Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Sorry, the promised post is still coming - can't figure out why the camera and computer won't talk.
The Little Booger is almost 5.5 months old already! That means it's time to learn how to eat "solid" foods. Food that slides off the spoon onto your lap before you get it into the tightly closed lips hardly counts as solid!
The pediatrician said it was time. I went out and bought some rice cereal. She told me that all babies like rice cereal. He sure ate it for Grandma, but when I tried to feed him at home, I ended up wearing it!
Sooooo back to Babies R Us for some other flavors. I found a 12 pack "Starter Kit fruit" and "Starter Kit vegetable". They were only $3 each. Not bad for someone whose bank account is anemic.
Bananas went in with a little work (on my part). Apple sauce - same as bananas. Green peas? That little mouth hinged open EVERY TIME the spoon touched his lips with the horrid green stuff. Okay, that's one veggie gone well, let me try another one - sweet potatoes. Who doesn't like them? I had to jam the spoon between his little lips, then in an instant the sticky orange goo was sprayed back at me.
"Listen here kid, " I said reloading the spoon with another blob, "babies are supposed to like sweet potatoes and I bought a starter pack with three more jars. You're gonna like the sweet potatoes. I mean, come on, you LOVED the peas!, most people HATE peas!"
I may have to throw away my shirt. Do sweet potatoes come out of synthetic fabric? What do I do with the remaining jars?
I may have to go to Home Depot and buy plexi-glass to make myself a shield until I can know what Kyle likes to eat. He knows how to let me know when he doesn't like something. I can't afford a whole new wardrobe unless weridly colored stains become vogue...
At least I can laugh...now...right? (until he spews all over my new clothes for church...)
Monday, August 28, 2006
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
For inside the crib...
lay not a baby...
Not just any 'ol faucet, mind you, it was one of those wide-mouthed faucets used to fill up 3000 gallon luxury tubs - kinda like those found in Pinehurst homes lining the excluive golf course.
Water sloshed against the bumper, the quilted animals treading water, gasping for breath. Closing my eyes, I reached down into the slimy, gooey lake and grabbed the faucet, hoping to turn it off before the upper level of my home caved in from the weight of the liquid deluge.
Pulling the faucet to my chest, I discovered the valve was missing. It let out a squeal and cooed in my ear. It reminded me of the baby that once was - a baby that slobbered a little bit and spit up all over me after feeding.
Squeals turned into shrieks. Shrieks morphed into ear drum splitting screams and an increased flow rate. I was wet!
I secured this baby-turned faucet into his car seat trying to fly under police radar to Babies R Us for some gum medicine.
I'm not sure how that stuff is supposed to work when it gets drooled off the gums all over the baby. I think his belly button was numbed...
A few frozen teething toys later and the faucet slowed - a little bit by drifting into a restless slumber.
At five months plus one week and a day, the teething has begun. Oh what fun.
Thursday, August 17, 2006
Nestled in the Wyoming Valley, along Wyoming Avenue, in Wymoning, Pennsylvania sits an icon of pizzadom.
Victory Pig Pizza has been nurturing addicts since the 1930's! My grandparents and parents made pilgramages to this delicious place of pizza perfection for decades. Kyle was the fourth generation from our family to sit at the faded orange tables set on a worn black and white checkered linoleum floor.
Pig Pizza (as the locals call it) is unlike any other pizza anywhere in the United States. It is a rare species of Sicillian Pizza that I have yet to find a rival. Many Pizza places make square pieces with thicker crusts and call it Sicillian.
Pig Pizza stands apart from the rest with its sauce made from fresh tomatoes and a delicate buttery crust that keeps patrons coming back for more. Scandles have rocked the Valley and Back Mountain area as former employees of Victory Pig have tried to steal the top secret recipe or replicate it. Some have come close (Pizza Perfect in Trucksville, PA is pretty close and quite good), but none have cracked the secret held tightly in the heads of the Secolli (sp?) family.
Victory Pig is only open 3 nights each week. My dad, who has serviced the HVAC for over 20 years, asked the owner why they aren't open all week like other restraunts. The reply: "I make more than enough money with only three days. I like having 4 days off."
Every time I've ever been there since I was a wee one, the place has been crowded. If seats aren't available, there is curb service. . . just honk your horn!
The other great thing (I think) is that Victory Pig has not changed since my grandparents ate there when it was a barbeque stand. (Pennsylvania barbeque is NOT what you think. Texans beware: PA BBQ has NO BBQ sauce. It's thinly sliced ham fried in butter on a potato flour bun served with sweet pickle relish.)
In a world of franchise restraunts where every little town is beginning to look identical to the one down the Interstate, it's refreshing to find a place that remains fairly untouched by time.
Northeastern PA has been dubbed the official "Pizza Capital of the World." I know other places make similar claims, but the evidence is in the lack of Dominoes and Papa Johns. Although in my humble opinion, Victory is one of the best, you can't go wrong with any pizza in NEPA - it's ALL good.
Thursday, August 10, 2006
All morning long, I've been listening to 710 KNUS from Denver. All morning long, the small newsbreaks mention how lines are terribly long at Denver International and all passengers are tossing sun screen, shampoo, contact solution and baby formula! Sooooo, no liquids on board an airplane b/c there may be an explosive in that bottle of mouthwash.
I'm all for being safe. I try to thank the haggard TSA employees who poke through my belongings every time I fly. But where and when will the madness stop? What happens if someone invents exploding underwear elastic? You know, kinda like the red and green plastic explosive gum Tom Cruise used to decimate an aquarium in Mission Impossibe? Will we have to fly naked? Might as well make the word a global nudist colony, but then women will be targeted for having nitroglycerine implants...
No liquids. Can't bring bottled water on a plane that makes only one beverage pass during a 3.5 hour flight providing only a 4 oz cup... The last time I flew United, I forgot to fill my water bottle. As I boarded, I noticed bottled water nestled in the cup holders of the first class seats. Looking up at the Stewardess I politely asked if I may have a bottle of water to take to my seat. She stared at me as if I asked her to allow me to bite her.
"We don't have bottled water."
"Um... yes you do, " I said pointing to a bottle as a drop of condensation rolled down its side.
"Oh, those are for first class passangers only."
"You mean, a coach passanger is not entitled to a bottle of water that probably cost UAL only 30 cents? You're kidding me, right?"
"I'm sorry ma'am. You'll just have to wait until the flight attendant in your cabin comes along to give you a cup of water, please move to your seat, you're holding up traffic."
What about contact solution? When I fly overseas, I need to remove my lenses, or it feels like a lava-rock boulder field took up residence on my corneas. People who wear contacts on overseas flights know eyedrops and solution are an absolute necessity! (glasses are not an option for me. They cannot correct my vision)
I guess you can't carry on your luggage for a short trip unless you buy toiletries at your destination. What if your destination is a thrid world country?
It's like the shoe bomber thing. Once a plot is uncovered, do you think the terrorist are so stupid to use it? I understand the need for the security in the immediate: there may be others boarding planes with explosive chemicals in a water bottle or eye-drop container, but weeks from now? For years we've had to remove our shoes. What would happen if someone created a noxious, deadly toe jam? Would we have to amputate our feet before boarding a plane?
Yes, that's absurd, but think about it. No matter what the terrorists do, the reaction is to ban anything and everything imaginable that is similar to the "tool" of destruction. The list goes on... exploding tooth fillings, underwire for a bra, zippers, belly-buttons?
These terroists are indeed affecting the lives of ALL of us. It makes me mad. These people want to kill. Negotiate? Yep. That's what our insightful left wants to do. You can't negotiate with people who are following the teaching of their religion. They honestly believe they are doing Allah's work by killing Westerners, especially Americans. Americans to them are vermin. You don't negotiate with that!
Flying is beginning to get awfully cumbersone. Why would anyone want to travel? Given the circumstances now, it would be a HORRIBLE experience to fly with my baby. No formula. No lotion or diaper rash cream... Are we letting the terrorist win by making travel so unpleasant that everyone stays home? That our economy is destroyed? I think this latest ban on liquid substances is pushing it, even from me. The day we are required to strip down, no - better yet show up at the air port NAKED is the day I toss in the towel of travel for good.
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
I'm paraphrasing here:
"What'd ya think of communion today?"
"Well, Jesus was a bit stale."
Don't tell me you don't get it... apparantly the church served stale bread/wafers whatever during communion and the bread represents Jesus' body that was broken...
Anyway, I digress from my main point. I got to thinking about this. For the past few days I've been reading a book titled WICCA'S CHARM by Catherine Edwards Sanders, an Anglican journalist who dealves into the world of Wicca to find out why so many people are turning toward it and away from Christianity.
I picked up the book because I am a colorguard instructor with a Denver area high school and work closely with the teens in the marching band and guard. Many of them are wearing pentagrams and interested in spells and witchcraft. Knowing little about Wicca, I decided to purchase this book.
What really fascinated me was not so much the history and practices of Wicca, but rather the short comings of the church! Sanders found again and again that Wiccans and other Neo-Pagans had abosolutely NOTHING against Jesus Christ or even really, the message of the gospel. What drove them from the church were the CHRISTIANS! The pew sitters... US! Yikes.
Pagans are tuned into the natural environment. Sanders accounts a incident in California where a group of witches gathered to celebrate a ritual honoring nature. A band of "Christians" from local "evangelical" churches surrounded the revelers to shout out the name of Jesus and practically beat these people with the salvation message. It wasn't the message that angered the witches, it was the presence of gas-guzzling SUVs on delicate land. The total disrespect for the natural environment that the "Christians" believe their God created... If Christians can disregard the creation of their God, then their faith must be inauthentic. Ouch.
It's not only about environmental awareness. It's about how the church handles suffering. Several Wiccans interviewed left the evangelical Christian church b/c the church was uncomfortable with people in suffereing - especially women who lost babies to miscarriage. Wicca has rites and rituals to recognize the legitamate loss of life, whereas in the church people shake their heads, clear their throats and try to change the subject. My best friend lost SEVEN babies over the past few years. She had to seek out others who walked the path or have suffered similar losses. She feels the church as a whole falls short in recognizing these babies as human beings. There is no closure.
Another turn off is the lack of supernatural experience. Many conservative churches are terrified to acknowledge the active ministry of the Holy Spirit. Sure we'll sit in our pews and learn how to exogete (sp?) a text, but expect God to really DO something in our lives today? To actually heal or work a miracle? Perposterous! Many Christians live as if Jesus were nothing more than a STALE PIECE OF BREAD. I grew up in a church that believed spiritual gifts are dead and that there is no Joy in Christ. Had I not left when I did for college, I probably would have sought something... more real. I'm not even close to being Pentecostal, but I do not belive in boxing God. He can do whatever He wants to draw people to Him.
Finally, there is the long history of the poor treatment of women in the church. Many Pagans leave because they want to feel empowered as women. Oftentimes the church fails to recognize how Jesus elevates women! Heck, they were the first people He sought after he rose from the dead! He knew they'd get the word out. The Roman civilization treated women worse than animals. Jesus treated them as intelligent, valuable human beings.
I'm being long-winded here, but I want to encourage you to click on the link for Faith & Forensics on the right as well. Best-selling author Brandilyn Collins posts a review of her newest novel, VIOLET DAWN written by a man who clearly does not like Christians or believe in God. What you read will surprise you and Brandilyn serves as an example to the rest of us as believers in Jesus Christ on how to reach those turned off, not by the Gospel, but by its followers.
I need to look at my life. What do others see that leads them to the conclusion that I follow a stale God? Stale bread is awfully unappealing. Is Jesus stale to you?
Monday, August 07, 2006
The one of my dad grmacing in the presence of a whiny baby is my ultimate favorite! It was evening, nearing bed time and Kyle was morphing into the the North American Wild Snorting Baby mode. Dad was making faces at the baby trying to get him to laugh (to no avail) and this photo just happened.
There were four generations in Pennsylvania - the most our family has ever had living at any time. Great Grandma and Grandma plotted a kidnapping scheme to see if they could get John and I to leave w/o the baby and our dog!
Love that "Joe Cool in the Pool" shot as well. Mom put me up to that one. Even the social worker at the adoption agency laughed uncontrollably at that picture (we thought it would freak her out).
On Wednesday, Kyle and I went to the adoption agency for another home study. I turned in the notorized petition to adopt that would be filed with the court in Douglas County, Colorado. Charlene told me that the court date will be sometime in October b/c Kyle has to live with us for a complete six months after birth. When the hearing is over and Kyle is oficially and legally a Gudger, we'll have quite a bash to celebrate! Parental rights on both sides have been oficially terminated, so it's up to the judge to decide whether or not John and I are fit parents.
I have to turn in a statement from the pediatrition, write a month by month reflection on his development, have references of people who think we are fit parents, and then the judge will have a look-see at the Wee One and determine if he thinks the child is thriving in our care. And a crack-head prostitue with aids can push one out and keep it, no questions asked....Sheesh!
This litterbox of life sure is filled with all sorts of stinky poo, but Kyle sure is a major source of joy in my life aside from the ultimate source of JOY!