomes the  tone and common thread that runs through the multiple stories of the book, which span generations and decades. I heard a description of Hosseini's novels: The Kite Runner is about fathers, A Thousand Splendid Suns about mothers, while this one is about siblings. I think this is an accurate description.

The main characters of each story are connected to each other in some way, the threads thinner for some connections than others. But each story has its own tragedy and its own redemption. Sibling rivalry and jealousy but also sibling love and bonds so strong that they are acutely felt even when there seems to be no reason on the surface for the lonely ache.

Hosseini is a beautiful storyteller. It is a rare occurrence for me to feel so connected to the characters that I feel every betrayal, every heartache as acutely as they do. But once again, that is the feeling Hosseini created within me with his vivid descriptions and imagery.

I cannot recommend this book enough. It may be my favorite of his three novels.

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

Next month - Defending Jacob by William Landay 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

ANSWER - Tuesday Trivia: Telephone

What area code is dialed to telephone someone aboard a ship at sea?

870, the global maritime area code.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Tuesday Trivia: Telephone

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 area code is dialed to telephone someone aboard a ship at sea?