Sunday, December 28, 2008

Lazy Sunday Fun

  Hope with her first mini-shiner (courtesy of Henry)
 Our final night of Hannukah!
Snow turned to rain today, so we had a "pajama day."  Highlights included a few firsts...Hope's first black eye from her brother's "one little monkey jumping on the bed" routine, Momma Diana's first attempt at turkey loaf (not too bad!), Hope's first venture out in the backpack for our 20 minute stroll around the neighborhood, Henry's first viewing of Curious George and Momma Shannon's first slush shoveling of the season.  We're loving this holidays-at-home pace.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Happy Kids!

   
Hanukkah and Christmas spent at Deb's house brought many smiles to our kids' faces!  The wonder of cousins and Purple Grandma, friends, snow and presents aplenty.  Life is pretty good for all of us!

Celebration!

 
 

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

"...these are a few of my favorite things..."

Today's list of things I wish to share with others:

1. The free weekly podcast of "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me" from NPR (has turned my day around on many occaisions!)
2. Sun Magazine - http://www.thesunmagazine.org/ -- real voices, real people
3. Emotional Intelligence -- "more important than IQ in determining success..." Would we all were focused on these native intelligences a bit more...
4. Facebook -- I know, I know...wierd for me to say...but I was converted this fall and I have had some really interesting connections with old friends rekindled...kinda neat!
5. Rouge Brutal Bitter. My accupuncturist says stay away from beer...but this one is a family favorite!
6. A clean house. May the external environment reflect the way I wish my internal landscape to be...calmer, more congruent, organized, peaceful (try that with a toddler running around!)
7. Sun in the winter air just after fresh snow. Enough said.
8. Morning cuddles in flannel sheets -- there are studies which show our hearts entrain with others when in proximity -- I feel this when our family spends the morning cuddling together.
9. Words -- I have a few friends in particular (like Cass) who use words in ways that inspire me -- curious, creative, surprising.
10. Friendship -- how it carries on through the years, transcends distances, offers new insights, provides support, encourages growth, inspires us.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Firsts

This past week marked a few new firsts...first big snow fall, first sup-zero temperatures of the season, and first real foods for Hope. She has moved quickly from rice cereal (too bland) to the joys of sweet potato and banana! Oh, the possibilities to come!

Henry was excited for snow, quickly donning his snow suit and heading out for fun. Hope took one look outside and decided that playtime in the exersaucer was much more her speed. We are looking forward to our first family snow shoe together sometime soon!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Bountiful Gratitude

Thanksgiving always brings to mind the pause needed to be grateful for all the abundance in our lives -- so much so, that sometimes it takes my breath away.  For all the blessings of family, friendship, health, flannel sheets...I give thanks.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Hawaiian Days



A week in Kaanapali, Maui should be on everyone's list...though I know this is certainly a stretch for many. Alas, our family had the opportunity to celebrate my dad's imminent 70th birthday in sunshine and style and surf! It was delightful. Here are a few special shots of the gang.

Monday, November 17, 2008

First Family Rally



Good Morning! On Saturday, we few of us took to the corner near the Sandpoint courthouse to rally with thousands of others across the nation in support of the right of gay and lesbian people to legally marry. The Bonner Bee covered the event and this morning, there has been some interesting response from community members who disagree with our position (and seemingly our lives). I welcome you to write in so that all sides of the issue are represented.

Here is the link: http://www.bonnercountydailybee.com/articles/2008/11/16/news/doc491fa36b4912b799920187.txt#blogcomments
To learn more about the reposnse to Prop 8, see here: http://jointheimpact.wetpaint.com/?t=anon

And spread the word!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Prop 8 = Hate

So, what does it all mean for me and Shannon now that we have our marriage license but Prop 8 has passed? What does it mean for the hundreds of gay/lesbian couples who wed in the past few months, expressing vows of love and commitment to one another? Time will tell.

Today I was sent this one man's thoughts on the subject and it moved me literally to tears...(OK, so I am a little sleep-deprived)...but it moved me nonetheless: http://www.afterelton.com/blog/brianjuergens/keith-olbermann-powerful-special-comment-passing-of-proposition-8

Monday, November 10, 2008

WE DID IT!!!



Henry and Hope join in the celebration!!! Election night in Hawaii -- it doesn't get much better than this!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Anticipation

A friend sent me this photo recently taken at a pool party this summer, just days before Hope's arrival. It felt like a good representation of what's going on these days and what we have in store for us in the coming week:
1. We are off to HAWAII! Hopefully, I will look a little less rotund than in the photo...
2. We will be celebrating many birthdays -- my dad's 70th, my sister's 43rd and Shannon's 41st!
3. Henry's "mouth" has been prominent lately -- lots of talking, lots of singing, lots of new words and just poking through...two year molars!
4. And color...oh, Sandpoint looks beautiful this time of year! The autumn shades make me so happy.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Book

I just came back from watching a webinar on leadership from the Center for Creative Leadership and in it the speaker discussed commitment and accountability. He talked about that time-tested truth that once we state a goal and enlist others in support of helping us achieve our goals, we are more likely to get there...

So...without divulging too much (can't have anyone steal the idea yet), I wanted to write today about the book that I will begin working on as my 2009 personal goal. I took a first step yesterday toward this intention and asked a colleague if she would be interested/willing to collaborate with me on it and she said yes! So, henceforth...I ask my blog readership to continuously inquire, "So, Diana, how is the book going?" in order to keep me honest with my commitment.

In the meantime, I am looking for any and all insights folks have on the following:
  • How do I get a book published? (This one will be a manager's resource type book)
  • Does anyone know of a kickin' graphic designer who wants an interesting book project?
  • Could anyone share a story about the best or worst manager you ever had?

More on this project as it unfolds...

Monday, October 20, 2008

Autumn Fun





A pretty awesome weekend at the Green Bluff pumpkin patch and time with Purple Grandma. Henry was decidely thrilled by the tractors and we all enjoyed the fall colors and clean, autumnal air. Life is a busy buzz now that I am back at work full time, yet we are settling into new rhythms -- I even got myself back on the soccer field which feels like "coming home." We are on the eager countdown to Hawaii come the first of November...sun, surf and sand beckoning...

Friday, October 17, 2008

Stream of Consciousness Considerations

Watched Oprah yesterday with Billie Jean and Gloria Steinem and I have spent this morning considering our foremothers– the impact of those who fought against slavery, for the right of women to vote, for equal pay and equal access. Thinking also about postmodern feminists who eschew gender distinctions all together, considering this binary just one more ploy by the patriarchal hegemony to maintain male dominance. Considering motherhood – wondering if we have really “progressed” to arrive at the place where I can put the kids in daycare all day only to serve the corporate agenda and ensure I have a paycheck which allows me to be the good American consumer my government wants me to be. It is all a bit confusing…how and where I place value and the choices I make.

Wish today’s thoughts were a bit simpler, like the joy in Henry’s face watching the garbage truck come up the street this morning or Hope’s wide grin at 4am when I pulled her into our bed. Craving a moment of mental simplicity – a breath to settle into.

Monday, October 13, 2008

All Aboard!


Equidistant from Spokane and Sandpoint in the northeast corner of Washington State sits Ione, WA. Here, the Lion's Club sponsors a train ride through the changing autumn leaves 10 miles north to Mettaline Falls. The trip lasts about 1.5 hours and includes a stop high atop the train trestle overlooking Box Canyon Dam, a suspenseful few moments in the dark while tunneling through the mountain and the requisite train robbery (all proceeds fund the Children's Theater in Mettaline Falls). Henry was ecstatic about this adventure, though kept wanting to see the train, not understanding fully that he was actually on the train! our dear friend Margarete and Purple Grandma joined us on the adventure. Fun for all!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Sweet Hope

  
I couldn't resist!!!

Considering Harvests


With 3 pumpkins still on the vine and rhubarb not really worth the taking, the fall harvest is in. It was a pleasure having a garden this summer, despite our late start.  Buddy Barnes helped us get going with tomatoes and Shannon and I made a hasty & random selection of other starts to plant.  The results were satisfying indeed.  We had a plethora of diverse tomatoes all summer long, including prized yellow and red heirlooms and I got skilled in making salsa fresca from partially icky tomatoes and fresh jalapenos right off the plant.  A few lessons learned in the process:  cantalope and watermelon need to be planted much earlier, raccoons will find their way in even when you've tried to safeguard everything, and frost comes early in northern Idaho!

Another garden note for the season...we put out two bird feeders this year with oiled sunflower seeds and the birds in the vicinity went nuts!  In doing so, they spread the seed remnants all over the garden below and up sprung late-blooming sunflowers for all to enjoy.  I have noticed the bees getting particularly giddy at the sight of these big yellow wonders.  "Nice Teamwork," as Henry would say.  Indeed.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Back in Action...I think

Quick update as I pack up to leave work...I survived week one! As did Hope and the rest of the gang. We even managed to get Henry to gymnastics and swimming. What suffered? Well, some laundry did not get done, exercise went the way of summer and I realized today that I sometimes get so involved I forget to eat or use the toilet all day...geez, Di, balance!

But I did get turned on to Twitter... anyone else?

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Three Months Old!



Cliche or not, it does go by so fast! I am back at work now...begrudgingly...yet Hope is in good hands, as she will be spending her days with Henry at Nicole and Miranda's house. The visit to the doctor today revealed the following stats:
Height: 24.5 inches -- 90th percentile
Weight: 12lbs, 14 oz -- 75th percentile
Head: Big like Henry's

Our lil' Hope is a big, beautiful girl!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

The Joy of Two

A coupla Henry funnies:
*Recently when I asked Henry if he was ready for supper, he responded affirmatively with, "Yeah, Babe!" (Hmmmm, Momma Shannon and Momma Diana take note)

*Watched Chitty, Chitty Bang Bang recently? Just come to our house -- Henry is obsessed with it and demands regularly that Shannon and I sing the songs from it to him. He is especially fond of our remake of "Truly Scrumptious" in which we sing "Henry scrumptious, he's very, very scrumptious..." and then proceed, with Henry's guidance, to sing about all family members, friends, pets, modes of transportation...this morning I found myself singing, "Spiders and flies are truly, truly scrumptious..." Whoa.

*Henry, now two, is long-sinced weaned, but the other morning he was watching me breastfeed Hope and he asked me for a drink. I told him, "No, this is a special drink; not for Henry," to which he replied, "Oh, like beer?" Exactly.

Last Ventures

Huge update...so much going on both in our family life and in our nation. Here's an update for all of you, like me, who are fiercely avoiding looking at our investment portfolio and need a welcome distraction as you await tonight's debate. Can you believe this is all really happening? I heard today that Barak is moving ahead in the polls in the swing states -- thank goodness. Now, onto the update:
First things first, Happy Rosh Hashana -- may the New Year bring change of which we can be proud, health and blessings to you and your families.
Secondly, Shannon, Purple Grandma, Henry and Hope and I ventured out to Seattle and Lopez Island for a pre-return-to-work visit. While fast and furious as always, the trip reminded us of how wonderful our friends are in Seattle, how much we miss them desperately AND how beautiful Sandpoint is. We marveled at the landscape coming back over the Long Bridge and vowed to stay present in our appreciation of this beautiful and calm place for as long as we are here.
Trip highlights included the fixing of the yurt skylight dome, Henry getting to ride the Kubota excavator, Holly B's bakery treats, an evening of political back-n-forth with our friends Cass and Lynn, a morning on the Puget Sound Stand Up Paddle Surfing with Cass (yep, it was just that cool of a trip...check out these sites for some insight --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stand_up_paddle_surfing and http://www.paddlesurf.net/), a fabulous evening of friends at Tammy and Lisa's house and beautiful, beautiful late September weather.
Here are a few good shots of Henry in large truck bliss:

Lastly, I am back to work on Monday, full of all the expected ambivalence. Hope is growing steadily and we have just begun settling into routines. I anticipate the range of emotions - longing, guilt, relief, gratitude...all things. It is often said, but bears repeating: Time flies, enjoy every moment, stay present. Ahhh, my heart just opened and tears are pushing from behind my eyes, How I do love this little girl!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Our Lil' Biker

So many people commented on Henry's musical prowess that I am inspired to include a quick short of him on his new bike...watch it, I promise you will get a giggle!
video

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Surprise, Surprise

So this morning I had the luxury of free time (both kids in daycare) and I decided to enjoy the last few days before winter sets in to these northern lands (yes, there was snow aplenty on the mountain this morning!). So off I trekked 3.5 miles up to the top of Mickinick, a wonderful hike overlooking Sandpoint, and just as I rounded the bend up top, I came face to face with a huge bull moose! Funny, I had been singing aloud during the hike in the possible anticipation of seeing a bear -- but for some reason I was totally unprepared to see a moose! Rustling in the trees close by indicated more moose friends were about, so I turned quickly for my trip down the trail.
Lesson: You can prepare for many possibilities, even strategize for them, but surprises will still be waiting around the corner. This is life for ya...
Final Thought: This moose encounter, combined with the fact that I held a special needs child this morning and put gas in my car (crude oil experience?) should position me well to run for vice president in a future election, dontcha think?

Monday, September 22, 2008

For Serious Henry Fans

Our wonderful friend and day care provider Nicole has been chronicling the activities of the kids during the day in her Day Care Diaries.  For those who want a bit more of Henry, here he is...in action: www.mirandaripley.com/category/day-care-diaries/  
Enjoy!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Henry at the Mic

video

Hope has Two Mommas

 
A great moment last week when Hope officially got two mommas!  Much less drama this time, as we had the same cool judge who officiated over Henry's adoption.  North Idaho's "redstateness" just got a little bluer...

Friday, September 19, 2008

Power of the Vote

It was recently brought to my attention that my family and I will be on vacation during the upcoming, historic presidential election week. So, a reminder to any of you reading who might also be traveling during this critical time: absentee ballot!

If you are an Idaho resident, here is what you need to do: http://fvap.gov/resources/media/vagID.pdf

Whatever you do, please VOTE! (OK, I want to insert an editorial here about the importance of doing your homework on the candidates first and REALLY understanding the potentially damning impact that a conservative agenda for the next four years might have on our country...but I refrain)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

White Privilege

One of my favorite articles that I have used in life and in academic settings is Peggy McIntosh's "White Privilege; Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack." Today a friend sent this article by Tim Wise which I found very resonant with McIntosh's ideology:

This is Your Nation on White Privilege By Tim Wise9/13/08

For those who still can’t grasp the concept of white privilege, or who are constantly looking for some easy-to-understand examples of it, perhaps this list will help.White privilege is when you can get pregnant at seventeen like Bristol Palin and everyone is quick to insist that your life and that of your family is a personal matter, and that no one has a right to judge you or your parents, because “every family has challenges,” even as black and Latino families with similar “challenges” are regularly typified as irresponsible, pathological and arbiters of social decay. White privilege is when you can call yourself a “fuckin’ redneck,” like Bristol Palin’s boyfriend does, and talk about how if anyone messes with you, you'll “kick their fuckin' ass,” and talk about how you like to “shoot shit” for fun, and still be viewed as a responsible, all-American boy (and a great son-in-law to be) rather than a thug.White privilege is when you can attend four different colleges in six years like Sarah Palin did (one of which you basically failed out of, then returned to after making up some coursework at a community college), and no one questions your intelligence or commitment to achievement, whereas a person of color who did this would be viewed as unfit for college, and probably someone who only got in in the first place because of affirmative action.White privilege is when you can claim that being mayor of a town smaller than most medium-sized colleges, and then Governor of a state with about the same number of people as the lower fifth of the island of Manhattan, makes you ready to potentially be president, and people don’t all piss on themselves with laughter, while being a black U.S. Senator, two-term state Senator, and constitutional law scholar, means you’re “untested.”White privilege is being able to say that you support the words “under God” in the pledge of allegiance because “if it was good enough for the founding fathers, it’s good enough for me,” and not be immediately disqualified from holding office--since, after all, the pledge was written in the late 1800s and the “under God” part wasn’t added until the 1950s--while believing that reading accused criminals and terrorists their rights (because, ya know, the Constitution, which you used to teach at a prestigious law school requires it), is a dangerous and silly idea only supported by mushy liberals.White privilege is being able to be a gun enthusiast and not make people immediately scared of you.White privilege is being able to have a husband who was a member of an extremist political party that wants your state to secede from the Union, and whose motto was “Alaska first,” and no one questions your patriotism or that of your family, while if you're black and your spouse merely fails to come to a 9/11 memorial so she can be home with her kids on the first day of school, people immediately think she’s being disrespectful.White privilege is being able to make fun of community organizers and the work they do--like, among other things, fight for the right of women to vote, or for civil rights, or the 8-hour workday, or an end to child labor--and people think you’re being pithy and tough, but if you merely question the experience of a small town mayor and 18-month governor with no foreign policy expertise beyond a class she took in college--you’ re somehow being mean, or even sexist.White privilege is being able to convince white women who don’t even agree with you on any substantive issue to vote for you and your running mate anyway, because all of a sudden your presence on the ticket has inspired confidence in these same white women, and made them give your party a “second look.”White privilege is being able to fire people who didn’t support your political campaigns and not be accused of abusing your power or being a typical politician who engages in favoritism, while being black and merely knowing some folks from the old-line political machines in Chicago means you must be corrupt.White privilege is being able to attend churches over the years whose pastors say that people who voted for John Kerry or merely criticize George W. Bush are going to hell, and that the U.S. is an explicitly Christian nation and the job of Christians is to bring Christian theological principles into government, and who bring in speakers who say the conflict in the Middle East is God’s punishment on Jews for rejecting Jesus, and everyone can still think you’re just a good church-going Christian, but if you’re black and friends with a black pastor who has noted (as have Colin Powell and the U.S. Department of Defense) that terrorist attacks are often the result of U.S. foreign policy and who talks about the history of racism and its effect on black people, you’re an extremist who probably hates America.White privilege is not knowing what the Bush Doctrine is when asked by a reporter, and then people get angry at the reporter for asking you such a “trick question,” while being black and merely refusing to give one-word answers to the queries of Bill O’Reilly means you’re dodging the question, or trying to seem overly intellectual and nuanced.White privilege is being able to claim your experience as a POW has anything at all to do with your fitness for president, while being black and experiencing racism is, as Sarah Palin has referred to it a “light” burden.And finally, white privilege is the only thing that could possibly allow someone to become president when he has voted with George W. Bush 90 percent of the time, even as unemployment is skyrocketing, people are losing their homes, inflation is rising, and the U.S. is increasingly isolated from world opinion, just because white voters aren’t sure about that whole “change” thing. Ya know, it’s just too vague and ill-defined, unlike, say, four more years of the same, which is very concrete and certain.White privilege is, in short, the problem.

Monday, September 15, 2008

All Words and No Photos a Boring Blog Does Make...

I have the two kids home this morning...wow...doubling the child ratio certainly adds a geometric expansion of the energy and activity around this house. I am stealing a few moments away to update the blog with a few recent events...can't be all politics and no cuteness...
Here's Hope smiling, now 9 weeks old!
Momma Shannon with Henry at swim class
Momma Di and Henry doing a tamdem slide...fun!
The reality of only 3 more weeks of leave has me of mixed emotions! Hope and I really starting to find our stride -- alas, work bekons. Trying to take full advantage of this time, I have in fact begun the scrapbooking program...Hope's is now underway and Henry's is slated for this week. Creativity does make me feel more alive!