Friday, September 26, 2008

Birthdays are of the Utmost Importance

Ever since Bethelle's 2nd birthday (she's now 3 1/2), playing "birthday" is the favorite game.  She makes a cake (a pile of play necklaces, silverware, whatever), sets the table (with play dishes), and wraps presents (various small items wrapped in washcloths and kitchen towels).  Then we sit at the coffee table and have the party.  She gets so excited about each bite and every present: "Oh, thank you so much, Grandma Jackson!  A diaper!  I can share this with Rigby!"

Recently, when stopping for a free cookie in the bakery section of Safeway, she found her next cake.  It's something like this:

A few days later we saw this:
It's now in line for her 5th birthday.  Yesterday she found one she wants when she's six.  I hope I can keep track of all this.  And I hope she doesn't mind my homemade version of these.

Nick's sister, Trish, and her family have recently moved back to the area.  She has a daughter, Joee, who is just younger than Bethelle.  Every time they see each other, Bethelle invites her to her birthday party and they both get very excited.  They jump, scream, and clap.  It's not for six more months.

If Bethelle knows one thing, it is that you get to go to school when you are five and that you get to take your own umbrella (OK, that's two things).  Yesterday at the YMCA, she heard a mom talking to her daughter about her school.  Bethelle said, "Mom!  She's five!  She goes to school!"  I guess I should explain that you keep going for several years beyond that.

At Grandma Patsy's house, Bethelle is keenly aware of some little bags of chips.  After she ate one, I explained to her that they are for Kyle to take to school with him in his lunch.  This morning, Bethelle told me that her cousin, Haley, will be five soon.  We should take her to Grandma Patsy's house so that she can get some chips, and then she can share them with us.  Isn't that a good idea, Mom?!

This is how loopholes are discovered and exploited.  I can't wait until she's 15.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Yesterday Rigby was looking through the baby gate trying to find Nick.  I said to Bethelle, "Rigby loves Daddy."

Bethelle: "I love Daddy too.  I love Daddy the most."

Me: "You love me the most too, right?"

Bethelle:  "No, I just love Daddy the most.  You can only love one thing the most."

True, I thought.

Bethelle: "Wait!  I love two things the most: Daddy and boats!"

. . . . . . . . .

Friday afternoon we went on a family walk around the water in Silverdale.  We stopped in at a little trailer with a sign that said, "Kitsap County Republican Headquarters" where we picked up a few signs.  They were out of anything with "Palin" on it.  Understandable.

Walking back along the water, Bethelle mused aloud, "I love Sister Palin."

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Happy Birthday Nick!

And Trevor and Rachel and Juliet and anyone else I've missed.

Let's all raise a "post" (ha ha, I must be a Rushton... or a Lilly) to the greatest husband and father I have ever known and could have ever hoped to meet.  Nick is a man whose greatest aspiration is to always do the right thing.  How lucky can a girl get?

And, since everyone asks this question when they find out his birthday is 9/11, he was out of the country on his mission in '01.  I'm grateful for that.  He can just live it up on his big day without the stinging memories.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Sarah Palin and the Mixed-up World

I don't usually rave about myself, but I'm going to share a few things with you.  I think that even my readers who might say that they know me well will learn a few things in the next paragraph, because I really don't discuss these details.  You'll see why I do this by the end, I promise.

I got a 4.0 in high school.  I graduated early.  I scored a perfect 36 on the science section of the ACT.  I went to a "highly selective" university on a full-ride, academic scholarship.  I didn't even apply anywhere else, because I was confident.  I graduated with a BS in physics and a minor in math.  My school had the second largest physics program in the country.  There was only one other girl in my graduating class in that major.  It was HARD, but I had to maintain a 3.75 to keep my scholarship.

I consider myself highly employable.  I would be an asset to the market.  I am a greater asset to my family.  I choose to stay home with them.   I have always wanted this to be my "career," even as I chose arguably the hardest major at my school.  I think it is the right thing for mothers to do, whenever possible.

But if any of you out there prevented me from professional employment, or closed any door of opportunity to me because I am a woman or a mother, you would endure the wrath of Elke.

There are laws protecting women from this kind of thing.  Correct laws.  Employers are not allowed to ask you about your family, children, etc.  They are not permitted to discriminate based on your sex or how many kids you have.  I think that until a week or two ago, most of America would have been aghast to think that anyone would disagree with this law.

But now, all registered voters have the opportunity to evaluate a woman with five children for an important job.  I am appalled at the blog posts (see here) I have read (and the number of comments supporting the idea) that a woman choosing this job, when she has a family to care for, is not the kind of person we want in Washington, D.C.  This shows that many people believe women should NOT have every opportunity before them, that doors should be closed in their faces based on their gender and children.  Why do these voters spend years professing correct principles that they will not live by in practice?  Why are so many no longer aghast?

Sarah Palin wears her own shoes.  I do not pretend to understand her family or situation.  She should not have to justify to us how she plans on nurturing her children while employed in our service.  That is HER business.  She has a husband, family, friends; she'll work it out.  Just like we all do when we have other, important things to do.  It's not our concern.

Our concern should be whether we agree with her politics, experience, policies, etc.  If you don't, and if you like the other guy's better, don't vote for her.  But I am going to boldly say:

To vote against her because she is a woman and has children is wrong.  WRONG.

I choose to stay home.  But I will fight you to the end if you try to take that CHOICE away from me; if you try to confine me there.  I believe that I could do ANYTHING.  Women can!  Knowing what I am giving up helps me to see the value that I ascribe to my children and to love them even more.  If you would prevent Sarah Palin from being vice president because she is a mother, then you are imposing limitations on women.  And I won't accept limitations.

Round Two

Rigby's second strabismus surgery was yesterday.  His first surgery involved loosening the inner muscles of both eyes.  This time, the doctor tightened both of the outer muscles.  So far, so good, but I've learned my lesson and will not get prematurely excited this time.

The recovery hour at the hospital was a little less stressful than before as he was a bit more consolable, and his eyes were less swollen, but he did not bounce right back to his normal Rigby-self.  He spent most of yesterday on edge and easily broken-hearted.  He seems better so far today.

I'm really sorry, Rigby, that you've had to go through all this.  I saw another little cross-eyed toddler at the doctor's office recently, and he almost looked downs, although I really think it was just his eyes, so I think you'll be grateful in the long run that we had this fixed.  It's worth the pain to have depth perception and not have double vision.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Theme and Variations in R minor

Diminutives of Rigby that we call him (OK, they at least begin with "R"):
Rigs, Rig, Riggy, Rigby Bamboo, Roo, Rooster, Roost, Riggalish (think: ticklish), Rigglicious (think: delicious), Rig-a-by, Super Rigs, Super Rigby (he can sing his own theme song)

Diminutives of Bethelle that we call her:
There aren't any.  It's just Bethelle.  OK, I guess a long time ago we called her "B," "Baby B," "Beezer," or "Beezy."

note:  After reading this, Nick informs me that we have plenty of nicknames for Bethelle.  They just aren't derivatives of her name.  We call her Pretty, Princess, Beautiful, Sweatheart, Honey, etc.  They aren't derivatives of her name, but I guess they are nicknames.

second note:   I actually call her "Mommy" a lot.  She calls me "Beffelle".  This is her favorite game.