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October 2008
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December 2008

Not a poser

DSCF5604 Tried again to get some nice family shots for the Christmas card yesterday. Sam was not interested in smiling for the camera. Or his Nana, Papa, Two Cousins, Aunt and Uncle all making a variety of funny faces and sounds to get him to smile pretty please, just once.

If anything, he looks annoyed to me that we thought he could be so easily amused. It was a good thing, then, that Matt talked me out of dragging poor Lucy Baby to Hood River for hours of driving and a day of sitting in the car just to get her in the family picture.

In other news, Sam has learned to say thank you.

Thankful - today and most days

DSCF5248 Happy Thanksgiving! I hope many of you are doing something you enjoy today in addition to the details of the day. I hope you find joy in the big things -significant people in your life - as well as the little things - clean socks, sunshine instead of the rain predicted, good coffee creamer and something warm to wear.

We are getting on the road for a Thanksgiving day blitz to meet the family half-way. Looking forward to seeing everyone and enjoying watching Sam interact with his cousins, aunt, uncle and Nana and Papa.

I am thankful to all of you who support me in friendship and in my writing.

Wishing you the joy of being thankful, today and most days. (you have to leave room for the occasional bad days, right?)

Blowing kisses

DSCF5586 Sam, the cutest kid ever (besides yours, of course) learned to blow kisses. His Omama practiced with him all week and he finally gave one up. The day after we got home. We're still working on his timing.

Sam, the cleverest kid ever (other than, you know...) has also figured out that if you blow a kiss or do something really cute it can get you in less trouble. Except with the mean Safeway lady. I gave him a water bottle to entertain him and he played happily with it until I took too long deciding between Creme Brulee creamer and Tiramisu. With no warning, he winged that (full) water bottle at an older lady's feet near us.

"Nice shot," She muttered and glared. Yes, because he was surely aiming at your big toe.

I apologized profusely on his behalf, and mine, though I'm not sure what I was supposed to have done differently. She glared at both of us before shuffling away. Later, I approached her near in the cereal aisle to apologize again. Sam started grinning and blowing kisses. She clearly did not accept his apology.

Also, he loves Ketchup.

Hello, Heaven? It's me Nathalie.

Florida - family picLove this picture of us in Florida, bummer about the glasses and squinty eyes on my guys. It could've been The One. You know, for Christmas cards. I submitted my column with time to spare, how'd that happen? So now I can focus on something I'm super excited about: the holidays. If you know me, you might assume that was sarcastic, but no. I found a channel on the television that plays 24-7 Christmas music, also 80s rock, all the time. Hello, Heaven? 

This year I'm feeling the magic. Maybe it was the early start we got celebrating the holidays and family with my parents and brother in Florida. Even though Christmas lights and wreaths seem a little out of place hung on palm trees, it got me into the spirit of the season. I'm tempted to write what I put in the column along these lines but I guess I can wait a week.

Satsumas In the meantime these things, in addition to the Holiday Music Sing/Dance-a-thon Sam and I are having, say Christmas is coming to me: Satsuma mandarins, White Chocolate Peppermint coffee creamer and the five pounds I enjoyed gaining on vacation.

Stroller Summit

First Birthday (9) Stroller Sam, I'm pretty sure would strongly disagree with the recent stroller study out of the UK stating that life for babies riding in strollers facing away from their parents is"emotionally impoverished and possibly stressful."

Excuse me but to quote Mel, why is everybody so on crack? So if the theory is that babies should always be facing and interacting with their parents should I strap Sam’s car seat to the hood of my car so that he isn’t emotionally screwed up by all that “non-visual contact” time riding around in the car?

On the clock ... and lovin' it.

Vacation for me used to mean sleeping in so long most people would consider it a sign of depression. Vacation for me used to mean catching up on reading and talking to strangers at the airport, always hoping to sit by an agent. Vacation meant a break from work.

Today, my main job is kind of a round-the-clock deal and Sam doesn't really do weekends or vacations. Funny thing, my other job, writing, is also not really a clock in and out gig. With its flexibility, comes the fact that I have to work within deadlines and editor's schedules in order to stay professional and keep checks coming in the mail.

This comes up because I ended up working on vacation. How cool to be able to travel to Florida and not skip a beat? I think I mentioned a while ago that my article on green writing was accepted by a national trade magazine. I'm stoked about the opportunity, and the learning experience. I finally got word that it will really be published in the next issue.

As a reporter, I'm used to being edited, right? But this was different because I didn't know the editors and didn't want to do anything "wrong." I am happy with the final piece, but I have to say I'm also disappointed at some of the editing decisions, even though I understand them.

I was surprised and bummed to see one of the authors I interviewed was cut completely. I couldn't fix that but I can repackage that portion of the article and submit it somewhere else.

At another part of the article, one of the writers was identified as a "self-professed" green writer. I don't know about you but that has a really negative connotation to me, kind of like saying someone is a "so-called expert." I didn't want to "bug" the editor, and I didn't want to act like a writer who can't be edited, but really, this was something that I needed to have changed because a) it wasn't accurate, the writer never professed to be anything and b) I didn't want the author to think I'd misrepresented her intentions

The editor was great about it and agreed to make the change and overall it was exciting to see galleys of my article and be able to look forward to getting a magazine I subscribe to with my byline in it. I've been waiting working to check that goal off my list for years.

not locals having fun

Shih tzu Greetings from the land of decorated palm trees,and Shih Tzus. Sam's like "doggy?" Well, sorta. For example, when he saw this picture he pointed and said, "Meow?"

We are easy to spot as not locals both because of our age and our attire. We went to a pool party yesterday. I wore a summer dress and Sam wore a little tank and shorts outfit. I was asked every three minutes if I was cold. No, friends, this is tropical by my standards. Back home I'd be in layers and a wool hat.

We went to the beach with Sam the other day. He loved playing in the sand, marching around with his collection of four shovels and chasing birds gleefully calling after them: "Bock, Bock, Bock."

No socks, no shoes

Armadillo We arrived in Florida safely. Or is it Heaven? Hard to tell. Sam and I went on an early morning walk to not wake up the rest of the house. We saw not one but two armadillos. Odd little creatures!

It's 7 a.m. and I'm sitting on the back deck with my mom in a tank top and shorts. Bare feet. It's November. Mom wants to know if we should still go to the pool "even if the weather doesn't clear up."

Really? This is bad weather? Did you not live in Tacoma for 35 years? November? Barefoot?

This is awesome!

Sam was a rock star on the plane. I'm the kind of mom, it turns out, who has no problem using candy as bribery. I did learn, however, the phrase "like taking candy from a baby" is as big a lie as "sleep like a baby."

I may or may not go put on shoes now.