Thursday, December 28, 2006

Time to build an ARC...

It seems that we might need new drainage on the building... Indy, however loves the puddles, the rain and the flood.

Joy is such a wonderful thing.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Aw Mom...

This is what happens when you buy your teenage son boxers that say "Hands off my Booty" as a Christmas gift, then have him unwrap them in front of his grandparents!

We here at "the State of Indiana" would like to wish a happy holiday season to all of our friends and family, near and far.
Happy "whatever holiday you celebrate"!
We feel very fortunate to have made blog friends from many places, from many backgrounds, and of many religions.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Blowing in the wind...

Growing up, one of the things I wanted was a dad who didn't suck. I struggled to find a father figure. I latched on to my friends fathers, teachers, any male role model I could find, but it wasn't the same. Having a great dad is something very special to any girl. In my life, I never qualified as daddy's little girl. I was so jealous of my friends who had these great fathers. Mel's dad is one of the best.
When I was sixteen my Mom and Donnie got back together. I didn't realize it then, in fact it took me 15 years to realize it, but I inherited a great father then. Sure, I have sent Donnie father's day cards for several years now, but I never thought of him as dad. The funny thing is, it was Donnie who walked me around the block to let me know when I was disrespectful to my mother and it was Donnie who made me paint the fence when I broke curfew. It was Donnie who sent me wedding gifts when I married. It was Donnie who came to the hospital when my sons were born. Donnie was being my dad all along. He did it so subtly, I didn't even notice. That is the mark of a truly good dad.

Thanks, dad. I love you!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Joy to the World...

Today I bought the last real gift, got it wrapped up and placed nicely under the tree. All that remains of the shopping nightmare for me is to purchase a few last stocking stuffers for Brother Duck, and the ham for dinner. I never thought the end would come into sight but it has and its Glorious!
This year, if our gift pile seems smaller, its because not all of the packages are here. Some few special ones are hidden in other locations... And I think we spent more this year than last. Go figure.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Fun and Frolic:

The last few days we have taken a break from the holiday madness and just had some family fun. Brother Duck was here, so we grabbed some neighbors and went to the school across the street to play basketball! Sure it's only 40 degrees outside (Fahrenheit) but when a body gets moving it warms up nicely.

There is a new play structure out on the playground, just Indiana's size. So while everyone is playing basketball, one person watches Indy as he climbs up the stairs and slides down the slide, or picks up wood chips to toss into the air. Usually I try to be the one watching him, but lately Indy has preferred his brother's dad as play companion. Duck's dad is a great sport about it and will wander the playground as Indy leads.
I got to spend some time visiting blogs and friend's myspace pages. We watched a few movies (Talladega Night's was pretty funny). Spent some time hanging with friends, just trying to be supportive. Relaxation, time with friends and family, its key for me to get through the holiday season sane.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Santa's little helper!

Indiana is busy testing out all the toys in the workshop! With just 8 days until the great toy harvest, toy testing is a must.

Actually, Indy is raring to get into the multitude of brightly wrapped packages under the tree. One of the great things about this age is that Indiana doesn't mind clothes as gifts. I got lazy this year. Instead of wrapping all of his clothes individually, I piled them all in a large gift bag and sealed 'em up. It wont really matter, I suppose, what we may have purchased for Indy. When he opens his gift from Brother Duck, Indy wont even SEE the rest of his gifts! He will be opening that gift last!

Friday, December 15, 2006

And then there were 4:

Growing up there were four.
One sits writhing this now.
One moved on to far places; had grand adventures.
One disappeared into the mists; glimpsed occasionally, but unknown.
One stayed near and true, hurting now.
My friends.
I await impatiently the impending visit of our intrepid explorer.
I dream of another glimpse of the "lost one".
I stand here, arms open to the one in pain.
The years have passed us by. Life has taken us each on our own twisting and turning paths. We have fought our demons, together and alone. All of us so very different, but with memories the same. Friendships so valuable to me that at times in my life I would have cheerfully laid down my very life for them all.

John, you gave me strength and courage. You gave me wings.
I didn't always know what to do with those gifts.
Teresa, you gave me grounding. You gave me a sense of right and wrong.
I often went the wrong path, and took you along with me.
Melody, you gave me you. You gave of your wit and charm and family.
I love you for that.

Confidential: Mel, stay strong. You have it in you to start again. You can do it. I believe in you. When it gets hard, I am here. When it gets harder, I have a bottle I am willing to share.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Brother Duck

This is Brother Duck and i cant wait so i have to spoil it I found a TMX ELMO at so that is Indianas present from brother duck

EXTREME TICKLE ME ELMO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hooray for the US Postal Service!

I am so excited! All of our Christmas Cards that need to be mailed are now in the hands of the Post Office! It took 2 days to get all the pictures ready and envelopes addressed, but it is a labor of love. I feel a little bad that this year; I didn't write as much as I normally do, but they are out there!
Duck boy visited yesterday and helped get the tree up. This morning I finished with the ornaments and lights, and after I write this I will start popping the corn and stringing it. Every year my popcorn strings get a little pinked by my own blood, as I prick my fingers with the needle. However, I never lose enough blood to be incapable of finishing the chore. I am not sure if that's a good thing or not.
Most of the gifts are purchased and wrapped... The packages to be shipped to distant family have all been wrapped and await just a nice sturdy box. Just a few last purchases for us to finish the gift purchasing in our budget. I am not one of those people that goes into debt for gifts. We budget a certain amount of money that we can reasonably afford, and start saving in September. When the money runs out, that's it. I have enough left to do some nice things for the family, so that's good.
All in all an excellent day.
Pictures of the tree forthcoming...

Monday, December 11, 2006

Holidays are Busy days!

I love that there are so many family friendly activities this time of year. Instead of being trapped in our homes by the wet and cold, we brave Oregonians head "en masse" to event likes the Metro Washington Park "Oregon Zoo" Zoo Lights Festival (the name of the zoo was changed to Oregon Zoo from MWPZ a few years ago because folks were confused... The zoo is in Washington County in Oregon, but due to our proximity to Washington State, well ..... You understand the problem).

Yesterday, we bundled up and headed for the zoo. We spent the entire day wandering the grounds of the zoo, then the lights came on! We went on a steam train ride looping around the zoo and were dazzled by the more than 1/2 million lights brightening the zoo. Indiana had a BLAST. He hollered "lights" every ten seconds, with the occasional "pretty lights" thrown in, to keep us guessing.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Crater Lake

Back at the end of August, Duck boy and his dad went to Crater Lake.
Crater Lake is located in Southern Oregon on the crest of the Cascade Mountain range, 100 miles (160 km) east of the Pacific Ocean. It lies inside a caldera, or volcanic basin, created when the 12,000 foot (3,660 meter) high Mount Mazama collapsed 7,700 years ago following a large eruption.
Generous amounts of winter snow, averaging 533 inches (1,354 cm) per year, supply the lake with water. There are no inlets or outlets to the lake. Crater Lake, at 1,943 feet (592 meters) deep, is the seventh deepest lake in the world and the deepest in the United States. Evaporation and seepage prevent the lake from becoming any deeper. (information taken from
It is a beautiful, serene place to visit; one of Oregon's most amazing bits of scenery, in a state full of wondrous vistas. There are all kinds of wandering wildlife, a nice lodge, and some great trails (walking, hiking, and driving) to explore during the summer months. Crater Lake is even featured on the Oregon state quarter.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Furniture and Trees...

I don't know if I just like to confuse my child, or if I really am psychotic about this, but I change my furniture location about once per month. I really like it like this... Indiana is looking towards the telly and tower, watching Sesame Street (you obviously cant see the telly in the picture).
I also moved the piano and wicker linen basket in the dining room to accommodate the Christmas Tree. Indy has just been wandering around our place lost. We will be "putting up" our tree on Monday night. Pictures will be forthcoming.

Speaking of our tree... We have some wonderful Hispanics who live in our building (10 out of the 37 units here have Hispanics in them). Many of them are going home to Mexico for the holidays when the Christmas Tree farms they are currently working at lay off for the season. One of the fellows (Juan) brought a tree home and gave to us! He smiled and said "Feliz Navidad, Indiana"! Indy has ingratiated himself with all of the neighbors, English and Spanish speaking alike. The boy is living proof that racism isn't inborn, its taught. We are teaching him that everyone deserves a smile and a hand shake and that being nice to all people will bring him much more success and many more rewards in life than racism and bigotry.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

My mom is so talented with her photo editing programs. I sent her several pictures of my two very handsome boys and in return she sent me these. We will be sending the above picture with our Christmas cards. The lower photo we are using as our desktop wallpaper for the holidays! It makes a perfect background. Thanks, mom! (I seem to be saying that a lot lately)

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

On the go with Grandma!

My mom (Indy's grandma) came by yesterday and took us out Holiday Shopping. Indy was raring to go! He climbed right into her car and made it clear he wanted to ride in the front!After wrestling him into the back seat, we were off to the shops. At the local department store Indy decided to have a tantrum. My mom took his hand, hauled him out of the store and explained to him that "Bad boys stay in the car; good boys get to go in the store".After spending some time sitting in the car he was ready to behave. His grandma brought him back in to the store, where I had run into an old friend and was chatting. He was an angel for the rest of our excursion, through several other stores. It was a miracle!When we returned home, Indy entertained everyone, throwing leaves (one at a time) and chasing his shadow. There was a mild wind blowing, so every time Indiana threw a leaf forward the wind would catch it and blow it back to land on the ground behind him. He spent several minutes trying to throw this same leaf. Indy and I had an excellent day and hope to spend many more days hanging out with my mom. I had such wonderful grandparents in my Grandpa and Grandma McGarry, it is heart warming for me to see my own mother carrying on with Indy.

Thank you, mom, for inviting us!


Today's post was going to be a nice set about Indiana and I go shopping with my mother yesterday, complete with photos. Instead ya'll get to see this:

Indiana loves his daddy. Our apartment complex has a rule about quiet hours. Thus hours are 10pm to 8am (however the old leases say 10pm to 7 am). Indiana's daddy headed out to work today at 8am. When he left Indy and I were upstairs chatting with Sue (she was giving me cough drops because I seem to have developed a nasty cold). Indiana cried when daddy left. He wanted to go, too. Indiana is not quite 20 months old. Our brand new neighbor, who's children bicker, scream, and fight came outside. The background on this neighbor is that at 6pm two nights ago, the neighbor came out and told the on site manager to quiet down. Three days ago her son tried to pick a fist fight with the little 7 year old Mexican boy from downstairs (he's 11). Last night at 1130 pm her son threw their garbage down the stairs (envision metal cans clanking down the metal steps near our windows). She explained to me that I need to be quiet, she sleeps until noon and doesn't want to hear my kid cry and she will be calling the home office to complain about me. At which point she stormed into her apartment and slammed the door so hard the windows rattled in her apartment and the one next door to it. This woman has come down and borrowed cigarettes that she hasn't paid back. She has been caught digging through the ashtrays in front of my home and the other neighbors' homes. She has lived here since the day after thanksgiving and has not sent her children to school, not even once.
I admit that Indiana should not be waking up neighbors. However, it was the first time he has bothered her. To my knowledge. It was not during the quiet hours (it was after 8am). It is not my fault she sleeps on her sofa directly in front of the window.
Now, what!?! Does she expect her 11 and 14 children to be neighborhood nuisances yet my toddler isn't allowed to cry when daddy leaves him?

Monday, December 04, 2006

Christmas Story-book Land:

Every year our town plays host to a fun "Christmas Story-book Land", which is just right for children and families. It is hosted at the fairgrounds. We always go a couple of times each year. Last night, we took a couple friends with us and headed off to the fairgrounds.
One of the displays really resonated with Indiana! In fact, Indy had just gotten his brand new "Sesame Street" tennis shoes an hour before he saw the display. I did notice, no Elmo on this street... Anyways, Indy kept chanting "Cookie" and jumping around and squealing with joy. He had to be bodily moved on to the next exhibit.
More pictures of visiting the displays and our first "Santa-visit" of the season coming up!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Play Date!

Indy has a new girlfriend. Her name is Mayo and she came to play with us for a while today.
Her grandmother lives upstairs, but we have the best toys, so she came down to our place. They had a great time watching movies and playing with every toy Indy owns. I don't think she is used to have so many toys to chose from! After they tired out from playing with all the toys they both settled into Indiana's recliner to read books. Indy loves books, and Mayo can't wait to learn to actually read all those words. Literacy is such an important part of growing, it does my heart good to see that these two seem well on their way to learning the skills it takes to read and write. They are also learning the social skills to get along and play well together.

What a fun day.