Monday, November 24, 2008

Boys at work

We've had a quiet weekend here. Sickness seems to finally be trailing out the front door, out to crush some other poor unsuspecting family. Michael managed to miss out on the stomach flu, but got slammed by the leftover cold of mine from two weeks ago just as he started to gloat. After several days at home he has started to get his happy face and ruddy cheeks back. I feel like we've been reunited after weeks of separation! A joyful reunion after a long, long trek through the dreary world of sick!

On the sad side of things, Jed figured out how to climb out of his crib yesterday, and now he won't stay in for more than three moments. This morning I walked in to find him poised, feet nearly at head level, half twisted and flung over the edge, looking like an extreme climber from the X-games. His smug face revealed his own deep pleasure at his newly discovered skillz.

So tonight we are hauling out our little twin bed to set up in his bedroom. I confess a bit of teariness at the prospect... my tiny boy all grown up. We feel excited, too, though. We've been feeling for the last little while, since he's been fantastic at going to bed at night with daddy, that he could probably start sleeping in a big boy bed.

As Michael brings up each big wooden piece, Jed trails along behind. Jed's pants are a jeans, a size too large and lined with thick polar fleece (we went on a walk in the misty breeze today) Combine that with a double cloth diaper and his bottom looks laughably huge below his skinny little chest. With manly instinct, he poked around under the couch until he found his play plastic hammer, and he carries it clutched in his sweaty, stubby hand, ready to bang at the slightest provocation.

Bed time should be exciting tonight. We'll let you know how it goes.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Signs of intelligence emerge!

Jed has learned to count. He'll line up his trucks like so and shout in a high squeaky voice:



Tucked In

I've noticed lately that Jed likes to tuck in his hands. If he lays on his belly, he likes to tuck his hands underneath his stomach. He always falls asleep with his hands tucked in between his belly and his dad's. When we cuddle, he likes to be cozy and all the parts carefully tucked in together.

He's just like his momma! I remember driving my mother nuts growing up when I would wiggle my feet underneath her as we sat together on the couch. At night, when I go to bed I have to tuck my hands in beneath a pillow, under Michael's warm arms, or even under my own arms but they just don't feel right until they are tucked in. Now that I've noticed this, I've found that I'm a tucking in addict. In the edge of my waistband, in my pockets, under my armpits, behind the couch cushions, but always tucked in. Even when Michael warms up a hot pack for my frigid toes, I'm just not ready to fall asleep until my feet are tucked in next to his.

Nice to know my baby boy is just like me. Makes me happy.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Sick sick sick


About a week and a half ago I came down with a nasty, nasty lingering cold that slowly made its way about the family. Finally, it seemed, this past weekend we were all getting better. Jed still had a cough and I still had a sore throat, but Saturday it seemed like I finally slept it off.

Unfortunately, Saturday night we had Michael's beloved parents over...

And the next morning Jed woke up in a pool of vomit. Jan, Michael's mom, called an hour or two later to say that she was sick as could be with the stomach flu. Half the ward, it seemed was down as well. We stayed home from church so as to not infect the masses.

Yesterday I woke up feeling dandy and Michael and I congratulated ourselves on our immune system prowess. Our congratulations came a tad to soon. Yesterday evening I was flat on the floor and spent that night in the exquisite misery that only worship of the porcelain pot can provide. Ugh.

I am feeling better, though exhausted, today. I'm tired of sickness! I want to be healthy again!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

What's new

A brief catch-up on the latest Stanfill News:

-OK, I may never get to the Big Date recap. Suffice it to say that everything went smoothly and according to plan and we had SO MUCH FUN! Thank goodness my brilliant spouse brought ear plugs, otherwise we never would have survived the concert. Also, apparently the concept of "designated driver" has not yet reached Louisville. We took off the second the concert was over, so as to avoid the several hundred drunk drivers about to weave their way home.
I felt quite smug at how well the whole thing turned out, especially the sleeping in the car idea. We drove over to the temple, blew up our little air mattress in the back of the Pilot, pulled out our big cozy blankets and pillows from home, and got a solid 8 hours sleep! Heaven! We had leftover muffins I'd made the afternoon before with grapefruit for breakfast and then walked right over into the temple! They let us use the bathroom to change and brush teeth, etc (we had called in advance.) All in all, with extras like t-shirts from the band, eating out twice, as well as gas, the whole weekend cost us like $150 total. And it was perfect!

-Last night we went to an artist's reception for a local photography exhibition called "digitized" that included two of Michael's recent photos!

What a man. The refreshments were EXCELLENT although when I asked the guy at the bar if he had water or fruit juice he laughed in my face.

-Michael's creative talents draw quite the demand these days. He also recently created this website for the Evansville Creche exhibit, a big bash nativity scene show put on every year at our church. Be especially sure to check out the gallery here, which has the gorgeous photos he took at last year's exhibit.

-I survived the Primary Program and Quarterly Activity weekend, though it nigh unto killed us all. I was especially proud of my "Secret Service" sharing time, which involved me dressing up as a Secret Service Agent ("We do service in secret") and sneaking around the room. Also, there was "physical training" that involved karate chops and jumping jacks. The kids seemed to thoroughly enjoy it, almost as much as I did.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Michael dressed up as Alexis Itsnot, a used car salesman. I was his trashy secretary, Imelda Checks (too bad my hair had fallen and my lipstick worn off by the time this photo was taken, it was AWESOME!) Jed is a dinosaur covered with soot from sticking his hand up a tailpipe. He spent most of the ward party on the hayride, riding around behind the tractor. What fun we had!

A Funny Bit of Election Trivia

Yesterday, my mother-in-law Jan, who works at the polls, told me a bit of trivia. She said that when the open the polls here in Indiana, someone has to walk out into the parking lot and call "Hear ye, hear ye, the polls are now open!"

Awesome, huh? Almost makes you want to get up at 5:30 AM so you can be there to hear it. Almost.

Instead, maybe I'll try for the closing, when they shout "Hear ye, hear ye, the polls are now closed!"

Monday, November 3, 2008

My thoughts on the election - Vanessa

As tonight is Election Day Eve, I thought I'd share a few of my own thoughts on the election. As most of you know, I'm a political junkie and waste a huge portion of my life reading and listening to commentary. I feel more informed about this election than I've ever felt before in my life, and I'm proud of myself.

In college, I had to take a spanish class to graduate. Then I misread the requirements and I took three more semesters than I had to (whoops!) My last semester, my teacher was a lovely, vivacious Columbian woman who changed my life. One day she entered the room and in her rapid, rolling Spanish asked us what we had read in the news that day. Bleary from late term exams and papers, we met her answer with blank, tired eyes. Not one person responded.

She looked disappointed. "Students," she told us, "don't you know you have a responsibility? You have been given so much. We have so much. You have a responsibility to know what is happening in your world. How will you raise a family or make a difference if you don't even know what is happening around you?" Something in the way she rebuked us, especially since she had shared with us the extreme challenges she had felt in her home country and her gratitude for her family's life in the US, changed my heart that day. And I've read the news every day since.

My biggest frustration this election season has been the plain apathy in so many of voters. I've got pretty strong opinions, but I'm happy to meet the rare someone who can clearly explain their choice and reasoning even if differs from mine. This isn't a popularity contest for student body president, kids, this is a world-changing election and you get to be part of it. You don't pick a president for his looks or charm or fantastic branding. You pick a president for the way he will lead our country, for his policies and his party (don't be fooled, they ALL will tow the party line.)

My personal decision has been made, in order of importance, on:
1) Voting Record
2) Party Platform
3) Personal statements of policy

I have chosen to vote for John McCain. He wasn't my first choice in the primaries, and I don't agree with everything he says. And yes, he's ugly. Big whoop. I'm choosing him because his voting record, his party platform and voting record most closely align with my personal beliefs and desires for our country.

A few issues that are most important to me, and that are not in line with Barack Obama and/or the Democratic party platform:

I believe that to end the life of an unborn child is to take the life of a human being. My views on this changed forever when I looked into the eyes of my own newly-born son and saw that he was, indeed, a full-spirited and alive person. Reading this testimony before congress solidified my conviction that abortion is wrong (see approx. pages 41-51). My stance closely correlates with this statement, written by a man I greatly revere and published last month, in time for the election season. I cannot, in good conscience, vote for a candidate or a party that will support abortion. I know, I know, it's not cool to be a "single issue voter," but in this case I cannot argue against my conscience. This is my issue. It matters.

I believe generally in free market economics. I strongly dislike Marxist-tinged economic philosophies (ick!), encouragement of class warfare, and redistribution of wealth.

I feel heavy concern about the future of our Supreme Court and the recent actions of activist judiciary. I much prefer a conservative, interpretational stance. Judicial activism, in my mind, forces particular ideology upon the free people of the United States. Let the people choose.

Though both candidates have spoken in support of a traditional definition of marriage, one party has been considerably less supportive. I believe that the recent judicial actions in California were wrong and will adversely affect the children of our country, as well as infringe upon the free exercise of religion. I love my homosexual and lesbian friends and respect their right to lead their lives as they choose, but I do believe that imposing a new definition of marriage, which shapes the basic structure of our society, is neither wise nor correct. I freely admit that my opinion is influenced by my religious beliefs, as explained here.

There are many other issues that I could discuss, but in my mind these are the most important issues in this election. Please, consider thoughtfully your vote before you go in to that booth tomorrow. "Change you can believe in" refers to a specific set of policies, not a happy utopian world. Take the time to find out what kind of change you want. Be informed. I don't mind if your views differ from mine, but please, please, PLEASE know what you choose, because we all have to live with our decision.

Thanks for listening. Back to the usual happy family news tomorrow, promise.