Friday, July 29, 2005

One year ago today

I was almost fully dilated and the L&D nurse told me I would have my first child by lunchtime. What a difference a year makes!

Happy Birthday Leif!

You woke up grumpy this morning thanks to those teeth pushing through. Poor guy. But your mood changed quickly and you thought it was really funny that mommy and daddy kept singing to you this new song that you heard at the Mexican restaurant last weekend.

I can't believe you are one year old today. Oh how our lives have changed, all for the better, since you came along. Suddenly mommy's overtime hours have dropped from +30 and "how will I ever use these hours before end of the year", to owing time from flexing. And you know, I don't really care.

From the time you arrived, I knew that I would know you anywhere. Your round head, big eyes and perfect little body was embedded in my memory. My feelings for you were so strong it was frightening. We wanted you so much, yet I was not prepared to be a mommy, who really is? I thought I knew everything I needed to know, but you have taught me so much more this past year.

You have taught me:
- Family comes first.
- That a baby doesn't need all the newest gadgets, only love.
- That a cry really can break your heart.
- But hearing you laugh out loud cures it instantly.
- Fear for the world around me and what your future may hold.
- Yet optimism and a sure sense that you will change the world.
- That a break in cooking dinner is doable for a little cuddle time.
- That I am so glad I am not a single parent.
- That calling a doctor at 8am on a Sunday is OK.
- To view my relationship with my parents differently, that they felt/feel this way about me.
- Spaghetti sauce comes out of hair with very little scrubbing really.
- How really truly difficult it is to make a baby handprint, kudos to Miss Alysha for accomplishing this every.single.month with 8 babies.
- Work travel is really overrated.
- How incredibly fragile life is.
- Yet how hard a baby's head is that is learning to walk.
- What it really feels like knowing that you would give your life for your child.

Happy birthday sweet boy! You mean the world to me.

(tears... I promise no crying later!)

Thursday, July 28, 2005

When Broken Glass Floats

When I was in 2nd grade I remember one day when Mrs. Thompson set us all down and told us we were getting a new classmate. It wasn't unusual to get a new classmate, but it was unusual that she sat us down to talk about it the day before with a serious voice.

She told us that our new classmate will be a girl, her name was Chue Va and that she just moved to the US from a country near Vietnam. I guess she expected that in 1980, we had heard of Vietnam. Sure, I had heard of it, but I didn't know where it was at that age. She told us that Chue and her younger sister had been through a lot and that they moved here with their father. Where they lived there was a war recently and because of this war, they were coming to the US. We were told that she would look different from us, (I was in grade school in central Wyoming, very, very white). That she would not speak English. And that the things she might do or say would be very different than what we are used to. I think Mrs. Thompson scared us more than informed us! I mean, we were all kids, we would play with and interact with any other kid our age.

Mrs. Thompson asked my friend, Jennifer, and I to stay in for recess that day after announcing that our new classmate would arrive tomorrow. This didn't bother me since I was a very introverted kid that would prefer to stay in and read rather than go outside and play with the other kids. I was also one of the top students. I finished everything, ahead of time and worked hard on projects and had straight A's. So when other opportunities outside of classwork arose, I often was offered them.

She told us that she had a new assignment for us. Jennifer and I were "assigned" to be Chue's new friends. She told us that the next morning we would get to go wherever Chue wanted. If it was in the middle of class and Chue wanted to go outside, we would take her outside, even though it was the middle of class. There would be two of us, so that if we needed help, someone could go get a teacher. We weren't to leave the playground area, or the school boundaries, but if she wanted to go to the gym, we could go there, or walk down the 6th graders hallway. I was naturally intrigued by this proposition and to meet this seemingly very strange little girl.

Finally the day arrived. A small, very thin man stood outside our classroom door with two little girls clinging to his legs. The younger would not be starting school, but would eventually be in my sister's kindergarten class. The older girl cried as her dad begged her to let go.

She had short, chin length, black hair. She had a round face and I remember thinking that even though she was also 8 years old. She looked vastly older than us. She was smaller than Jennifer and I. The thing that really stands out is that Chue was wearing a white dress slip, with nothing else. Some of the boys were giggling because she was wearing "underwear", but they immediately shut up with Mrs. Thompson's glare.

Chue and her father left for a little while and would be back after walking around the school. Mrs. Thompson chastized us for giggling. I remember her saying that to Chue and her father, this was a very pretty dress, how was she to know that it was supposed to be worn UNDER your dress? The class was silent.

A little later she and her father came back with Mr. Johnson, the principal. Chue was given a desk next to Jennifer and I. Her dad and sister left and Mr. Johnson left. I instantly felt for her as she sat there, not understanding a word of what was being spoken. The boredom was setting in. Chue got up and wandered over to the window. No one ever got up when the teacher was talking! Our eyes all shifted to her. Yet, the teacher kept talking like there was nothing wrong with her getting out of her seat. When she paused she signalled to Jennifer and I to go see her. We got up out of our desks and asked her if she wanted to go outside. Chue looked at us with a blank look, tears still in her eyes. We took her by the hand and led her outside to the playground equipment.

We started on the monkey bars, played on them. Her face was solemn as she played. We went to the swings, then the slide. It wasn't until we hit the slide that she cracked a smile. About the 3rd time down the slide, there was full on giggling going on. We had finally broken through with her. She liked the slide. She went up and down and up and down. Giggling and laughing.

I don't remember much else of that day, but I remember seeing Chue's face smiling as she stood there in her white slip. Parents of the girls in the class were sent home notes about our new student and if there were spare clothes or toys, please send them for Chue and her sister. On the next day she showed up "properly attired" and never again worse her white slip to school.

Over the next few months we taught her words for things, she learned quickly. Her English progressed and she was no longer assigned to be my friend, she was my friend. I remember the first time it snowed that year. Chue ran to the window and started screaming at the top of her lungs. She was trying to get the others to come and marvel with her. It was a huge spectacle to the class, we all went out and played in the snow with Chue. I don't know that she had probably even heard of snow before that point.

A few years later Chue and her family moved from Wyoming. I don't know where she went, but after reading the book, When Broken Glass Floats, for my August book club meeting, Chue has been on my mind.

I had no idea at age 8 where Cambodia was, or what the Khmer Rouge was, or even what war the teacher was talking about. Hell, at age 33 I knew very little about the atrocities commited under the Khmer Rouge and why Cambodians were taking refuge in the US in the early '80's. I read the book with intrigue, all the time with Chue's face superimposed on Thy Hin's younger siblings. I cannot even imagine a child witnessing and undergoing the horror of those 3 years. The loss of one's parents, brothers, sisters, etc. to pure hatred. The atrocities described in the book turned my stomach and at page 114 I was very close to putting the book down for good. But something told me to keep reading, it has GOT to get better. Not that the book was "bad" at all, quite the opposite, but as a mom, things had to turn around for these people. It tore my heart out.

I survived page 114, and the book lightened up a little. There was still death, grief, and suffering, but I could read it. Although I still sat there perplexed and hurt by humankind that people could do such things to other people.

I have had it very good in life. I was born in a country where poverty is not the rule. I was raised to that point, in a lower middle class home under loving parents. I have never had war in my backyard. September 11, 2001 was the closest I have ever come to war on my continent, and hope that is as close as it will ever come. At age 5-8 years, I was playing T-ball, swimming, running through the sprinklers, rollerskating in front of my house and worrying about what I was going to be for Halloween. The last thing from my mind was how was I going to survive.

At that time, on another continent, Chue's mother died (I don't know how), Chue was in a labor camp, there was typically not enough to eat, and I don't know that she didn't have other siblings that had died. Before she was 5, her life was very much like mine. The fact that one year a child is a child, playing and pretending, and the next they are removed from their families, tortured and forced to work in labor camps sickens me. And further more, this is, in some parts of the world, still going on. Yet the US's involvement is a double edged sword. Go and help and be accused of policing the world, don't help and be accused of supporting or enabling the persecution by not acting against it. I don't know what the answer it is. What I do know is that no child should have to endure that amount of death, should be working in labor camps, or struggling to find food.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Finished review

Now I can breathe. The review is done. What that also means is that now I better get my butt onto the work that I have been conveniently putting off in favor of my good projects review. Ugh.

The jist out of the review:
My presentation went really well. It took about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Oops. There were lots of comments and questions and suggestions. The client seemed happy and made some suggestions mostly of things they can do to enable me to achieve the results we need. We are pretty much there really. We just need refinement and confirmation of our most recent positive results on the full scale.

Alan's presentation went equally well. He worked at speeding it up since I had covered a lot of the gory details and his job was to cover the full scale experiments. I wanted a recorder there to note the number of times he mentioned me as being "the smart one". LOL!

We finished and lunch came and I worked to stay awake for the last 3 presentations.

Then the nitty gritty... the big boss from the client delved into his take on it all. He is about one step below the CEO. He said that industry interest in this technology is waning due to lack of progress. This is a double-edged sword here. It is good that there is lack of progress and that we do have progress, this could bode well for us. HOWEVER, since there is lack of progress, clients could be skeptical, or just plain not interested because they have found work arounds to the problems. Consequently, we need to finish up my project this year and essentially, that's it for the project. Whether or not they will fund the other project another year or offer us a new issue to solve is up in the air. If so, I would likely lead a new project, but I am not counting on it.

In the meantime I am fine with this albeit a little sad. I would love to continue on with this research, but at the same time I have a new and larger (next FY) role in an LDRD project that where I once estimated taking 25% of my time, I am now looking at probably 30-40% time. Then if my big proposal gets funded, which it looks good so far, that is 2FTE's. I planned for 50% time for myself on it, but it could easily balloon up to 75% of my time.

If this project ends and I have:
-Increased my network to some really wonderful coworkers and
-Proven myself to some higher ups, and
-Originated and taken the lead on a patent that is likely to be licensed by the client, as well as
-Been involved in a large "whole process" patent, and
-Worked myself back into the semiconductor industry and have knowledge of the latest and greatest in the industry...
Then what more could I ask for? None of my other projects have yielded anything in this scope.

Speaking of my other projects... I got an e-mail that I was a collaborator on an IP submission out of my least desired project. It will get patented. I was just shocked I was listed since evidence of my working on this project barely exists, yet I did play a big role. When talk of filing the IP was mentioned a year or so ago I figured I would be left off and mentioned it to Hans. Recently he said I should find out if it had been submitted and make a stink about being left off. Well I am just not a big stink maker. ;-) Now it appears I was not left off. I did figure out why though... my pissy project manager was not the one who submitted it, my good friend Justin did. He would have *never* thought to leave me off. So something new to add to my fact sheet!

Got my three names sent off to my manager this morning for input on my staff development. I was very careful with my choices and hope that it helps to yield a promotion. I have a meeting on Friday with my very absent manager to hopefully bolster my chances.

In other news, the Leifer is doing great. He is walking a lot at daycare. And last night he walked across the dining room, then turned and walked across the dining room! Wow! All without provoking. He is such a little person, I hate to admit.

Hans' car died on the way home last night and it is at the shop. Ugh. On the way home he started having electrical problems, odometer and tachometer were freaking out, then clutch problems, then he lost his power steering and the car died. Sounds like an electrical problem. We went back to tow it to the shop and it started and he drove it to the shop. Hans, my ever-optimitic husband, is sure it is probably just a short that got bad in the heat that will take very little to fix. I am normally not a pessimist, but alas, my pessimistic nature has set in here.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Toilet locks... big waste of $$

Note title. Little fingers are extremely capable (moreso than big fingers) at prying off suction cups, rendering "toilet lock" completely and utterly useless.

It was a horribly busy weekend. Hans was working hard at finishing his bench/coat rack/storage box thing finished. I am anxious for a finished work of art for my library. And mostly so that when I find a stray glove, like I did yesterday in my closet, I have a place to put it while it awaits the arrival of its mate.

I tried to work on preparing for the BBQ/1st birthday party next week. Saturday morning started with an early morning trip to the Farmer's Market. As Hans pointed out once there that the purpose was *REALLY* to fulfill my fresh mini donut craving as we left with only a few bags of produce. Part of the problem is that we are kind of in between seasons. Cherries are long gone, but berries, peaches, nectarines, plums, zucchini and corn are present. This doesn't sound "in between" necessarily, except that we have in our yard berries, nectarines, plums and zucchini. No peaches because Hans is a weirdo about fuzz. So we bought corn. And I have to say that we bought the most fabulous corn that I have had since leaving Colorado - the home of good corn. Leif even ate some.

Speaking of Leif eating, wow! The boy has figured it out. This was all prompted mostly probably by my realizing that maybe part of the reason he was up every few hours at night is that he is hungry... hmmm... Sunday I was bound and determined to fill him up. We started with pancakes and blueberries (where he *gasp* ate the blueberries!). Lunch was after swimming lessons and consisted of quesadilla at the Mexican restaurant while we drank margaritas. Snack at 4pm of pear chunks, blueberries and cheerios. He ate them all. I was so proud. Dinner was kebabs, and he ate two chunks of beef, pineapple, more pears, and 3 helpings of rice pilaf (of which 1.5 helpings ended up in lap). Yes, it is hard to eat rice with fingers.

Saturday was a trip to Costco where we bought ribs and wine and assorted other necessities. One of the necessities was a new pair of prescription sunglasses for me. But alas, there was none that I deemed acceptable within my price limit. (Actual sunglasses, a total of 6 pairs present, the others were "buy glasses that you like and we will put colored lenses in.) Well it just isn't the same thing. I will head to the cheapo mall glasses place for hopefully a better selection.

On Sunday we went to swimming lessons after much coaxing to convince Leif to sleep. Did not work. So at 11:25 we loaded him into the car for his 12:20pm lesson and decided we would drive to look at lots to purchase. He was out in 30 seconds. Looked at lots and debated the merits of corner, versus upper view, versus lower view. It is still a pipe dream. But turning into a goal. Get completely out of debt, ok except for house, student loan and car, in 3 months. Then save for a month and buy a view lot in the area. The next goal will be to either turn it for a profit in 2 years when we decide to split from this joint. OR in 2 years build a house on the lot.

Swim lessons were good. Hans has high hopes of Leif doing the butterfly at age 5. Margaritas afterwards were even better.

Attempt #2 at nap failed, miserably, and ended with a short lived, argument about who does more around the house and in prep for the party. We don't typically fight, but we were tired and I was overwhelmed and frustrated.

Finally we pack Leif up for a trip to Target for birthday goodies. 30 seconds into the trip, you guessed it, Leif was o-u-t. Get to Target and he is not only out, but dead to the world. Hans carries him in his arms throughout the noisy Target, never even opened an eye once. Bought him a water and sand table. I had wanted this... but even though I am a die-hard Amazon addict, I could not pay almost the equivelent price for shipping. So hoped to find it locally. We ended up with this... here is an alternate view... I wasn't thrilled about the sand aspect, but who says sand must be included? But at $19 on clearance at Target, I couldn't pass it up. Got goody bag stuff, decorations, etc. Why is it that at a big store like Target the only hats and party stuff appropriate for little boys is either Elmo or Barney? Girls however, had a wide assortment. I just wanted party hats and a banner and a few kid themed plates and napkins. Oh well, Elmo it is.

So Target is marked off the list, hit Home Depot super quick while Hans runs in for more bark mulch. Yes, I have a huge amount of math in my background, yet for some stupid ass reason I thought two bags of 2 cu ft bark mulch would cover the second front garden. Hans returns with four more bags, and it probably still isn't enough... Then we head to the grocery store. Leif lounges in the cart child carrier area, seriously lounges, feet up and back propped against his blanket as he smiles at everyone we pass. (Yes he was buckled in.) We spend a small fortune on food and succumb to the 10% off 6 bottles of wine offer even though our wine rack is full. Because no child's first birthday would be complete without a zinfandel tasting to go along with the ribs. ;-)

Home finally and massive unloading and dinner starting. And wa la... our weekend is toast. Six Feet Under was great as usual and left me mouth agap at the end. And no previews to even clue me into the next episode. Bastards!

This week is going to kill me. Busy, busy, busy. Speaking of this I should get on the paper I need to read for my 1pm meeting.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Friday, July 22nd

Friday is here! Yay! And my work day is almost over.

Today has been far less stressful on the work front than the past few days. My review presentation went through my project manager successfully, and is now going through the client's project manager and word is that she is very happy with it so far. Whew! Now of course, what I should really do is go over and work on one of my despised tasks. Ha, fat chance.

I had a project meeting this morning. I went over with the project manager, a good friend of mine, Cari, about the meeting I will be attending on Monday for her. Her parents arrive in town and she has the day off. So since I am manager of the other task on the project, she is sending me. I am very nervous about this for some reason. Main reason is that I find the LDRD lead to be a very intimidating man. He is my division director, so my bosses boss. I shouldn't find him so intimidating, he is always so nice to me, talks to me, encourages me in different directions, and he was the one who ticked my former post-doc mentor off by hiring me, without consulting him. (Thank you, thank you, thank you.) Nonetheless I always feel intimidated in his presence. He is quick on his feet, ultra-smart, and speaks his mind. I am about the total opposite on all fronts. Ok, I am smart, but I feel as though my knowledge and quickness with my knowledge pales in comparison.

After our project meeting, and my extensive note taking in some vain effort to prepare myself for the meeting on Monday, I went to a brown bag seminar. Our brown bag seminar lunches aren't so "brown bag". My manager orders pizza. It was down at one of the other sites, the site that houses 1/3 of the staff in my new group. It was nice though, I found the room and walked in and two guys I know waved me over to sit with them. I feel as though I am finally getting to know people in my group. The transition hasn't been especially easy.

I have been here just over three years and have had three, very different managers. This one is THE most hands off, do your own thing manager I have ever had. Seriously I feel as though I work for myself, oh and my project managers. Consequently, with my lack of interaction with her, I also find her very intimidating. The vast majority of my section of my group, the people in my building who I followed to the new group, are extremely concerned with her "hands off" nature. My mentor admited this feeling yesterday, and he is a level 5 scientist. We seem to have fallen through the cracks. We have no admin support still, we come in and do our thing and manager has no idea if we are even here or not. Of course, I complained of my last manager about his micromanaging anal-ness. The grass is always greener.


Today, the 22nd was my due date last year. I remember on my due date being told I was "green as a gourd", as in not ripe for delivery. I also remember not being surprised. I think back to this time last year and how unprepared I was for how my life was going to change, all for the better. I knew I was having a baby, but the concept of what a little individual he would become so quickly really escaped me. I can't believe my baby is almost one. In one instance the time has flown by, in another I can't even remember life without Leif. They say from 12-18 months is the most dangerous... the time when you realize your baby is not so much a baby and you miss that and want another. Umm, yeah. I see that coming down the pipe pretty soon here. Although my desire to actually BE pregnant isn't really there yet. But it will be soon I am sure.

This weekend is going to be crazy busy. I have made lists in about 15 different areas. So here I am going to make an attempt at consolidation.

Leif's birthday stuff:
-plates, napkins, plasticware
-Water table for Leif
-price slides and wonder if he really needs one or am I just contributing to overindulgence...
-wrapping paper and lots of ribbon
Look at chairs for Leif
Pillow for Leif, I have given in, he LOVES sleeping on a pillow.
Baby Advil, damn teeth

Grocery store:
To fill our empty cabinets

Zinfandel (because you can't have ribs with no zin - red that is...)
Oh yeah, umm Ribs
Artichoke dip stuff
Pita chips
Books (because my unread stack is apparently not large enough yet...)
Carter's one piece outfits
Order prescription sunglasses (mine are now officially 7 years old. Can we say "dated"?)

Because the above stuff will need to be paid for.

AND I must buy gifts and cards for my MIL and my mom's birthdays.

Weed the front gardens
Put the bark mulch IN the front garden that I bought back in May. (Does no good in garage.)
Deadhead and trim back brown iris and tulip remnants (this is getting embarrassing...)
Weed back gardens.
Harvest basil and make pesto or something (gone to seed)
CLEAN the back porch (now the state of that porch is embarrassing).

Which begs the question, does anyone's husband put away the tools he uses? I am sure there is a good reason the weed whacker that was used weeks ago is still out back along with a shovel (used months ago) and a saw (?!?! used who knows when). I suppose when they get ruined it gives Hans a chance to buy the new version or the version that he *really* wanted instead of the one we could afford at the time.

Oh well!

Have a super weekend everyone!

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Back in the groove

My horoscope today: "Your energy's like a charged battery. And you're cute! You're like a cute battery!"

Give me a break. I would have liked it had it said, "you are a cute battery in skinny size 10 pants you haven't worn in 4 years". Loved that. (Ok, done bragging!)

I just finished my draft of my presentation for next Tuesday. I was invited to dinner with the clients on Monday night. Stoked! Hans gets Leif on Monday night, it will be a test to see how he deals with after dinner routine without mama there since I likely will be gone until after bedtime.

Today I need to do lots of catch-up. Working on getting "decision points" inserted into my big proposal and getting that sent back out. Still looking good for funding. I have a meeting to work on my stupid task on the project I hate at 11am. Yippee. I need to work on my patent changes... I think the patent lawyer thought I was putting it off because I didn't have a charge code or something. After waiting for a few days for the changes, he sent me a charge code. Nope, thanks, I have a charge code, what I don't have is the time. And on top of that I need to run an experiment for my shiny, happy project in hopes of getting some results by Tuesday on it. Ha ha ha!! (Project manager is funny.)

We had a meeting yesterday for the review. Tensions are high. Nerves are on edge. It ended up being a slugfest. Word on our side is that they believe that future funding hinges on the success of my task. (Thankfully we just achieved our first full scale success yesterday.) But there are some people on the project who are charging near 100% of their time and REALLY don't want to see this project go the way of the birds. I spend about 30% of my time and I don't want to see it flitter away either. But that also means that my presentation has become a huge focus and that I have far more than desired inputs and suggestions on how and what to present. Finally Dan jumped in with a statement that ended a few people jumping on me and criticizing how I present the data with "for the last 30 minutes we have listened to your pessimistic shit, get over it". Thank you Dan. Favorite project manager, the funny one, then called me later yesterday morning to apologize for all the crap being dumped on me. It really wasn't a big deal.

Home life is superb. I was glad to hear my dad survived Hurricane Emily. I really was expecting to see him on national TV saying "hurricane force winds? Naw, now hang out in the winds of central Wyoming! There's some force!" (he he!)

Leif is getting back to walking, which I attribute to daycare and his return to hanging out with Cate (the pro walker). He has to keep up with her! We are working on getting Leif into the local Montessori school. Actually he is near the top of the wait list, but we really want he and Cate to transition together. I really hate calling and bugging people, but word is that is the way to get in. Now me otoh, if people just simply call and bug me, they are more likely to get ignored.

Ok, I must get to the mount of things on my desk and work at getting a few things crossed off my "to do" white board.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Very bittersweet.

Yesterday we were at the doctor's office for Leif's ongoing thrush battle. We got checked in and went to sit down in the kids section, big rug that is a map of the world and toys all over.

Leif crawled off my lap and went over and started playing with the toys and the three other little kids playing.

My presence there didn't seem to phase him, there were things to play with and kids to meet. But he's my baby! It was very bittersweet.

Monday, July 18, 2005

The many faces of Leif

He is a most expressive little boy!

4th of July pictures

It worked, but only with IE. Oh well!

Learning about walking in the ocean. If only those darn shoes weren't so much more fascinating!

Taking a bath in the sink!
Hanging out with dad at the cabin.

Testing the new picture feature...

I really am sure I have things I should be doing. But I felt the need to test this...

Leif and his speed bump, Winny.

Good things!

My horoscope: "The 18th, you'll be just as amazed as anyone at how quickly your projects are progressing, and the 20th and 21st, get ready for some sudden (but very welcome) fruition, where your projects are concerned! Nothing like a big ripe summer project with a perfect sheen and a sweet aroma, is there? The 26th, you'll be reconsidering your ideas about stability and excitement. Which direction are you thinking of going in?"

And that is just how things are going. Very well here!

I got word last week that my big grant proposal is very likely to be funded. They needed "decision points" inserted into the proposal, and I will be meeting with my Co-PI to do this. This is huge. $1.8 million over 4 years. I am still having a hard time grasping this concept.

My other projects seem to be moving along.
-My shiny, happy project needs some attention, not for my lack of work, but because I need to prepare my very short "I wasn't here last week so I didn't do anything" presentation. Then our review is on the 26th. I need to prepare my review materials for my presentation and will be giving a lab tour to the client. Then I found out that I will also be preparing/fixing another coworkers presentation. Or at least that is what I assume this e-mail statement implied: "Also, Rick will talk to you about fixing the pilot plant presentation from its current sorry state."

-My new LDRD task was moving along, but has been hijacked by having to return borrowed instruments and a broken crystal. Must work on that today.

-Haven't worked on the paper at all, still waiting for an outline.

-Then I have two other tasks on pita project to work on and finish. Not looking forward to either. They don't make me happy at all. Both require labwork, that frankly, I am not interested in doing.

I am actually quite happy to be back to work and into the groove.

Bragging warning:
And oh yeah, to top it off I am wearing size 10 pants that fit spectacularly! hee hee! And no, I don't have a secret... breastfeeding maybe, my obsession with eating only whole grain hot cereal every morning (has literally cured my GERD), walking the dog every morning. I don't know what it is, but the baby weight is gone as well as some of the pre-pregnancy weight!

We survived

Just barely. It was a hard trip. Even though he hasn't said it, I can see the "I told you so's" rolling around my husband's mind. But lucky for him, they have yet to roll off his tongue. He knows I can hear those words in my mind.

Trip to Colorado:
Sit in a window seat, carseat in the center, old fogey on the end. Not an ounce of help from the flight attendents. Leif screams during takeoff. Barbara Walter's would flip, old fogey on the end would certainly flip, but in order to quiet the Leifster, out comes the boob. He is out for the 1 hour flight to Salt Lake City (and will.not sit in the carseat). We land and once again, not an ounce of help from a flight attendent with the carseat or anything. We hurry to the next gate on a different concourse. I stop for a yogurt smoothie on the way.

Check in at the next gate... not a single spare seat available, it is overbooked. (Not what the Delta rep told me.) So carseat goes down to be gatechecked and we are reseated to the aisle, near the front of the plane. When you have a baby (not yet a toddler), don't sit in the aisle. The aisle is my preferred place to sit normally. Best to have the window where you can prop and entertain said child. Sitting next to another old fogey, very close being on the side with only 2 seats. Leif has a fit, try to nurse in the aisle seat, but he is having none of it. Scream, scream, scream. We land and he has just fallen asleep.

Get the bags, mom comes up and grabs him, fussy boy wants nothing of that. :(

The week went by... Monday stay at the house to help fussy boy calm down and get used to stuff. No babyproofing at all, so we are busy fielding Leif, but he has the best toys ever... 2 cats to chase.

Tuesday we went to the mall in FC. Boring, but I found a few things to buy, of course. Lunch was Indian buffet and Leif entertained the tables around us. The Indian buffet was good, but not as good as the one that just closed here locally. Great grandma arrives.

Wednesday to the zoo. It was a long, hot, day. The zoo was great, seeing the kids was super, seeing my sister was good, as was my BIL. But it was WAY too long to be without a place for Leif to nap and in the heat. He had a mild fever, probably from teething. We left my mom's at 9am and got home at 8pm. Ugh. Leif had nowhere acceptable to nap all day, other than the car. Did I say it was hot? We got back to mom's and Leif had a complete and utter meltdown. He was NOT going to take his Nystatin, nor his Albuterol, nor Tylenol, nor teething tablets. I was at my wits end, with no help. Severe frustration and "why the hell did I do this?" set in. Couple that with family bickering.

Thursday after no sleep, we stayed at my mom's to let fussy boy try and recover.

Friday we ventured to Olde Towne FC, my old stomping grounds. Driving down College Ave I felt a sense of calm. I can do this. It was a great morning. We strolled Olde Towne, went to the Cupboard where I spent near $100 on goodies. Went to the Children's Mercantile where Leif got new Robeez and sunglasses. Went to the Aveda salon to stock up, hit the Right Card and down the street for sushi. Yum. However, Leif didn't care for the sushi place and meltdown ensued. We dealt. Back home, he would.not.nap. At 5:30 we headed out to dinner, after convincing everyone Leif does fine at restaurants. Well eat my words. Ok, he does fine if he can entertain people. Set us where he can't entertain and he melts down. Why are we here? Where are the people? You want me to put that in my mouth? Bah.

Saturday mom takes us back to the airport. The Delta kiosks we were "encouraged" to use despite my questions about the flight (is it full, do I have a spare seat near me, should I take the carseat or check it). No help whatsoever, I check the carseat.

Once at the gate I went to check the stroller and the wonderful rep there reseated us in the first row, with a window seat and a spare seat in between us and the next person. Heaven. Even the kid who sat in the aisle was wonderful. He was a college student and he picked up binkies, retrieved the diaper bag and helped me out, yet didn't want to chat the entire time either. So, so cool.

Land in SLC and am starved. Go to Pizza Hut and Leif and I share a cheese pizza. Find a "playground" and ignore the grime and potential germs on the toys. Repeating to self... "Leif is happy and playing, ignore the grime and germs..." Coat him in antibacterial liquid upon leaving. Board the plane, itty bitty thing back. No such luck of having an open seat next to me, but I have a window.

The poor man next to me got to SLC and his flight to Germany was cancelled. So he was flying home since he would miss his meeting by the time they could rebook him. He was happy. Until he sat next to Leif and I. Leif konked after a short nurse time. I figured the guy next to me had a 4 and 7 yo, he knew what boobs were for and how kids were. I nursed Leif. We are landing. I am a touch nauseated for some reason. I focus on the horizon. I now understand that statement of stomach in throat. It wouldn't go down. We land, a slightly bumpy landing, I know I will be fine now. Relax. Oops. Up comes the Pizza Hut lunch, all over Leif, all over puppy, all over armrest.

I am dying. No airsick bag in my pocket, nor the man's next to me. I can smell it, it stinks. Did I say I was dying? I was. The thing about now being a mom, I have the means to clean up any mess. I clean up Leif (no longer sleeping), wipe off puppy. The plane is deboarding and the man next to me runs, fast and far. I put my pouch on knowing that it is the only thing to cover my vomit soaked shirt. I am last off, get the stroller. Hans is waiting. He leans in to kiss me, "umm, I don't think you want to do that".

I am home. Sweet home. I love my house, my family, my dog. We are all back together in a babyproofed house.

Now if I could just get the apartment complex behind us to shut their damn irrigation water off (on for 8 hours yesterday according to neighbors) and quit flooding my backyard all would be super.

Friday, July 08, 2005

My Friday Night

Sitting down at dinner... Hans said, "Honey! Stargate Atlantis is playing all the episodes back to back tonight and there are a bunch I haven't seen!"

So here I am.

Tonight is the start of my vacation. A full week off! I am headed to Colorado with Leif to see my family. Hans isn't really thrilled. Really, I should count myself lucky. I have a husband who is so attached to his son (oh and I am sure his wife too) that he is not the least bit thrilled to have a week at home to himself. He did realize last night however, that he could go to a movie every night of the week if he wants to. And evidently there are a lot of movies out there to see. Fantastic Four or whatever that is and War of the Worlds. Which even if I had the interest and someone to watch Leif I would not go see based off of genius Tom Cruise's comments on ppd. I did not have ppd, however, I believe it is a real issue and his comments were damaging to women. He won't get a dime of my money until his statements are recanted, which they never will be I am sure.

Tomorrow Vanessa and I have our pedicures and manicures. We need pampering. Hans and I ran a few errands tonight and so fewer for tomorrow. Went to Target to get a second carseat and the one I will haul to Colorado with me. Let's see, about $60 above and beyond the carseat later... they had straw cups that glow in the dark on sale (obviously a must), infant spoons, infant Advil and the major purchase, two toilet seat locks to keep Leif from playing in the toilets. Ick. My goal is to get both installed tonight and see if Hans can figure out how to use them...

Sunday we leave at 6:30am, layover in Salt Lake for an hour. A very rushed hour trying to get from one concourse to the other with Leif, a stroller and a car seat. Then into Denver at about noon. Mom will pick us up at the airport.

This week has been busy at work, but productive. I made up a list of things I needed to do before leaving today and accomplished it. It wasn't easy, but I did it all. And no leaving early this Friday. My new task on the LDRD project is going well and the project manager commented that she was happy to see how quickly things started to move on it after I took it over last week and she was pleased with the meeting! Yay! I have a team set up I am really excited about and managed to put two students to work.

Then my shiny, happy project. Got a long experiment set up, details to my former team lead, Tom, on how and when to terminate the experiment. Worked with Clem to get his samples submitted for SEM that he ran to help me. Then I printed up our patent. 25 pages to review by Monday cob. Yikes. It looks alright so far. Lots of stuff to work on. But Glen started off on corrections. I will take a shot at them after maybe Tom or Dan take a crack at them. One of the thing that thrills me to bits and pieces is that I WAS listed in the coveted #1 position.

For those of you who aren't scientists, scientific ethics is a HUGE deal. And it ranges from issues such as dry labbing (i.e., guessing what the results are and never doing an experiment) to snarfing or scooping of proposal ideas to who gets listed on papers, patents, and presentations and in what order. Really, the order in which your name appears IS a big deal. There is no clear method to this and it varies, not only between institution, but even within groups and projects.

My PPM on the sucky project, for example... I gave a two day course 2 years ago. I worked with my coworker Justin to design the course, prepare the materials and present it to clients to learn how to use our equipment. PPM had absolutely nothing to do with this, but INSISTED his name should be first on the list of credit. Wrong, wrong, wrong. I argued it, I defended it, Justin agreed with me whole heartedly. But no, PPM wouldn't budge. That is where scientific ethics are screwed. Also in areas of snarfing ideas, which PPM has done to me repeatedly.

So I really make an effort not to do this to others. So in the patent meeting a few months ago I was hurt, disappointed and bummed when my former team lead argued that I was not the lead on the patent despite the fact that the task was mine, I was the one who formulated and performed the experiments and designed the path forward based on my data analysis. I modified and then proved the concept. But here was the kicker... the concept was not mine initially. The concept came out of Glen, years ago to use a particular chemical in this pursuit. He didn't know if it would work, and he handed the project to Tom, who handed it to me.

My great project manager fought tooth and nail with Tom that I should be the lead on the patent. I was afraid to say anything and further more, just nervous about the whole situation. I don't want to snarf someone elses stuff... but yet I did the work, the formulation, data analysis and modified the experiments to achieve the results. It was finally agreed to leave it up to Glen. When I filed the IP he told me that he felt guilty even being listed as a collaborator as he hadn't done anything. Today the patent draft came through with me listed in position #1, inventor. Happy, happy day!

So now we just have to hope for licensure from the client. We are certain they will license the patent being that they are already working to sell the technology to clients, and have clients who are interested. But for how much? I keep thinking that $100K is a minimum license fee. This could potentially revolutionize the semiconductor world, so Hans is thinking $1 million is reasonable, after all they pay us over a million a year for our research. My company pays inventors 15% royalties, split between each inventor, of the license fee up to a maximum of $1 million in royalties. Even licensing for $100K is a nice chunk of change. Hope, hope, hoping for licensure of the patent...

So good things going on this week. Bad things too unfortunatly.

I talked about Leif's head wound and his thrush. Head wound mostly healed, thrush still plaguing him. On Wednesday morning I went out to my car to put stuff in. I got a weird feeling when I realized my driver side door was open. I immediately got ticked at Hans. Last night I asked him to lock my car door and he said he did. He obviously didn't, my door was open. I reach over to put my stuff in the seat so I can go get Leif and notice that my cd holder was open and empty, my other box of cds on the floor, gone, my change holder missing and my glove box open.

I was raging. I could have screamed. I did scream. Hans is SO bad about not locking his car. He is from Alaska and "no one breaks into cars up there"! I have finally given up on him and despite my need, yes it is a need, to have every door in the house and my car locked at night, I have given up on his car. So the fact that he told me he locked my car doors last night and no windows were broken. I was spitting nails.

All my good cds were in my car from the trip. I stormed around, picked up the phone and started screaming in Hans' ear. He swore up and down he locked it. Then I got a sick feeling. My badge was in the car. My badge, work keys and dosimeter. I went out and checked the glove box. Oh shit, major shit. They were gone. I started crying, sobbing, then saw Leif looking at me wondering what was wrong. I gathered myself and called the single point of contact to report my missing classified badge, dosimeter, prox card and keys.

I gave the info and answered the questions and was then told to call the police, file a police report. It was so obviously stupid kids who broke into the car. They left some valuable stuff, Leif's cosleeper, his play yard, nice diaper bag. All of this thankfully was left. The single point of contact informed me that if the people are caught, it is considered a federal crime to steal these items. Why would they take these things. Of all things, why my badge, my dosimeter and keys? Did they really just want my miniature Leatherman on the strap? I was sick.

After screaming at Hans, like I have never screamed at him before. I headed in, dropped Leif off at daycare and went to the badge office. I got a replacement badge after filling out a stolen badge report. Then went to go get keys. Turns out that even though the keys are not identifiable, all the locks must be rekeyed if keys are lost, at the expense of a charge code. Great... crafts gets work... knowing them about 30 hours of work to rekey my office and a lab I don't even use anymore.

It took me about a day to get a new dosimeter. During which time I could not go into a rad lab. Who knows how they will determine my dose for the first 6 months of the year. Bioassay? Ugh. I don't want to pee in a 2L jug for 2 days. My dose is typically zero, so I am hoping that will get me out of a bioassay.

The cds are a pain to lose. But I can deal. Hans' first paycheck went to replace the top 10. But the loss of the badge and accessories is huge. Taxpayer money. My estimate is about $4K to replace that stuff when you count my time, others time, the hardware and crafts rekeying locks. No wonder it is considered a federal crime.

Well it is after 10pm and I really am dying to see the last Six Feet Under we missed on Monday. Hans will have to catch up on Atlantis another night.

I will be around some while at my mom's house and might logon. Or I might just catch up on my reading. Handmaid's Tale is due Tuesday, which I will miss discussing, but will finish anyways. The Time Traveller's Wife is due August for Book Club. Cannot wait to read it.

Have a super weekend!

New fashion accessory

A must for all moms, working and not, and I sport mine proudly everyday...

Graham cracker gish smeared on my shoulder, chest, and pant legs (knees and below only of course).

Thursday, July 07, 2005


I have always had a mild interest in geneaology, but no idea how to take it up really. I should have an idea, I use the internet all the time. I keep thinking that maybe other family members will do it for me. ;-)

Anyways, on my husband's side of the family, this isn't just a dream. Signe, is WAY into geneaology and each time we see her at the coast, we like to sit and see the latest that she has dug up.

Signe's grandfather, which is Hans' great grandfather, and Leif's great, great grandfather was one of the "founding fathers" of Ballard. Ballard is the Norwegian settlement section of Seattle. Ingvar Heggem was a ship builder there and made a name for himself. The Smithsonian Institute has copies of the blueprints of many of the ships he built.

Another cool little thing... Signe was recently contacted by a novelist from Norway who has set out to write about "the great bear hunter of Norway". He is searching for descendents of "the great bear hunter", who just happens to be my son's great great great grandfather. He has asked the entire family to provide our full names, birthplace and birthdate to add to the book about the "great bear hunter". He does sound like a great bear hunter... he shot over 70 bears in his lifetime. I will need this book when published.

Ok, my little neat things for the day!

Trip to the coast take 2

So we spent Sunday morning clamming and beach combing. My favorite aspect of the trips to the coast. We pulled up a 5 gallon bucket of littleneck clams and looked at Starfish, Sea snails, found some Sea shrimp and watched the rock crabs scurry back and forth.

Leif was in the backpack and we would stand the backpack (it has a kickstand for this purpose) up in various places while we would clam. Leif would watch us digging in the mud and giggle. Winny played on the beach. Hans and I are digging clams, Leif is giggling, then I hear a thud and Leif howling and screaming. I turn around to see him face planted forward in the tipped over backpack, blood running down his forehead.

Sucky mom award here. I didn't realize he could rock the pack, or that it wasn't stable enough, or both. He whacked his head on a barnacle and it was bleeding horribly. (Hans reminded me that my classification of "horrible bleeding" with Leif was about 6 drops of blood, a trickle.) Still, it was the "whack" that got me most. I pulled him out of the carrier and ran him up to the cabin. Once there I cleaned it out with water, then soap and water, then antiseptic and H2O2 and put antibiotic ointment on it. It was a couple scratches with a kind of puncture wound in the middle. I was very worried about infection.

Leif fell asleep shortly after that and then I started thinking about concussions, and if I should let him sleep or not. I finally dealt with just sitting in the bedroom reading while he napped. I felt like the biggest shit mom ever.

That afternoon we headed off to do a little shopping, Hans bought mortar shells to set off, and bought me a few sparklers.

We get back and I got my pissy hat on. We walk in and lo and behold the family is having a potluck in 1 hour. Great, I didn't know. What am I supposed to bring? I grab out a brownie mix I just bought and mix it up. But no, I can't put it in the oven because the oven is in use (even though nothing was in it and there wouldn't be anything in it for 30-40 minutes). I was tired and pissy, so Hans ended up finishing it up for me. Got it in the pan and hauled the pan over to relatives cabin and bakes them. Get to the potluck and yay, the brownies were a hit.

I love to cook. I take pride in making food for people. So not knowing about the potluck just put a black cloud over it all. Sure, I didn't *have* to bring anything, but I can't show up empty handed. This is my in laws... there would be talk.

The rest of the trip was fine. The 4th was nice. Leif slept through the fireworks, so I stayed up at the cabin on the porch while everyone else lit off fireworks at the beach. Finally at dusk, Hans and his cousins, Evan and Skylar, headed out to the floating dock.

Since Hans was a child and they would spend 4th of July at the coast, he remembers the big kids setting off the fireworks off the dock. One uncle even obtained his pyrotechnics license to get the really, really big fireworks. Now, finally, it was Hans' turn to make the trek to the dock. They had about 60 mortar shells and started getting fancy with tying the fuses together for up to 5-8 bursts at once. These are the BIG fireworks that spray all above you. It was cool! Hans had a great time.

There was a lot of talk about uncle buying my FIL out of the cabin. Part of the problem is that my FIL lives in Alaska and uses the cabin maybe once every 5 years. Although Hans and I (through his stake) use it about once a year. Uncle, while drunk, assured us repeatedly that we are welcome as long as we don't mind their friends, or we can use the cabin when they aren't. When is that? They are most always there. Sigh. Sad to see the cabin possibly leaving our immediate family. But I can't blame my FIL for not wanting to pay utilities and upkeep on a place he never uses. Options include us taking over his share. But being that we only go once, maybe twice a year, it would be expensive. And then we would have to deal with uncle, who really, really, wants it for himself and would make this possession unpleasant, I believe. Or we can just back off and let him buy my FIL out. We will likely do the later. We would like to buy a camp trailer and if we do, we can park on the property and have our own place to stay without negotiating bedrooms. This is probably more ideal for us.

Tuesday morning was the day we were treking back. Aunt and Dee Dee had to work early in Seattle so they got up to leave. Uncle said that he would help clean up and would stay until we left since a lot of the mess was theirs. Evidently he changed his mind. We got up and all three were gone, but had left a note. Consequently it was up to Hans and I (effectively one person because of Leif) to clean and shut the cabin down. We had plans to leave about 10-10:30 am when Leif would be scheduled for a nap. We left, in a very, very pissy mood, at 12:40.

Trip to the coast

Back finally! 5-6 hours drive each way, and well, only a little worse for the wear. Leif has a bruised and cut forehead as well as a nasty case of thrush. Hans a near broken toe and a burnt finger from lighting off fireworks. Hans' cell phone is in White Pass, in some gas station. Me, I survived unscathed.

Leif did amazingly well in the car both ways. We managed to get about 3 hours straight in each way while he napped by TRYING to time our leaving times to coincide with naptime. Then the other 2-3 hours he napped periodically, played with Winny and fussed a little. On the way back he did more than a little fussing, so Hans got in the backseat with him, Win dog in the front seat, while I drove. Leif LOVED that. Winny, notsomuch. That front seat just isn't big enough for her. So the entire time she had this "poor me" look on her face and was situated as though she might leap into my lap at any minute. She didn't, thank goodness. Yes, my dog is weird, we don't dare roll down the window for her to hang her head out like any normal dog. I think she is afraid she will fall out.

So we got to the cabin about 4:30pm on Saturday after a delayed start. Hans alway overestimates how "ready" we are, "it will take us 5 minutes to pack the clothes". Me, I underestimate how "ready" we are, "Oh it is going to take us 3 hours to pack clothes!"

We met aunt and uncle's "biker friends". They were actually quite nice. They were all loaded pretty heavily upon our arriving. Dinner was just about ready, so we ate and after dinner Hans and I went with Leif and Winny for a walk on the beach. The aunt and uncle and their friends went out on the boat... yes, even more loaded than when we arrived earlier.

What happened then was a lesson in why boating and heavy drinking is not a good idea. The boat dock is floating. At high tide, it is a fair ways out. Low tide, it is a swimmable distance, maybe. So they took the canoe to paddle to the dock. Kerry, who is from Chile, was a little freaked out by this, but agreed. Wouldn't you know it on the return trip he is getting in the canoe and tips it, with Dee Dee (their other friend in it). Kerry figures he will just swim to the coast. This is Pacific Northwest ocean water. It is cold. He is drunk as a skunk. He gets about 20 feet out from the dock and can't swim forward because his jacket is constraining him.

They get the canoe turned back over, get Dee Dee out of the cold water and into the canoe and uncle starts paddling her over. They stop and pick up a paddle on the way then get to Kerry and start pulling him in. Uncle tells Kerry that he thinks he should be able to stand up now, Kerry puts his feet down only to step on barnacle covered oysters (i.e., sharp) and couldn't walk and then tips the canoe trying to pull his feet off the ocean floor. Dee Dee and uncle are in the water now. Somehow they all get into the shore and uncle heads off to pick up the other two in the canoe who make it in without event.

Dee Dee and Kerry are frozen and later we find out that Kerry was seriously afraid he was going to die out there by drowning. He realized what a stupid idea swimming was too late. It took Dee Dee hours to warm up.

It all made me uneasy to watch. Hans was ready to go get another canoe and try to help, but kept waiting just to see.

A few years ago Hans had a friend, Frank, who worked with him at his job before we moved here. Nice guy, our age, had two kids. Shortly after moving here we found out that Frank died after he got drunk and decided to, while camping, cross a river on a suspended steel cable. The cable started cutting his hands and he tried to reposition them. Fell and died.

Especially now that I have a child, episodes like that just scare me. It is hard to remember that we aren't 18 anymore. I don't feel significantly older. I am probably healthier now than I was at 18, which is good. But doesn't help that feeling of immortality. The body just doesn't respond like it did when I was 18. Not so resilient anymore.

Well this post is long enough as is. I will continue with the rest of the vacation story next.

Friday, July 01, 2005


Yay, Friday!

I am in need of some serious pampering. Last time I got a haircut I picked up the brochure at my salon, just to remind me of the services they offer. The spa pedicure is to die for. One hour and 15 minutes in a big comfy chair while they massage my calves, ankles, feet, toes. The actual painting of the toenails is just a minor point of this process. And when I was "reminded" of the fact that the spa pedicure is *only* $41. Well twist my arm. I have an appointment next Saturday at 12:45pm.

All of this is under the guise that Hans and Leif should have some one on one time together without me before I haul Leif to Colorado with me for the week. Which I AM feeling somewhat guilty about.

Tomorrow we head to the coast to stay at Hans' family's cabin and see extended family. It is a great place, right on Puget Sound. Hans' great grandfather in the early part of the century made a wager and won it. What he won was this plot of land on the coast. He divided the plot into 5th, giving 1/5 to each of his children (4 daughters and one son) and when they married, they each built a cabin. So there are 5, relatively closely situated cabins on this plot of land to create the "Hegembo Compound". Hegem being their last name, "bo" meaning "village of" in Norwegian.

The family is of strong Norwegian boat builders who moved to Seattle from Norway. The Norwegian traditions are evident in daily activity at the compound and the flying of the Norwegian flag, and the design and decor of the cabins.

The cabin for our family is shared by my FIL, his brother and his sister. And the children of each of them. So there are a lot of people that share in our little one bedroom, one bath, small kitchen, dining room and living room with a sleeping loft. Hans has fond memories as a child hanging out here and getting into trouble with his cousins. Tipping boats in the sound, retrieving rock crabs and being pinched, and playing in the water. I hope that Leif will have similar memories of the coast (NOT the tipping boats and getting pinched by crabs part).

I have painted, I hope, a beautiful image of a Norwegian family getaway locale. I really do love it there. Of course, there has to be the flip side to things...

Every family has struggles with each other. Every family has a black sheep. Every family argues and pitches fits with each other. So this beautiful picture above quickly becomes clouded. Essentially, Hans' uncle spends most of his weekends at the cabin and thinks everyone should be allowed to go together, no one should want a weekend by themselves and life should be one big party. He thinks that everything should be split, but that since he is there more often doing upkeep, he should have to pay less for utilities, insurance, etc. (He does upkeep?)

OTOH Hans' aunt wants to have the cabin for just her family sometimes and doesn't want other people there, she feels if she is paying 1/3 of the bills, she deserves that (agreed). Similarly if my FIL is paying 1/3 of the bills, we should get to benefit that as well as he has indicated we should do. Meaning, weird uncle and weirder wife needs to stay away. Then there is the issue of holidays since it is a big family reunion for every summer holiday. Aunt has agreed that on holidays only, the cabin should be open to whoever in the family wants to go, reluctantly. She just stays away, well because Hans' uncle is annoying.

And annoying he is. He hadn't thought they would actually come to the cabin for the 4th. I was shocked and a little overjoyed at the prospect of having the whole cabin to ourselves. I should have known better. I got giddy too fast there. He and his wife are now attending. Not really a big deal, we get the bedroom for Leif and us. Since I *am not* putting Leif in the loft. But what gets me is that his wife's "cycling buddies" might come down. Ugh.

Now I think that if extended family is going to be there, that friends and others we don't know should not. I am not exactly comfortable staying with people I don't know. Let alone now I have a little being to protect. And not to mention the fact that I don't want everyone and their dog eating all the food (and wine) that Hans and I and our dog brought.

We haven't even gotten there and this trip is already getting a dark cloud over it.

Anyways. I must get to work and get things cleared up so I can go get Mr. Fuss Pot at daycare!

Everyone have a safe and happy 4th of July or Canada Day, or both!