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Brenden is 9 months old!

1/30/2007 Category :General 1

Man the time is going fast. That is one thing that everyone tells you and you think you understand, but you really don’t until it happens. Brenden had a great checkup today where the doctor stressed several times that he is a big boy! Here are the stats : 30 1/2 inches long (75 %)  and 20 lbs 9.2 oz  (50%). He got his finger pricked for an anemia test and didn’t cry at all for that. He only cried for a second when he got his two shots, one for polio and the booster flu shot. He did really great! Even if it did take 3 of us to hold him stillish.
He won’t go back for another checkup until May 1st, the day after he turns 1. Right now he’s working on 3 teeth that are coming in and getting more confident with cruising. He gets into absolutely everything and won’t stay still for diaper or clothing changes (unless it is for Patrick).

He has finally, thanks in large part to my parents being patient and consistent, started to get into eating solids. I started at 5 months, but he ws never very excited about anything. Then when we went to NYC we didn’t take solids and when we came home he pretty much refused to open his mouth for anything other than applesauce. But now he is eating some finger foods and lots of baby foods. The doctor recommended starting on table food with him now.


Brenden today after the doctor visit.


Brenden a few days ago posing for his own personal gap ad! Kelli won this jacket for him at a charity auction for her work. It is still a smidge big one him, but if he doesn’t wear it now, it will be a crop jacket by the time the arms fit him!

Brenden goes to the zoo

1/28/2007 Category :General 1

We had a lazy morning Saturday. Kelli had spent the night with me and as we walked her out to her car, we noticed that it was a really beautiful day. We decided to postpone our homework until today (which we have now finished) and head to the Dallas Zoo.

In the time it took to shower, gather all of Brenden’s stuff wait for him to wake up from his nap and drive to Dallas, the weather turned a bit chilly, but still bearable. So we set off to explore the zoo. I can’t say that Brenden paid attention to many of the animals. He was still sleepy for some reason and he was more interested in the people. He did laugh at some pink birds in a tree and sort of looked at the kangaroos, but kept missing them bounce! Patrick and I had fun though! By the time we left, a little over two hours later when the zoo was closing, it had become very chilly and I was happy to head indoors!

We go to his 9 month appointment on Tuesday, more posting to ensue.


He looks very jaunty in this hat! Apparently Patrick decided I shouldn’t be in pictures, he cut me off 🙂


He only wanted to look at the fish after we got up and were going to leave them. He loves looking at the sad little fish we have at home….


He was just too cute in this outfit he got for Christmas. He’s usually a much more cas kind of baby, but we went fancy for the zoo! We saw punk babies, hippy babies, preppy babies. It is so funny to me how parents put their personality into the kids outfits!


1/17/2007 Category :General 1

When I was in AP English my senior year, my teacher gave the class a list of books that she felt all college-bound students should read. I vowed I would read every one of them before I died, and then I never looked at the list again. But I kept it. And I thought of it recently and pulled it out. I haven’t made much progress on the list, but I was able to say that I’d read a few of them. So I am renewing my vow—at least to read as many as I can. There are some I’ve never heard of and some I’ve tried to read and know that I don’t like, but there are just as many that I’m looking foward to reading just as soon as my reading is no longer a required thing. Though there are a few I will be knocking off this semester.

Since I know my family and a large majority of my friends love to read, I thought I’d post the list with the books I’ve read noted. Feel free to make suggestions for additons.

* = I have read
Wold Literature
The Bible
The Orestei Trilogy: Agamemnon, The Libation Bearers, The Eumenides-Aeschylus
Pere Goriot-Honore de Balzac
The Stranger, The Plague-Albert Camus
Don Quixoite-Miguel de Cervantes
The Cherry Orchard, The Sea Gull, Three Sisters-Anton Chekhov
Madame Curie-Eve Curie
The Inferno-Dante
Crime and Punishment,The Brothers Karamazov-Fyodor Dostoevsky
The Three Musketeers, The Count of Monte Cristo-Alexander Dumas
Medea *-Euripides
Madame Bovary-Gustave Flaubert
The Diary of a Young Girl *-Anne Frank
The Prophet, Tears and Laughter- Kahil Gilbran
Kon-Tiki, The Ra Expedition, Aku-Aku-Thor Heyerdahl
The Illiad *, The Odyssey *-Homer
Les Miserables, The Hunchback of Notre Dame- Victor Hugo
Steppenwolf-Herman Hesse
An Enemy of the People, A Doll’s House-Henrik Ibsen
The Metamorphosis, The Trial- Franz Kafka
The Prince-Machiavelli
Death in Venice, Buddenbrooks-Thomas Mann
Short Stories-Guy de Maupassant
The Misanthrope, The Would-Be Gentleman-Moliere
All Quiet on the Western Front, Bobby Deerfield (Heaven Has No Favorites-original title)-Erich Maria Remarque
Giants in the Earth- O. E. Rolvaag
Cyrano de Bergerac-Edmond Rostand
The Little Prince, Wind, Sand & Stars – Antoine de St. Exuprey
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, Cancer Ward- Alexander Solzhenitsyn
The Hobbit *, The Lord of the Rings, Silmarillion- J. R. R. Tolkien
Resurrection, War and Peace, Anna Karenina-Leo Tolstoy
Fathers and Sons-Ivan Turgenev
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea-Jules Vern
Oedipus Rex *, Antigone *-Sophocles
Mythology, The Greek Way, The Roman Way- Edith Hamilton

British Literature
Pride and Prejudice-Jane Austen
Jane Eyre-Charlotte Bronte
Wuthering Heights-Emily Bronte
Sonnets from the Portuguese-Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Poems *-Robert Browning
The Pilgrim’s Progress-John Bunyan
The Way of All Flesh-Samuel Butler
The Canterbury Tales *-Jeffery Chaucer
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner *-Samual Taylor Colridge
Lord Jim-Joseph Conrad
Robinson Crusoe-Daniel Defoe
Great Expectations *, A Tale of Two Cities *, Oliver Twist, David Copperfield-Charles Dickens
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Rebecca-Daphne DuMaurier
Silas Marner-George Eliot
The French Lieutenant’s Woman, The Magus-John Fowles
The Forsyte Saga-John Galsworthy
The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire-Edward Gibbon
Lord of the Flies *-William Golding
She Stoops to Conquer, The Deserted Village-Oliver Goldsmith
The Mayor of Casterbridge, Far From the Madding Crowd *, Tess of the d’Urbervilles, Return of the Native, Jude the Obscure-Thomas Hardy
Green Mansions-W. H. Hudson
Brave New World-Aldous Huxley
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Ulysses-James Joyce
Poems-John Keats
Captains Courageous, Kim-Rudyard Kipling
The Screwtape Letters-C.S. Lewis
Sons and Lovers, Lady Chatterly’s Lover- D. H Lawrence
Morte d’Arthur-Sir Thomas Malory
Of Human Bondage, The Razor’s Edge-Somerset Maugham
Faustus *-Christopher Marlowe
Paradise Lost *, Paradise Regained, Areopagitica-John Milton
Utopia-Thomas Moore
Animal Farm, 1984-George Orwell
Cry, The Beloved Country-Alan Paton
The Rape of the Lock-Alexander Pope
Ivanhoe-Sir Walter Scott
Julius Caesar *, Macbeth *, Hamlet *, Othello *, Romeo and Juliet *, A Midsummer Nights’s Dream *, The Taming of the Shrew *-William Shakespeare
Pygmalion, Androcles and the Lion *, Caesar and Cleopatra, Saint Joan-George Bernard Shaw
Frankenstein *-Mary Shelley
The Rivals, The School for Scandal-Richard B. Sheridan
Kidnapped, Treasure Island-Robert Louis Stevenson
Queen Victoria-Lytton Strachey
Gulliver’s Travels-Jonathan Swift
Poems-Alfred Lord Tennyson
Vanity Fair-William Thackeray
The Once and Future King, The Book of Merlin-T.H. White
Poems *-William Wordsworth

American Literature
Swiftwater-Paul Annixter
Nobody Knows My Name, Go, Tell it on the Moutain, The Fire Next Time-James Baldwin
Herzog, Henderson the Rain King, Humbolt’s Gift-Saul Bellow
Fahrenheit 451-Ray Bradbury
The Good Earth-Pearl S. Buck
Silent Soring, The Sea Around Us-Rachel Carson
My Antonia, Death Comes to the Archbishop-Willa Cather
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Innocents Abroad, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, Roughing It- Samuel L. Clemens (Mark Twain)
The Last of the Mohicans, The Deerslayer-James Fenimore Cooper
The Red Badge of Courage-Stephen Crane
Life with Father-Clarence Day
Poems-Emily Dickinson
The Story of Philosophy-Will Durant
An American Tragedy-Theodore Dreiser
The Invisible Man-Ralph Ellison
Essays-Ralph Waldo Emerson
As I Lay Dying, The Sound and The Fury-William Faulkner
The Great Gatsby *- F. Scott Fitzgerald
Autobiography-Benjamin Franklin
Poems *-Robert Frost
The Scarlet Letter *, The House of the Seven Gables-Nathaniel Hawthorne
The Old Man and The Sea, For Whom the Bell Tolls, A Farewell to Arms-Ernest Hemingway
Hiroshima, A Single Pebble-John Hersey
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow-Washington Irving
The Rise of Silas Lapham, A Modern Instance-William Dean Howells
The Turn of the Screw, Daisy Miller, The American, The Portrait of a Lady-Henry James
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest-Ken Kesey
The Story of My Life-Helen Keller
Andersonville-MacKinley Kantor
A Separate Peace *-John Knowles
The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail, Inherit the Wind- Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee
Arrowsmith, Babbit, Main Street-Sinclair Lewis
To Kill a Mockingbird *-Harper Lee
The Ugly American-William Lederer
The Call of the Wild-Jack London
J. B. –Archibald MacLeish
Spoon River Anthology-Edgar Lee Masters
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, A Member of the Wedding-Carson McCullers
Moby Dick-Herman Melville
Death of a Salesman *, The Crucible *-Arthur Miller
Bridges at Toko-Ri, Hawaii, The Source-James Michner
The Octopus-Frank Norris
The Emperor Jones, A Long Day’s Journey into Night, Desire Under the Elms, A Moon for the Misbegotten-Eugene O’Neill
The Yearling-Marjorie K. Rawlings
Poems-Edwin Arlington Robinson
Catcher in the Rye *- J. D. Salinger
The People, Yes. Abraham Lincoln-Carl Sandburg
The Human Comedy-William Saroyan
The Jungle-Upton Sinclair
The Red Pony, The Grapes of Wrath, Travels with Charley, Of Mice and Men, The Pearl-John Steinbeck
The Agony and the Ecstasy-Irving Stone
Uncle Tom’s Cabin-Harriet B. Stowe
Walden, Civil Disobedience *-Henry D. Thoreau
Thurber, Carnival, My Life and Hard Times-James A. Thurber
Trinity, Exodus, QBVII-Leon Uris
Up From Slavery-Booker T. Washington
Leaves of Grass-Walt Whitman
All the King’s Men, A Place to Come To-Robert Penn Warren
Our Town *, The Skin of Our Teeth-Thorton Wilder
Summer and Smoke, The Glass Menagerie, A Streetcar Named Desire, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof-Tennessee Williams
The Friendly Persuasion, Except for Me and Thee-Jessamyn West
Look Homeward, Angel-Thomas Wolfe
Black Boy-Richard Wright

The biggest loser

1/17/2007 Category :General 2

Patrick and I started a New Year’s weight loss competition to help us get in shape. I am currently winning, but that is only because so far, Patrick isn’t competiting! We are both somewhat competitive, so I thought this would help keep us on track, but so far, not really.

So I found this picture to help inspire me and I’m gonna win! I don’t generally think I’m very photogenic, but I like this picture.


I see the light…it’s dim, but I see it

1/14/2007 Category :General 2

When I left school back in ’01, I had about 15 hours left to complete my journalism degree. When I went back last year, I figured that I had about 30 hours to complete a degree in English instead. Somehow, that number just kept growing until it seemed like maybe I’d never finish. Especially after a frustrating advising session at the end of last semester. But I sat down this past Thursday and finally got it all planned out on paper.

I’m taking 4 classes starting this Wed. I’ll have two American Literature classes, Spanish 3 and social psychology (to complete my psych minor). This summer I will take two classes leaving me 12 hours for the Fall. Then….graduation. Then I can finally start being whatever it is I’m going to be when I grow up! Too bad that when I told my advisor what I was interested in doing he told me repeatedly that I should just write childrens books because I could use my psychology and writing skills for that. And while I would love to do that, I can’t exactly just whip up a book and earn a living. And whatever happened to being supportive? Oh well, who needs him! I’ve got a great support system when it comes to giving encouragement on finishing up with school.

So maybe it has taken longer to finish up school than I ever thought it would take me, I’m doing it. And I do believe that often it is the things that are hard that are worth the most.

The tooth fairy

1/12/2007 Category :General 0

Brenden has his first tooth coming in. It started yesterday and is slowly pushing it’s way up. We can actually see it and feel it. Teething Brenden=Cranky Brenden, but he has been making up for it by giving me lots of kisses with sound effects and lots of his version of raspberries. It’s pretty cute. And just enough not to make me wanna run screaming from a house of crazy dogs and a teething baby:)

And as of last Saturday night, he is occassionally using the furniture to help him with walking! He grabs the couch and takes a few steps to the side or moves from the couch to the side table. He’s very busy, he’s got places to go!

Brenden the movie star

1/2/2007 Category :General 3

Here is a cute video of Brenden playing peekaboo with his Grandfather (my Dad) on Christmas day. For some reason, he thought my Dad covering him up with the quilt was the most hilarious thing in the world.

In case anyone wonders what I do with my day, here I try to keep up with Brenden as he uses his mad skillz to explore some of his new Christmas toys. It may be just a little long, sorry about that if it is.


And finally, a retro look at Brenden on his first day home from the hospital with commentary by Patrick.


Happy New Year!

1/1/2007 Category :General 0

Patrick and I spent a quiet New Year’s Eve at home playing board games. May sound boring to some, but we had fun. For probably only the second time ever I beat him at Trivial Pursuit! And I beat him good! We just got the 80s editon for christmas and I was on a role! But then he paid me back by crushing me in the Monopoly here and now game that we played. He won free parking about 4 times and one of those times there was over $50 million in the middle. Neither of us like to lose, so I have a feeling a rematch will happen.

Speaking of not liking to lose, starting today, we are having a competition to see which of us can lose the biggest % of the weight we need to lose. We both need the motivation, so hopefully making it a showdown will help.

Patrick has to go back to work tomorrow, but I’m at home until the 17th.