Monday, February 28, 2011

Goodbye February

My darling daughter realized I had cologne on this evening and spent several seconds burying her nose in my chest.  You could hear her inhale loudly each time!  It was really funny.

She learned to ride her rocking horse today, too.

Cora made a delicious roast for dinner.  She took care of the kid all day long, managed to do some house work...AND made dinner!  I'm telling you, she is completely awesome!  You should have a look at what she did before 8AM this morning!

This is how the angel looked several days ago...cute, ain't she?

Super Girl

Either she is impersonating some super hero or, maybe, that's her rendition of cupid.  Either way, I say she's the cutest little sleeping angel ever.

Despite that, I am in doubt about the utility of Monday.  I think we should have two Saturdays and skip Monday.  It seems like this would eliminate the Monday blues and a lot of people (myself included) would be much happier.  For some reason I did not want to leave my comfy warm bed this morning.  Unfortunately, no one is going to call a substitute in for the substitute...well, they could, and they would, but I still would not get paid for it.  Stupid money.

Well, no one thinks money is stupid if you have enough, huh?

Boy, I sure am profound before the caffeine kicks in.  I had probably better go on to other things rather than expose myself as a grouchy, grumpy, whiny, tired person.  too late.  My fingers just keep tapping keys!  Do they have no shame?

Here, let me distract you with a pretty picture.
Yes, She's beautiful.

And, while I go get ready to go to work to warp young minds, here's a final pretty picture...something I took several months ago.  In the meantime, have a nice day...even if it is a Monday.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Let The Child Sleep!

For the love of Mike!  It took a VERY long time to put the child down today.  She was quite obviously tired, and would do naught but scream.  We went through everything in our arsenal and she finally succumbed, either to exhaustion or our force of will.  It was a tremendous and heroic fight.

Our next door neighbor passed away several months ago.  His house, a decrepit, decaying home from seven or eight decades ago, sat slowly dying beside ours awaiting someone who would buy it and either tear it down and start again or repair it.  We were secretly hoping for the former.  Unfortunately, the people who bought it, decided to fix it up.

It is not a happy home.  It has been added on to several times.  It has no foundation...or rather had no foundation.  It sags.  It has not been re-roofed for...well, I'm guessing it's 20 year roofing is about 20 years late for replacement.  It is not uncommon, after a stiff breeze, to find part of the house in our yard, generally, but not always, shingles from the roof.  It has not been painted for a very long time.  If it isn't leaded paint that flakes from it's leprous sides, it is not far removed from lead paint.  When electricity came to the world, it appears that the electrician added it to the exterior of the home, injecting sockets through the walls.  It is a sickly, Frankenstein's Monster of a home, with parts seemingly grafted upon it without thought for aesthetics or things such as matching.

The people who bought it are fixing it.  SLOWLY.  They work at it seven days a week.  And lately they have been noisier and noisier.  They seem to have succeeded in their attempt to squeeze a foundation under it, but continue to work on that monstrosity that somehow maintains it's house costume.  They continue to work.  Noisily through nap time.

While Chloe is a sound sleeper, it nevertheless worries me that they might wake that little angel that happens to be blessed with a wicked set of lungs.  So, kindly LET THE CHILD SLEEP!!!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

A Good Day

 I had a good day.  I took my daughter...and my wife... for a shopping day.  Cora got to spend part of the day with her sister and I got to take care of my lovely daughter whilst they shopped.  Chloe and I walked through the mall and the bookstore and had some father/daughter time.  It was really nice.  She was bored by the books.  So, we walked around the rest of the mall.  I realized why I don't frequent the mall anymore:  I don't have enough tatoos (NONE).  Some of those people are just...well, you just have to think the mall is better than the trailer park.

So, the mall got to be a bit much, too much teenage hormones, so Chloe and I went out to the car, where she gave me, within minutes of our arrival, a lovely full diaper.  I know youa re going to say, "It's called parenthood," or "That's what you get for being a parent."  But, COME ON!!!  The diaper was bursting at the seams!  It is amazing things didn't just come right out!!

I have learned some things in the past month or so, like, place the clean diaper under the old one before opening the old one...just in case child decides to pee upon opening to fresh air.  Yeah, check!  I got it!  It never occurred to me that the diaper might be SO full that it might contaminate the new diaper!  Add to that a wiggler, and SHE IS! and WOW!  Trouble!  I managed to contain the contaminants, but not the horrible scent.  Still, the new diaper was...well, contaminated.  I then took semi-naked child on a search for plastic bags within the car.  That way we could contain the hazardous waste.  We finally found a bag and I managed to contain the worst of it.  Just as Mom and Aunt were departing the mall.  Lucky me.

Still, it was good to spend some time with my adorable daughter!  She is SOO sweet!  I mean, have a look!  In the picture above, she is trying some potato that Cora is giving her.  and below, she is sleeping like an angel!  
 Below this, is a view of the sunset we witnessed on the way home. I love my camera.  I love my wife.  I love my sister-in-law, and I love my daughter.  All is well!  I hope you have a happy weekend!  Oh, that's Mount Adams in the distance.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Our Little Dragon...

Chloe was in a mood tonight.  She was not happy with much of anything.  She DID eat quite a lot, but, even though she is tired, she continues to argue with sleep as I type.  Ahh, the life of it ALL waiting for the next poo or the next nap?

I subbed in a middle school today.  The eighth graders were a decent lot.  I was entertained by them a little.  Which is to say listening to their petty bickering is not boring.

I am glad the weekend is finally here.  Maybe it will warm up a little.  It dawned sunny enough, but the temperature remained COLD!  Even at three in the afternoon, sun shining bright off to the west a little, it was frigid enough to cut through my slacks and shirt.  I walked quickly to the truck, and drove home with the heat on high.

It was beautiful, but did I take my camera?  Nope.  And I should have.  It was the first time I have seen the smudge pots actually burning.  For those of you who don't know, smudge pots are an invention that farmers here use to ward off frosts that may damage buds.  Now, this is a little early in the year, but, we had some warm temps earlier this week, and it would not surprise me if the soft fruits were fooled into bursting forth into life a little early.  So, the farmers had the smudge pots lit and burning.  The air was not as clear as we are used to here in the was more like...well, Beijing.  Yeah, the first day.  It looked like LA forty years a little bit more.  It was a pall of black hanging on the horizon.  The sky went from light yellow at the top of the pass to a burnt umber at the bottom.  I could actually smell the smoke, it was thick and acrid, like coal smoke.

OK, it didn't look like this picture of the Great Wall, it was actually sunnier and clearer on the wall than it was that first day in Beijing. (I'm pretty sure Cora took this one, it's a good picture, and it came from her camera!)
So, there, you can sort of visualize the heavy overcast of blackened air that hung over the freeway that I drove over.

And, because I would certainly hear about it, here is the requisite picture of Chloe.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Another Day, Another Giggle

Sitting here in the morning while I attempt to soak in some caffeine, it is not uncommon to hear the movements of Chloe on the baby monitor.  Often, we get a good laugh out of her apparent acrobatics and athletic attempts at hurling items from her crib, only to turn around and realize she REALLY liked those things in her crib moments later.  

She is a very happy little girl and all month long we have been treated to more and more of her giggles, chuckles, laughs, and grins.  The first few nights back, it was like we were putting her in solitary confinement the way she cried.  Then, about the third night there was much less crying and more playing.  Then giggles could be heard from the monitor.  She fancies herself a comedic genius the way she laughs at her own doings. I wish we had a video monitor at times for the simple fact that I'd like to see what the hell is so funny!

Last night her crib sounded like there was a war going on.  There were several impacts that just made us get up and check.  We KNOW we don't put anything really heavy in with her, but she must have been giving them a significant velocity to be getting noises like that!  I edged the door open and stuck part of my face in so I could see with one eye.  The night light illuminated the scene.  There in the fog created by the vaporizer, were two immediately visible casualties.  Then, as I watched, a third appeared.  All sprawled on the floor in sickening positions.  I saw movement in the crib and saw that the little lady was bending to retrieve more ammo.  I moved so Cora could see the devastation.  It was a sad, sad vision she saw:  Two stuffed pandas laying in un-natural contortions, their heads and bodies turned in painful cotton-stuffed spasms.  Two blankets lay collapsed on the floor, not moving.  A pillow lay leaning against the bed, it was in bad shape.  The seahorse was somewhere off in the haze, face down.  It was a sad sad sight.  

It seemed about that time that she realized she had thrown a prized possession out (her pink lovie) and she let out the beginnings of a cry.  We quickly relented and returned the lovie to her and lay her back down.  She rewarded us with a few more giggles and then promptly fell asleep.

She shows SO MUCH personality on a daily basis, personality may start leaking out from under the doors!  She loves to be pretty.  She loves to look at herself in the mirror.  She likes to play with the things in her hair, sometimes taking bows or ponytails out and then wanting them back in.  She loves the mirror.  Below, you can see her expression as Mom put a pony in her hair.  She seems to be saying, "You aren't doing it right, Mom!" with her eyes.

 About the mirror.  I put it up temporarily with velcro sticky know those 3M things.  I would have been sufficient if Little Miss had not seen it as her duty to remove the mirror from the wall every chance she got.  I was annoyed at having to yell at her whenever she tried.  So, Saturday, I remedied the situation by placing six screws into the frame of the mirror, attaching it to the wall more securely than necessary, but I wanted to send a message...and if she were more than seventeen months old, she might have gotten it!  She HAS given up on trying to remove the mirror though.  She still loves the mirror, especially when she knows you are watching, it seems.

Here is a photo I doctored.  It's not a masterpiece, but I thought it was a fun picture.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


I like this photo.  Arches hold things up.  It's a strong shape.  It distributes the load in the middle to either end.  Being a parent is a bit like that.  You hold them up so they don't have to touch the ground.  On the other hand, maybe this photo is like adoption, rough and ill-formed, but there is a light at the end.

Witness our bright end.
For this week's BW Wednesday, I could not decide on what to use, so i used several in the hopes that one might be somewhat appealing to the eye.
Lighting is always helpful.  I have found over the years that a south or east facing window will often allow all the light I need for portraits.  I like the ones in the morning.  There is just more contrast to work with, but on the other hand, you can chose not to use it, move the subject out of the harsh light and use softer reflected light...

And having good subject matter helps, too.  Good subject matter makes me happy!!
She's a good reason to be happy, and she is the reason I smile.
the long road

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

One Thousand!

Who knew that I would manage 1000 posts!  When I started this blog, it was to while away the time until we managed to adopt, and possibly as a way to keep family up-dated whilst we were in-country.  Then our wait stretched beyond what we ever expected.  I never posted a lot about the adoption...that is, until the adoption.

Now I post almost exclusively about the little wonder we call Chloe.  She defies descriptive words.  Those chains that are words are anchors that pull down on the awesomeness that is our little angelic gremlin.  She is a bundle of joy, but also of challenges and smiles and puppy-dog tails and sugar and spice and she might have a snail stuck in there somewhere.  She is everything.  She is a chatterbox, and yet she has these times of intense introspection.  She is a wild girl and yet she loves to cuddle.  She gets really happy and sometimes, when things are just not right, she gets really pissed off.  She is everything.  She is perfect.

So, after 1000 posts, what have I got to show for all the effort of keeping up a blog?  What?  Are you kidding?  I have 1000 posts!  1000 examples of awesomeness.  ...and a daughter.  I am not a fantastic writer, though I always enjoyed writing classes in college.  I am a fair photographer, not Ansel Adams or Edward Weston...but fair.  I am not a rich man.  No one is handing money to write...or take photos, really...but I do have a wonderful family and lots of friends.

In observance of 1000 posts, I drew this.  I'm not sure what it means...really, I just started out with the idea of a big number 1000 in the center...then it just got all you see the T-rex has a birthday candle?  Yeah, I don't know where that comes in.

Right now I am listening to a little girl giggle at her own comedic genius.  She is talking to herself.  She is playing in a bag, rather than the awesome toy that came in it.  Whether she is playing in a bag, placing a plastic bowl on her head like a hat, or hugging a panda, or dog, or playing with the other cool toys she has found herself in ownership of, she is unendingly entertaining.  You just have to love this girl!

 By the way, Mike, Delores, she seems to like the whole bunch!!  The bag, however, was probably the best touch by Chloe's standards...just saying!  THANKS!!
Now, I need to check on dinner...something we froze a month or so ago...but neither of us remembers to pull them from the freezer in time for them to thaw.  Go figure.

I made some decent food this week.  First time I've felt up to really cooking.  Cora has done so frequently, but not me.  I made some pork stir fry and also battered and fried up some pork and threw it all together and made a decent meal.  I also made tacos...which isn't really cooking hard, but I worked hard for the stir fry and fried pork.  There I go, thinking with my belly, that seems like a pattern.

And with that the lights in my attic are beginning to fade.  Good night all, and I hope you enjoyed the first 1000 posts.

Monday, February 21, 2011

You Have No Idea

You can have no idea how awesome it is to live with a little girl, especially one who's smile can light up the room.  I wish I could tell you, but I can only share a photo that doesn't do her beautiful smile justice!

here are some others...

We also got some photos of Chloe and her cousin and her grandmother!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Trauma Drama!

The day dawned bright.  Chloe rose before dawn.  BEFORE either of us wanted to get up.  I changed her, set her back in the crib, and tried to go back to bed.  I soon slipped out of bed because I could not sleep anyway.  I turned off the monitor in the bedroom and moved to the living room and continued to listen for the daughter from there.  Soon after, she awoke in her full glory!

I whisked her off to the living room, hoping not to wake Cora, since she had risen in the middle of the night and changed the little angel while I slumbered, unaware.  So, Chloe and I shared some early morning father/daughter time.  I played with her.  I began cleaning parts of the kitchen, but soon found myself cleaning the same places over again because I was racing to stop the daughter from getting into playing in dog food, or dumping dog water.  She manages to move like a bolt of lightning, and I was a moment too late for the dog water.

 I decided she was hungry and provided some food until she was obviously finished with eating.  So, I wiped off the high chair and added Cheerios, more for her entertainment than anything else.

While she fed Toby Cheerios, I worked on the kitchen.

I decided she was being extra cute and took some pictures during this time.  Then I let her down and she got her favorite book:  "Water, Water, Everywhere."  Since I did not stop to read to her, she sat in the middle of the floor and read to me.  I am sure that's what she was doing, even though I was unable to understand the words she used.  I finally relented and joined her on the floor and read the book to her four or five times.

She was extra helpful.  I did not get much done, but I did enjoy our time together.  During this time, she was exhibiting a cough...I ignored it, since it did not seem to bother her much.

Cora got up and we began moving for the day.  We made a list of things we needed and went to town for them.  During this time, Chloe's cough kept getting a little worse.  We had her bundled, so we were confident it wasn't the blasting wind.  We bought another humidifier for the house, that's two.

I unwrapped the new humidifier only to discover it was miss-marked.  It was a bit of fakery on the part of the marketing dept.  I took it back and went to get vegetables for tacos for dinner.  I was getting ready when we noticed Chloe was rattling and wheezing.  We thought maybe we should try the humidifier and wait, but while I was in town, Cora texted me to tell me Chloe was worse and that she wanted to visit the local medical center.  I came straight home.

We took her to the medical center and met our doctor.

Here is where I need to either grow a thicker skin or perhaps a thinner one so I can correct idiots.

I know.  I am an adoptive parent.  On top of that we adopted internationally, and we have more judgments thrown upon us than a criminal!  I thought I was prepared for the stares and the questions, but I continue to be amazed by some of the questions and pronouncements.  Our doctor proceeded to pronounce her beliefs and suspicions as though they were truths.  She had no idea of Chloe's situation, nor any other orphan, yet, she chose to act as though she did.

Did I correct her or tell her she was out of line?


She kept talking.  She had not even examined poor Chloe yet!  We just wanted our Chloe to feel better.  We did not want to go on about why orphans are abandoned by their families, or other such things she seemed to think she knew about.  Perhaps it was the already long day, perhaps I was too tired to care enough at the time, but Cora and I both shared that knowing look that couples use to communicate so much.  We had our own short silent conversation while the doctor prattled on and on.  It is good to be so close to a person that you can read their mind and gestures.

Finally the doctor examined our lovely girl and pronounced that she has an ear infection!  WHAT!?  She isn't even running a fever!

We went and got some antibiotics and the little girl is safely sleeping in her crib as I write.  She awakes every fifteen minutes or so to whimper.  We have been checking her more often tonight than usual.  I think, with the vaporizer and the heat, she is feeling better.  We continue to monitor our princess' condition.

As an aside, I checked my email tonight and saw that I got two different emails for two different sites, both offering dating for singles, which isn't SO bad, but what really got me, was the fact that both were marked for a particular age group.  One was for Singles over 45, and the other was for singles over 50!  REALLY??  Two on the same day?  What did I ever do to you, dating site people!!

Tomorrow we will surely take it easy and have a lie-in.

I leave you with a few more shots.  Enjoy.

 I just looked and realized that Chloe has an odd glazed look in all these...I think she was tired, and also sick, so that is what that is, but what worries me, is I was blissfully unaware of this...I need to work on being a better dad!
Still, she managed to give us lots of giggles and chuckles and laughs and smiles today.  She is SO AWESOME!!

Friday, February 18, 2011

All the Nice People

I want to thank all the nice people I have met at work, in the street, and on-line.  I am surrounded by wonderful people.  I can't ever repay the support, both psychological and financial, that all of you have offered over the years.  I can tell you that after a month of being a father, I am glad we did it.  I would not trade her for the world!

My daughter is like a party in small-human-clothes.  We did not have the best beginnings.  She did not like me that much.  I, of course, was helpless.  I could not help but fall in love.  I waited, and I was rewarded!  Lately, she has become a real daddy-fan!  She gives me a giant smile when I walk in the door from work.  She gives me a great big smile in the morning when I walk in to get her...that is WHEN CORA isn't there first.  Now I know why she doesn't mind getting up before eight now.

I love how she enjoys being picked up and swung around and after I put her down, she raises her arms for some more.  She likes being dizzy.  She likes motion.  She is unafraid.  I like that.  I think I will finally have someone to ride roller-coasters!  And someone who will enjoy flying!  We might charter flights together.  Maybe we'll get pilots' licenses together!!  I can't wait!!  We will scare ourselves together!!  IT WILL BE AWESOME!!  (Just don't tell Cora!)

On another note, she simply adores books.  I could not have planned this.  She is perfect for this family!  Some people don't hesitate to buy golf clubs, or car parts, or hunting stuff.  We like books.  We both do.  Always have.  When we have been pinching pennies and having to say no to little extras in the past, we always had difficulty saying no to more books.  Chloe LOVES books.  She grabs them and then sits in your lap to be read to.  She is perfect!

Her laugh is so addicting.  As is her smile.  Honestly, I want to hear it all the time.  Her laugh is sort of an inward giggle that accidentally escapes in these little spurts, and they brighten the room when they come out.  In fact, the colors get a little more intense and I see's like XTC...or is that Ecstasy...anyway, it's like a drug, and I can't get enough.

So, one month down, and I hope they never ever stop!  I am glad to be a dad.  I knew I was missing something awesome.  Now I am just glad I finally got in on it!

It's completely likely that you skipped all the prose to find the pictures, and I will not let you down.  Here are a few more shots of our little angel.

 I was reading her a book this morning...
 She loves peek-a-boo!  And when it involves her lovie...well, she is a happy camper!

 oh, and then she started wearing it as a hat...
 Below is just after Mom took her pony tail out...
 She also likes pictures...
 and she likes laughing.

I cannot think of anything else that makes me this happy!  She is spectacular!

Thursday, February 17, 2011


I have recently become aware of the magic of grins.  Grins can make the world fade.  Not just any grins, but those of my darling Chloe are priceless.  Everyday, she shows us more and more smiles and she is obviously happy here.  Lately, we have been seeing many more smiles and grins and hearing that throaty giggle/laugh that we have fallen in love with more often.  

Today, when I got home she was very happy to see me!  I did not want to go to work, since her laugh and her smiles are addicting, and I am an addict.  I cannot lie, I want to see more smiles on her face.  I can't stand to see her cry.  When she laughs all those endorphins kick in and I suddenly don't want to eat, I just want to make more smiles.  I can't control myself.  Seriously, this could be worse than when those idiots began snorting bath salts. 

I had a good day subbing music in a different district.  Some of the classes were a bit over the top, and I felt that trying to follow the lesson plan would just not work, so I had them practice being quiet.  Finally, I gave that up, though, and simply offered to tell them about China.  I figured it was more educational than yelling.  Amazingly, they quieted down to hear about lizards on a stick, and starfish, and turtles and frogs and live fish for food.  I also threw in that China has an enormous population.  I think a few might actually have caught that!

I got home and saw the most beautiful smile in the world.  I got to hold her and we got to play, which still involves testing her far all experiments point toward her reacting to gravity the same as everyone else...I was hoping for an Anti-Grav Kid, but I may have to keep working on that...

We spent a lot of time trying to get her to walk, feeding her, playing with name it, and it was after she was in bed that I realized I had spent SO much time with her, but not snapped a single picture of her today...I know, reality was beginning to tear apart, but I saved us all.  I snapped one of her in bed.  It is so funny to see her in her preferred sleeping position.  She is an awesome child...I find myself wanting to wake her for another hug, but then my brain kicks in...oh, well.

Also, I kinda figured that I would be in serious trouble if I posted to my blog without posting a photo of that beautiful little girl!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Doctor Visit

We visited the doctor today and got some shots, pokes, prods and a general going over.  The good news is: Chloe is perfect!!  (I had that one figured out weeks ago!)

The flabotomist   flawbottommost...person who took her blood was probably not the best of her trade, and granted that baby arms are probably tricky, but she just could not make it work.  Took two arms, and then dug around in the second like she was doing a cadaver...well, let me tell you, this girl feels pain!!!  She was in tears, and I think that it was all her Mommy could do not to smack that lady.  I was wondering when I should step in and accidentally jab a needle in that lady's arm call attention to her inability to do her job.  Finally they took about four gallons of blood out of my sweet little girl.  We were holding her down and the lady's helper was even having a hard time being supportive of her numbskullery!  Suffice it to say that Chloe's day was traumatizing!  Still, she came through it like a trooper!  I am so proud of that little girl!

We made it home later than anticipated, however, her Grandma and Grandpa and Aunt had extra servings of dinner waiting for us.  We did not have to make dinner after the long drive.  THAT was AWESOME!!  Also, today, Chloe tried some bread and a piece of baked potato, which really seemed to be a hit!

Did I mention our little girl got her fifth tooth in?  Yeah, came in a couple days ago.  She still likes to chew on very few items, but the toy in the picture is one of the few things she's tried.

We've been back nearly three weeks!  In that time Chloe has begun trying new foods, gotten a new tooth, and started standing on her own.  She is simply amazing.  She is a miracle.

Has our "agency" bothered to call or even e-mail to say, "Hi, how are ya doin'?" in that three weeks?  NOPE.  Not one little iota of support.  Not even a slight interest.  No sign that they even remember we exist.  If they ever call, I am tempted to explain that we sent Chloe back to China, but I doubt they'll call.  Plus, I try to be decent, even though they make me madder then hell.  If there is a God in the sky, he will visit upon them some sort of reckoning!  If not...well, life just isn't fair, and I have a problem with that. 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Another Day Older

Sometimes, you look at your photos and say, "Nah, I've got nuthin'."  You think, damn, this doesn't work.  Then, a few weeks later, you think, "Ya know, maybe I should revisit those photos and see if there's something I can do for them."  And sure enough, you can.  Take the photo above.  It's a photo of a temple in Beijing.  We were driving past it at a pretty good clip.  Our driver seemed intent on establishing some sort of record for "nearly hitting" pedestrians, so he needed to keep his speed up.  This was the second photo of three I took.  It had the right pieces, one had a tree IN the temple, and the other had a light pole right next to it.  It didn't work well in color, but take away those colors and WOW!  Not too shabby!

The picture below is the "Longest Corridor in China," of which our guide was extolling virtues.  I thought, Jeez, I should take a good picture of this, but the greens and the reds seemed to cause the picture to lose something.  I tried black and white, and wow, it pops.
I used to follow the views of a former photography teacher of mine:  Digital will never survive.  I realized I was wrong several years ago, when I noticed just how many pictures you could take with very little cost.  Also, the fact that retouching these photos on computer took just minutes when in the dark room, it took many hours of trial and error...mostly error, though, I seemed blessed with a decent sense of time.  I mean, while my cohorts took numerous test strips, narrowing down the amount of time for an exposure, I managed to luck into the perfect exposure for my paper within a surprisingly short amount of cohorts could be seen to hurriedly run back into the darkroom after gazing upon their newly developed images...maybe they were more picky, or maybe I was lucky.  I don't know.  I always got A's.  

So, I am in love with digital photography and my Nikon.  I am, however, realizing some short comings of my computer...very small hard drive.  Glad we have portables!!

So, below is Little Miss in my favorite hat that she owns...err...does that make sense?  It is as though she is talking into her radio about the oncoming enemy!  "Roger that, Red Taco, the slide is under siege!  I repeat, the slide is under siege!  We need reinforcements!!!"

Chloe has been very awesome lately.  Only tonight, she stood up, unaided, by herself for the first time!  She followed THAT trick up with a series of 4 or 5 steps, which puts her walking by week's end!  I tell you, the kid is a genius!!  

the long road