happy halloween!

I love Halloween. For realsies.

People at work dress up, and we have a witch, a spiderweb, a jedi, and a cook. At Student Accounts they have a jailbird, a witch, a John McCain and a Sarah Palin.

And Birdy? I'll give you a hint:


and one more thing

It's outrageous that people feel they have to make others live in fear because of the people they love, or the thoughts they have, or the choices they make.

I hate that I live in a society dominated and governed by fear.

pardon me while i dust off my soapbox

We've had some attacks recently on gay men at Rural State U. Yesterday, a rally was held on campus to raise awareness and show solidarity for the victims. I think it's great that people are organizing and taking action for the prejudices that led to the attacks. Moreover, I think it's even better that a community is showing support for a group of people who, just even 10 years ago, wouldn't be given support. It makes me glad for the time I am living in.

Ahem. This is where the soapbox comes in.

Safety precautions are something all people should be taught, regardless of their gender. Unfortunately, ours is a society of (white) male dominance, and males (especially white ones) rarely fear for their safety if they are walking after dark.

Women are raised and taught to fear for their safety more than (white) men. Women are taught to walk in well-lit areas, walk in groups, and if not with a person, walk while on your cell phone so people know where you are. Women, in theory, "know better."

(white) Men are not taught these things, as they are rarely the ones attacked.

Expecting to be in a completely safe environment all the time is ludicrous and something that we come to expect should be given to us with little or no effort on our own. No where is completely safe. You need to take precautions to ensure your safety. You also need to understand that no matter what you do to keep yourself protected and safe, that isn't a guarantee either.

Again, this is coming from the point of view of me, a woman, who's mother made her watch the Oprah shows on kidnapping and keeping yourself safe. I hated it then, but it's made me more aware when I'm out and about. This is coming from the woman who leaves her door locked at home and at work at all times. This is coming from the woman who has been chased across RSU's campus as an undergraduate the one time I chose to walk by myself late at night.

The point: take care of yourself. Realize that all you do isn't going to make sure something doesn't happen to you.

The last point: thank you, RSU community, for supporting the victims. Thank you for recognizing the fear members of the GLBTQ community face everyday simply for the people they love. Thank you for striving to make the world safer for all of us.


oh, ikea!

Longtime readers of this blog (ha) might remember a post from May about my love of Ikea.

This blog might triple that love.

five reasons to freak out and five committments

My good pal AC is going through a time, and I can sympathize. In the spirit of her post, I'm listing my five reasons to freak out and then five commttments I want to make.


1. Money. My student loans are going into repayment soon (thank you grad school for THAT little treat), plus we have a car payment, daycare, credit card payments, and need to start saving for Eva's college, our general savings, and for a down payment on a house. Any and all financial advice welcome.
2. I have/will most likely always have to deal with clinical depression. It's a combination of a chemical imbalance (which I can't help) and a tendency for me to get over-emotional (which I can help, to an extent). It's frightening to feel it always creeping in the back of my mind, and I hope everyday that it's something that Eva will never have to deal with.
3. Holy cow people! The economy! I couldn't imagine being 60 and planning to retire this year. I hope we can find jobs/Brandon can find a job after his contract is up at Rural State U this May.
4. My grandpa is in the hospital for an intestinal problem. My grandma Lorraine (the one with depression and the Lorraine in Eva Lorraine) passed away a few years ago, and while I'm not as close with my dad's parents as I would like, I know they are a rock for my cousins. I hope everything works out and he's discharged and in good health.
5. Worrying if I'm doing the right thing. I can never really tell. The constant fear that I'm not doing what I'm supposed to be doing or that I'm not in the right place or doing what's best for Eva is very frightening for me. My mom never seemed to be scared or second guess herself. It's hard having such a good role model sometimes.

And now to five committments:

1. Be better at going to church on a consistent basis. I feel better when I do, and it's important to us for Eva to grow up in a church and have a sense that there is something bigger than herself out there.
2. Be a better wife. I can be a bit of a shrew. Shocking, I know.
3. Be a better mom. I don't think I can ever give Eva what she deserves (but who ever really feels like they can?), but I am going to do better.
4. Get rid of this fricken baby fat/before baby fat. Pregnancy can only be blamed for so much. This committment includes making sure I always have clean clothes to work out in--sorry April.
5. Keep the house cleaner. Eva is crawling, and while I'm not the tidiest person, I like things organized and tidy. Thus, one hour each evening is going to be devoted to housework. Promise. Really. No really, I'm serious on this one. I can hear you laughing, and I don't appriciate it.


i'm that guy you hate

You know that guy...the one who hates surprises of any kind. I barely enjoy getting presents on actual holidays because surprises bother me so much. However, the few times in my life I've actually been surprised, I've enjoyed. There's a psychological mystery for you.

Last night my husband had a surprise birthday party with my work peeps for me. He had help from my work spouse, HM, and our office neighbor, Zeeba. It was totally awesome and made turning 25 feel fun and festive. Considering how whiny I've been about the whole thing, I'm surprised anyone felt like they wanted to come. Or, they came to stop the whining. Regardless, I had a good time, drank beer, ate french fries, and laughed a ton. Thank you all!
I now bring you the window shopping edition of my birthday list if we were independently wealthy and had room for such gifts:


we can't all of us be famous

This is the most famousest I've ever been. And it really only amounts to 1 or 2 people so far telling me they saw me on the College of Education web site. But whatev.

I am 7 months pregnant at the time this picture was taken, and I had to walk across campus here at Rural State University. For those not familiar with this particular school, I liken the terrain to a frozen tundra. A frigid steppe. In short, one of The Coldest Places Known to Mankind.

At least when you are pregnant.

And my face...it's huge! These are the things you don't notice when you are too busy noticing how you can't see your feet. Or your belly button.


wishin', and hopin' and prayin'

You know what I love? Weekends. Do I wish my life away waiting for weekends? Yes. Yes, I do. Do I regret that? Not really.

The prospect of having TWO WHOLE days to do nothing is so...so...exciting. But in that quiet exciting way where you are calculating how you are going to mete out your excitment. You don't (like that guy in Wayne's World) want to get partied out of your weekend on Friday night and leave the rest of the weekend excitingless. It's simply not done.

This weekend I am:
  • Going to Spokane to look at wedding dresses and getting fitted for a bridesmaid dress
  • Going to a bead show
  • Going to Costco (how I lurve thee)
  • Visiting a friend in Lewiston
  • Getting my hair permed (I know!)
It's a lot to fit in, but it's totally do-able. Also, I am joining my crafty friends for some crafty fun with Diet Pepsi (CFWDP). Crafty fun is always directly proportional to the amount of Diet Pepsi on hand.

I'm finishing one scrapbooking project that I am incredibly excited about. I had family members write letters to Eva and I'm putting them in the front of her little baby book. It's turned out really well so far, and here is one from my cousin and her wife for your reading enjoyment:

Dear Eva (Roo) Lorraine,

I am Michel Plemmons, your second cousin, and am very happy to greet you! You are the first child in your generation of the family on the Hosea/Aldrich side. I'm the first in your mom's generation - sometimes it's fun, and sometimes it's a pain. You'll know what I mean.

Amanda and I are really looking forward to getting to know you, and I'm sure Amanda spent a lot of time watching you play with your toes... she's like that. She'll also go with you to explore bugs and animals and rocks, whenever we get to visit. Michel will probably tell you stories and jokes - Michel is like that. We also like sneaking Big Ideas into little jokes, and stretching our thinking skills - we can have more fun that way!

May you have a life with hills worth climbing and views worth the skinned knees. May you listen to the still voice in your heart, and to the voice of hope. Most of us grownups will want you to listen to us, but we'll make mistakes too. Listen to what we want to be for you, and let us know when we're doing a good job.

You see, we believe in you and we love you very, very much. Love isn't something we choose, that you can earn or lose. You're family, and family means belonging.
Always. No matter what. (Even when we're being silly and you wish you didn't
know us!)

May God bless you, Eva Roo -
Love you!
Michel and Amanda
I'll be including pictures of this project when I'm finished.

Have a great weekend!


oh babies!

This is going to be a picture I will forever be showing Eva's friends, boyfriends, boyfriends' friends, and friends' boyfriends. Who does this? I didn't know this could be comfortable.

However, lord only knows how she spent the first 9 months of her life inside of me. I have a feeling she got into much weirder positions than this.


oh, candy

There are a few iconic things that define certain seasons or moments of my childhood. Disney Halloween cartoons are one of those things. The 3-4 hour time between when you got home from school to when you could go out trick-or-treating might as well have been like waiting for the second coming of Chirst. The clock never moved so slow. Dinner never took so long. Parent's never dragged their feet more. People just didn't seem to understand the importance of Halloween: FREE CANDY. Oh, candy. The only decent thing a kid could do was watch Halloween cartoons on Disney, which was the best way to get fully into the holiday spirit as well as freak the living daylights out of you.

The cartoons, which I'm sure you remember, ranged from innocent fun little ditties to ones that would scare the bejesus out of your little 6 year old mind. Case in point: Night on Bald Mountain from Fantasia. I remember sitting on our couch, dressed like Tinkerbell and being scared of going out into the dark. Only the promise of candy got me to go out like the big girl I was. Oh, candy.

Thus, in celebration of the impending holiday, I give you my favorite scary Halloween cartoon, Night on Bald Mountain.

If you need, you can come find me and I'll give you candy to make the rest of your day fine and scare free. Oh, candy.


mrs. dietrich, can i be excused?

Today is a day when I feel like a third grader. I read somewhere (was it Shel Silverstien, or the Economist?) about a child turning 11, and how he was 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11 all at once. I still feel that way on certain days, and today is a day when I feel like I'm 8. I want to ask Mrs. Dietrich in her Philidelphia Fliers jersey if I can go home sick and be 8...color with crayons, think simple thoughts, eat chicken ramen, and watch The Gnome Mobile.

But no, I'm at work today, and I have to pretend to be an adult, while my 8 year old self wants to have a temper tantrum. And even at 8, you know a temper tantrum is something babies do. Sigh.

I think my baby is why I feel this way. You know how when you spend a lot of time with someone and you pick up their mannerisms, patterns of speech, and things like that? Sometimes, I feel like I pick up Birdy-isms. Like wanting to cry when I drop something, or just wanting to take a nap, or have someone take care of me like we take care of Birdy. I think though, that these thoughts take over when I'm tired.

Like, for example, I've only gotten 6 hours of sleep the night before. Like, for example, last night.

Perhaps I'm having a quarter-life crisis. I'm going to be 25 next week, and I feel old for 24, let alone 25. Most of my friends are not my age, and the ones that are aren't very 25ish either. Someone last week guessed that I was "30 or 35." That doesn't offend me, or make me think I look so much older due to sleep deprivation or whatever it is that makes people look 35. I just don't feel like that much of an adult. Mainly, I don't feel like I should be as young as I am.

I did a Google search for the poem I was talking about, but found this one from Billy Collins (who is someone you should know, or at least introduce your children to through this book.) about a boy mourning the loss of childhood as he turns the ripe old age of 10. It made me smile, if only for my mourning the loss of jumping into leaf piles and eating chicken ramen; because really, haven't we all thought these things at some point during our childhood?

On Turning Ten

The whole idea of it makes me feel
like I'm coming down with something,
something worse than any stomach ache
or the headaches I get from reading in bad light--
a kind of measles of the spirit,
a mumps of the psyche,
a disfiguring chicken pox of the soul.

You tell me it is too early to be looking back,
but that is because you have forgotten
the perfect simplicity of being one
and the beautiful complexity introduced by two.
But I can lie on my bed and remember every digit.
At four I was an Arabian wizard.
I could make myself invisible
by drinking a glass of milk a certain way.
At seven I was a soldier,
at nine a prince.

But now I am mostly at the window
watching the late afternoon light.
Back then it never fell so solemnly
against the side of my tree house,
and my bicycle never leaned against the garage
as it does today,
all the dark blue speed drained out of it.

This is the beginning of sadness, I say to myself,
as I walk through the universe in my sneakers.
It is time to say good-bye to my imaginary friends,
time to turn the first big number.
It seems only yesterday I used to believe
there was nothing under my skin but light.
If you cut me I could shine.
But now when I fall upon the sidewalks of life,
I skin my knees. I bleed.

Billy Collins


and one more

This one is my favorite! My friend Diana made the hat, and I put it on her at every opportunity. She gets tons of compliments on it, and it displays her noble Scandinavian heritage.

6 month pictures taken 1 month ago

We had these taken by the Amazing Kari at Purple Bumblebee in Longview, WA. I highly recommend her services--she loves kids, has great prices, and takes amazing shots...hence, the Amazing Kari.

I love this picture, but most of all, I love that she has a Trogdor the Burninator onesie on underneath. It will always be my little joke.

Sometimes, a girl's gotta eat her cousin's ear.

This hat was made by one of the doctors my mom works with.

Little known fact: the most relaxing baths are taken not in water, but in yards of fabric.


cough cough hack hack blech

You wonder why there were no updates after my "I'm-a-fearless-mom-with-no-diaper-bag-who-put-her-friend's-9-year-old-daughter-in-the-front-seat-because-I-don't-have-kids-that-old-and-don't-know-they-belong-in-the-backseat" post? Well, Dear Reader, there is a good reason for that.

We had The Sickness this weekend. Everything was fine and dandy for the most part on Saturday, but Sunday...oh Sunday. We were awash in a sea of germs and bodily fluids. Not a pretty picture (verbally or physically), let me tell you. We did manage to time out the sicky periods--Eva was sick on Sunday, Brandon was sick Sunday night, and I was sick Monday morning. And also Tuesday. Boo. BUT--we are better. And Brandon and I lost a combined 20 pounds! The flu diet is the way to go, ladies. :-) And gentlemen too, I suppose.

Anyhoo...did you know that Martha Stewart has a blog? She does! Like I need one more reason to look around at my standard issue university apartment in disgust. Oh well. That is why, like Anne, I have an imagination.

I discovered this through another blog I love, Grace Violet who also seems to have such fun crafty fun-nes. And I found HER blog through another favorite (by way of Anita), Today's Creative Blog. Do you sense a theme in blogs I love? It's not rocket surgery, peeps. This is why I could go home every night and spend tons of time in front of the computer while bouncing a baby on my knee. But I limit that to about 20 minutes since she is this small and adorable for such a short time. Sigh.

Sweet babies...I could have 10 babies just for the sweet baby phase. And if I had enough money to do so. And a huge garden to feed those people. And if I wanted a uterus that would be permanently the size of a football. But other than that, I'm totally there with my mini bus and baseball team plus one.