Sunday, September 28, 2014

Baby-led Weaning (Kinda) & Eating Leaves

When Landon was born, I had this incredible hope that I would suddenly transform into this organized, regimented, punctual and ever so  gracious person. Of course that didn't happen, and I'm still the spontaneous, forgetful, skin-of-my-teeth sinner I was before baby.

I've discovered that I really hate baby books--parenting a baby books, that is.I'm also wary of various "systems" of child-rearing and whatnot. Doing something "by the book" is so far against my nature and I tend to be suspicious of gurus.

So, when my baby was born, we just lived, and we are continuing to just live.

So simple.

So easy.

So stress-free. 

I knew from Landon's pediatrician and perusing various forums, not to start solids until six months, and I was in no hurry because so, so, so gross DIAPERS! and I suspected I would need some order.
I knew that I didn't want to buy baby food for the ever so noble reason that it looks unappetizing. (Noble mama, right here).

Both camps of solids intrigued me--purees and baby led weaning.

I liked the control of purees--choking terrifies me--but BLW seemed much more instinctual, and I knew I wouldn't follow the order of purees.

But still--choking. We started with purees. Stephen made them (because he is amazing and organized) and Landon had  various delicious fruit concoctions that tasted like Jamba Juice, and a few veggie purees.

He LOVED the fruit ones (as did I) but wasn't too impressed with the veggies. And why should he have been? Pureed vegetables don't taste yummy to my palate either. He also was very interested in the food on my place, and constantly grabbed it. So I started handing it to him.

A bite of mashed potatoes.

Some green beans to suck.

A bit of broccoli to gnaw.

Mini spoonfulls of guacamole to savor.

And many, many apples--his absolute favorite.

Pizza crust! Fewer carbs for me!

He still got purees--with daddy, at the sitter's, or if I was bored. But he also got to try real food in its deliciously prepared state.

However, his solids resume was fairly short until  a week ago when we went to visit my mom and siblings in Colorado. Obviously, I didn't transport any baby food and I really didn't feel like buying any. But Landon wanted food--the food he saw on my plate and others. So I gave it to him. Tiny bites at a time. And my siblings followed suit.

They gave him cheese, eggs, bananas, apples, various vegetables, homemade applesauce, carrots, various forms of squash, and tastes of ice cream.

He loved it all.

 He ate it all.

I have no qualms about him getting a taste of ice cream because he also loves to gnaw on broccoli, and would eat apples all day long if he could.

What we're doing isn't true Baby Led Weaning because he still gets purees if the situation calls for it, and someone else's hand is holding the food. I like to call it Landon-led-weaning. When he's finished, he's obvious about it and we never force it. If he doesn't like something, it's a bite or two then it's done. (The only thing he's hated has been pureed green peas. Bleck.)

In the beginning, he ended up having solids the prescribed every three days because (frankly) I would forget about them. Now, he gets them whenever he wants--which is typically when I'm eating. I keep careful watch on him when he's eating something "early" or that can be an allergen (like eggs), but I don't limit him to any particular regiment of food.

Sometimes, he even gets to eat leaves. ;)

I made a joke about him having an organic snack, and Stephen pointed out that it wouldn't be "organic" if they sprayed the trees. But I wasn't talking about labels, but straight from the tree leaves and dirt!

And his reaction to said leaf?

"Y U NO taste good?"

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

What The Child Catcher Teaches Us About Ourselves

When one of my little brothers was a toddler, he loved the movie Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

[thanks for the image!]

Loved it.

So we watched it a lot. We liked the peppy music and the tale was fairly engaging, albeit less for the 15th time in the week. 

The gist of the story is an eccentric entrepreneur/widower remodels this magical car, and he and his two children (along with a beautiful candy company heiress) end up in a land where children aren't allowed. 
The widower's two children get captured by the child catcher

and the father and the pretty lady sneak into the castle, rescue the two main children and free the town's children living under the city.

People who want to live in a world completely without children are portrayed as selfish and juvenile themselves. It's an adorable fairy tale, and like most fairy tales, the premise is ludicrous: early 20th century cars with minds of their own and a world where children "are not allowed"? Preposterous. 

 Plus, Dick Van Dyke. He makes any movie awesome.

Enter the 21st century and its glimmer of technology and modern thought and prejudice against children

Haley, of Carrots for Michelmas discusses this issue beautifully. She writes "What I’m talking about is widespread and accepted discrimination against children. Blanket statements such as “I don’t like children” as if the millions of kids all over the world are all exactly the same and simply not to your taste.What I’m talking about are the pushes for child-free restaurants, airplane flights, church services, you name it. The idea that it’s fine to just “not like being around kids” giving you the right to never have to brush shoulders with any of the little beings who may inconvenience you with their messes, laughter, shenanigans, and wonder. "

And she's right. People are annoying, each and every one of us. And little people, with their many questions, and their tiny hands that can't quite reach things but can throw everything, and their trusting, hopeful spirits can be annoying. 

I've watched  my siblings grow from cuddly babies, to hyper toddlers, to questioning preschoolers, to independent elementary school kids, to pensive junior highers, to changing high schoolers, and now several of them are adults. Adults with personalities, beliefs, and habits that both thrill and annoy me. But they are people--just like they've always been.

We can't demand that we live in a world where a certain segment of the population is cut off from all the rest. We don't want to live in that world, because worlds like that are dangerous, dark places that pull humanity apart. 

Every person was a kid once, but not every person is a kid person. Not every person is a people person, or a doctor who wants to treat the sick, nor does every person have a heart for the elderly.

We're differently, uniquely fashioned so that we can contribute towards the good of others in our own way. Children are a part of the tapestry of humanity. Not everyone is called to teach, or to be a pediatrician, or work in some field with the intention of interacting with children every day.  But to go through life hoping, rather expecting, not to encounter children is silly.

It would be like going through life hoping to avoid spring because of the bees that came with the blossoms. 

Haley also points out what we all know but like to forget--where there is a child, there is a parent. And most parents work to make sure their little hellions are darlings at least some of the time. Work to teach them manners and how to be upright citizens. 

I don't expect the entire world to adore my child the way I do. I only expect the world to embrace my child as a citizen of humanity. As a tiny of piece of the continuing human race. I'm sure he will be annoying many times in life--just as I am annoying many times a day. I'm sure he will do, say, or even smell in a way that causes others comfort level to fluctuate. It's part of living outside a bubble. 

I work hard to make sure my baby isn't screaming in public, sporting a stinky diaper, or being a general menace. I'll worker harder (and with fewer good results, I'm sure) to see that my toddler enacts as minimal destruction as possible.  I probably won't arrive at a fine dining establishment with my baby in tow--because he can make less expensive messes elsewhere.  But my son will appear in the public eye--on airplanes, in weddings, and in church. And during these times, I will teaching him just how to be human, and how to serve and love others. 

But please, from a mother, a lover of people, and as someone who observes humans' various tics every day, let's not create a second, childfree society. Let's not take it upon ourselves to ban children from flights, churches, weddings, and restaurants just because we don't like them or because they are inconvenient. Let's not encourage a behavior that seeks to distance children from society as much as possible. 

Let's encourage each other to be polite. Let's examine ourselves for our own poor mannerisms. Let's turn a kind gaze on those who work so hard in the name of good, responsible parenting. 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

I've Made the Church a Stumbling Block

I'm about to admit something for which I have no excuse. Something that my background makes surprising. It's a candid, raw something. If you taught me Bible or lead me in Awana, you might want to look away. Or, at the very least, prepare yourself. 

Here it goes.

I just read ten consecutive chapters of the Bible for the first time (Romans 1-10). And I mean read.  Not skimming for the good, obvious parts to jot down in a requisite journal or for my favorite verse for a debate, but truly read. Feet curled up, eyes and mind engaged, pondering the words before me. 

I thought. I reflected. And I read more. 

Some of the verses were as familiar to me as a hometown. Their syntax and words long ingrained in my memory, thanks to a childhood of Abeka curriculum and AWANA.

But fore and aft those verses were new ones, that context that we Christians so love to debate. But they were more than just texture, more than just a velvet pillow for the gems of commonly memorized verses to rest upon. They were precepts, ideas, instructions, and yes, background that left me yearning for more.

It could be said that I truly read my Bible for the first time at twenty three. I might have read it like this a few times before--I honestly can't remember. 

But as I read, reflected, chewed and digested, I was struck with these thoughts. 

  • There is so much more to this faith than the bare skeleton of power points and popular Bible verses. There's a richness in the words and syntax, but more importantly, a power. 
  • Following the first point, I am so small. So weak. So petty, selfish, and guilty. So human. And yes, so sinful. 
  • Romans is both straightforward and complex. The intricacies of faith, grace, the law, and righteousness have me needing to go back and read again. 
  • The different interpretation battles that have caused thousands of denominations to sprout up? I understand the struggle now. With many verses, I wasn't quite sure what I thought, as various churches' beliefs flooded my mind. 
  • Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes (Romans 10:4).
It's ridiculous that I've only just accepted this, but my battle with the modern American church and its denominational fragmentation can be won by reading the Bible myself. Not just a snippet or well selected chapter, but reading with the gusto that I would attack a beloved novel. Because this is my faith, my relationship, my struggle with sin, and my quest for righteousness in Christ. 

I can't judge others for their strange interpretation of the scriptures if I rely on faded memories of others' interpretation. I can't applaud my lack of legalism when I, myself, am guilty. It's difficult to look down on others when the words in the first ten chapters of Romans smack me in my comfortable perch and remind me just what I am. 

It is fitting that before I journeyed through Romans this evening, I read Proverbs 3, which opens with "My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart (1)" when I've done exactly that.

I still know the key Bible verses, the most debated pieces of theology, and can fit in like a middle puzzle piece with Christian culture as well as anyone. But I let the building blocks my upbringing afforded me--an arsenal of Bible verses, a think tank of theological debates, and a running knowledge of the Christian vernacular to become crux of my faith.

It's easy to find what's wrong with the church, but I didn't want to find what was wrong with me. Yes, too many denominations struggle with patriarchy, and I'll no soon join the gaggle of female voices vying for "Most Submissive Mrs." then I'll declare myself a green elephant. But I can search, read, and mediate on the Scriptures and ponder the vastness of Christ, sin, redemption, and just what it means to walk by faith. 

I'm a sinner like everyone else. I need to practice more love and less harshness like everyone else. And like my brothers and sisters in Christ, I need to truly work to become more Christ-like, and not be distracted by my own faults that I find in others. 

I've made the church my very own stumbling block. Note that I didn't say "let", but made. The remedy to the legalism and minimizing doctrine has always been at my literal fingertips, but I've been ignoring it. 

Paul's letter to the Romans? It's a letter, a letter I've finally read as one. 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Celebrating Father's Day Again

The Best F Words

It's been a moon or so since I posted everything, but Lauren's link up is the only one that doesn't terrify little ol' me and this topic is perfect.

The Day of Fathers.

Lauren, like me, lost her awesome dad far too young and her post is a shining example of how God has worked and blessed her life in the past year. I read it, loved it, and you should, too.

I've written extensively about losing a parent, and one of my first posts was an ode to my father on the fourth Father's Day without him. So I won't belabor that point.

The first few years after he died, there were four time periods that were most difficult: The weeks of February (when he died), his birthday in August, Father's Day, and the holidays.  I approached these times with dread and terror. It was morbid that my birthday fell only five days after his death day (oh yes, I called it that). His birthday was awkward because we wanted to memorialize it, but we couldn't actually celebrate it. I hated my once beloved Christmas music because he wasn't there to sing along to the radio.  And Father's Day? Father's Day was a twisted joke. I hated it. We would beg our mom not to make us go to church that day.  We wanted the dead to walk among the living, not quite literally but almost.

(So gloomy. It gets better!)

The holidays got better first. Our large family is full of laughter and joy, and it drove away the sad memories and strengthened the beautiful ones. His birthday was next. August is just too hot to be sad, really, and it tended to slip by us on the calendar. His death day was acknowledged by discussing our feelings, and at the five year mark, I got engaged. Something he would have approved of. And this year, Landon was born the day after the seventh anniversary of Daddy's death. Life changed, bloomed, and ticked on.

Finally, Father's Day. I realized a couple years ago that I could either spend the day saddened that my father wasn't with me anymore, or I could spend it relishing the beautiful memories I had. I had an amazing father. Someone who loved me, provided for me, taught me how to work, think, and laugh. I had so much more than many people. I had been given an exquisite gift, and I needed to start expressing gratitude for it, instead of wishing it stayed longer.

This process took me years, around five, I think. It's natural and healthy to intensely grieve a lost parent on the days that so sharply remind us of our loss. Humans are created to love, but with love comes pain. But I couldn't spent a decade grieving one loss in my life, completely hating a silly day on a calendar. I let myself be sad on February 5th because it's a sad memory. But only for the morning. In the afternoon, I'm happy because of the joyful memories that occurred five years later.

So on Father's Day this year, I was happy. Happy to relive the memories of my childhood. I recalled the trips across the country, lessons about history and culture, and my father's dreams for his children. I celebrated Father's Day in that way.

This Father's Day was even better because I now have a baby, a baby that has a father who adores him, cares for him, and champions for him. I want Landon to have what I had: the knowledge that I was loved and adored by my earthly father, and he has that. What more could a girl want?

Saturday, May 31, 2014

The Baby Gear That Rocks My World

When I was pregnant, all I ever heard about baby gear was the first time parents buy too much and each baby is different, which while being the definition of truth, is not that helpful.

But, now that Landon is nearing his four month mark (next week!!!), I have my List of life-saving baby gear. And inspired by our recent foray into traveling and vacationing, I'm going to share my thoughts with the interwebz. Get ready, folks. This is the inspired word of Susie right here.

1. The Bouncer 
We have this exact bouncer. It's found at Target for $29.99!

We got this magical piece of equipment at the baby shower and it has been used every day since we got home from the hospital. The majority of the obscene number of baby pictures I've posted have Landon nestled in its bouncey depths. It is the one thing that Landon would accept leaving my arms for, back when he was a teeny tiny. I bounced Lando in it while I wrote the last of my capstone. (I'd say edit, but that never happened.) But the second reason why I love, love, love this piece of equipment? He sleeps in it. I know some mamas are crib immediately fans, but I think bouncers work ever so well in the beginning and they are little and portable. So many wins for the little bouncer that could.
The only negative about the beloved bouncer is the 25 pound weight limit, which is a whopping problem for those of us with butterball babies. They need a Chubby Baby Edition.

2. Stroller You WILL Use
Our actual set. Found at Target!

Every family has a different defintion for what will be the best stroller. For some, it's a double for that sure to be forthcoming second child. For others, it's all about the brand. In my case, a jogging stroller travel system. I loved the fact that it would save money to buy them together, and that I would be able to go jogging (or powerwalking) while Lando was itty bitty. Personally, I think jogging strollers "drive" better than regular, four wheeled strollers and I don't mind the extra bulk; it's good for parting crowds. And I don't see the point of multiple large strollers. Who has space for that? (We also have this adorable pop up stroller that's perfect for this shorty in a pinch.) We took this contraption to Six Flags and it was fantastic. Landon was comfortable and protected from the sun, and the undercarriage stored all our stuff.  All the perks of four wheeled strollers, PLUS smoother riding and the ability to take off in a sprint when needed. I love it!

3. Something to Wear

We have this exact one, complete with the stars. I got it at a half off sale!

Baby wearing is awesome, seriously. I'm an intense advocate of using two hands for life, and babywearing makes that possible. There are dozens--if not hundreds--of options for wraps, carriers, more wraps, hybrids, etc, and a lot of people have multiple options. I chose an Ergo because wrapping+newborness seemed like a terrifying combo, but our Ergo is pretty bulky and hot. My "next time around" plan is to find a fairly easy hybrid for the tiny days, and possibly learn how to master the wrap. Maybe. We recently took Landon to San Fransisco, and as an afterthought, brought this along. We attempted to play tourist with the stroller and failed because...stairs and tiny shops hate strollers. So we walked back to the car and switched to the Ergo. It was superb. That tight band (belt?) thing around the model's hips is supposed to help support the baby, and it actually works! I think I was less tired while baby-wearing than I would have been with him in the stroller. Landon loved the cuddle time, and he got to associate new sights with all the crazy sounds he was experiencing. Some uber talented women nurse while baby-wearing, but I seriously doubt my skill level when it comes to that. This model of the Ergo even has a handy pocket to store things--like a phone--in, which was more than helpful for someone who is constantly dropping her phone. (Otterbox was made for me!)

And there they are! The three pieces of baby equipment that make my life ever so much better. That annoying caveat of "each baby is different'' still applies, but I strongly suggest variations of these three pieces.

When you're mother to this guy...

...awesomeness is a requirement.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Because Babies Are Awesome (At Least Mine Is)

I keep staring at my computer screen expecting a brilliant opening statement to appear and...blank space.

There's a few important items I need to announce.

I finished my capstone and turned it in with 19 minutes to spare! I had great hopes that it would be this radical, nuanced, stunning piece of work, and it's not. But, it's finished, and I'm pretty sure I'm the only person in Regent's graduating class who had a baby during the semester, and I wrote it either when Landon was asleep, when I was bouncing him with my foot, or when Stephen was here. So, I'm declaring victory nonetheless. In true Susie fashion I totally forgot how to create an MLA works cited page, which is something I've been doing off memory for five years. I get antsy with deadlines. Thankfully, Google exists and I survived.

Now I have an assignment in each of my non-senior classes, and then as of May 2nd, I'm a college graduate. *Tosses hat in the air*  At least the 2nd is when Regent's 2014 commencement is, so that's the date I'm claiming.

And the next week my sister graduates from TMC, and the next week my brother walks at CSU's commencement, and the next another brother graduates 8th grade. (And then my mom gets married!!) So, as you can see, our family is totally into letting each person have their time in the spotlight. And yes, our age versus graduation year pattern makes no sense, but we each had a different journey towards undergrad commencement.

I've been googling different quotations for my facebook cover photos, and I came across this insightful thought--supposedly by Elanor Roosevelt. (Can't trust the interwebz.)

And I find this so fitting, especially right now in the season of graduations and whatnot. It's fantastic reminder to me that, every day, I make choices that influence my tomorrow. It's a maxim about living intentionally, something that I often forget to do.

I think the biggest (such a lame adjective for an English major, but carrying on) reason I'm delighted to be graduating is that I won't have this steep expense draining my bank account. I paid my last pennies (hundreds of dollars) of tuition a few weeks ago, and it's so freeing not to have it anymore.I'm sure I'll eventually have more education, and that will come at a price, of course, but for these next months I'm going to enjoy not having to pay tuition.

Now that I'm finished (I promise) waxing poetic about my journey in expensive academia, I'm going to talk about my favorite bambino ever.


I think he looks fatter here than he does in person--everything's squishing together so adorably here--but he is a total butterball.  I've been incredibly lucky and blessed that I've been able to exclusively breastfeed him--his occasional bottle is filled with perfectly warmed, pumped milk. He's ~15 pounds, sailing through his milestones, and as you can see, healthy, healthy, healthy. 

Whenever we go out, people comment on his rolls, or his smile, or just the fact that he's a baby, and I love it. The world can be a dark, sad place, and babies are such joy-bringers. They're everything that's fresh, innocent, and trusting in this world, and I think people are encouraged when they see a little beacon of joy. 

I've been loving life lately--especially the last few days that I've been finished with my capstone. Landon is interactive and fun, and I'm getting to see my husband so much more than when we were both working a lot, or when we were engaged or dating. I'm totally spoiled and have another seven weeks after I graduate to stay home with Landon before I go back to work. I find it crazy, but the girl who was constantly inundating her bosses with requests for full time hours at (technically) part time jobs--all while going to school full time--now will do anything in her power to work part time for this season of life. Babies are life changers.
One of my friends described this time as a "golden era" for us, and it truly is.

In my quest for yet another cover picture, I find this delightful piece of insight by Hemingway. 

This summarizes my precise feelings on the matter, and the imagery of blood-covered type writer is...well, beautiful in its grotesque way. 

I have the best intentions of building a new blog, now that some lovely people have pledged to follow me. It's on my post-graduation to-do list, and it will completed in a few weeks. It will. It must. 

The drool-monster (he can't be teething yet, right?!!) is still cheerfully kicking away and I'm yawning because he decided to act like an actual baby and sleep in two hour stints last night. I'm an avowed not-a-fan and would like him to go back to regularly scheduled program of 4-6 hours, or even increase the sleeping period. However, me being sleepy means that he will be soonish, and Landon sleepy time is Susie homework time. I have a travelogue to write!

And...for those of you who ask me for blog recommendations, here's a gorgeous super mama's blog that details the hilarity and utter crazy of four children three and under.

Read Camp Patton and your life will be better for it!


Monday, April 14, 2014

My Mind on Three Espresso Shots

"Words, words, words."

1. I just turned three assignments in at once and I'm reaalllly hoping the right paper went to the right Blackboard link. Otherwise, things could get amusingly awkward.

Why did this student with a Puritan first name and Prussian surname give me brief synopsis on the economic phenomenon of human capital (capital, not chattel) when I expected a literary journalism assignment?
Because. And do note, that had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I never listened to the lecture. I've only ever listened to my Shakespeare professor's lectures, and that's because she quizzed us on them. Quiz me and I'll listen. Assume I want to listen to you and I'll ignore you.
I wish I could say my assignments were concise, brilliant pieces of work, showcasing my four years in higher education, but they were actually the ramblings of a young mother with 1.5 limbs and three spare minutes. School is eons easier childless, but life sans baby smiles is not nearly as happy.

2. My nearly 13 pound shadow and I made the exciting journey up to my mom's abode today for giggles, relaxation, and spoiling. Work days are forever when you're not working, and the wee one is still not speaking fluent English. He does, however, coo and it's adorable.
One tangent out of the way and another coming up, the bebe and I took the 5 (it's a freeway) so that we could slide through Dutch Brothers for a caffeine and sugar concoction not present in our current area.

This spot of heaven exists only in Nor Cal and Oregon.
They also lack drive thru timers, which bothers my barista brain.
 The barista in me disappeared when I pulled up the window and I ordered a drink with 3 shots of caffeine. I convinced myself I needed that for an hour and a half long drive, which is barely a jaunt in this land. (I'm currently suffering from pre-pregnancy and baby energy level and all the words want to rush out of my head through my fingertips and onto the page. Also, my eyes are hyper.)

But as soon as I began sipping my delectable concoction--and berating myself only slightly for drinking it--the wee man began to stir. Once we were on the freeway, he started protesting his cruel fate of his usually beloved carseat. Loudly. Since I am not Mrs. Incredible, equipped with the streeeeeeeetchiest arms, nor can I clone myself, and the car had to be driven, Chunk-a-lunk remained in his carseat. A few miles down the road, it became more than apparent that he was not calming down by his lonesome.
Thankfully, the builders and planners of that stretch of freeway had thoughtfully built a rest stop for wailing infants and their almost-deaf mothers, and Baby Bear and I pulled off into the green haven. (He has a many nicknames and they're growing exponentially. That's only a slight exaggeration.)

This is what it looked like to my mommy eyes.
I parked facing an emerald tinted grassy area, pulled Lando out of the seat of apparent torture, and nursed him while we pondered why April weather cannot be summer weather and the dulcet smell of freshly mowed grass. Once he was properly comforted and I knew it was impossible for his belly to be slightly empty, I hurried to put him in his car seat and get back on the road. I had assignments to turn in and only minutes to do them. (Life on the dangerous side, I know.)

And that's when The Man approached. He did the usual "Ma'am, ma'am, maaaaa'aaam" routine, which I ignored, per my usual fear of strange humans in parking lots. But he kept walking towards me, so I spun around and quite obviously looked for a weapon. I think I settled on my laptop cord, which I planned to use as a lasso/smacking device. He finally stopped a reasonable distance away from me and this conversation occurred.

Stranger Danger: "Do you think someone could catch a ride with you to Wal Mart?"
-Wal Mart is 4-5 miles down the freeway-
Susie's brain: So you can murder me and kidnap my adorable child? I think not!
Susie's mouth. "No, no I'm sorry. I can't today."
SD: "Ok, I get it. You have a kid."
SB: What a lovely person, not Stranger Danger at all. He gets it. 
He then starts to walk away, only to spin back around to continue the riveting dialogue.
SD: "Even if it was a girl?"
SB: Mayyybe--no. Still too close to child. Plus, homework, grades, graduation. 
SM: "I'm sorry. I really can't. I have assignments and I need to get home."
SD: "It's only four miles up the road."
SB: Oh no. He looks dangerous again. Summon mother bear scariness. 
SM: "I'm sorry. I REALLY need to get home."
SD: "One day YOU might be stranded on the side of the road."

And with that mildly karmic threat, he walked off, I finished buckling in the babe, and peeled out. Poor man and traveling companions, broken down at a rest stop and the only car around is piloted by a protective mother bear. Is there a non-creepy/scary way to as a stranger for a ride?


For the first few weeks of his life, Landon was all about the fist pump. Now, he holds his fist in boxer pose. It's even more adorable as it sounds. I haven't captured it on iphone camera because he's a genius at stopping his new tricks once the phone comes out.
He's not the only one fist pumping these days.
Senior seminar is over in one week.
Other classes in three. Or less, if I want to be extra productive.
Whenever I think about graduating, finishing, completing my undergrad, I can't help but throw up a fist pump.
 I'm sure everyone knows just what made my collegiate journey so intense, but in case there's a bloggy lurker, here's the tale of the 40 grand in student loans I'll never pay and just what that journey cost me.

4. And for the few brave souls who made it this far, I have a deep question of the universe for you. If I retire this blog and start afresh, will you be my bloggy followers? And on the off chance someone agrees to the first question, what topics should I clutter the interwebz with? Probably none. But I do love to overshare!