Showing posts from May, 2011

Ruby Rose, Super Genius?

Tonight, Ruby found a balled up sock of mine that had fallen off of the clean laundry pile on the bed.  She grabbed it and sat down, and tried to put it on her foot! I was amazed! How did she recognize that it was a sock and that it went on her foot?
So, I gave her one of her shoes and she tried to put that on, too.  I was amazed by her genius!
And then she pulled down a bib from her dresser...and tried to put it on her foot.  Oh well.
In other news, we looked at a 3 bedroom house (to rent) tonight.  Allen found it while he was out driving around today.  The house was cute, but the landlord seemed, well, like a tweaker.  We have a few more lined up to look at.  The idea of being in a house is pretty appealing.  Apartments are all well and good, but being in a place with a yard, a washer and dryer hookup, and not connected to neighbors playing "Sweet Home Alabama" really loud? Now that sounds great!


You can see a video of Ruby's trip to OMSI here.  It was pretty fun!  We also walked around downtown and perused the Rose Festival City Fair...from the outside.  We didn't feel like shelling out the money to go in, since Ruby's too small to enjoy any of it.

Tonight is not a school night!

Have to love that!  I finished the "Ballad of Team Awesome-o" page that has long been under construction.  Go read it...if you can handle all that mushy love stuff.


Done with conferences!! YES!
Well, not technically done.  We had a few kids who didn't show or were out of town or whatever, so I think we have 7 or 8 left to do in the upcoming 2 weeks of school...that's right, 2 weeks! And neither of them full weeks!  Summer is coming, thank goodness.  I'm ready.
Conferences went well.  Some contained lots of praise, some contained hard words of truth; but all were spoken in love.  I hope we made that clear.

Still standing (so to speak)

Well, I'm sitting, actually.  You'd think I'd be hopping around and stretching my legs, because I've been sitting at conferences all day long.  I think we had 19 today?  We had a few no-shows. It was a long day.  For the most part, they were good conferences and I think we said what needed to be said.
Speaking of standing, Ruby was standing when I got home, and she took several unaided steps towards me!  Toby and Allen said they have seen her do that a few times today, mostly towards the cats.  Aquila was terrified.
Here's a cute b-day pic I haven't posted yet.  Toby looks pretty hilarious! They're both showing off their Cardinals footwear.
Random thought: I'm getting baby fever.  Whenever I see little babies, I want another one of them.  Looking at Ruby's pictures from last year isn't helping!  I know, I know, we're not ready, etc.  They are a lot of work and the first few months are very taxing.  I remember.  But they're so cute!  Go…

At 2:11 AM a year ago, a child was given...

...and we named her Ruby.  Ruby Rose Cook.  Ruby, because we liked the name.  When we were engaged and whiling away the hours on a long road trip to St. Louis, we talked about names we might give to children we would one day have.  We went through flowers and gemstones just for fun and then both said, "Ruby...yeah, I actually like that.  Ruby!"  Rose, because it is Allen's mom's middle name, and it has some nice alliteration with Ruby (and they are both shades of red).

As I type, she is cruising around the living room, so close to being able to walk.  She is saying, "bep, dep, dat, hada!" and other sounds.  I don't know what she means by them.  She needs a diaper change, a bottle, and bed, but I just had to write on here how much I love her and how I just can't imagine life without her. I often have to remind myself that she was a gift to us from God.  Not something that He owed us, not something that we applied for and won on our own merits.  He ha…

Headed into quite a week

Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday I'm sitting on an interview committee for some job openings at the school next year.  Wednesday night is a long meeting in which we (the staff) review the Director and the Board.  Thursday and Friday, from 8-8, we have conferences.
In the words of a cheesy line from the church play I did when I was 6, "Makes me tired just thinkin' about it!"

The cats are in trouble now...

Ruby has been chasing them around the coffee table.  The end of their easygoing life could be at hand.
In other news, I did 2 complete loads of laundry with the third one in, and gave the bathroom a good scrubbing.  Now going to try out a broccoli casserole recipe to use some of the HUGE amount of cut up broccoli florets we got from Gleaners this week.
Allen is sicky; he came home from work a little early, even, so you know it must be bad.  I'm grateful that his insurance coverage through his company will start at the beginning of June so he can go see a doctor for his various ailments.  The insurance coverage is two-thirds, but that's better than nothing.
...and Ruby's pulling books off of a different shelf this time!  Variety is the spice of life.

A few bullet point musings...

As I said on Facebook, something that used to matter: having some kind of order to the books on our shelves. You know...philosophy, spirituality, poetry, fiction, how-to, memoir, textbooks, etc.  What matters now: trying to have books on a shelf at all, since Ruby likes to pull them all off.Remembrance (based on speaking of having orderly bookshelves): my roommate junior year, Erica, had the most incredible bookshelves ever.  You should have seen it!  I believe her main schema was to organize by publisher, which had a very unified look; all of her Penguin classics together, near the Everyman section, closely followed by the small (but colorful) Green Lion Press.  And let's not forget the Loebs.  Her dorm room always looked like it came from an IKEA catalog.  Mine?  Not so much.  You know what would make my life easier?  If I took the time to PIWIG every day.  PIWIG?  Put It Where It Goes.  That, and spot cleaning, would prevent me from having horrible buildups.  I'm pretty goo…

Shifting Sand

I'll let the eloquence of Caedmon's Call speak for me right now:

Shifting Sand
Sometimes I believe all the lies
So I can do the things I should despise
And every day I am swayed
By whatever is on my mind

I hear it all depends on my faith
So I'm feeling precarious
The only problem I have with these mysteries
Is they're so mysterious

And like a consumer I've been thinking
If I could just get a bit more
More than my 15 minutes of faith,
Then I'd be secure

My faith is like shifting sand
Changed by every wave
My faith is like shifting sand
So I stand on grace

I've begged you for some proof
For my Thomas eyes to see
A slithering staff, a leprous hand
And lions resting lazily

A glimpse of your back-side glory
And this soaked altar going ablaze
But you know I've seen so much
I explained it away


Waters rose as my doubts reigned
My sand-castle faith, it slipped away
Found myself standing on your grace
It'd been there all the time

(Chorus repeated)

I'm usually modest but...

I have to post these pictures because I want to have photographic proof that this event happened!  I was at Goodwill looking for a cute outfit to wear for Allen on a date night.  I had heard him say on several occasions that he thought I would look good in white pants, but I'd never done anything about it.  Then I saw a pair of white jeans for $7.99.  The price was right for a try...but they were a size 8.  I can't even remember the last time I wore a size 8...maybe back in 8th grade.  Seriously.  But I thought there was no harm in trying them on.  So I did...and they fit!
So OF COURSE I snapped those puppies up!
I probably won't wear them much (white pants + toddler = not very white pants) and I may not fit in them for long.  But I will be proud that I--post baby, no less--could wear those pants.  These pictures are hilarious also because the perspective is completely wacky and I look like I'm living in a house built for little people.  Oh well.

Oh yeah, and Allen t…

My Little Girl is Growing UP

How can it be almost a year since this picture was taken?  I know, I know...what a classic parent thing to say.  Time flies, people grow, and it's very easy to see in the littlest of people.  I've heard the saying, "The days are long but the years are short."  Very true. Look at her now!
She came home from daycare on Friday with two little pigtails. It made her look so much older.  Both Toby and I were amazed by it.  And then, within ten minutes of being home, she did more amazing things.  She stood up by herself and balanced well for 10-12 seconds...and from that stand, she took a step!  First step!!!  
Toby remarked that he wondered what Ruby was going to call him.  Unca Todee? Toto? Tobee?  He's very anxious for her to start talking "for real." She doesn't really have any words yet.  She can say "nnma nmma" and "da da da" but I'm not sure if she's associating it with us.  Sometimes she can sort of repeat sounds that I ma…

Outdoor School (a few thoughts, anyway)

So much has happened since last Sunday!  Only a week of calendar time has elapsed, but it feels like a lot longer than that.  We were away on Outdoor School adventures from Monday-Thursday.  It went really well.  There were a lot of moving pieces and logistics to the trip, but it all went pretty smoothly.  The weather was good, the kids were good, and places we went were neat, the campsites were nice, and somehow we managed to keep Jeff's birthday cake presentation a surprise.  I stayed up very late the night before putting together a photo album for him of each of our kids.  We took their pictures of them making the "heart hands" (except for the few who were just too cool for that), and then I had them write a little note to him on an index card.  I put them all together into an album.  But, knowing me, it couldn't just be as simple as gluing down pictures and index cards.  No, had to be decorated and color-coordinated and done up just right!  I enjoyed work…

Happy first (official) Mother's Day to me!

My Mother's Day so far...
Getting a Starbucks drink (last night, in honor of "Mother's Day Eve")
Sleeping in
Snuggling with baby and hubby
Getting some specialty jams
Going to church and watching a whole bunch of cute babies get dedicated
"Finding" a Jamba Juice gift certificate in the car
Skyping with my lovely mom (and dad and sissy)

Still looking forward to...
Going out to dinner at as-yet-unknown-to-me restaurant while Uncle Toby babysits

There was a lady sitting near us at church who was very pregnant.  When the pastor asked all the moms to stand, I saw her look at her husband quizzically.  I was in the same quandary last year.  The baby's still inside, so does it count?  He motioned for her to stand.  I think that's the right move!  Come on, when you're housing a kicking little baby, you're a mom.
This is what I looked like last Mother's Day (picture courtesy of Kerri Patrick, who always thinks of such things:)

And from a similar t…

Proof that I was meant to teach middle school?

Back when I was a first year teaching apprentice happily working at the kindergarten/first grade level, I would have told you that you couldn't PAY me enough money to teach middle school.  No way, no how. Just NO.  Then, in the summer after my first year of apprenticing, I had to take 2 courses on middle school curriculum and development. I went into them feeling rather grudging.  I had to take them in order to get a broad "Elementary-Middle" authorization level for my license here in Oregon, but I secretly knew I would never use this information. I was never going to teach middle school.  Never.  Ever. End of story.
And then God chuckled, and through a series of twists and turns, I ended up teaching 8th grade English as my first solo (i.e. non-apprentice) teaching job...and loved it. From there, I went on to teach 6th grade at the school I'm at now.  It's exhausting, exciting (NOT exiting, as some students still insist on spelling it), and full of adventures, bo…

Look at her go!

I put together another video of Ruby.  Maybe, if I'm really inspired, I'll make a big ol' montage video of photos and clips before her birthday.  We'll see.  For now, here's her latest cuteness!

Assorted thoughts (based on bin Laden)

Rest in...whatever you get, I guess.
Not sure what to make of the announcement of Bin Laden's death.  I didn't lose anyone close to me in either the terrorist attacks or the ensuing years of war, so Bin Laden's personal effect on me has been small.  But he was certainly a bad man doing bad things.
This brings me to a curious point: has anyone out there in the media tried to say that he wasn't a bad man?  After all, aren't good and bad relative things these days?  One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter and all that?  My first college roommate had a little book that purported to be about spirituality.  It was the kind of book that always seems to be on discount at Barnes and Noble or Borders and is located near the check out...a very happy-dappy pop culture type of thing.  On the subject of evil and hell, it had only this to say, "If there is a hell, it's reserved for people like Stalin and know, people who did REALLY bad …