Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Photos from the DNC streets

I walked around downtown at lunch taking photos. It's hard to take photos of crazy looking people, because you can't really ask them if it's okay to take a photo of them, because then they will know you only took the photo because you think they are crazy looking.

Anyway, this is in the driveway of a hotel. Notice the black SUV and the six armed law enforcement types.

The Mississippi delegation planted the tree this tag was stapled on.
Fox News? Yeah, Fox news interviewing some poor hapless dems.
Signage all over.
Non busy side street.
Heard outside this store: "They want way too much money for this stuff."

A gaggle of heavy armed police types (on the right) just happen to be talking to the young Rock the Vote chicks on the left.

One of my goals was to snap a Secret Service guy. Here he is. On the left. Can you see the earpiece?
Roving SWAT team? These guys all had machine guns. Notice the guy on the right with the machine gun in his hands?

More cops outside the Hard Rock. Because that is where all the terrorists like to hang.

Painted cover of 5280 magazine on the side of a brick building.

Band playing on top of a truck sponsored, apparently, by Qdoba.

More merchandise.

On board with Obama in 08.

Dog tags with Obama photos, and Obama figurine pins.

This was my favorite vendor.

Obama onesies.

Posters and postcards.

More merchandise.


I've realized some things lately.

I've realized that if I concentrate on making myself happy, then the people most important to me are automatically happy for me. In the past, when I've stumbled, it's been because I was trying to make other people happy without looking at what I really wanted.

So no more of that. It's all about me. Well, you know what I mean.

I played tennis over the weekend with my sister. Marilyn is the only other person I know who can hit the ball with any pace. She hits it hard and flat, and it felt so good to hit with her. There is something that happens when you hit the ball in just the right sweet spot and it feels . . . flawless and perfect and like anything is possible.

We were playing next to a couple of men who were pretty good. After a while, when Marilyn and I were taking a break, they walked into our court and asked if we wanted to play mixed doubles. I told them that this was only the 2nd time I had played in 8 years, and they both said it didn't look like it from what they saw. We still begged off because Marilyn has a pulled muscle and can't serve right now. Plus I really have no consistency or control over where my shots go. And I was already exhausted.

Having said that, I think the universe was telling me that I should get back into tennis for real.

So I am. Starting in September I'm signing up for clinics and drills. At least once a week.

I'm so excited. Just in time for the US Open!

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Dems are in town!

Just got back from walking around downtown Denver.

It's as busy as a New York City sidewalk at lunch.

It's chaotic, overrun with Democrats here for the Democratic National Convention.

And I've never been more proud to be either a Coloradoan or a Democrat.

Everyone is happy, easygoing. There is a palpable excitement running through the streets. The vendors are out, selling buttons, magnets, shirts, hats, bags, keychains and even a cookie cutter in the shape of a donkey.

Delegates are strolling the streets. Press are on every corner. I can tell the difference because everyone has their credentials proudly displayed. I counted 5 TV cameras.

The post office worker I spoke to told me the post master had a schedule of protests. We schedule protests in Denver?

Police are everywhere. In the span of 3 city blocks I saw 10 cops mounted on horseback, 2 bike cops, walking cops on every street, a protest with police escort, a secret service type just standing at a corner looking fierce and then 2 more cops on horseback (and even the horses had riot gear over their faces). A friend of mine saw multiple black SUV's with armed guards on the outside driving around - 3 on each side, 2 on the back. Roving SWAT teams.

Helicopters are constantly in the air.

I teared up in awe and happiness 4 times. Once when I first saw the depth and breadth of humanity in my town. Another time when I was in the official DNC store, and I saw a mom and her teenage daughter earnestly discussing which buttons to buy and I thought of Brody and me doing the same. Another time when I walked by a delegate. . . I got chills. That's a delegate! A real live delegate! And then when I looked at the row of vendor tables on the mall (Denver's mile-long no-cars-allowed street of restaurants, bars, retail stores) swarming with people buying up every button and t-shirt in existence, and realized all of these people are going to vote for Obama. Everyone I see.

What a country.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Photos of our trip

Even eating cheerios in the morning, Brody is the handsomest little man in the world.

Having fun at the playground

Brody's aunt has a chocolate lab, named Fred. Brody did not understand that Fred was not his chocolate lab, Kahlua. Brody was glued to Fred the whole time, calling him Kakka, which is Brody speak for Kahlua. This is the only photo I could get of Brody and Fred, because Fred generally walked away as soon as Brody spotted him. As Brody's cousin Walker, age 3, said, Brody sure likes dogs.

Besides the dog, Brody loved helmets. I think it's because helmets signal something fun is about to happen. When Jeremy wears a helmet, it means Brody will get to see a motorcycle. In Brody's case, it means he's going on a bike ride!
Brody's first bike ride. Jeremy took him on the back of his bike, and afterBrody saw me on my bike, he said "Mama bike! Mama bike!" about 30 times.

In front of the house at Sunriver

Wow. . . a TV with controls that Brody can reach!

Brody refused to smile when I tried to take our self portrait.

I told Brody to hold onto Jeremy's ears, which delighted Brody. Jeremy not so much.

Oregon has much bigger trees than Colorado.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Thumb pollicization

In 6 days, Brody gets a thumb. On his right hand.

I just saw a blog post from another Colorado mom whose son Benjamin just had this surgery done. It's very exciting but the photos are graphic, so if you don't like photos of stitches, don't go here.

Dawn is the only other mom in Colorado I know whose son has Vacterl, and the only other mom I've talked to whose son had the pollicization procedure. When you have an ill child, or a child with any kind of medical issues, you gravitate towards other parents who share your child's story and feel this instant connection with them. That is why we are so very happy for Benjamin and his whole family!

Let's hope Brody stays healthy so he can have this surgery next Thursday!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

A pony ate my sapphire

We're back from vacation in lovely Sunriver, Oregon.

A pony really did eat the center stone of my ring, which was Brody's birthstone, a sapphire.

New words that Brody has learned on this vacation:

~Hey (eg, "Dada! Dada!" (no response) "HEY Dada!!!")

~Come (eg, "Come here!")

~School (eg, This morning, when I was dressing Brody to go to school (daycare) "No school, mama, no school! Stay!") (reentry into routine after non-stop fun-filled vacation is hard)

~Guy (eg, playing with "guys" who are either army men, ninja turtles, or action figures of any kind)

~Mamadada (eg, when the 3 of us are together, and Brody can't decide quickly enough who to call, talk to, etc, we are the unified "mamadadamamadada")

Pics to follow. . .

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Look what we're doing!!!

Because of the Littlest Heroes project, we are fortunate to have Jamie, from Jamie Marie Photography doing our photo shoot in September.

I cannot wait.

Brody is 2 years old and we've never had a family photo shoot.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Random ramblings

Brody pronounces "moon" as "nooooommmmm."

We spent almost $10,000 on daycare in 2007. Ok, exact number was $8,721. This explains why we have no money anymore.

We just had a drill at work. The drill is - I get a phone call on my work number. It's the police saying that there is a dangerous situation, and that I need to stay away from the windows and turn off my office lights. This is my question - how would this help in a real "shooter outside" situation? This is another reason I am telling myself I am glad I will not be here for the DNC.

When I sing to Brody at night, one of the songs I sing is "Silent Night" - sometimes, for the second verse, I sing it in German (my mom was born in Karlsruhe).

Except I only know "Stille nacht, helige nacht" for the second verse, in German, and then I make the rest up with German sounding (to me) words. Brody doesn't seem to mind. I feel fluent.

One of the lullabies I usually sing to him as we're rocking to sleep is Favorite Things, from Sound of Music.

Lately, though, he has taken to saying "no" when I am singing a song he doesn't like. At first I thought it was my voice, and I actually got fairly hurt feelings.

So I kept trying other songs.

Either he gave up telling me not to sing, or he really only likes songs about him, which are the only songs he will not naysay:

Brody Song
B is cause you're beautiful,
R is cause you're really sweet.
O is for our only boy,
D is for your dimpled cheeks.
Y is for Yippee! Y is for Yahoo!
cause we're so lucky that we got you.

We're getting sick

Brody was up five times last night. Over the weekend, he had a runny nose. I was passing it off as allergies and/or teething, but now I have the very very beginnings of a sore throat.

Just in time for our vacation on Friday! We are going to Sun River, Oregon.

I have already started echinacea and Vitamin C. Brody doesn't get either - just his regular vitamins and hopefully lots of sleep.

Jeremy is at the moment unaffected. I really really really hope we don't get truly ill.

Monday, August 11, 2008


Brody's favorite part of the Olympic opening ceremonies were the drummers - in the beginning. Coincidentally, he is just becoming aware of drums, and when he sees them in books, he says "Boom boom boom."

When we watched the drummers on the opening ceremonies, which gave both Jeremy and me goosebumps with the extraordinary precision and depth and breadth of 2008 people saturated with coordination and exactness, Brody loved it too. He started mimicking the drummers with his arms, and saying "boom boom" when the drums did, and said "Whoaaaaa. . . . . " when the light show accentuated the drums.
When NBC broke for commercial, Brody looked at me, and said "More? More?"

Friday, August 8, 2008

Sad news

I just received word that Avery, the adorable little 4 year old girl with neuroblastoma, passed away early this morning.

Holding her tigerbear, while being held in her mother's arms, surrounded by her family.

For more information on this horrible, deadly childhood cancer, read here here and here.

May peace and healing be with her family.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Procrastination and cloned dogs

I was going to write my surprisingly vehement rant against cloning dogs, how "cloning" money is counterfeiting and it's illegal, how "cloning" a check is called fraud, and that too is illegal, when I searched to find pictures of the woman who sold her house to be able to afford the $50,000 in cloning fees. . . .

I found an article claiming the cloning woman was actually a fugitive wanted for kidnap and sexual assault against a Morman man in the 1970s in England and then escaped from England and disappeared from the grasp of authorities.

I will say that I was fairly suspicious because the original headline I saw was on Fox News, and that is not exactly what I would call a reliable source. I was also fairly doubtful that the woman from the 1970's was the cloning puppy woman. Because (a) what are the chances and (2) wouldn't a fugitive be smarter than that?

Until I saw the photos.

That's the same woman, isn't it? To read the lurid details of the kidnap case, click here.

This makes me even more fearful for the cloned puppies. I seriously question the mental health of someone who spends $50,000 to replace the dead dog (named Booger, which is wrong and offensive to me as a dog lover) five times over.

I'm not against cloning exactly; I think perhaps that for medical reasons it could be very beneficial. For example, if we could somehow clone Brody's kidney, then he would have two and I would stop having my infrequent but annoying 4am panic attacks about needing kidney transplants.

But here, this woman was just sad because her dog died. I was sad when my dog died. I cried for weeks. Years. I would not have cloned him. Lucky was one of a kind. So was Booger: the cloned dog has no memory of the original dog.

Question: What's the difference, really, between a new puppy and a cloned puppy?

Answer: $50,000.

Unless, apparently, you are also the kind of person who kidnaps your crushes.

I wonder, if it is the same woman, if she has thought during the last several months, "Too bad I couldn't clone that guy I kidnapped and forced to have sex with me."

So my point is, my procrastination in posting about the cloning actually paid off, because now we have this fantastic story about the cloning woman actually being a wanted fugitive in England. Sweet.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Baby steps. . . .

I faced one of my problems today.

My teeth. Between my husband and a good friend, I have heard a lot of dental problems lately.

The last time I went to the dentist, I was not yet married.

I've been married for 6 years.

So I went to Dr. White.

That is her real name.

She was the nicest dentist I've ever met. We actually sat down, in a cozy little consultation room, and talked about my teeth. She asked me what I wanted and what I was afraid of, and how my life is.

I told her about my miscarriages and Brody and his surgeries and how I've been ignoring and/or avoiding myself and my own issues, and I said "Now I want to concentrate on myself, take care of myself."

She loved that.

Took x-rays and did a tooth by tooth gum analysis. The staff, and the dentist, were amazed at how healthy my gums were in light of my absence in the dentist's chair for so long. I need a couple of fillings replaced - and they will be WHITE. The last time I was at the dentist, white fillings were a new-fangled technology. Now they are de rigeur.

I'm having a cleaning done this afternoon. I get my [free] teeth bleaching trays on Friday. My teeth are not rotting out of my head, I will not need dentures, and they can be saved.

I've been dreading the dentist for over a year, since a few months after Brody was born. Every day I would think about my teeth and how ugly they are. Every day. I'm to the point of adjusting my smile.

I cannot tell you free and happy I feel.

Monday, August 4, 2008

What do you say

I know a woman whose son is Brody's age, actually 2 weeks younger than Brody. Dante has neuroblastoma, a rare and very dangerous cancer. They found it right after Christmas. A fever that would not go away.

I read Dante's mom's updates on carepages.com. A group of women organized a sort of support group and we try to help by sending gifts. Dante's mom says it helps her. I hope so.

Through Dante and his family, we have heard trickles of news about a little girl, Avery, who is 4. Avery is treated at the same hospital as Dante for the same cancer. Avery's cancer was found at the end of April, 2008.

Avery's doctors just told her mom on Friday that there was nothing more that they could do, that the cancer had filled every part of Avery's brain. Avery has between a few weeks and a few months to live. No one really knows.

I've cried every day since learning about Avery. And I don't even know Avery or her mom in even the slightest way. Except thanks to carepages.com I learned how her mom told Avery's siblings that Avery was going to die, and I learned how it feels to take your child home from the hospital and wait for hospice workers to appear on your doorstep.

I'm not hormonal. I'm not pregnant. I say that because even I think I would be I'm so upset about this news. I've completely internalized it and I think it's a little irrational of me to be so upset. I've known for years that kids have cancer, and die. I've known since Brody was born that his life was at risk.

As I cried into my husband's shoulder last night I kept asking him why, why would this happen. He said we should be even more grateful for Brody and what a miracle he is. I just kept thinking this last Christmas they had no idea it would be Avery's last Christmas.

She's 4 years old.

And how do you do that? How do you watch your child die? How do you make her smile when you are dying inside yourself? What can I say to Avery's mom, a stranger? What do you say to someone you've never met, you never will meet, about their child dying? And why do I care about what to say? How arrogant for me to even think that anything I can say will help or not.

If you're reading this, please spare a good thought or a prayer for Avery and her family. I'm off to a deposition.

Friday, August 1, 2008

I said this sentence tonight

"Say goodnight to the spork, Brody; night night spork."