Sunday, December 28, 2008

A Few Pics

Too bad our good camera is in the shop!
Here are a couple pics from the big day...

A Quick Update

Thank you to all family and friends for your lovely emails and calls. Please don't be surprised if you do not hear back for about a month. Figuring out sleep schedules, feeding routines - not to mention how to get to the grocery store - oh and how to keep the house from looking like a tornado blew through is our primary focus.

A couple things of note from Madoc's birth...

- Nobody offered me a cup of tea (as they did in London).
- The epidural didn't really work (same deal as when I had Chase). I was able to get up and walk about 5 minutes after delivery.
- Madoc came much faster. Labor started around 6:30 a.m. and she was born at 9:30 a.m.
- The recovery room and nurses were delightful. They had a great meal service compared to London, which I remember was decidedly bland. They had room service and midnight snacks.
- The nurses hand out drugs like candy "are you sure you don't want more?" And they were surprised when I said no.
- My body's recovery in some cases was fast, but I sure do feel achy and tired.
- Breast feeding has been going well (Madoc has gained weight and is past her hospital discharge weight). Much different from Chase.

So I'm off to change diapers - oh the stay-at-home life is so glamorous, n'est pas?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Big Sister

It's official! Chase is a big sister.

Madoc Seabrook Allbritton made her grand entry on 22 December, 2008 at 9:20 a.m.
We came home from the hospital today.

Chase is an amazing big sister.
She is so helpful and happy, and she seems to really love the idea of having a little sister.
I'm pretty tired, but that's to be expected.
Hubs has done an amazing job holding down the fort and taking care of an exhausted family.
Madoc loves being held by him; she just tucks in and falls asleep.

Baby Madoc looks almost exactly like Chase did as an infant.
Except she has a full head of hair (which was styled when she arrived) and has lighter eyelashes.
But her mouth and nose and expressions have thus far been the same.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Last Post?

Unless something big happens, this may be my last post for a while, so I just wanted to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

We aren't really sending out Christmas cards this year, because we are planning on sending around baby announcements. If you'd like a baby announcement, and you are not immediate family, please email me your address and I will include you.

We will be changing the name of our blog, to include our newest addition, so stay tuned.

All the best to you and yours this holiday season,
Lang, Brian & Chase


I remember having very vivid dreams with Chase.

The most notable was the one where I dreamed that after I delivered her, I found I was actually holding my cat - and the midwife told me, "don't worry, babies never look like you think they will when they first appear." And I spent the rest of my dream arguing, "no, this is really my cat."

At this point my dreams have mostly been around the stress of delivery. So I'll keep dreaming in loops - like I can't get away from the labor and just when I think it's over, it starts again. Weird. And not very restful.

Latest Game

Chase has spent the last 6 months building zoos and houses with her blocks. Every day. Now she has switched to building a school house and play ground for her Einsteins. This is probably because she overhears me talking about schools, applications and such with friends.

It's Beautiful

I was listening to classical music the other day while I was making breakfast. As I went to change the radio to NPR, Chase said, "No, mama. This music is beautiful."

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

One Week, Three Days

Not long to go now!

I've washed all of Chase's old clothes (through 18 months). Extreme? Perhaps. But when am I ever going to have time to wash clothes again, I ask.

We have a new sling, which promises to be more comfortable, versatile and last us for quite a while. I also have places to put the baby - a swing, and a bouncer. VERY different from when I had Chase. Chase moved between me and a Moses basket, until she was no longer small enough for the Moses basket. Then she had a small mat to play around on - none of the big plastic things.

And I have to say, now that I have the bouncer and the swing, I feel pretty good - except I hate how they look in the house. Too bad they don't sell ones that go with Chinese antiques.

I also have a baby tent (hurray!) and Karla has been nice enough to rework our travel cot, so that we may be able to get some use out of it, after all. Chase never used it.

Chase has been a dream throughout. Hardly a surprise. She helped pick out the baby kit for her little sister. She helps me put lotion on my big belly every morning - first she "paints" it with her fingers - usually a face.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas Is Coming

We just enjoyed a marvelous weekend with the Donahues, our neighbors from back in the day, when we lived in Boston. Hubs enjoyed a day of snowboarding; while I took Vickie around to see Denver. No new pictures; our old camera is awful and our new camera is still in the shop. A shame as we're missing loads of good Christmas pictures - not to mention new baby pictures (when she comes).

I can't believe Christmas is next week (unbelievable) - and then it's only a matter of time until littlest babe joins us. And while I am feeling better because an end of my seemingly endless pregnancy is finally near, I now find myself realizing that my life is only going to become more difficult - at least for the next year. At least I'll get my body back.

We have been lucky enough to be invited to dinner for both Christmas Eve and Christmas Dinner, and while I'd love to cook, my taste-buds are totally messed up and I can't seem to cook a darn thing from scratch (poor Hubs). So I'm giving up the dream of cooking our own Christmas dinner this year - someday, someday.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Seasons Greetings To One And All

Chase & Santa

I have to admit that the whole Santa thing sort of freaks me out - come here, little girl, sit on my lap... but we went to a Christmas party and Santa was there, so we had to do it.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Tis The Season

Tis the season for toddler birthday parties. We have four this month, in addition to getting ready for Christmas, and new baby (three weeks to go!) and holiday gatherings.

I really do love toddler birthdays, because parents usually get a little creative. The pictures below are from Reid's birthday, which took place at his local firehouse. Hubs thought it was the best toddler birthday ever - hmmm, I wonder why? (See last picture).

Marcus & Reid

Summer & Joy

Hubs & Chase

And I must admit, this fireman caught my attention.
It was the first time I ever wanted to be rescued :)

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Thank You Nana Cris!

A special thanks to Nana Cris, who flew out to spend time with me while Hubs flew down South to attend Grand Daddy Herbert's memorial service.

Nana flew in on Thanksgiving, just in time to wait an additional two hours for our bird to cook -- high altitude makes it a little hard to time meals. For the first time in as long as we've been married, I had a chance to make Thanksgiving dinner and I was really looking forward to it.

We had a brined turkey (which was awesome!), sweet potatoes (with very little in them), stuffing with wild mushrooms (yum!), biscuits, home-made cranberry sauce (double yum), creamed corn (for Hubs), and a home-made apple pie for dessert. Good times. Made lots of notes about what to do better/different next time, too!

Bright and early the next morning, Nana drove Hubs to the airport. From there, she basically spent three days playing with Chase, non-stop. It was totally fabulous. They made play dough at 6:30 a.m., they painted tissue paper, put cloves in clementine oranges, built snowmen, went on walks, and made a gingerbread house (to name just a few activities). When Hubs returned, everyone decorated the tree, hung lights and set up the creche and the advent calendar, so now our house is downright Christmassy! Oooh I love it!

Thank you SOOO much Nana Cris!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Baby Stuff

Today I took care of a friend's little boy (6 mos. old).

I had a bit of a "refresher" course - I have to admit, I didn't remember:
(1) how many diapers you go through in a day
(2) how little/light they are
(3) how I didn't have time to eat

My friend had this entire print out for naps/food/etc. I seem to be schedule-delinquent. Like seriously incapable of following a schedule. I don't know how this happened. Anyone who knows me, knows I - of all people - scheduled myself silly; starting in college (when my day-planner was filled with lists and color-coded).

Anyway, about an hour in to the day, we were about an hour off schedule. This of course, seemed to snowball. The nap at noon became a nap at 3 p.m. And instead of an hour (plus), it was a half hour.

The little boy was great, don't get me wrong, and Chase was AMAZING - helping me the whole day through. But it all made me worry, everso slightly, about the "scheduling" of number 2, and if I should even bother (as we never really did with Chase) and being housebound for naps and such will be really difficult for Chase.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Cars With Ryder

Today Chase played cars with her little pal, Ryder. They are so cute together. Here they are sharing a cupcake after racing cars down the playground slide.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Playing Cars

After Chase told me she "loves cars," I went out and bought her a little, yellow, toy car. Watching her play with it went something like this...

Chase builds a house out of blocks. She lines up her animals and Einsteins. They talk to each other for a little while. Move around in the house. Talk to each other some more. So where's the car? Oh, it's in the garage. An Einstein or an animal might talk to the car briefly, but it mostly stays in the garage.

So today we met Reid for a play date, and I brought along a car for him. And he played with it like boys play with cars - it was the center of his attention - driving through sand, under tunnels, through things, over things and Chase played with him - just like him. After a half hour, she was the dirtiest I have ever seen her - and so happy. I wanted to strip her clothes off before putting her in the car, but I didn't. Her bath water was brown.

And then she fell asleep at the dinner table.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Lady Music

This morning Chase was twirling in the kitchen.

"Music, Mama," she said over and over again and she twirled.

We were, of course, listening to NPR.

"Okay," I eventually gave in - sucker! - (Chase gets to listen to anything she wants in the car. I get to listen to anything I want in the kitchen).

I started flipping through the stations - first stop, classical.

"No, no, no,"' Chase sings out, still twirling. "I want Lady music, Mama."

Can you believe I tried every last station on the radio and there was not one song being sung by a woman? Chase couldn't believe it either. She ended up kicking and screaming on the floor, "Lady music! Lady music!"

Which brings me to the Terrible Twos. Not so bad for the most part, but the drama of tantrums can be so exhausting, especially when you can't see them coming. It's like weathering a tropical storm that rains down hard (as if from nowhere) and clears up just as fast. But when you're in the midst you wonder if and when it will end.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A Few Of Chase's Favorite Things

Chase has started really enjoying bath time. She will spend up to an hour in it, splashing around. This afternoon she started singing, "row, row, row your boat," to her Einsteins, sliding back and forth on her stomach. Then she started calling them "kids."

"C'mon kids, let's sing!" she said. Not sure where she got that...

Another thing Chase loves is mixing colored water. We go outside and I set up three large pitchers of colored water, as well as a clear Pyrex plate and she spends the next half hour creating her own colors.

She's started to really love finger painting - creating animals and such from her hand-prints. Fabulous. We've been doing a lot of color wheel configurations.

And puzzles. She just can't get enough puzzles and mazes. She also enjoys measuring her stuffed animals.

She also has three favorite pairs of PJs. She loves the top/bottom separates and has three - one with Dora, one with a "fairy" painted on the top and another that has castles all over it.

We're still not into fairies or princesses. Tonight she told me she "loves trucks." Even though we don't own any and I've never seen her play with them. She went on to tell me that Ryder and Reid have trucks (two little guys she plays with), so I think trucks may be this year's princess crown.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Chase's "School" Experience

This morning I dropped Chase off at "school." I know one of the other moms, who asked me if I wanted to get coffee. With three hours to myself (one of maybe three times in the last three years), I felt like it would be silly not to. I had this plan of how I wanted to spend the time, but it went so quickly I didn't get much done.

Anyway, my friend said she was going to swing back by and check on her son, who she found in tears. Chase, meanwhile, was trying to comfort him. She was still playing with kids happily when my friend left (she reported back).

I arrived to pick up Chase about 25 minutes early, with a plan to sit in the lobby for her. I went to the bathroom and heard a child crying, so I looked in the room - the lights were out - for some kind of quiet time or something. Chase saw me and ran outside, giving me this look like, "where have you been mom?"

The lady at the front desk tried to lock me in for a month, but I told her I needed to chat with Chase first. So I asked Chase how it went and she said, "okay." I asked her what they did and she said, "I don't know," which is not a normal response for her. The "art" I received when I picked up Chase consisted of three stickers stuck to a piece of green construction paper - and for anyone who knows Chase, they would know that this is highly unusual (she is either drawing faces or putting more stickers on a page then the page can hold). When I asked her to describe the art, she didn't say a word and just pointed (also highly uncharacteristic).

And then tonight she told me, out of the blue, that she didn't want to go back to baby power because they made her sit in the dark, and she didn't like sitting in the dark. (Broke my heart!) Can't say I blame her - sounds pretty scary to me! They didn't mention anything about that in the overview.

So she's not going back. Luckily mom sent me some info about a couple schools I haven't heard of before, so maybe there's still a happy, good place for her to spend a little time this year.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Potty Blooper

Yesterday, Chase fell into the toilet.

She was going "all by herself," but forgot to put the small, Dora potty seat on first. Her knees hit her chin and she was seriously stuck. I saw the whole thing happen, because I was at the door of the bathroom - it was one of the funniest moments of all time.

As an aside, no pics for a while - Taggart, our dog, who fancies himself a photographer, was apparently trying to take pictures of our cat while we were gone and broke our camera lens. Now we're debating if we should "save money" and get the same lens we had, or spend more and get an even better lens.

Saturday, November 08, 2008


So there is this little place called "Baby Power," that offers Mother's Day Out sessions for kiddos from 9-12 a.m.

I just found out one of Chase's friends goes on Fridays, so we're going to test it out this Friday. It will be the first time I have left her in alone in an environment like this -- and while I'm kind of freaking out about it, I think it will be really good for her to have a chance to interact with other kids without me standing over her running interference (controlling? who, me?) And if she likes it, I might be able to accomplish something (like completing a thought) for the first time in almost three years.

The weird part is that I am totally overcome with guilt about wanting the time to myself. I feel like a very_bad_mom (and it's just three hours). It just seems so selfish. I mean, that's time I'll never get back. But then again, when you haven't slept in a very, long, time, space and time take on a different meaning. I've found it to be almost zen-like at times.

Anyway, Baby Power is totally play-based. They change activities every 15 minutes. There is nothing Montessori or language-based about it. It's just playing with other kids (gym, music, dance, snack, etc.) for three hours. We'll see how it goes...

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Chase has started saying no to me. And then giving me a little smile, as if to say, "so what are you going to do about it?"

Well today we didn't go to dance class and we didn't go to the library, because she said no to both. In fact, we didn't leave the house because she kept saying no and rolling around on the floor.

I wonder what tomorrow will bring?


Chase loves to measure her stuffed animals. We measure them every day. Not just one, but at least 15 of them (how did she get so many stuffed animals anyway?) I line them up against Inchie the Inchworm and she counts the inches. It's a good time.

Naming Her Animals

What we talk about these days...

Me: So who is this? (holding Pink Bear)
Chase: Tea
Me: Who is this? (holding a big fuzzy bunny)
Chase: His name is Huffy
Me: Who is this? (holding another stuffed animal)
Chase: His name is Soap

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

International Reaction Gathered By CNN

Definitely worth posting...

(CNN) -- Around the world, media reaction to the Democrats' victory has poured in, as newspapers and broadcasters reflect on the Barack Obama campaign and the global impact his win will have.

A member of the public picks up a copy of a newspaper with U.S. President-elect Barack Obama on the cover in Sydney, Australia

A woman picks up a copy of a newspaper in Sydney, Australia

The International Herald Tribune said that America had "leaped" across the color line, calling Obama "a 47-year-old black man who made history both because of his race and in spite of it."

The Times of London said Obama had revitalized U.S. politics. "The immense turnout in yesterday's election was testament to the energy, excitement and expectations of a rejuvenated American democracy, as well as the fears of a nation standing at a crossroads of history," the paper said.

It added that Obama's inheritance would be challenging. "The new president faces economic and social convulsions at home, conflict abroad."

Also in London, The Guardian focused on the historic nature of the Democrats' win, saying: "Victory in the end came as easily as the polls had predicted," and comparing Obama's achievement with Roosevelt's of 1932 and Reagan's of 1980.

In Germany, Der Spiegel's Gregor Peter Schmitz, writing from Chicago, called Obama's rise "astonishing," adding that his "curious ability to remain untouched by all the razzmatazz around him is likely to prove a source of strength."

Al Jazeera said Obama had "surfed to power on a wave of voter discontent generated by the failures of President George Bush and the Republican Party" and added that he faces "unique challenges." It continued that he must "act quickly" to restore confidence in the economy and with his country "sick of war" is "unlikely to make any additional major overseas military commitments."

The Jerusalem Post said that the transition in Middle Eastern policy from the Bush administration to Obama's would be "'evolutionary, not revolutionary,' according to diplomatic assessments in Jerusalem."

Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz called the U.S. election an "example of democracy at its best," citing Americans' "plethora of opportunities" to learn about the candidates' policies and stance on key issues. It also paid tribute to Obama's unifying influence, saying, "Whites and blacks, Jews and Muslims, all decided to give their votes to a candidate who is young, black and lacking in governmental experience," and expressed its hope that the President-elect would "rehabilitate the status of a superpower that remains unrivaled in its influence over the peace and welfare of all humanity."

Jordan's English daily, The Jordan Times, wrote an article entitled: "The American leader we need," in which the writer said: "Around the world, America's presidential election campaign has attracted as much attention as domestic political controversies in each of our own countries. The interest the world has taken in America's vote is the best example of America's soft power, and a lesson in democracy from the world's only superpower. If only we could all vote as well as watch and listen, because the outcome is vital for everyone around the world."

UAE Arabic daily, Al Khaleej considered in its editorial that "whoever is the winner, Israel had guaranteed that the White House will be biased to her."

In Tunisia, the Arabic daily Al Chourouk said: "Today America elects "The President of the World."

China Daily wished Obama well, saying that although it was elated at his landslide win, he faced "daunting challenges." It cited the economic crisis and the Iraq war as the driving factors behind the Democrats' victory, adding: "We have every reason to anticipate a more cooperative and talk-savvy new America."

And The Asia Times heralded the "End of a subprime era," calling the Bush administration "classic American salesmen" for whom "selling was their passion."

The Times of India called Obama an "advocate of strong partnership with India," saying the President-elect had "made it clear India poses no threat to Pakistan." But it also expressed concern about Obama's references to discouraging outsourcing, a policy it says would have an adverse effect on India.

The Kenya Times said Kenyans were "exuberant" and called Obama "the foremost blaze-trailing son of this land," adding that "[he] has convincingly shown that the world could be better through diplomacy than intimidation and arm-twisting tactics."

Japanese news agency Kyodo said Obama's task to repair the economy was "daunting," saying the American sub-prime meltdown had "sent global financial markets into a tailspin."


In Russia, Pravda was ecstatic, announcing that "Eight years of hell are over." It proceeded to catalog George W. Bush's perceived failures and slights against Russia and criticized the cost of the "grand American soap opera" during a time of economic crisis.

Over in Australia, the Sydney Morning Herald paid tribute to the Obama campaign, calling it a "stunning grassroots political movement, powered by massive multi-million dollar fundraising." It said his "stunning ascent" to the leadership of a nation "still riven by racial divides" would close an "eight-year era of turbulence under Bush."


I thought it important to post the results of the historic, 2008 election (CNN's recap below).

It occurred to me last night that this will be the first president Chase remembers. And, while she couldn't possibly understand the complexity of the situation, she will be exposed to a charismatic man who brings people together as he attempts to solve America's problems - a man who is humble enough to admit he can't do it himself - and intelligent enough to listen and weigh advice and direction from others who have more experience. It will be interesting to see where we are four years from now.

CHICAGO, Illinois (CNN) -- Barack Obama did more than thump John McCain in the Electoral College tally; he also handily won the popular vote and redrew the great divide between red states and blue states.

Barack Obama addresses a crowd of more than 200,000 at Grant Park in Chicago, Illinois.

Barack Obama addresses a crowd of more than 200,000 at Grant Park in Chicago, Illinois.

Riding a Democratic tide that bolstered the party's presence in both houses of Congress, Obama snared about 62.8 million votes to McCain's 55.6 million, according to totals early Wednesday.

According to exit polls, Obama crushed McCain among women voters (56 percent to 43 percent); voters under 30 (66 percent to 32 percent); African-American voters (95 percent to 4 percent); Latino voters (66 percent to 32 percent); first-time voters (68 percent to 31 percent); and voters making less than $100,000 a year (55 percent to 43 percent).

"I think this is the passing of an old order," CNN senior political analyst David Gergen said as the results rolled in Tuesday night and the outcome became increasingly evident.

"I think what we see ... is a new coalition, a new order emerging. It isn't quite there, but with Barack Obama, for the first time, it's won. It is the Latino vote we just heard about. It is the bigger black vote that came out. Very importantly, it's the youth vote, the 18-to-29-year-old," said the Harvard University professor and former presidential adviser.

Early voting totals in the East suggested things would go traditionally, with McCain taking most of the Southeast, Obama most of the Northeast.

But then things quickly changed, as the senator from Illinois struck -- first in Pennsylvania and then in the Midwest state of Ohio, states McCain had to win in his bid for the Oval Office. Obama then delivered an uppercut in Virginia, a state that had not voted for a Democratic president since 1964.

As polls closed from East to West, Obama kept hammering McCain, as he snatched away Iowa, Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada -- states that had been in President Bush's column in 2004. (Missouri, Indiana and North Carolina were still counting votes early Wednesday, but it appeared one or two of them could become blue-state converts as well.)

With McCain on the ropes, an Obama victory in Florida sounded the death knell. As the sun rose Wednesday, Obama had an insurmountable 338-163 lead over his rival in electoral votes, with only 37 undecided.

As he claimed victory Tuesday night, Obama told supporters, "change has come to America."

"The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even one term, but America -- I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you -- we as a people will get there," Obama said in Chicago before an estimated crowd of up to 240,000 people.

With Obama's win, he becomes the first African-American to win the White House.

McCain pledged Tuesday night to help Obama lead.

"Today, I was a candidate for the highest office in the country I love so much, and tonight, I remain her servant," McCain said.

The senator from Arizona called Obama to congratulate him, and Obama told him that he was eager to sit down and talk about how the two of them can work together.

Obama will also be working with a heavily Democratic Congress. Democrats picked up Senate seats in New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina and Virginia, among others.

But Obama pledged to work across party lines and listen to the 46 percent of voters who chose McCain.

"While the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress," Obama said.

"To those Americans whose support I have yet to earn -- I may not have won your vote, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your president, too," he said.

And he recited the words of Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican in White House, to call for unity.

"As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, 'We are not enemies, but friends ... though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection,'" Obama said.

Supporters in Chicago cheering, "Yes, we can," were met with cries of "Yes, we did."

Bush also called Obama to offer his congratulations.

The president told Obama he was about to begin one of the great journeys of his life, and invited him to the White House as soon as it could be arranged, according to White House spokeswoman Dana Perino.

More than 1,000 people gathered outside the White House, chanting "Obama, Obama!"

Sen. Hillary Clinton, Obama's former rival for the Democratic nomination, said in a statement that "we are celebrating an historic victory for the American people."

"This was a long and hard fought campaign, but the result was well worth the wait. Together, under the leadership of President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and a Democratic Congress, we will chart a better course to build a new economy and rebuild our leadership in the world."

Sen. Edward Kennedy said Americans "spoke loud and clear" in electing Obama.

"They understood his vision of a fairer and more just America and embraced it. They heard his call for a new generation of Americans to participate in government and were inspired. They believed that change is possible and voted to be part of America's future," the Massachusetts Democrat said in a statement.

Voters expressed excitement and pride in their country after casting their ballots in the historic election. Poll workers reported high turnout across many parts of the country, and some voters waited hours to cast their ballots.

Tuesday marked the end of the longest presidential campaign season in U.S. history -- 21 months.

Obama, 47, will begin his transition to the White House. He will be sworn in as the 44th president on January 20.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween 2

There was blood. Real blood. Chase got a nose bleed just before we were supposed to be at a Halloween parade. It ruined her Annie costume.

Hubs somehow managed to convince her to be a ballerina. I was about to get in the car and pay Tar-Jay a visit - hoping there might be something left in her size.

Chase and Reid...

And Chase in action...

Happy Halloween!

Leave it to Chase to pick a charecter for which there is no costume.

Chase wanted to be Annie Einstein for Halloween. As there were no actual costumes, we had to come up with something for her to wear. Hubs had the great idea of having her color a picture of Annie and sewing it on - so here it is! She should be wearing a blue shirt under her dress and her hair should be in pig tails with bows, but she would have none of it.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Thanks, Nee Nee!

Many thanks to Nee Nee for sending Chase this fabulous, hand-stitched, Halloween dress!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Uncle Mike & Aunt Janet Visit

Yesterday we received a call from uncle Mike and aunt Janet - they were passing through Denver! We enjoyed a lovely evening (and morning) with them before they hopped back on their bike back to Maryland.

Hmmm, Chase looks a little too happy on this bike.
We could be in for trouble!

From this picture you'd never guess she's had a raging fever for the past three days.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

First Face Painting

Here are a couple pictures from Chase's first face painting experience. We went to a kiddie salon grand opening. She also came away with a butterfly balloon. How wonderful!

Can you tell which book shelf belongs to Chase?

Chase's Paintings

Note: Top right picture is a family portrait. Bottom three are flowers.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Special Thanks To Hubs

So I have to say my awful leg cramps (so painful Hubs has to wake-up to massage them out at night), overall increased discomfort (I can't believe it's possible to be even more uncomfortable than I already am), inability to sleep (will I ever sleep again?) and this strange cabin fever thing I've got goin' on, is all making me utterly unpleasant to be around. I need to hide myself away and not see/talk to anyone until after the baby is born - 10 weeks isn't that long, right?

I really must take a moment and send out a huge THANKS to Hubs. For being so great about my moodiness, achy body and complaints. He is my rock. He is so amazing.

Thank you, dearest!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Crazy Days

Even though Hubs is home, he's been busy with work, so I have seen him for maybe an hour over the past week.

Worth mentioning that Chase decided she was going to drop her nap - and hasn't had a nap all-week-long. And so today was the day where it all came together - or should I say, apart.

She became really hyper, started running around like a little pirate, would not listen, did things that she knows she shouldn't do, and I found myself saying "no" for about three hours straight. My eye even started twitching. I even raised my voice at one point, which I never do. It made her stop immediately, but only for about two minutes.

And so I packed her into the car and within 10 minutes, she was asleep.

Check This Out

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Littlest Picasso

So Chase has been drawing people's faces for about 6 months now, so yesterday I took her outside and we picked flowers. We then arranged them on a white plate and she proceeded to paint them. It's just amazing to me that a two-and-a-half year old is capable of painting petals, stamens, shading in areas. I really wonder why there aren't more programs for little children.

Glucose Test Results

All good. Nothing to worry about.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Daddy's Home

Welcome home to Hubs, who has been away on business since Sunday. I didn't get to see much of him today, and none of him tomorrow, but maybe someday soon we can find a little time together. Luckily, date night is Tuesday!

Preggy Update

I had my glucose test today (where they make you drink Orange water that is absolutely horrid and then tell you that you have to wait an hour and have your blood drawn). They say all pregnant women get this test (for gestational diabetes). So why didn't I have to do it in London? Hmmmm. I'm still fighting the crazy sugar low that happened just after the crazy sugar high that made me feel absolutely sick to my stomach.

The nurse asked me how I felt. I told her I was really tired, with no relief in sight. She said, "I know just how you feel. I had two girls and didn't sleep for four years."

Yep, that's about right, although she must have had hers closer together, because at this rate I figure I'm on track not to sleep through the night for 5 years.

Maybe at that point I'll just fall over.

And no one will be able to wake me up for at least a year.

Ooooh La La

So I let Chase pick out a color for her nails and toes. What color did she pick?

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Berry Patch Farms

We just returned from Berry Patch Farms, which is located about 30 minutes North of Denver. We met up with three families to enjoy Fall festivities, which included - a bluegrass band, a straw maze, strawberry picking, pumpkin patch and a fabulous little country store.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Conversation With Mom

I was chatting with my mom today and she said, "I probably should have taken up my father's offer to make me the first woman oral surgeon in Washington DC."

To which I said, "but you bought the monkey instead?"

Not Kidding

So today Chase sat down at the top of the stairs and we had this conversation.

C: I'm sitting down.
Me: Why?
C: Because I want to talk.
Me: Okay
C: So how are you doing?

I'm not making this up; I promise.
It was one of the craziest mom moments to date.

New Bed For Chase

It's official - we're set to move Chase into her new, big girl, room. The only problem? Too much time passed between asking her if she wanted to move and actually moving, so now she doesn't want to move. So unless we can talk her into it, she'll be staying in her little room.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

In Other News

First - Welcome Auntie Lockett! We are looking forward to hosting Auntie Lockett and Uncle Courtney when they return from Aspen. We were lucky enough to have Lockett come by and spend the afternoon with us. She was such a good sport and read loads of Dora stories to Chase.

Second - We bought Chase a Skuut bike. With a little more practice, she'll be able to keep up with us with no problem. On our walk, we ran into Cooper, one of Chase's little beaus.

Thanks, Nana Cris!

Thursday, September 25, 2008


So I've been avoiding blogging about politics, but I had to post this!

Dear Member,

Yesterday, members tried to deliver our letter--signed by over 21,000 people--to Governor Sarah Palin's office in Washington, D.C. The letter simply asked, "Where do you stand?" on key issues of importance to moms and families.

But, we were turned away at the door.

When pressed, Palin's staff told the group to drop the letter in the mail, refusing to acknowledge the crowd of moms (and adorable baby) who were in the office to hand deliver it.

Snail mail can take a while, and we want to make sure that this election covers more than moose burgers and body surfing. All candidates--male, female, Democrat, Republican, and other--should speak to these issues. Some are, and others aren't (1). So, we're bringing our questions to the next level: getting our questions front and center in the Vice Presidential Debate on October 2nd.

Email PBS Senior Correspondent Gwen Ifill, who will be moderating the debate, to tell her you want these important questions asked:

The team has written five questions we'd like to see posed to both Palin and Biden in that debate (see the questions below (2)). Let's get these questions to the debate moderator so the American public gets a chance to hear both candidates, side-by-side, answering the same questions.

When you click the link above, you'll send a message to Gwen Ifill and cc both of the presidential campaigns to let them know that over 21,000 voters want to hear them talk about these issues (which impact millions of Americans) at the debate.

Tell your friends to email Gwen Ifill, too! She needs to know how deeply important these issues are for millions of Americans--and that we demand they be addressed now!

Thank you!

--Kristin, Joan, Mary, Katie, Laura, Roz, Ashley, and the entire Team

1. MomsRising members are tracking all of the candidates' speeches, tallying any mention of issues that impact moms. See their tallies at If you plan to watch the presidential debate tomorrow, September 26th, you can tally the issues, too! Get your scorecard at -- and keep an eye out for opportunities to get involved as the campaigns continue!

2. Our questions:

* Right now, the birth of a child is the number one cause of a "poverty spell" in America, and 1/4 of families with young children are living in poverty. Do you support a policy to provide paid family and medical leave to parents following birth or adoption of a new child?

* Nearly 1/2 of all full-time, private sector workers in the U.S. have no paid sick days. Do you support a policy to provide paid sick days for workers to use when they or their children get sick?

* In most American families, both parents work outside the home. Please tell us what your administration would do to help parents secure excellent, affordable childcare?

* Studies show that moms are paid 73 cents and single moms are paid about 60 cents to the dollar for doing the exact same job as men. Do you support the Fair Pay Restoration Act and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act?

* A child is born every 41 seconds without healthcare. What kind of Health Care Policy could Americans expect in your administration?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Littlest Skis Ever

Today we went to get skis for Chase. They are SO cute. They are about as long as chopsticks. Okay, a little longer. But totally cute. We are leasing them for the season; I've heard there are some great tiny tot ski programs at Breck and Keystone. We'll post pics when she's all dressed-up in her bibs and boots.

Baby #2 Update

Nothing much to report, except this baby is REALLY active. Much more active than Chase was. The baby is still really LOW. And as of next week, I'm in my 3rd trimester, so I am starting to think more and more about getting this baby OUT.

Unlike when we had Chase, I feel totally prepared this time around. We have the car seat, the stroller, the baby carrier (that we should have had two years ago), a baby cot, and a baby travel cot (which Nee Nee has volunteered to help us out with).

I have even registered with Babies R Us, so that friends and family who are scratching their heads as the holidays approach have somewhere to go for a list of items we still need. I must also say that while I don't believe in baby or wedding showers, I know people enjoy giving gifts - so gift away if you feel so inclined!

Kitchen - What's Left?

All we need now is our new window (arrival TBD) to replace a very old, cracked window, and some lovely custom curtains from Nee Nee, who was kind enough to volunteer to help us out. There's a little touch-up, that can wait until I can paint, and a cookbook nook.... And then, we're done!

Sunday, September 21, 2008


So we've hosted people over here three nights in a row, and I have to say, it could be the secret to keeping a clean house! It's exhausting, but it's been really fun showing friends our new kitchen.

Hubs did the backsplash this weekend and it looks terrific. It's SOOO close to done.

The one strange thing that has happened, is that ever since we added a disposal, it's like it tipped the delicate balance in the house. Next thing you know, the wallpaper the last people painted over is going to start falling off (oh let's hope not). Anyway, we've got "burping" happening in the second sink (the one without the dishwasher), and last night we experienced some DISGUSTING burping downstairs, caused somehow by water coming up (with veggie bits) in the sink next to the washing machine (strange but true) and then today, there was water coming back up from our the spot where the soapy water is supposed to go. And then there was the standing water in the bathroom next door to the washing machine (really weird).

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Got Milk?

This from AFP ... Luckily we never drank Chinese milk or used Chinese formula - but we did love Chinese yogurt. Ah well.

This news makes me so sad - take something you think should be safe and find out, guess what, it's killing you.

Speaking of which, if you want an interesting read, check out the China Study!

Death toll rises to four as China milk scandal escalates

BEIJING (AFP) — China's milk scandal escalated dramatically on Thursday as it emerged the illegal chemical blamed for killing four babies had been detected in a wide range of dairy products, leading to mass recalls.

Authorities in mainland China said melamine, the chemical normally used in plastics that was initially found in infant milk powder, was also in regular milk being sold by three of the country's biggest dairy companies.

In the southern territory of Hong Kong, the government there said melamine had been discovered in drinks, ice creams and yoghurt made by Yili, one of the big brands that was selling the contaminated milk on the mainland.

"We urge the public to stop drinking products from the brand," Constance Chan, the head of Hong Kong's Centre for Food Safety, told reporters, after saying melamine was found in eight out of 30 Yili products.

The tainted products in Hong Kong and on the mainland were all being recalled on Thursday.

The discoveries came as Chinese officials reported a fourth baby had died in China's northwest Xinjiang region from drinking infant milk powder contaminated with melamine.

The Xinjiang fatality added to three deaths confirmed on Wednesday by Health Minister Chen Zhu, who also said more than 6,000 babies nationwide had fallen ill.

The scandal had already caused panicked parents around China to besiege hospitals seeking check-ups for their children, and the news that all other types of dairy products may be infected was sure to raise further alarm.

Melamine, banned in foods, was apparently introduced by dairy suppliers in China to give watered-down milk the appearance of having high protein levels.

It then made its way into the baby formula of 22 Chinese dairy firms, authorities said this week.

The three brands identified on Thursday as having melamine in their regular milk were Yili, Mengniu and Guangming, according to a report on the government-run television news station.

Meanwhile Chinese police made 12 more arrests as a probe widened into who added the melamine to the milk, Xinhua news agency reported, bringing the number arrested to 18.

The new arrests came in the northern city of Shijiazhuang, where the dairy manufacturer originally at the centre of the scandal, Sanlu Group, is based.

The mayor of Shijiazhuang was also sacked Thursday, according to Xinhua. Police had also detained the sacked chairwoman of Sanlu on Wednesday.

China's cabinet on Wednesday slammed the dairy industry as "chaotic" and said "flaws" were rife in supervision systems.

Seeking to rectify some of those problems, the government said Thursday it would cancel an eight-year-old system under which food producers could gain exemptions from safety inspections if they had good quality records.

Xinhua said one of the companies utilising that system was Sanlu.

The government also ordered stepped-up tests on livestock feed in an apparent signal of official concern over possible melamine contamination in the wider agricultural sector.

Even before the milk scandal, foreign media investigations had discovered wide use of melamine in China to give livestock feed the appearance of higher protein content.

China has endured a litany of scandals in recent years over dangerous products including food, drugs and toys, many of which were exported.

Two of the 22 milk companies found to have contaminated products exported to Bangladesh, Myanmar and some African countries. However, there has been no evidence yet the tainted products were sold overseas.

While praising China's response since the scandal broke, WHO China representative Hans Troedsson said authorities must determine why it took months for the risks to be made public, even though babies began falling ill several months ago.

"If this was deliberately not reported, that is a serious thing and must be addressed to make sure it is not repeated," Troedsson said.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Changing Eating Habits

So it's not because the doctor told me how much weight I've gained - honest. It's more about my experiences eating in different parts of the world and about three books that have found me (at the same time).

I'm not one to jump into a fad diet, in fact, I haven't dieted or much cared about what I ate since college, I've mostly tried to make solid decisions about what I eat day-to-day.

At any rate, after reading three books (again, they found me, I didn't go off looking for them) - (1) Younger Next Year, (2) Culinary Medicine and (3) The China Study, I am seriously considering the Macrobiotic lifestyle.

I've asked Hubs to read the 1st and the 3rd and let me know what he thinks. But I think it basically comes down to how to eat to live a long, healthy life.

Potty Training Update

So I'm sure Chase will H-A-T-E that I've blogged about potty training, but I have to share that the Make-Believe-Diaper-Fairy is, well, the best thing EVER. Maybe it's because we just got her excited enough to buy in to the entire idea.

First day, five pairs of pants. For the past four days - no accidents. None.

(Knock wood it continues)

Eager Reader

Every day Chase points to things and asks us what they say. It's totally outrageous. We've started reading to her and pointing at the words as we go. I can't believe she's 2.5 years old and seriously cares about words. It's fabulous.

Kitchen Remodel Update

So how is the kitchen remodel coming along? VERY WELL.

We are happy to report we are nearing the end of our project. Hubs is probably happiest, as the only major things left to do are the backsplash and a cookbook nook. There is also just the smallest amount of painting left (thank goodness). I've already told Hubs that after the baby comes he'll never have to paint anything again.

Also happy to report we pretty much stayed on budget. We did end up needing to replace the window over the sink - it's on order. And we will likely give each other a stainless dishwasher for Christmas (oh how romantic). We're also on the look-out for a eat-in kitchen table, although I'm pushing to move one of our couches into the eat-in space and making it an ultra comfy nook.

We're pretty pleased that we managed to update the kitchen and make it feel like it belongs with the house.

And a special thanks to Nee Nee Kar Kar who has agreed to make curtains for the window over the sink and the long window at the back of the eat-in space. I found lovely french tapestry (looking) curtains that I'm loving!

Next time I post pictures it should be done!

And of course -- Silestone countertops...