Friday, January 30, 2009

Yays all around

So I think The Diarrhea is officially (finally) over. WOOT! Declaring this will of course mean that we will have a big, messy blowout at the least convenient time tomorrow. But D's appetite was great most of today, and his poops are much much closer to normalish consistency. Yay for normal poop.

Had some friends over for dinner tonight. Good times (though I don't think little Sophia agreed). Lots of stuff traded hands-- Benjamin & Karen returned some baby books I'd lent her and brought a lens for me to borrow over the weekend, I returned some photography books I'd borrowed from them and in turn sent them off with a box of baby clothes for their maybe-boy to maybe-wear. Yay for generous friends.

Now I need to get to bed and rest as tomorrow promises to be a big day, and a big weekend overall. Looking forward to hopefully nice weather, to having some fun taking pictures, and most of all to spending the day/weekend with my sister and dad. Yay for family.

BTW check out D's newest trick:
Mini- Gene Simmons??
(Please ignore the horrid focusing job)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

wait and see

I called Kaiser again yesterday as I realized that it was Day 7 of The Diarrhea, and it seemed advisable. The advice nurse I talked to was once again very nice and helpful, made me an appointment to see our pediatrician this morning. Since he's not showing any (other) worrisome signs, she figures it'll just be another 1-2 days before he's done with this... so we'll see. Good news is he actually hasn't lost any weight even tho he's barely eaten the past week, so he must've been gaining pretty well before then (he was 19lb 9oz today btw).

My dad flew in today, he's up in the city with my sister right now. We've had plans for Zach, D, and I to spend the weekend with them in SF. I had assumed all this mess would be long gone by then, but now we're not so sure and I don't really want to have to deal with diarrhea and blowouts while away from home. So we're playing it by ear, seeing how tomorrow goes and then decide whether to go Saturday, or maybe wait till Sunday. Disappointing, but what are you gonna do.

In other news, only 5 days till D's birthday. Can't believe it. I'm so excited it's nuts. =P

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Twelve Days and Counting...

In the continued campaign to stop the madness that is the CPSIA legislation that's supposed to take effect in about 12 days, bloggers all over the blogosphere are holding a "blog-in" to try to raise awareness about this hair-brained law and what we can do to stop it from destroying our children's products industry (by driving 70% of it out of business) and sending our economy into a further downward spiral (by destroying thousands if not millions of jobs, and rendering millions of dollars' worth of inventory as unsellable). After writing four posts on this issue I figured I'd give it a rest, but feel compelled to join in on the blogging today.

If you have missed my previous posts on this topic, you can read them here, here, here, and here.

As an example of the absurdity of this all, the CPSC is STILL dragging its feet about whether or not children's library books will be exempt from the new regulations, and thus we still don't know whether ALL childrens public and school libraries will need to shut down in less that 2 week's time. The American Library Association is growing increasingly alarmed and has asked everyone to take action.

In addition to the suggestions outlined in my previous posts, you can also now go to this link to sent a pre-written email to Todd Stevenson of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC, in charge of enforcing CPSIA). All you have to do is add your name and address and you've spoken your piece.

For more info:
The Handmade Toy Alliance
Cool Mom Picks: Save Handmade!
CPSIA: Info Page
National Bankruptcy Day

KarenClark CPSIA info page
Fashion Incubator CPSIA Posts

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Warning: More Poop Talk

I'm so ready for this stupid bug to run its course. I've been doing ok dealing with it all- you have to. Your kid gets sick, you roll with it. You clean up the shit, you find the humor in the situation, and you focus on trying to help your kid feel better, and making sure they're eating if they feel like it and drinking enough liquids. But sometimes, you just get fed up. The past couple days D's only been having 2-3 poopy diapers a day, a vast improvement from the 5+/day of the previous days, but the low number means higher quantity of poop per diaper. Which means much greater chance for blow-outs. And we had a fairly major one this afternoon.

I won't get into it too much, as I know I'm already violating all sorts of TMI laws even talking about diarrhea and poop so much on here, but the thing that gets to me the most is just how unclean everything feels. Washing my hands between every step in the post-blowout cleaning process, and still feeling like I'm contaminating the entire bathroom, like I never truly get my hands clean, and I just wish I could douse everything with bleach. I'm practically drinking Purell. And it sucks doing a load of laundry, or scrubbing the bathtub (where we've been rinsing stuff out) to try to get things clean knowing that in as little as a few hours there'll be more dirty clothes and the tub will get dirty again. Boo.

And in being all environmentally conscious and using canvas bags always when shopping, we are down to about 3 plastic bags left and are in serious need to restoring our stash. So the canvas bags will be retired for a bit.

Ok, enough of all that. I will all be over soon enough. And now it's time for bed. And to get our minds off all the poop talk, here's some super sweet baby toes. C;mon, you know you can't resist these little piggies.

Monday, January 26, 2009

On the up and up (hopefully)

Calm day here on the home front. I think D's getting over his tummy bug, getting closer to being back to "normal" hopefully any day now. He kept going back and forth from being his usual happy, super-adorable self, and being kind of, um, super whiny. We practiced walking a little more today-- he's able to take about 3-5 steps, and they improve every day it seems as today they looked more steady than yesterday. Truly amazing.

You know what else is pretty amazing? Our little man turns a year old a week from tomorrow. I think I need to go shopping this week to find him a birthday outfit, or at least a fun birthday bib (and maybe a hat?). We shall see...

We took a walk in the afternoon, down to the park to watch the kids play and then back home. Seems a good way to zone the kid out and "force" him to rest up. We're still managing to squeeze him into that bundle-me sack, but at some point here we'll have to break down and buy him a bigger one. I also need to start thinking about getting him some walking shoes... I love the Robeez, but I'm guessing he'll need something with a little more protection soon (though they're still supposed to be kinda soft-soled, right? Can I get him some baby Chuck Taylors already?).

My dad's flying into town this week, he'll arrive to San Francisco on Thursday, I think, and hang out with Jenny up there through the weekend, then come down here in time for D's birthday. Very exciting. =) There's talk of the zoo and aquarium. I wonder if D will get as much enjoyment out of them as I tend to. ; )

Saturday, January 24, 2009


In the interest of not boring you with yet another recap of our stomach-bug infested lives (in a nutshell: Zach and I feel much better today, D's about the same), I figured I'd instead write about Project365. I've already been doing a project 365 for Donovan, taking a picture of him every day for his first year (well, attempting to, anyway. We're on day 357 but his 365 set on flickr only has 305 photos, but then again I think he was already a month or 2 old before I even decided to do this, so eh). Anyway, so this year I've decided to also do a 365 for 2009, taking a picture each day for all of this year, as a way to practice taking pictures of things other than my ultra-adorable son (I know, I know, imagine that!).
I'm already pretty used to using my camera each day to take pictures of D, but it's been interesting now adding to it the challenge of taking at least one picture of something else each day. I've also set a goal for myself to upload, sort, tag, edit, and upload to flickr my pictures at the end of each day, when they're still a manageable amount, rather than my previous method of letting them pile up for a good week or longer. So far I've been doing pretty well with it, skipping a day only a couple times. It helps that Lightroom is such great software, making it easy to tag and categorize the pictures and helping me feel more organized (even if it is a bit slow on our computer, which I think has more to do with the computer than anything).
23/365 (and day 356 for D)
I've already noticed a couple interesting effects of doing this project. One, knowing that I have to take at least one picture each day, I feel more ok taking pictures of things that would normally be considered more mundane, since I partially look at this project as a photojournal of sorts. Part of the goal is to record my life, events and things in it, and the little details are all part of that. Before I often felt like there really had to be something special to take a photo of, for some silly reason, and I'm realizing now that part of the fun of photography is finding these "mundane" everyday things and making them interesting through photography.
The other, is that before I've shied away from experimenting much with postprocessing of pictures mainly b/c I feel like I just don't have the time. I have a hard time just picking a few shots to decide to play with, and I don't want to go through every one, so I just don't do anything to any of them. And I do have a goal to make as many of my pictures great in-camera so that I don't need to do anything to them unless I want to. But, choosing one photo each day to be part of this project, gives me a single photo that I can spend even just 5 minutes tweaking, which has made me explore and feel more comfortable with the various editing tools in Lightroom. I've been working my way through Scott Kelby's Adobe Lightroom 2 book, and between that and playing with the different settings, and playing with pre-made presets and even trying to re-create them myself, I feel I'm learning a lot in a short time which is pretty exciting. It's good to know how to achieve certain effects when you feel a particular photo calls for them.

So, we'll see how this goes. Hopefully, well. I'm sure I'll have many days of feeling bored or completely uninspired, which hasn't been as much of a problem with taking pictures of D b/c, well, he could be just sitting there and (to me, at least) there's always an interesting/cute picture to be taken. I'm hoping this project helps open my eyes to all the other interesting photographic opportunities all around, also just waiting to be taken. I've been posting my 365 photos in a set on flickr, and also on a photoblog, for those who are interested in following along with me on this photo journey. ; )

Friday, January 23, 2009

They say misery loves company...

What a day.

Zach got sick overnight. Needless to say he stayed home from work today. Luckily, after downing enough Pepto-Bismol to constipate a horse, he managed to retain his fluids though still feeling pretty crappy.

Meanwhile, I wallowed in a state of exhaustion and mild nausea, spending most of the day lying on the floor watching D play. Even if he wasn't feeling great, it was nice having Zach around as a helping hand. We tag-teamed with the changing and cleaning-up of D's messy diapers, and he allowed me one nice afternoon nap. (As an aside, the gdiapers have been doing a pretty good job of containing the poop. We still end up having to wash both the liner and outer pant, but that's easier to deal with than having to change D's entire outfit, as I've had to do almost every time that he's worn Pampers instead.)

D's managed to eat a handful of cheerios, a slice of bread, and a 4oz container of yogurt today, which is more than Zach and I managed, combined. The biggest concern now is keeping him hydrated, which seems to be going well thanks to breastfeeding and Pedialyte. I'm amazed at how much he seems to like the stuff, he literally chugs it, which he has never done before with any other liquid-- even juice. Maybe his body just knows what it needs.

I must say, I'm amazed at D's energy levels. While he's been more clingy and whiny the past few days (with good reason), he's also had several spurts throughout the days of playing and being super cute, and has even already graduated from taking a single step unassisted, to a string of 3-4 steps. If he keeps up this pace he'll be pretty close to full-on walking by his birthday, in a mere week and a half.

And now, after watching an episode of The Daily Show and having a lovely dinner of, well, nothing, I think we'll be retiring to bed and hope to feel better tomorrow. It unfortunately seems that D's diarrhea can be expected to last another few days, but at least if Zach and I feel better it'll be easier to deal with.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Phase 2

Yesterday was pretty uneventful overall, D seemed to not feel great but not too bad, either. Today however we seemed to have moved onto Phase 2 of whatever bug he got. Not too bad overall, though D did go through about 4 wardrobe changes over the course of the day. In the afternoon he actually ate a handful or so of cheerios (yesterday I think he ate about 3, total) and he's been nursing and drinking Pedialyte for fluids. Depending on how things go overnight and tomorrow morning, I might call the KP advice line again to see if there's anything else I should be doing or looking out for, or just keep on keepin' on.

These past few days have certainly been a lesson on the energy-draining powers of worry. Aside from a bit of extra clean-up, D hasn't been much more demanding than usual, yet at the end of each day I've felt completely worn out. I can't help but think it stems more than anything, from all the worrying about (and feeling bad for) D. It is truly astounding just how much the sheer act of worrying takes out of you. Then again the dreary, rainy weather hasn't helped, either.

Tomorrow is Friday, and Jenny will be coming down either that evening or Sat morning to hang out for the weekend which makes me very happy. And not only will Jenny be around, but we've got multiple offers for baby-sitting, too. Zach's been having a rough week at work, too, so I think some weekend relaxation will do us all quite a bit of good.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The things you don't know till you become a parent

Yesterday afternoon I got a call from Zach at about 4pm or so, saying he'd have to work late and so wasn't likely to get home till just after D went to bed. Maybe 30 minutes later, I looked over just in time to see D empty the entire contents of his stomach onto the (carpeted) dining room floor. I tried to contain the mess as much as I could while simultaneously trying to soothe him, and get him out of his soiled clothes and into a bath, raking my brain for what I could have given him to eat that might've gotten him sick.

He seemed ok after a bit, playing with the water in the tub, but then about 20 minutes he later he started trying to throw up again. Except he didn't have anything left in his tummy, so he's just dry heaving. I don't think I have to tell you how heartbreaking it is to watch a baby dry heave, utterly miserable. This cycle repeated itself for the next couple hours-- D would seem ok, then would either come over to me needing comfort or just start crying, and would start heaving again, unable to keep anything down. Eventually we got him to bed (we set him up in the pack-n-play in our room so we could keep a closer eye on him as he slept), and his tummy seemed to calm down with that. I'd called Zach as he was coming home and sent him on a Pedialyte run, and we gave D some of that each time he woke up overnight, and luckily he'd go back to sleep without too much trouble. Today he seems a bit tired and has hardly touched the cheerios I've offered him, but he is thirsty and hasn't thrown up at all yet. He's been wanting be held more than usual, but has also still been playing and crawling around (in fact he took his first definitive step on his own this morning!). I'm wondering if he'll have troubles out the other end today, but nothing yet. The best part of it all is that now both Zach and I are being all paranoid about any little twinges of nausea, which are probably more psychosomatic than anything at this point.

I must say, whatever bad things people say about Kaiser Permanente's care their advice nurses (at least the ones I talked to last night, both times I called) were extremely nice and helpful, encouraging me to call back at any time if I felt the need, and are available 24/7. They gave me the following plan of action, which once you see it makes total sense and I really wish I'd known this long ago as it applies just as well to adults and would've made many college nights of misery a bit better. I'm posting it here both for my own reference, and for the other parents and soon-to-be parents reading this who might be as clueless as I was in not knowing to do this:

  1. Nothing at all to eat/drink while still actively throwing up.
  2. Once he's gone at least 1 hour without throwing up, give 1 tsp of Pedialyte (for older kids and adults flat ginger ale, gatorade, or just water will do, too) every 5 minutes. This is the key-- it has to be tiny amounts at a time, no matter how thirsty they feel.
  3. After 1+ hours of giving 1tsp of fluid every 5 minutes, can start giving larger doses of fluids (still not more than a few oz at a time).
  4. After about 3-4 hours of doing well on fluids, can try to eat something.
  5. If throwing up resumes at any point, go right back to step 1.
(EDIT: If the vomiting's been going on for several hours and/or is accompanied by diarrhea, be on the look-out for signs of dehydration: sunken fontanelle (the soft spot on their head); if the inside of their mouth is dry or sticky; no tears when crying; no wet diapers in 8+ hours; there might be more but those are the ones I remember off the top of my head.)

We had Gymboree and a playdate planned for today, needless to say both have been cancelled and we'll be hanging out here at home all day. I'd like to try going for a walk later, but for the first day in weeks it's overcast and threatening to rain. Oh well. I guess even in California we gotta have winter days once in a while. We could certainly use the rain.

Great. Now Sierra just coughed up a hairball. We're so not getting any deposit back on this place. Have I mentioned how much I dislike carpet floors?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Congratulations! You've just won a new president!

D and I tuned into the inauguration today thanks to I hadn't even thought about it till I saw a link on facebook, and tuned in just about 30 mins before the oaths. I'm glad I got to watch it, and though D will have no conscious recollection of this day I'm glad he was able to see and hear it, too. Listening to Obama deliver his speech was truly inspirational. I kept finding myself thinking, "Yes. Yes! YES!" to what he was saying. How great to have a president who can deliver speeches well and sound inspirational.

I have to say, though, I was pretty surprised at all the prayer in the ceremony. This is the first inauguration ceremony that I've really watched, and when Rick Warren got up there and started praying, I was shocked. My exact thoughts were, "Wait, what? You can pray during the inauguration?? All this stuff about no prayer in schools, and we're praying during the inauguration of our president??" I am by no means anti-christian nor anti-God, but I couldn't help but laugh a bit at the irony of it all, and also think of all the non-christian Americans watching who probably felt a bit slighted in that moment.

And now, we shall see. I think many of us have been waiting on bated breath, wondering what sort of changes will come about once Obama became president. Yes, I'm hoping he himself makes much-needed changes of things over which he has power. But I also think his presence in office might act as a breath of fresh air throughout our country, that people are feeling more motivated and hopeful now, and that this will help bring about change, also. Because while there are many things that the president and government can do, many of the most significant changes need to come from The People. And that would be, us. So let's get to it, shall we? ; )

Monday, January 19, 2009

Because I know you all want to hear more about my son's eating, sleeping, and pooping habits

I realized the other day that I never wrote much of an update on D's low-weight/not-enough-wet-diapers/let's-try-weaning-to-formula "situation" from almost a month ago. So here's that update, for those of you who are interested. To review: D's continued to not gain much weight, and for about a week there started not having enough wet diapers, either. I took him to the pediatrician, and we both agreed it was time to supplement more aggressively with formula. How we'd do that was another matter, but as we boarded the plane to spend 2 weeks in Texas for the holidays, we hoped we'd figure it out.

I don't know if it was the measly 2-3oz/day of formula that we'd occasionally manage to get him to drink, or if I was having a temporary slowdown in supply that then went away, or what other random events conspired, but by the time we were back here in the new year D's diaper output was fine, even tho he was hardly drinking any formula and occasionally would take some water. He's been eating solid food like a champ, though-- 3 meals a day plus about 2 snacks, eating pretty well each time. He's back to allowing me to feed him with a spoon most of the time, which makes it much easier for me to get a decent amt of, say, fruits and veggies into him more quickly. And, perhaps in an effort to show me how well-nourished he is, he's become a pooping machine. I'm serious, one or more good poops a day (normal consistency, always). So clearly he's getting plenty to eat.

Last night out of sheer curiosity I tried weighing him using our home scale. Even taking off a pound to be conservative, he came out to about 21lbs... impressive considering he'd been hovering around 18/19lbs for the previous few months.

I guess motherhood is, among other things, a long string of events where you worry about something, later find out you had nothing to worry about, and the cycle just repeats itself. Though I am still always glad to be relieved of the worry, and know that things really are ok after all.

In the past week an amazing thing has happened. D has started to consistently sleep about 9-10 consecutive hours at night (thanks to a little Ferberizing). It seemed every time we started trying to do sleep training, or even thinking about it seriously, we'd have another doctor appointment, or any other reminder that would make me feel guilty about the lacked opportunity for extra calories, and so I'd give in to the night feedings all over again. But after finally truly believing the signs my son's been showing me that he's fine (active, happy, pooping loads) we went ahead with our plan to improve all of our sleep a bit. Luckily D responded really well, and was sleeping 7p-5a by the 3rd night, I think. He's now sleeping basically 12 hours (7p-7a) with one feeding at 5.

Zach mentioned how this past Saturday was the first time in a long time that he'd woken up on his own, actually feeling rested. That feeling is a priceless one. I'm sure I still have a ways to go to catch up on the "sleep debt" I've accumulated in the past almost-12 months, but getting a solid 7 hours of sleep at night makes a HUGE difference.

Babies, babies, everywhere

We certainly seem to be in the midst of a baby boom around here. Over christmas we visited some friends in Austin and got to see their brand-new baby boy. We currently have 2 good friends who are pregnant. And, just today we got word that D's new cousin Mira was born early this morning! Yay for babies. =)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

don't mind me, just rambling about hair

Growing up, my mom always cut our hair. She did a decent job, and it saved money. In high school I started cutting it myself, continuing through college or occasionally going to a Super-Cuts-level place (except if changing a style). I remember my mom telling me I should go someplace nice for haircuts, as a treat, which always seemed ironic coming from a woman who, as far as I can remember, has never allowed herself the same treat.

I've gone back and forth over the years on whether to cut my hair myself or let someone else do it, and if it's someone else, how much to pay. I've always had a hard time justifying paying more than about $20 for a hair-cut, and really, if I'm gonna pay $20 for a bad hair-cut, I might as well save myself the money and get it for free, right? (and believe me, I've given myself, and received, some horrendous haircuts...)

At one point I started realizing that perhaps one reason I had a hard time getting my sometimes-curly-sometimes-wavy-always-frizzy hair to behave (except when tamed by my trusty flat iron) might be b/c I wasn't getting a fancy haircut that cost $$. But by that time, we were moving to Europe, anticipating getting pregnant, and I was getting so fed up with my high-maintenance hair that I decided to cut it short again. I've had my hair short like this before, 2-3 times since high school, and each time I'd cut it and keep it short for maybe a few months and then start growing it out again, usually out of sheer laziness. Because as easy as this cut is-- can I tell you how wonderful it is to have a cut that looks somewhat stylish without me having to do hardly anything to it??-- the one high-maintenance part of it is the frequent trims. This time, I've kept it up for almost 2 years now, b/c it's just made my life so much easier to have my hair short.

In Geneva I resigned to going to an expensive place for cuts, mostly b/c he city offered nothing else. The cuts always came out slightly differently, partially b/c of different stylists (and my poor French skills left me with little direction to give). Sometimes, it came out fabulous. Other times, it came out... ok. I have noticed that certain aspects of the cut are key to how the style will look (the pieces in front of my ears are essential to making the cut feminine, rather than looking like a boy), and others don't matter much (I've had cuts that were horrible lopsided, with chunks of hair super long and others very short, but the only time it was noticeable was when I ran my hands through my hair). And other than a couple tricky areas, the cut really is pretty darn simple.

Now with a kid, remembering to call for an appointment, finding the time for the appointment, arranging for leaving D with someone or working it into our weekends, etc, is kind of a pain in the butt. So the other day I started wondering about trying my hand at it again. What the heck, I could do a small trim, and if results are disastrous then I'll just go to someone to fix it, right? So I ghetto-rigged a double-mirror in our bathroom, pulled out my scissors, and went at it. Honestly, it felt pretty good to get to cut it exactly how I want it, and the cut and cleanup took almost no time. I took the picture above was taken this morning, post-cut. If I may say so myself, I think it turned out pretty decent. I'm at least about as happy as I normally am after a pro cut... except I saved myself $60.

Zach's asked me before to cut his hair for him, and ironically I just don't dare. I guess I feel ok potentially screwing up my own head of hair, but don't want to risk doing so to someone else. It's sort of like back in drill team in high school, when I could french-braid my own hair without problem but couldn't for the life of me do someone else's. I guess I'm just weird that way.

Friday, January 16, 2009

I'll be the mom letting her kids play in the rain while the other parents look on like I'm nuts

You've heard the classic joke-- parents with a first-born who drops his pacifier, will pick it back up and sanitize by boiling in water before allowing the child to touch it again. With the second child, they brush the pacifier off before giving it back to the child. By the third, they just pop it back in the kid's mouth.

What happens when you find yourself doing the latter with your first kid?

Of course, the floor is dirty. We all know that, know not to eat things off the floor, etc. But I've found my attitude towards things-found-on-the-floor has changed ever since my child started a) crawling on his hands and knees, and b) sucking his thumb. Can I really freak out about him picking food up off the floor if he's constantly sticking his thumb, which is otherwise constantly exploring things on the floor, into his mouth? Sure, I could try to wash his hands quickly right before every time he sucks his thumb, but that would be impractical if not impossible to do. So I do what I can, and consider myself lucky to have a kid whose immune system seems strong enough to weather whatever germs he's picking up.

I have a feeling I'm a bit more lax and permissive than most parents. Just yesterday D spent a good half-hour playing with the wrappers of 2 small chocolate bars. They were big enough to be a bit difficult for him to stick in his mouth (which he actually never even tried, surprisingly) and he was having so much fun making them crinkle in his hands... I just couldn't take them away. The other day D and I were out and I was letting him stick his hands in the coldish water of a fountain, and then felt bad when a 3 yr old girl next to us got reprimanded by her dad for doing the same. The contents of our tupperware cabinet have been strewn across our kitchen floor on a few occasions this week. He's obsessed right now with how doors swing open and closed, and so I try to rig things up so he can't close them on himself but otherwise will let him swing them this way and that, b/c he just seems truly compelled to explore that motion. I guess it's the Montessorian in me-- as long as he's not hurting himself or someone/thing else, I'll just watch as he plays. I try not to interrupt, as it does so often seem like he's truly engrossed in whatever he's doing, concentrating on whatever he's holding, and I can just see the wheels in his head turning and some vital part of his psyche or intelligence being formed right then and there.

I'm sure this relaxed attitude will bite me in the ass before long, as he gets better about getting into things he shouldn't. We were playing in his room today and I looked at the big, comfy chair I have in there, sitting right next to his dresser (the top of which is my "safe spot" for putting things out of his reach) and I wondered how long I have left before he figures out how to climb onto the chair and reach the dresser top by himself.

I am curious to see what our parenting and discipline styles will evolve to be like. Over the years I've been exposed to various different philosophies for discipline and seen them in action, and have already picked over an arsenal of tactics I think seem to work well and that agree with my over-all parenting ideas and theories. But while you can think of, plan for, and talk about a lot of these things (and we have), you also never really know how you'll feel or react when any particular situation presents itself, until you're there. I already see myself behaving differently with D than I have when in charge of other people's kids, which I guess shouldn't be a surprise but in some ways is. I guess we'll just have to wait and see, what this adventure has in store for our little family.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Last Piece

The following is am email I sent out to my entire contact list today. I have never before sent out such a blanket, spam-like email before, and I'm sure many will ignore it and others will be annoyed by this email they get from an unrecognized address (since my contact list saves everyone I've ever emailed with) but I felt the scope was appropriate for the urgency of this matter. Bankrupting the children's product industry and putting millions of people out of a job for no good reason is bad. But closing down children's libraries? I'm sorry, that's on the level of monstrous.

I'm posting this here so it's available for others who want to take my words and send them out to their own contacts. This is probably my last blog post on this issue (unless I hear good news between now and Feb 10)-- I figure by now all my readers have been made aware, those who are going to act have done so, and there's not much more me talking about it will do. I will continue to contact Congress about this, but with this last email I think I've done what I can to reach out to others. I hope the chain of information will continue to broaden from here.

Subject: New Law Will Ban Children from Libraries starting Feb 10, 2009

Sadly, this is no joke. In just a few weeks libraries could be closed to children. I don't usually send mass-emails like this to everyone in my contact list, but I feel this issue has such importance as to need to reach everyone possible. PLEASE read on below.

In August 2008 the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) passed a new law, the Consumer Product Safety Inspection Act (CPSIA). This law will go into effect on Feb 10, 2009, and requires that ALL products intended for use by kids 12 and under (toys, clothes, books, bedding, etc) must go through third-party lab testing to check for lead and pthalate content. Without a certificate showing that the item passed, it will be illegal to sell that product. This testing can cost from $100 to $4,000 and more per item. This law is also retroactive, meaning all items on store shelves as of Feb 10, 2009, will require a certificate... even though they were made way before then. As a result,

And that's just a sampling. As a mother, of course I want our children's toys to be as safe as possible. Unfortunately this law goes WAY overboard, punishing those who have never caused problems to begin with (manufacturers here in the US). As a result the only toy makers left will be huge companies whose toys come from China (the one place tainted toys HAVE come from). Oh, and our children's literacy will suffer from the disappearance of public libraries. The Handmade Toy Alliace, among others, has offered up common-sense ideas for how to amend the CPSIA so that our children can be safe, yet also keep businesses aflaot (for example, following standards like those already created by the EU, which are widely respected among the globe and provide safe toys for their children, rather than us trying to re-invent the wheel).

WHAT YOU CAN DO: Click this link (or copy and paste the code below) to send an automated letter to your state senators and representative.

You can also go here to vote to have this issue presented to President Obama after his inauguration. And, you can forward this email to everyone you know. If you want to find out more about the CPSIA, see the links listed below. I have more to share for those who are interested, and am happy to try to answer questions to the best of my ability: mightymarce at gmail dot com

The Handmade Toy Alliance
Cool Mom Picks: Save Handmade!
CPSIA: Info Page
National Bankruptcy Day

ALA Urges Congress to Correct Law that Inadvertently Targets libraries, Publishers

Blog Post: On Lead and the CPSIA
Blog Post: Ray of Sunshine- CPSIA Update
New Times: Don't Touch That Book!

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I hope you'll take the extra minute or 2 to help spread the word about this law and its effects.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Insights from my afternoon trip to the grocery store

People scare me on the road. I know what that makes me sound like, but I'm serious. People scare me. Maybe it's my neighborhood, I don't know. There's one large-ish road I drive all the time to get to/from home, it's 6 lanes across with a grassy median. People like to run across it during heavy traffic. Just because. What's that, intersections? Crosswalks? I guess they never heard of those. They prefer playing real-life Frogger. Then there's the guys who run across one side of the road, then walk up the median for a while. Except they'll do it right on the curb. As in, inches from the street. And I'll just be waiting for them to a) decide to run across right in front of me, or b) lose balance and fall into the road right in front of me. USE THE FRIGGIN SIDEWALKS, PEOPLE! Although I guess at least I should commend them on walking, rather than driving everywhere.

Then comes what is perhaps my biggest pet-peeve ever: people who run red lights. You know, when people decide "What the heck, my light'sonly been red for 5 full seconds, obviously I still have time to go through it!" The people who, when my light has already turned green, are STILL entering the intersection from the wrong side. Normally this is just annoying, as it tends to happen in the second or 2 between when I notice the green light and when I actually start to drive, and so I'mstill stopped and not in danger of getting hit. But every so often, like today, some jackass will decide he should make that left-hand turn into my line of driving when MY light has been green for several seconds, and when the guy next to me's already halfway through the intersection, and at least I had the wherewithall to honk at him repeatedly. It's one of the few times I'm thankful for slow reflexes (that keep me from going right away).

(The red-light-running, btw, has always bugged me, but it's risen to a passionate hate level since moving back to the US I think because I NEVER saw anyone run a red light in Europe. EVER. Maybe b/c all lights had cameras to catch, and heavily fine, anyone who did. Gosh it'd be nice for them to implement that here, too).

Safeway shopping carts are nasty. At least the Safeway closest to me. I don't shop there often, I guess. I have a shopping cart cover for D, but I haven't used it much recently as he seems more stable sitting in a cart and I don't normally see a need. But these today were so filthy, gimpy-looking, and most didn't even have a working strap, so I walked back to the car to get the cover out and used it.

It's amusing to me how grocery store baggers seem to have no idea what to do with cloth bags. It's also amusing how living in Europe has totally changed my idea of a "big" grocery store trip. Loading up 3 cloth bags seems like SO MUCH STUFF.

Lastly, ad I know this is blasphemy to say in some parts, but Safeway actually makes some pretty good French bread. IT was even still warm when I picked it up.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Will Libraries Become Extinct Feb 10, 2009?

It's not so far-fetched, people. As it stands today, the General Counsel of the Consumer Product Safety Commission has stated that on February 10, 2009 (when the CPSIA goes into effect) "public, school, academic and museum libraries [will have] to either remove all their books or ban all children under 12 from visiting the facilities." The American Library Association kicked into high gear by sending Congress a formal letter, but has since decided we should "sit back" as their lawyers are sure that this was not the intent of Congress when passing the CPSIA. Intended consequences or not. I am not comfortable sitting back and waiting when A) the organization in charge of enforcing this new law (the CPSC) interprets it to include children's books, and B) the law goes into effect in FOUR WEEKS leaving little time to act as is.

Once again, please email, write, or call your senators and state representatives. It takes less time than you'd think even to call them and just voice your concerns about this. I cannot even think about what it would mean if libraries had to get rid of their childrens sections... sure, they'd build them back up over time with "certified" tested books, but how long would that take? Years? Decades? And meanwhile kids are missing out.

And now, to cleanse my mind of these horrid, sad, sad thoughts, here's some super adorable pictures of D getting into my makeup this morning.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Updates on CPSIA Madness

The other day I came across this article, and nearly had a heart attack. I'm already overwhelmed and in disbelief about how the CPSIA will affect, well, everything when it goes into effect on Feb 10, next month. But I hadn't thought about children's books. Oh dear Lord, the books. Could they really demand that ALL used books be thrown away if not tested for lead?!? What would that mean for public libraries, and used book stores, not to mention children and literacy? I mean, EGADS!! It's mind-boggling.

Thankfully as of January 8 the Consumer Product Satefy Commission clarified that second-hand stores will be exempt from CPSIA regulations. PHEW! Now, they're not in the clear yet-- any items that are "likely to contain lead" may not be sold. This means anything that's got paint on it, for example. So while books and natural-fabric cloth should be ok (hmm, but what about the dyes?), many items will still be considered illegal to sell even used. I'm not sure what this means for public libraries still. Turns out none of that is set. The press release states a "clarification," but the National Industry of Resale and Thrift Shops isn't appeased (neither is the public)and is waiting for a definitive ruling on the matter (along with actual, clear guidelines).

Of course then I read about how the CPSIA regulations will effectively mean cultural genocide for Native Americans, as they will no longer be able to make and sell one-of-a-kind traditional outfits for children. Way to go.

Yet another issue that's come to light is all the millions of dollars worth of merchandise sitting in store shelves and warehouses currently, which will retroactively be required to show certification of testing for lead, pthalates, etc, but will be nearly impossible to test or show. These items will be illegal to sell, and will have to be trashed... even though they're brand new, and ost of them perfectly safe. What a great way to help boost the economy, indeed.

There's talk of making exemptions for particular materials which are highly unlikely to contain lead, and for one-of-a-kind items, BUT nothing has actually happened yet. So it's all still just... talk. And these new regulations will go into effect in less than a month.

If you have just 2 spare minutes:
-Use this link to just fill in your name and send an automated email to your senators and state representatives.
-Vote on The top 10 ideas will be presented to President-Elect Obama on Janaury 16. (You have to sign up, but it takes 2 seconds, literally)
-Send a message to Cheryl Falvey, General Counsel of the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
-Put a "Save Handmade!" button on your blog.
-Send an email, or just forward this blog post or any of these links to everyone you know who would care or be affected by this.

If you have 15 minutes:
-Join the mail-in protest.
-Print out this letter template and send it to your senators, representatives, and any or all of the following members of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, who sponsored the CPSIA:

The Hon. Henry A. Waxman, Chairman
Committee on Energy and Commerce
2125 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

The Hon. Joe Barton, Ranking Member
Committee on Energy and Commerce
2322-A Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

The Hon. Bobby Rush, Chairman
Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection
2125 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

The Hon. Ed Whitfield, Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection
2322-A Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Sunday, January 11, 2009


We met up with friends at the farmers market this morning, then had lunch at the French bistro nearby run by a French chef and his American wife. It's a tiny, casual place (at least during the day) and the food is always great. Both owners also work the register and will bring out the food, so they're very visible, and on a few occasions Zach's gotten up the nerve to speak to him in French. Today we noticed that the chef had a friend there, another French man, and as we ate our lunch the 2 of them sat at a corner table, chatting and sampling from one of the open bottles of house wine. It was like a scene straight out of the village restaurant in Switzerland. I would have taken a picture to document that classic moment, if it had not felt rude to do so.

In the afternoon I left Zach home with D while I went to a coffee shop to get some alone time in, and to try to sort through some old pictures. As I browsed photos from D's first several months of life I felt a strange tugging at my heartstrings, remembering what he used to look like then, those moments and milestones I'd documented, little details like how I used to lay him on the floor and prop books and pictures all around for him to look at. I can't quite describe the feeling, but I imagine it's one that will become more familiar as time goes on and these memories further back in time.

I then got home after being gone not quite 2 hours, and the first thing Zach says to me as I walk in the door is, "Man, how do you stay home with him all day?!" ; )

six word sunday: Mother and son, always and forever

six word sunday challenge

This was one of those happy accidents in photography, an experiment that turned out fabulously. =)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

the tantrums, they are a-comin'

Last Monday all 5 of D's grandparents accompanied us to the airport to say good-bye. Our flight was delayed a bit, so we sat at a little cafe outside of security to get some extra time together. My mom and step-dad were playing with D, and at one point he crawled over to his stroller and started crying. Eventually we figured out that he was looking up at the handlebars, and wanted to grab them. I think someone had done this with him at another point over the holidays-- held D up in the air where he could grab the stroller handle bars and push it around-- and he wanted to do so again. As soon as Mom lifted him up and he got his hands on the bars, he quieted down. The minute they were taken away from him, he'd start bawling again.

It happened again this afternoon. Zach, D, and I were at a little park and he decided he wanted to hold the stroller's bars and push it around again. He'd be happy if we held him up to the bars, and cry like there was no tomorrow when we didn't. It was truly a sight to see- especially since Zach and I couldn't stop laughing over the ridiculousness of it all. Here was D, clearly nothing wrong with him other than that he wasn't getting his way, but still twisting and writhing his body around with the waterworks in full force.

I'm suddenly noticing this type of scenario happening more often, where he'll cry not because anything is wrong but because he wants something, or wants something to happen, and things are not going according to his plan. I know this is just the beginning, and he's just warming up for full gale-force tantrums before long, and part of me is amused by his over-done theatrics (surely getting his pjs on isn't so terrible as to warrant throwing his head back while wailing like his toe's been cut off), and part of me is very, very worried about what's to come and how I'll manage to deal with it.

Friday, January 09, 2009

BAD mommy!

Poor D squished his fingers in a drawer a FEW times today.

And then he got bonked in the head by the car door. While he was sleeping soundly on my shoulder.

And then I burned his mouth at dinner with too-hot food. =(

At least he had a good time at Gymboree in the morning....

(none of the incidents seemed to be too bad, he'd cry for a few seconds and then be ok, but still made me feel like crap)

Dear T-mobile: you suck.

I'm feeling slightly miffed at T-mobile at the moment. Ok, so their service has been fine (well, except for the fact that my cell phone's coverage inside our house is sporadic at best-- I will literally have just hung up from a conversation and try to call a different number, and the call will fail from lack of reception). But whatevs... once you walk outside it's fine, and we're working on getting a home phone to fix that problem.

Ok, so when we bought our phones mine came with a $30 mail-in rebate. Not much, but hey that's $30! The guy at the store who set up our plans even gave us the rebate forms, explained it all, and sent us on our way. Cool.

Fast-forward a month or 2 later, and I get a letter in the mail that says me rebate was rejected. I try calling a couple times, only to be told to call back later b/c the lines are "over capacity." I tried again this morning and as I was listening more carefully realized why they rejected me-- turns out that to get a rebate, my particular phone plan has to cost $39.99 or more per month. Zach and I are on a family share plan, my number being the add-on meaning it's only $10/mo.

It woulda been nice for the guy at the counter to explain that teensy detail.

Oh, and we did get Zach's rebate, but for the first time ever instead of a rebate check they sent us one of those pre-paid cash cards, you know like a gift card but that can be used anywhere. Which is a whole other scam, since 10% of the balance on these types of cards never gets used (and eventually goes back to the issuer). I was dumb enough not to use the card all at once, and there's now about $1 left on it that will never be used, b/c you have to know the exact amount left to do so anywhere. I knw, I know, it's only a dollar, but that's OUR dollar!

So yeah, I'm not too happy with T-mobile right now.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

new discoveries, all-around

D's walker arrived yesterday in the mail (I ordered the 3-day shipping thru amazon but it came next-day!), and I was super excited to show it to him this morning. He took to it right away and has been having a blast walking back and forth across the living room. Although I may need to be careful, I did spot him trying to stand ON the walker base to try to reach something above him... He's getting sneaky! (BTW if anyone's interested this walker is made by Plan Toys and sold on, and it does have a knob on the back that you can use to slow down how fast the wheels can turn)

I went to Whole Foods today in search of a particular brand of baby food, didn't find it but found lots of other goodies instead, mainly frozen baby finger foods that I'll be trying out over the next few days to see how much I (and more importantly, D) like them. But one thing I'm really excited about is Healthy Times Teddy Puffs. D loves Cheerios and those Gerber Graduates Puffs, and cheerios are ok but the Gerber puffs are practically worthless as far as nutritional value goes-- they hardly even have any calories at all. I hate to think of him filling himself up on little more than puffed air (I know him being skinny isn't a big deal, but I still try to make each bite count). The Teddy Puffs seem to actually have some substance to them (like fiber! and vitamins!), and they were a hit when I offered some at dinner tonight. They are a little on the big side, D was crunching them up with his front teeth but any kid without many teeth yet I wouldn't feel as comfortable giving them to. But, for older babies and toddler they seem pretty awesome.

By the way I found out tonight that Heather B Armstrong (you know, that kooky gal that writes that blog) will be in Mountain View in April as part of her new book tour (she'll also be at the Bookpeople in Austin, TX a week later, for those of you in that area). I normally make a point not to say where I will be ahead of going there to avoid that whole potential-stalker deal, but, um, I'm kinda super excited about this and have already marked it on my Google calendar.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009


D and I tried out a Gymboree Play&Learn class today, and we both kinda loved it. =) It was a great mix of guided vs free-play time and activities, and a great excuse to get out of the house and let D play in a fun, new, totally-different-from-home playscape (and without worrying about the weather). The best part today was when D discovered that, as he was barefoot, if he crawled up on his hands and feet he could get enough traction to climb up a small slide, and then he'd slide back down, feet-first and on his belly. He LOVED it. I think he also gets a kick out of seeing other babies. So we signed up for the unlimited membership, and I'm hoping we'll go about twice a week, if not more often. It's not the cheapest, but hey the more often we go the better of a deal it is, right? =P

As for myself, I'm rethinking the gym thing and wondering if I shouldn't instead commit to squeezing in a few push-ups and crunches while D is playing in the living room, and Zach likes going on a little family walk in the afternoons when he gets home from work. I'm falling into that classic mom mentality, that I'd rather spend that time and money on something fun for D (like swimming lessons? hmm).

D's getting into a playing-with-doors kick. He's liked swinging them back and forth for a while, but now he's getting to where he'll get a door (or the safety gate for his room) closed, and then get pissed off that he can't open it again. That happened several times today with the safety gate. Then later on we were playing in our room and he closed the bedroom door and crawled off to play with something else. Five minutes later I opened the door again, and right away he crawled over to it, closed the door, and then crawled off again. He did that about 3 times. I guess he wanted some privacy...

I need to put together an evite for D's first birthday party (oh, and I guess I should do some planning for it, too... don't worry it'll be a pretty low-key affair. Our parties always are. I'm too lazy for anything elaborate =P), but I'm hell-bent on actually getting to bed at a decent hour tonight so I think it'll wait till tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

newfound motivation

We flew back to California last night. Was a pretty uneventful affair, thankfully, though I continue to be amused at the fact that security makes you take off baby shoes, and feel slightly jipped (sp?) that airlines apparently no longer let families board the plane first. D seems to be a darn good traveler, always pretty happy on the plane and even slept for a good part of the flight, and was in a good mood even after being rudely awakened at 12:30am Texas time to deboard the plane and head on home. I've been realizing lately just how easy-going and happy of a kid D is, and how lucky we are for it.

I'm not sure if it's the start of the new year or feeling refreshed after such a long trip away, but I felt super motivated today and accomplished quite a bit. A lot of the unpacking is done (well, at least clothes are out of suitcases... a lot of my clothes are stacked in a semi-neat pile on the dresser), D and I went grocery shopping, and I even printed out a 14-day pass to try out 24hr Fitness-- I'm feeling motivated to start working out regularly, or at least try to find a gym. And tomorrow I'm planning to take D to try out a free class at Gymboree to see if we want to sign up.

Today I discovered that 2 of my photos have been on "explore" on flickr. Woot! But what's even better/funnier than that, as I was looking at one of the photos I saw the thumbnail for the one next to it in my photo stream and didn't recognize it at all... turns out it's this great picture of a yellow flower with a bee on it, and I don't know how I didn't remember it b/c looking at it now I think it's a pretty darn awesome picture (if I may say so myself). Which in turn got me looking at other past photos I've taken, and inspired to put up more prints for sale on my etsy shop (oh, I also found out that several new people "hearted" me on etsy since last month, which also feels pretty awesome).

Oh, and I can feel a new tooth- number 7!- on D's lower gum. I can't see it, but I can feel the sharp top of it poking through the gum. This kid must have a high pain threshhold or something, he's handled teething so well. And today he also got scratched by Sierra for the first time, and didn't even seem to notice (he actually seemed thrilled, maybe at the fact that Sierra was actually responding to him).

All in all it's been a pretty feel-good day (well, other than D getting scratched... I felt like a pretty terrible mom there for a little bit, but at least he didn't seem to mind). I like this feeling of wanting to get things accomplished. Hopefully it lasts. ; )

(PS- I just got a call from a guy from 24hr Fitness. Reminds me of the part of gyms that I don't like. I don't want a free training session. I haven't even stepped foot in the place and they're already hassling me? *sigh*)

Monday, January 05, 2009

A walk in the woods (um, sort of)

Our trips to Austin always seem a bit hectic and filled to the brim with activities. This trip might've been a bit calmer in some ways, but it still feels like there's not nearly as much "down time" as I expect... mostly b/c there's so many people to want to spend time with. But, it's always a blast. =)

Saturday was my and Zach's 5th wedding anniversary. We debated what to do to celebrate, as a separate trip didn't really seem feasable (maybe next year...) and even a nice dinner out would mean a late night and missed sleep, something we're hard-pressed to give up these days. So we decided to go pretty low-key-- we picked up California Club sandwiches from Thundercloud, and headed over to Laguna Gloria for a little picnic. It was my first time out there, and with the gorgeous weather (we caught a couple sunbathing on their boat... yes, in January) and the pretty sights it turned out to be the perfect date.

(Is it me, or do we both look pretty tired?)

I'd thrown my camera in my purse "just in case," and am so glad I did. We walked and talked and I snapped a few shots every once in a while. I had the 50mm lens on, which made the camera lighter, and it was actually kinda fun being limited by the smaller frame. And goodness does it produce gorgeous pictures... that day reignited my love affair with this lens. =P

Next to Laguna Gloria there's another small park I had no known about. We walked in... and there were about 10 peacocks, all up in the trees (except for 2 females sitting on the ground nearby). I had no idea peacocks could fly, or that they liked sitting in trees. Learn something new every day, huh?

Yesterday Hank and Susan had a small party at their house for some of their friends to get to meet Donovan. Other than that we stayed around home, enjoying our last full day here with family and friends. Tonight we fly back to California (smack dab in the middle of the Texas game, btw, Zach is quite distraught over this). I'll certainly miss having all the grandparents to help out... though part of me is kinda looking forward to having D all to myself again. ;)

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Happy Five Year Wedding Anniversary To Us

3/365, originally uploaded by mightymarce.

Friday, January 02, 2009

What we've been up to

On Monday we took Donovan down to Zilker Park to ride the kiddie train. It's been around forever, Zach used to go as a kid, and Zach's dad's been really wanting to take D on it, so we-- me, Zach, D, Mom, Hank, Jenny, and Andrew-- took advantage of the sunny day and headed down there in a big caravan (that's how D rolls). I don't know if D was that impressed, but he at least didn't hate it.

Afterwards Mom took D home from the park, Zach went with Andrew to pick up the new (used) car he just bought, and Jenny and I went to Mozart's coffee shop to hang out a bit. There was a bit of a scare when we got back to ne of the cars to find the driver-side door wide open with no one around, but nothing was missing or broken in the car, so who knows what that was about. Jen and I got to Mozart's a little before sunset and stayed till it got dark, so I got to take lots of pictures of the sun setting over Town Lake, and the christmas decorations at night. Fun times. =)

Tuesday we took D to Guero's for his first taste of real tex-mex. He totally dug the queso, but then Zach tried to give him some of the spicy salsa and he burst into tears, the poor kid. Other than that I think the lunch date was a hit. On the way back Zach decided to take a little detour and we drove by the house he lived in as a kid (from about 6-13 years of age), then ran into an old neighbor who said that the current owners were out of town so we were welcome to walk around and go into the backyard if we wanted. A lot had been completelyre-done, but I think Zach really enjoyed getting to see it and take that little trip down memory lane.

New Year's Eve was extremely chill... we didn't really do anything at all. We had a friend stop by, drank a bit of champagne, and watched the ball drop with family. Then D woke up just past midnight, you know, to wish everyone a happy new year. And then took the better part of an hour's worth of rocking to get back to sleep.

Yesterday we took D to meet his great-great-aunt Leona (Zach's mom's aunt). I was weary of how it would go, but she was so glad to meet him and was super nice. She had all sorts of little toys for D to play with, including a Furby that he was quite perplexed by. There was also a dancing Elmo doll, but we couldn't get the battery compartment open to put new ones in. Oh well.

Today Jenny, JC, and I met up with Daddy at Jo's on 2nd street for a late lunch, then she and I had a short coffee date afterwards before meeting up with Zach, Hank, Andrew, Ryan, and D, and later Mom, too, at the Hike and Bike trail for a walk and to show the kids the ducks down by the water. I've been feeling a little negative about seeing all the Austin sprawl and how much things have changed and all the new buildings going up (like the 4-5 highrise residential buildings in consdtruction now just in the downtown area). It just feels like Austin is changing so fast... But today as we were walking I was amazed by how many other people were out and about, of all different types-- hardcore runners, pregnant moms with their jogging strollers, families and friends walking in street clothes just to enjoy the outdoors. It was really cool, and restored many of my positive feelings about Austin. That sounds wierd as I type it as those two things are not necessarily connected, but regardless it was great to see so many people outdoors doing stuff, and feeling a bit of that sense of community.

Tonight we met up with a few friends at Chuy's for drinks. Unfortunately when I set up the meeting time of 9pm I was not aware that Chuy's closed at 11pm. We wound up staying till 11:30, I'm sure the staff weren't happy with us but whatever. It was great to see people and catch up a bit with old friends.


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