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Halloween With the Dynamic Duo
Check out the snot!
The kiddos dressed as Batman and Robin for Halloween this year. But of course Mommy had to mix things up a bit and dress Little H as Batman and Big H as Robin. We took the kids to the mall for trick or treating and Hollis had 4 suckers and 2 french fries for dinner. Guess I'm going to have to add that the the Mommy confessions.

I will now bore you to death with more photos of the Dynamic Duo:

I want YOU for the Super Friends!

Batman kicks back in the Batmobile and enjoys a good nose pick. (He also refuses to suffer the indignity of socks.)

Make one more move with that camera, Mommy, and the pumpkin gets it.

The Dynamic Duo watch, ironically, cartoons.


More About Eugene
NPR recently ran a story about Alaska's 172nd Stryker Brigade and interviewed Melissa Alex, the wife of the first soldier killed in the Brigade, Eugene Alex. I thought I would post this follow up story because, as I wrote in September, Eugene was a good friend of my brother's. I felt horror and so much sadness for his family when I heard the news of his death, but I also felt relieved that I had never received such horrible news about any of my loved ones. This isn't the first story NPR has done about the 172nd and the effect the war has had on their families, so I'm glad to hear that they're coming how now.

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Shameless Plug Below
One of my favorite blogs is i obsess, written by a slightly crazy (that's a compliment), thoughtful, reflective, and totally cool Mommy. She's recently opened an online shop, Fadiddle, with some hip, different, and really cute clothes for kids. I just love some of the items for sale and I understand there's loads more to come in the future.

Because you know I have a little shopping problem, I had to buy some Christmas presents. Check out this shirt I had to get for my quiet little man, Big H. And this shirt for my 9 month old, Little H. And to top all the cuteness off, this is the message that popped up with my order confirmation:
Hello [Lawyer Mama], We would like thank you for your order, #1007. Your worth in our eyes far exceeds the amount tendered for this exchange, which happens to have been $56.56. We humbly express our gratitude for your patronage. (And we'll probably hold a candle-lighting ceremony in your honor later this evening, while we toast your good health and long, happy, joyous life. With cake. Lots of cake.) Team Fadiddle.
How adorable is that? Check out the shop if you have a chance!


Toddling Away From Mommy
OK, I've been bad about posting this week. I know. It's been busy at work and my Little H is sick. Poor thing.

Well, have I mentioned yet that Holden has started walking? That's right, my NINE month old is taking his first shaky little steps towards independence already. His brother started walking at ten months, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised, but he just seems too little for this stage! Or maybe Mommy's just not ready for it yet.

Even though both of my H's were early walkers, they got to that stage in very different ways. Hollis is my shy guy. He is cautious and careful in new situations, just like me. Hollis learned to pull up on the furniture and cruise around at an early age but he wouldn't let go. For months T and I walked hunched around the house with Hollis clutching our fingers. We both knew he could walk if he would just take a chance, but he wouldn't do it until he was good and ready. And then finally, when he was ten months old, he forgot himself and walked. He almost seemed surprised to discover that he wasn't holding on to Mommy's hand but he was so proud of himself!

Holden is completely different. He dives head first off of the couch and into everything. He refuses to hold onto my hands to walk. He doesn't want to cruise on the furniture. Instead, he surprised us both by pulling up to a stand on the couch, turning around, and taking his first steps holding on to nothing at all. It was deliberate and gutsy. Holden actually seemed more surprised that we were so excited!

How can two children who are the product of the same genetic material be so different? I know some of the difference can be explained by Hollis's first child status. Being Type A people, T and I are completely neurotic about every stage through which he passes. I'm sure our pediatrician will begin rolling his eyes and sighing if ask him about Hollis's speech development one. more. time. But that can't be the end of the story. Yes, I know that much of personality is probably genetic, but knowing that and seeing it unfold for yourself are two entirely different things.

Anyway, I hope Holden doesn't walk away from me too quickly. I'm not ready to have two toddlers ganging up on me!


Vote for These Boobs!
Political campaigns seem to reach for new lows every election cycle and this year is no exception. The attack ads and negative campaigning make me want to scream, or at least not vote. (Don't worry, I will vote. If you don't vote, you can't complain.) But a Libertarian candidate running a write-in campaign for governor in Alabama has come up with an even lower low. Loretta Nall is using sex to sell her politics.

The AP reports that:
Loretta Nall, the Libertarian Party’s write-in candidate for governor of Alabama, is campaigning on her cleavage and hoping that voters will eventually focus on her platform. “It started out as a joke, but it blew up into something huge,” said Nall, a 32-year-old with dyed blond hair.

Her campaign is offering T-shirts and marijuana stash boxes adorned with a photo of her with a plunging neckline and the words: “More of these boobs.” Below that are pictures of other candidates for governor — including Republican incumbent Bob Riley and Democratic Lt. Gov. Lucy Baxley — and the words: “And less of these boobs.”

Her Web site has a cartoon of someone stuffing bills down the front of her low-cut top. And for $50 donation she apparently offers to show a cartoon of herself flashing her breasts.

Nall, who spoke in an interview Friday on the Capitol steps, realizes that is about as close as she is going to get to the governor’s office. But her outrageous antics have helped her attract attention not normally enjoyed by write-in candidates.

Nall is calling for the withdrawal of the Alabama National Guard from Iraq, tax credits for sending children to private school and home schooling, opting out of the No Child Left Behind Act, legalizing marijuana, and not complying with the Patriot Act and the Real ID Act.

The Libertarian Party could not collect the 40,000 voter signatures needed to get her name on the ballot, and she has not reached the $25,000 threshold in contributions that would require her to file a campaign finance report.

Despite the political handicaps, she knows how to get free attention. Early in her campaign, she talked about how her misdemeanor arrest for marijuana possession in 2002 led her to start the U.S. Marijuana Party. Then she entertained readers of her campaign Web site with lots of information about her personal life, including a discussion of why she doesn’t wear panties.
My reaction is disgust. Now I'm sure Ms. Nall is entertaining and I definitely agree with portions of her political platform. I read through her campaign site and she appears to be more than just talk. She backs up her beliefs with action. But I simply cannot get on board with using sexuality, even in a funny way, for a political campaign. Yeah, I chuckled a bit when I read the story. But then I got mad. People running for political office have the ability to influence public opinion and to reach a wide audience. Defaulting to the quick joke about boobies is an insult to intelligent women everywhere and an insult to the political process. Yes, it got Ms. Nall some attention, but it also made her into a joke. So, Ms. Nall, do us a favor and keep talking about your policies. But, please, leave the talk about "the girls" to the adolescent boys.

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Sebastian is NOT a Chicken!
T recently taught H&H the Chicken Dance.

It's frigging hilarious! However, T is now using his power for evil.

T hates the Miami Hurricanes. (T is a Nebraska fan.) He tolerates their existence because of my love for the Canes, but still constantly makes fun of the Miami mascot - Sebastian, the ibis. (Like, Herbie Husker is anything to be proud of, T!) Anyway, T was wearing one of my Miami sweatshirts yesterday and Hollis kept pointing to it & then doing the chicken dance arm flap (see video above). T swears he didn't teach him that, but it looked suspicious to me....

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1-800-How's My Parenting?
I just heard about these tags you can buy for your stroller so the public can keep tabs on your nanny for you! For $50 howsmynanny.com will provide you with a small license plate with a unique identifying number and the website. To report an "incident" you just go to the website and report.

I don't have a nanny, but I'm tempted to get one just to see what kind of junk T feeds Hollis when I'm not around!

(Totally, kidding, T!)

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Happy Birthday to ME!

My birthday was Wednesday, so I bought some new shoes and a purse to celebrate. (Yes, I have a little problem.) I love them so much, I thought I'd share their loveliness with you all!

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Birthday Resolutions

I've been inspired by a blog world friend - PunditMom - to make some resolutions for my birthday. As PunditMom points out, it's really more appropriate to do this at the beginning of my year rather than on January 1st. And I loved some of her resolutions so much, that I've made them my own. So, here it goes:

  1. I resolve to be a kinder person by thinking before I speak. I don't intentionally set out to hurt feelings but sometimes I say exactly what I'm thinking instead of internally censoring myself. And, of course, I tend to do it to people I love.
  2. I resolve to regularly exercise. I seem to make this resolution every year and I never follow through. This year I'm going to rope a friend into having a regular work out date in the hopes that we will guilt one another into exercising regularly, until it becomes a habit.
  3. I resolve to leave work at work. I can't tell you how often I find myself thinking about a brief I'm writing or a hearing I have the next day while one of my boys is trying to get my attention. I need to make more of an effort to be *with* my kids when I'm with my kids.
  4. I resolve to let my husband parent without my commentary or corrections. T is a wonderful dad and truly a co-parent. He carries more than his fair share of child and household duties and he knows what he's doing. But I still find myself saying things like, "Well, if you'd just hold Holden's leg this way, it would be easier to put on his pants." or "Hollis likes the fish sippy cup NOT the flowered one." I'd be super annoyed if T did that to me, so why do I do it to him?
  5. I resolve to have a date night with my husband every month! We always say we're going to do it, but I can't remember the last non-work related date my husband and I had without the kids. That's it! I'm pre-booking the babysitter now!

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Isn't he adorable?
I just had to share this picture of my adorable little guy. We had a Mommy and Hollis day at the pumpkin patch.

* Edited to add: Sorry, folks. This isn't a new post. I've been updating the photos (I was using Clubphoto, which has now gone bye-bye) and some of my posts are showing up in Bloglines as new.


Between a Rock and a Hard Place
Anna Quindlen's column in Newsweek has a great discussion about the politics versus reality of abortion this week. I think she's probably right, that many women who are pro-choice are still conflicted about abortion. I know one or two women who had abortions and never looked back, that's true. But the remaining friends who have had abortions have been torn up about it. Not necessarily torn up about the decision they made, but about making the decision in the first place.

It's not easy to admit it, but my own feelings about abortion have changed dramatically in the last few years. As a teenager or a young woman, I considered abortion a medical procedure. I can say with certainty that the choice, if there was one to be made, would have been fairly easy for me. Now, I think I see abortion from both sides of the debate. As a mother, well, the idea of the ending a potential life horrifies me. But as a mother I also understand and completely agree that someone who is not ready for this awesome responsibility should not be forced to shoulder it. Outlawing abortion could only lead to more tragedy.

Whatever your views, I hope you'll read the article.

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My Second Child
This afternoon my husband and I were unpacking some of the boxes in our garage that have been there since our move last summer. (Yeah, Martha Stewart I'm not.) I came across a great find, my box of stuffed animals that I've carted from home to home over the last 34 29 years. T wasn't even trying to hide his frustration as I started to pull out my furry friends, exclaiming over each one. But then I found a stuffed animal that was truly special to me, Bunny. Bunny is, go figure, a rabbit. He is an 8 inch Steiff rabbit my mother's best friend gave me when I was a little girl. But Bunny isn't just any rabbit. He's special. He's not squishy or plush, in fact most of his fur has been rubbed off, but I still love him. I slept with him in my bed for years. I told him my secrets. I gave him my love. Then he sat in an honored place on my shelf until I moved out of my parent's home and I packed him away in a box.

I started to think about the stuffed animals my children have. What will be in their boxes of childhood memories when they grow up? Then I realized that at the young age of two, Hollis already has about 50 stuffed animals, ranging from the 5 Silly Monkeys to the ginormous bear I got him for his first Valentine's Day.(Um, yeah, he was 4 months old.) Holden, on the other hand, has 2 stuffed animals - a pretty white lamb he received for his christening and a stuffed frog that looks like Kermit dressed in drag. (Seriously. It's a frog dressed in a white t-shirt with hot pink sleeves and a heart on the chest. Goodbye, gender stereotypes!)

The disparity in my children's stuffed animals really gave me pause, and I even mentioned it to T. He too looked a bit chagrined to discover this obvious symptom of Second Child Syndrome. So once again I began mentally flagellating myself for my shortcomings as a mother. How on earth am I going to convince my children that I love them equally when they will undoubtedly look to their respective stuffed animal piles as a measure of my parental affection? This is exactly what I feared when T and I discovered we were having another baby. I didn't understand how I could possibly love another child as much as I adored Hillis. So now I have to constantly remind myself that yes, Hollis had more of my time. Hollis had two parents completely focused on his every move 24/7 after he was born. Hollis also had two completely neurotic type A parents who had no friggin clue what they were doing. Hollis was my first child.

But Holden has a mother who finally feels like she's figured out what the hell she's doing. (At least on days when I've had enough caffeine. Other days I realize that I still know nothing and never will.) Holden has a mother who doesn't necessarily have the time to watch his every sneeze and poop, but he has a mom who has finally accepted that she's happy with her choices in life and her career. Holden has a mom who doesn't need to put him in a blinding spotlight, agonizing over every developmental stage. Holden has a mom who has learned to live in the moment and enjoy her kids. Holden is my second child.

Holden may never realize what a blessing being the "second child" can be but, as a "first child" married to another "first child," I know it. Hollis had more of my time at the beginning of his life but Holden, Holden had more of my heart. And so this evening I went back to the box in the garage and I pulled out my Bunny. For Holden. My second child. My baby.


Notice Anything Wrong With This Picture?


Yeah, suuuuuuuure it was.

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Assassination of a President
I know I'm a little behind the news on this post, but my Aunt in the UK (darn it her blog is down!) just reminded me that the new docudrama, Assassination of a President, is set to air next Monday, October 9, 2006, in the United Kingdom. The docudrama depicts the assassination of President Bush by a sniper following an anti-war protest. Of course there has been much hullabaloo about the program and the U.S. conservatives have their panties in a twist. I can't wait to see it. (If Big Brother is reading - No, I am not condoning the assassination of our president. Now go back to your wire taps.) I just want to see if it lives up to all of the controversy. Although I hear the assassin turns out to be a U.S. citizen. That's the only part I find completely unbelievable. I mean, is anyone crazy enough to want Cheney in charge?


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