Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Ava's photoshoot!

This is from a couple weeks ago when I couldn't stomach the thought of figuring out how to find a photog and get myself and an almost-five month old across town to a photographer and time it so that she would be rested, fed, dry and in a good mood at an exact appointment time. Are there really mothers who can do that?! Wow. I'm SO not there yet. So we made do at home.

Note that meltdown shot above is before she ate...
and the smiley ones are right after. "Yeah, wonder where she gets that," J. remarked sarcastically, looking right at me. Okay, I admit that on occasion when I'm FAMISHED and he asks what I'd like to eat, I've been known to respond, "Food."
Oh little baby girl, you and I are going to have some GOOD times involving carbs some day. GOOD times. Trust me.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Ava got back and celebrates President's Day with her first word - sorta

President's Day in Seattle was a heaping armful of sunshine and blue sky. It's the kind of day in this city that makes you want to unfurl from your dreary winter days-induced fetal position and spend the whole day walking around, drinking refreshing beverages, and doing anything, heck even picking up roadside trash, if it keeps you outside longer.

We skipped the trash (been there, done that, got the recycled hemp t-shirt) and instead checked out the Olympic Sculpture Park newly opened by the Seattle Art Museum. The park is up on a hill and has several long, gravel walking paths with oversized art installations that seem perfectly suited to the openness of the outdoor locations and the amazing backdrop created by the blue sky, snow-covered Olympic mountains and Puget Sound shimmering below.

Although Ava enjoyed being outside, the sun kept getting in her eyes making her fuss. So as Jason pushed her in the stroller, I had to walk at just the right pace beside her to block the rays. In so doing, I not only blocked the beautiful view, I replaced it with my butt with each step. Here's one of your first lessons kid: life is all about trade-offs and sometimes the options are "bad" vs. "worse." So it was only fitting that her onesie for the day sported this saying:

Sorry to break it to you my love, but it's not the diaper, it's your DNA. I've wondered if there's a niche market to be had in producing diapers based on Nelly's Apple Bottom jean line or Beyonce's House of Dereon jeans, for those with a little more junk in their baby trunk. If I see someone do these on Donny Deutsch's Big Idea, I'm going to buy stock.

Baby bum's aside, we had a lovely family day out in the sun and thoroughly enjoyed Ava's burgeoning attempts to talk. She's been practicing the mouth movements for a few weeks and is starting to add sounds. We think we heard her first almost word while we were out at lunch. Check out the video and tell me what you think.

J. of course swears it's Dada. I admit it's pretty darn close and pretty cool considering she's only been out in the world for 5 months(!). I used to just think babies were cute little blobs. Now I think their whole development cycle is amazing.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Caucus lessons learned

Postscript: There were several lessons learned for next time.

1. Bring water and snacks. It was incredibly hot in the gym/cafeteria and the nearest school water fountain had a noticable chlorine taste. The snacks are just standard protocol for outings: I'm a grazer during the day.

2. Sit in front of the precinct leader. We were behind her and couldn't hear anything since she didn't seem to recognize that with all the extra people and attendant side conversations, rustling, and such, she needed to raise her voice at least a smidge. She was talking as if there were two people gathered to caucus in her living room. Grrr.

3. Find a chair as soon as you arrive. The lunchroom tables are great for holding the rear ends of squirming 7 year olds or the average super model, but not adult-sized ones. Note to self.

A better shot of the three of us with Ava wide awake.

Oh, and I looked up the school rankings for the caucus site elementary school with the fancy climbing wall. It received one out of five on one site, three stars out of 10 on another, and 859th of 1069 public elementary schools ranked in Washington. Looks like the kids will need the practice climbing up from the bottom. Ugh and unbelievable at the same time that that doesn't strike school leaders as wrong in some fundamental way. I've got five years until Ava goes to school. I'm afraid. Very, very afraid.


We're done! Headed home. Final count remained the same. Go Dems!

Athletics & academics

While we wait for them to finish the first tally of candidate preferences based on what people wrote on the sign in sheets, I noticed this school has a climbing wall here in the gym. When I get a chance, I'm going to check the ranking for this school. If they are lagging academically @ the same time they've spent precious budget dollars on a climbing wall, i'm going to be chapped. I hope to be pleasantly surprised, but most of the schools near me aren't that great, unfortunately.

First tally is done: 17.6% for Clinton to 82.4% for Obama. Our precinct has 4 delegates to allot. Now the lobbying by supporters on both sides begins.

three generations

Me, Aunt B and Ava, who is clearly so excited by this occasion that she's opted to go to sleep.

confusion ensues

This is our precinct committee officer ruffling through all the sign-in sheets. I've already seen several folks I know, none of whom have ever caucused and no one's telling us what we're supposed to do next. So everyone, including the people holding precinct signs, looks mildly confused and unsure if they should continue milling about or leave.

So far in our precinct crowd, I only see one Hillary sticker in a sea of Obama pins.

the teeming masses

We're inside (me, Ava & J.'s 90 year old great aunt). We found our precinct number on a map, which helped us head to the right room. Luckily, I saw a neighbor who had already signed in and he guided us too.

I signed in, found a chair for Aunt B, and bumped several people in the ankle trying to get out of the crowd with my stroller.

The acoustics in this elementary school cafeteria/gym are craptastic so every time some tries to direct the crowd, everyone keeps yelling "We can't hear you!!" Aah democracy.

Moblogging the caucus

I'm caucusing! I decided to take part for the first time ever. Check out
the line! Headed in now.