Sunday, March 30, 2008

Evil, evil stairs

Yesterday morning, both Ry and I fell down our stairs. Ry kind of slid down the last two stairs with T in his arm (I've never moved so fast). Everyone OK. Then, about 15 minutes later, I tripped on the 4th or 5th stair and landed, hard, on my left tail cheek. I have a black bruise about 2 inches by 6 inches. It woke me up every time I moved last night. Our stairs are trying to maim us.

Friday, March 28, 2008

The Colony

I justed finished The Colony by John Tayman. It is a historical narrative of the leprosy settlement on Molokai, Hawaii. While the book has come under some fire for sensationalism, it was still a fascinating read.

The settlement began in the 1860s when 12 poor people were dumped off a boat onto the Kalawao peninsula without medical care, food or supplies. During it's first years, the death rate was over 50%. The book follows the settlement through it's final years of forced exile (in the 1960s). At its height, there were over 1100 people living in the settlement. It's truly an object lesson in what happens when panic and fear overcome rationality and empathy. At the same time, some truly outstanding individuals gave their lives to make life as beautiful as possible.

Leprosy is today called Hansen's disease and is one of the least contagious infections around. 95% of people have a natural immunity to it and for the other 5%, a series of unlikely situations has to occur to become infected. Today, Hansen's disease is treated with 3 powerful doses of antibiotics. After the first dose, the person is no longer contagious and at the end of treatment, the disease is gone. Left untreated, Hansen's disease sufferers lose sensation, eyesight, and limbs. Like HIV, most people die from other complications enabled by the infection.

As of the publish date in 2006, 28 people still lived in the settlement. It has become a national park and is a testament to society's cruelty and man's compassion and selflessness. I hope to visit someday.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

If your friends are stupid ...

... and most people are ...

We had dinner with a dear friend of mine from long ago while we were in DC. She and I hung out almost continuously for several years through grade and middle school. I hadn't seen her in probably 8 years but found that we still had lots to talk about and many laughs.

As kids we had some crazy adventures. We made forts in neighbors' pine trees, spent endless hours in climbing trees, participated in a bug club, and taped hours of our own brand of crazy radio shows. I subjected Ry to an hour of one on the way home, "Sounds of Nature." Along with songs we made up were commercials, impressions, interviews and live concert feeds. One of the commercials began with the line "If your friends are stupid (and most people are) ..." Hehe. I am amazed by kid's ability to make stuff up. I have to imagine that my friend's mom had to have just shaken her head. I can't wait to see what T is going to come up with.

DC in review

T and I accompanied Ry on a business trip to DC this week. I like to think of these little trips as mini vacations. I walked my tail off this time. On Tuesday, T and I took in the traditional DC sites. Although I've been to DC twice, I didn't know that there was an FDR monument. It's really quite beautiful and covers many aspects of his presidency. Here T is joining in the depression-era soup kitchen line.

I met a really nice old dude staffing the info desk at the metro. He gave us some great out of the way kodak stops and ideas for when T gets a bit older.

We went to the zoo yesterday. It's the first free zoo I've ever been to. It did make for an interesting zoo experience. There were many more teenage hangers-out than you might normally see at the zoo. Overall, it was worth the stop, although I wouldn't plan a whole day around it.

Unfortunately, next week Ry leaves for a trip to Fort Worth, TX. Since this one involves a plane, we won't be coming.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Perfectly Average

T had his 1 year check up today. He is nearly perfectly average in every way. Today he is 30 and 3/4 inches long and weighs 22 pounds, 1 ounce. That puts him in the 55th percentile for both (and for his head circumference). Developmentally he is right on track and his physical was great. The doctor pronounced him "just perfect." My just perfect baby ...

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Another trip successfully navigated

We just returned from a long trip back home. Most of our family was there for at least part of the trip. I love returning to Oz. So many of the people we love are there.

For his part, T was charming and made everyone smile. He also finally cut 2 teeth. It's quite strange to see them poking through after a year of toothless, gummy smiles. I'm glad we've been flying with him since he was small. He travels like a champ, although the days of him flying on our laps are just about over. We'll do that once more when we go to Atlanta to see my sister graduate. Then we have to start buying 3 tickets! Yikes.

On a side note, T loves kids around his age. Yesterday we were having lunch and another woman sat at the table next to us with her son. T went crazy waving to the baby and twisting in his chair to see him. The other baby, for the record, looked confused.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

No one had to be smacked

We had a very successful baptism weekend, and no one had to be smacked. The baptism went beautifully, and T was good for the entire church service. He had a little meltdown after the service, but I think it was because he was ready to get down and play. The apre-service get together went really well. There were probably 40 people at dad and stepmom's house. Food was good, fellowship was better, and T enjoyed the entire thing. Successfully navigated.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Not quite what I was going for

T likes to push buttons on the receiver. Today I kept telling him no as he reached for the dial. Since he was pulling his hand away, I thought it was working ... until he started giggling each time I told him no.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Emporia: A Play

J and Ry are sitting in their living room. J is on the couch, scratching a crossword lotto ticket. Ry is on the loveseat, surfing the internet. J looks up at Ry quizzically.

J: Emporia? Is emporia a word? I've never seen a word on these I didn't know.

Ry: Isn't it a store with a bunch of stuff?

J: No, that's an emporium. Look it up for me?

Ry: It's killing you isn't it? A word you don't know? Welcome to my world. Ry taps a few keys on the internet. Emporia, a town in Kansas.

J: Ha! It isn't a word!

Ry: Wait, emporia, plural of emporium. Plural could be emporiums or emporia.

J: Hrm.
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