She's a riot and a sweetheart. She'll definitely need some training up, but she's going to be a great dog. And as you can tell from the last two pictures, we're getting along well.


awkward stage #1

I feel like I'm in a really awkward stage of pregnancy... its before you're ready to announce your impending parenthood, so its really hard to explain why you're practically barfing on your coworker's shoe. And falling asleep in the middle of the day. And peeing 900 times.


Last night was our orientation at the Birth Center. I ended up sitting next to this really sweet girl who was also dealing with some nausea... and it was just so so nice to be with someone who really understood what I was feeling. Not that Travis isn't great... he is! So great! He's sympathetic and helpful, caring and sweet. But still, he isn't going through it... and it was so nice to have someone understand it exactly with just a look.

As for the orientation itself. It was fine. Nice because it was our first baby related appointment! And I did hear some statistics I wasn't aware of. Plus we got a tour of the birthing rooms. Not so great because it was long and full mostly of information I already knew. Oh well. Real first appointment on Tuesday!

rough week

I'm so happy its Friday, its been a bit of a rough week. Work has been busy, of course, extra so because of my time off next week... and I've had a bit of a stomach something which never helps. Especially since I didn't feel like I could take any sick days this week, what with having the whole next week off. Even when you start to get over something like that, it leaves you feeling so drained... and I didn't sleep well at all last night, waking up 3 or 4 times and having trouble getting back to sleep afterwards. So this morning, when I had to wake up earlier then normal, I was feeling crappy again, and was definitely a cranky mess!! Poor Trav. :-) But, I just have to get through the day and then I don't have to worry about work for 9 more!

I'm excited and nervous for this weekend. Excited because of getting to see all of Trav's family, and getting Daisy tonight!! Nervous because, well, we're getting a PUPPY tonight! Gah! Plus, pretty much all of our family visiting interactions involve food, and with a freshly recovering tummy, I don't want to push it. So I am a little worried about that. But it really should be fun... and if I really need to escape, I can blame it on needing to check on the dog!

As for next week, well I'm sure I'll be popping in to tell you about my adventures (hopefully no misadventures) in crate training! Plus general puppy bonding and settling in. From what Trav's brother and his wife have been telling us, it seems like Daisy is a fast learner, so hopefully she'll pick it all up quickly.

Anyway, I really don't have time to write anything else at the moment, but I wanted to at least get something down here so you all know I'm not dead, and to explain why I probably won't be posting a lot next weekend. Enjoy the last of your January!



I'm so bloated right now, and stuffed. I think I ate too much at lunch... but I didn't really eat that much, and I was really really hungry. Ugh.

I can't wait until I have a real baby belly, instead of this uncomfortable gassy bloated one.

Also, due to the everyday, throughout the day periods of nausea I'm experiencing (and the tiredness), I decided to tell my boss today that I am pregnant. He congratulated me and just told me to do what I had to do. I'm glad I told him... it feels like a weight off... since I definitely haven't been at 100% lately.

One more month and we'll get to tell everyone!

7 w, 3 d


I'm at work, but wishing I were not, since it is a gross day. My MIL just arrived from Arizona last night, and I bet she took one look around and said, "This is why I moved away and am never coming back." I can't blame her. It snowed some last night, but then turned to freezing rain... making for a lovely time this morning. I missed my train since it took me so long to scrape away enough ice so that I could actually see out of my car. Then on my walk in, my boots got completely soaked through because of the frozen drains on the corners that didn't let the pooling rain in... thus creating lovely ponds at every intersection. I have to pee very badly, but seeing as my boots and socks are draped over my heater at the moment, I just have to wait. Its supposed to get up to 40* today, then down to 20something tonight... meaning everything will melt during the day, then refreeze overnight. It should be lovely again tomorrow morning.

On a nicer note, I started of my day with a great breakfast of fruit, cheese, and humus on pitas. Mmm.... I love tasty leftovers! I'm also getting a new work chair today or tomorrow, as mine is worn out, and frankly too big for my desk... meaning that it doesn't pull in all the way and I end up hunching over my desk, leading to a killer back ache. So! I'm getting a new one and am stupidly excited about it. Trav and I are meeting my MIL for dinner tonight also, which will be nice.

As an aside, I can't believe that its almost February. January has been a really good month, and has flown by. Here's hoping the rest of 2009 follows suit. :-)

Okay, back to work. So so much to do before my week off!


grace in small things

I totally stole this idea from Friday Playdate, but there is no way I'm going to do this everyday... I just want to do it once in a while. Sometimes though, its necessary, fun, positive to point out the little things in everyday life that make you happy. Things that in and of themselves don't make for good reading or a whole blog post, but which made your day just a little brighter. So here are my grace in small things:

1. My coworker who brought in pre-sliced sharp cheddar cheese and told me to help myself.

2. Left over wonton soup waiting for me in the fridge.

3. Fabulous, loving in laws who are coming to visit today.

4. Private little secrets between you and your husband, which give you warm fuzzies everytime you think of them.

5. My soft, snuggly sweater.

6. Having so much to look forward to... seeing friends, parties, road trips.

7. Being blessed with amazing friends and family.

Where do your little bits of grace come from?


year of the ox

Weeks before a week off are always the longest. Or maybe the second longest after the week when you return to work after the week off. Either way, its the Monday of what will probably be a long week. But, a good one too I'm sure. Trav's parents are coming in this week, as are his brothers, for Willy's 85th birthday this weekend. We're also getting Daisy on Friday and couldn't be more excited.

As for today... well I have a busy busy work day ahead of me, so much to get done before my week off. And it is also the Chinese New Year! Welcome to the year of the ox!

This past weekend was great... I didn't want it to end. We did lots of relaxing, some shopping, and stopped by Willy's on Sunday to make sure things were in some kind of order before Trav's parents get in. Saturday was great because I got to spend time with two of my lovely ladies. My hoser came down and we went out to a nice dinner at the Pearl. It was great to catch up and hear about all the new stuff in her life. Since I last saw her she's gotten engaged, picked a wedding date, started her last semester of law school, and moved in with her fiance. We had plenty to talk about. After dinner we headed over to a still pregnant Ro's house.

We watched some movies and hung out, then Lauren took me home and headed back to Jersey.
I'm already looking forward to seeing Hoser again, and the fact that thanks to a bridal shower and wedding we're both attending, I'll actually get to see her three times in three months! :-)

As for now, its time for me to get back to work. Lots to do!


document every moment

I don't want every post I make about my pregnancy to be complaining... but I really want to record it all, to remember every detail. And right now, that means talking about how I sort of feel like crap a lot. Not horrible, just off most of the time. Right now that means tired, periods of nausea all day, bloated to the point that I already broke out my imitation bella band, so at least when I have to unbutton my pants they won't fall down, and no one can really notice. I'm having trouble concentrating at work right now, and meal times are hard because there isn't much that I want to eat at the moment, or if there is something I want, it never seems to be something I have. Also, I get hungry, but if I eat a full meal then my stomach feels achy and bloated. I messed with my routine this morning (ate my crackers before brushing my teeth instead of the other way around) and almost threw up while brushing my teeth, then again while in the shower. I've been waking up on average around once a night to pee, but last night I woke up twice, then ended up getting up about 10 minutes early because I had to pee again. It's 10am and I've already peed 3 times today, and I need to go again.

But. I'm thrilled. I really am. I'm still estatic over this pregnancy and the fact that I actually get to say, "I'm pregnant!" I would go through all this and more for the little blob of a baby that currently forming eyes in my uterus, with its little heart beating away. It will all be worth it when we see our little one at the first ultrasound (about 5.5weeks from now!).

This weekend I get to tell Lauren (Hoser), and I can.not. wait for her reaction. The weekend after that hopefully we'll be telling Trav's parents. Then two weekends after that, mine. Each of those is going to be awesome. It's so amazing to share this with others.

6w, 5d


almost the weekend

It's almost the weekend. I'm completely excited for it because my Hoser is coming down and we're going to go out for dinner, then to Ro's for some movie watching (as long as she is not in the process of birthing a baby). I haven't seen Hoser in a bit because she's so damn busy! Well we've been busy too... but she is especially busy, a social butterfly. So this should be a lot of fun. Especially if we talk politics, since she's a cold-hearted Republican and I'm a fluffy-headed Democrat. :-) But we have so much else to talk about, including her engagement and the planning of the nuptuals.

As for right now, I have a ton of work to do... so I better get to it. Doesn't it always seem like everything is due at the same time?


6 week letter

Dear Blobby-Baby,

Can I talk about the world I'm bringing you into? Yesterday we swore into office the first black president of the United States. This is big... not just because I am a supporter of President Obama, which I am! But also because of the history that was made. I want to impress on you how historic this election, and yesterday's ceremony, was little one. But also, I am happy that I will have to explain to you why that is true. That it won't just be apparent... because you, my child, will never remember a time when a black man couldn’t be president. This is so amazingly wonderful to me.

When I was in elementary school, I had a class period where we would get to play on computers. We learned to type on the keyboard, and got to play a game called Oregon Trail, which many people my age remember fondly. When my family got its first computer at home, it was a very big deal for your grandparents... it was fun and exciting for me to... but not in the way it was for my parents, who didn't grow up with computers. I never really understood what the big deal was, because in my lifetime, computers for personal use were always possible. That’s how you, my lovely bean, will feel about a black president; it will be something that is just part of the landscape.

Baby, you are so lucky to have been born in a time where this is possible, in a time where generations have come together to change the face of our country... to point out that we don't want to have our highest office chosen by ignorant, racism, and fear. We have finally stood up and said, enough, we are more civilized than all of that.

I finally feel like we may have the momentum to change and fix so much of what has gone wrong — from economics to the environment, to health care and humanitarian disasters — that instead of leaving your generation with a burden almost impossible to climb, there is hope that we may in fact leave you with a world that is better than the one you were born into.

I love you so much already little one. And I'm so very very hopeful for your future.


My New President!

First Presidential Address:

My fellow citizens:

I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors. I thank President Bush for his service to our nation, as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition.

Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath. The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because We the People have remained faithful to the ideals of our forbearers, and true to our founding documents.

So it has been. So it must be with this generation of Americans.

That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.

These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable but no less profound is a sapping of confidence across our land - a nagging fear that America’s decline is inevitable, and that the next generation must lower its sights.

Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many.

They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America - they will be met. On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.

On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.

We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.

In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of short-cuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted - for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things - some celebrated but more often men and women obscure in their labor, who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.

For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans in search of a new life.

For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West; endured the lash of the whip and plowed the hard earth.

For us, they fought and died, in places like Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sahn. Time and again these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life. They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction.

This is the journey we continue today. We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth. Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions - that time has surely passed. Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.

For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act - not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology’s wonders to raise health care’s quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. And all this we will do.

Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions - who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short. For they have forgotten what this country has already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage.

What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them - that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply. The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works - whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. And those of us who manage the public’s dollars will be held to account - to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day - because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.

Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched, but this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control - and that a nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous. The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our Gross Domestic Product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on our ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart - not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.

As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience’s sake. And so to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

We are the keepers of this legacy. Guided by these principles once more, we can meet those new threats that demand even greater effort - even greater cooperation and understanding between nations. We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people, and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan. With old friends and former foes, we will work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the specter of a warming planet. We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.

For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus - and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.

To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect.

To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society’s ills on the West - know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.

To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds. And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world’s resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.

As we consider the road that unfolds before us, we remember with humble gratitude those brave Americans who, at this very hour, patrol far-off deserts and distant mountains. They have something to tell us today, just as the fallen heroes who lie in Arlington whisper through the ages.

We honor them not only because they are guardians of our liberty, but because they embody the spirit of service; a willingness to find meaning in something greater than themselves. And yet, at this moment - a moment that will define a generation - it is precisely this spirit that must inhabit us all.

For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies. It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break, the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours. It is the firefighter’s courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent’s willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate.

Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends - hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism - these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility - a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.

This is the price and the promise of citizenship.

This is the source of our confidence - the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny.

This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed - why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent mall, and why a man whose father less than sixty years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.

So let us mark this day with remembrance, of who we are and how far we have traveled. In the year of America’s birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by dying campfires on the shores of an icy river. The capital was abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood. At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people:

“Let it be told to the future world…that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive…that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet [it].”

America. In the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children’s children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God’s grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.

Thank you. God Bless You. And God Bless the United States of America.

Updated White House website (go Obama!):

Support for the LGBT Community
"While we have come a long way since the Stonewall riots in 1969, we still have a lot of work to do. Too often, the issue of LGBT rights is exploited by those seeking to divide us. But at its core, this issue is about who we are as Americans. It's about whether this nation is going to live up to its founding promise of equality by treating all its citizens with dignity and respect."
-- Barack Obama, June 1, 2007

  • Expand Hate Crimes Statutes: In 2004, crimes against LGBT Americans constituted the third-highest category of hate crime reported and made up more than 15 percent of such crimes. President Obama cosponsored legislation that would expand federal jurisdiction to include violent hate crimes perpetrated because of race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, or physical disability. As a state senator, President Obama passed tough legislation that made hate crimes and conspiracy to commit them against the law.

  • Fight Workplace Discrimination: President Obama supports the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, and believes that our anti-discrimination employment laws should be expanded to include sexual orientation and gender identity. While an increasing number of employers have extended benefits to their employees' domestic partners, discrimination based on sexual orientation in the workplace occurs with no federal legal remedy. The President also sponsored legislation in the Illinois State Senate that would ban employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

  • Support Full Civil Unions and Federal Rights for LGBT Couples: President Obama supports full civil unions that give same-sex couples legal rights and privileges equal to those of married couples. Obama also believes we need to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and enact legislation that would ensure that the 1,100+ federal legal rights and benefits currently provided on the basis of marital status are extended to same-sex couples in civil unions and other legally-recognized unions. These rights and benefits include the right to assist a loved one in times of emergency, the right to equal health insurance and other employment benefits, and property rights.

  • Oppose a Constitutional Ban on Same-Sex Marriage: President Obama voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment in 2006 which would have defined marriage as between a man and a woman and prevented judicial extension of marriage-like rights to same-sex or other unmarried couples.

  • Repeal Don't Ask-Don't Tell: President Obama agrees with former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff John Shalikashvili and other military experts that we need to repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" policy. The key test for military service should be patriotism, a sense of duty, and a willingness to serve. Discrimination should be prohibited. The U.S. government has spent millions of dollars replacing troops kicked out of the military because of their sexual orientation. Additionally, more than 300 language experts have been fired under this policy, including more than 50 who are fluent in Arabic. The President will work with military leaders to repeal the current policy and ensure it helps accomplish our national defense goals.

  • Expand Adoption Rights: President Obama believes that we must ensure adoption rights for all couples and individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation. He thinks that a child will benefit from a healthy and loving home, whether the parents are gay or not.

  • Promote AIDS Prevention: In the first year of his presidency, President Obama will develop and begin to implement a comprehensive national HIV/AIDS strategy that includes all federal agencies. The strategy will be designed to reduce HIV infections, increase access to care and reduce HIV-related health disparities. The President will support common sense approaches including age-appropriate sex education that includes information about contraception, combating infection within our prison population through education and contraception, and distributing contraceptives through our public health system. The President also supports lifting the federal ban on needle exchange, which could dramatically reduce rates of infection among drug users. President Obama has also been willing to confront the stigma -- too often tied to homophobia -- that continues to surround HIV/AIDS.

  • Empower Women to Prevent HIV/AIDS: In the United States, the percentage of women diagnosed with AIDS has quadrupled over the last 20 years. Today, women account for more than one quarter of all new HIV/AIDS diagnoses. President Obama introduced the Microbicide Development Act, which will accelerate the development of products that empower women in the battle against AIDS. Microbicides are a class of products currently under development that women apply topically to prevent transmission of HIV and other infections.

NYT article... rejection of Bush era!

Obama speech rejects Bush era
President dwelled on choices U.S. faces, not momentousness of ascension

ANALYSIS By David E. Sanger
The New York Times updated 8:59 a.m. ET, Wed., Jan. 21, 2009

WASHINGTON - Barack Obama’s Inaugural Address on Tuesday was a stark repudiation of the era of George W. Bush and the ideological certainties that surrounded it, wrapped in his pledge to drive the United States into “a new age” by reclaiming the values of an older one.

It was a delicate task, with Mr. Bush and Dick Cheney sitting feet from him as Mr. Obama, only minutes into his term as president, described the false turns and the roads not taken.

To read his words literally, Mr. Obama blamed no one other than the country itself, critiquing “our collective failure to make hard choices” and a willingness to suspend national ideals “for expedience’s sake” — a clear reference to the cascade of decisions ranging from interrogation policies to wiretapping to the invasion of Iraq.

Yet not since 1933, when Franklin D. Roosevelt called for a “restoration” of American ethics and “action, and action now” as Herbert Hoover sat and seethed, has a new president so publicly rejected the essence of his predecessor’s path.

When Mr. Obama looked forward, however, he was far less specific about how he would combine his lofty vision and his passion for pragmatism into urgently needed solutions.

Mr. Obama spoke eloquently of the need to “restore science to its rightful place” and to “harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories.” But he never acknowledged that his agenda would eventually have to be reconciled with towering budget deficits or spelled out what “unpleasant decisions” he would be willing to make in the service of a renewed America.

Focus on choices U.S. faces
At times, Mr. Obama seemed to chastise the nation, quoting Scripture to caution that “the time has come to set aside childish things.” It seemed a call to end an age of overconsumption and the presumption that America had a right to lead the world, a right that he reminded “must be earned.”

The chiding, if most resonant of the last eight years, also harked back to an argument he advanced early in his run for the White House: that the nation had been ill-served by the social, cultural and political divisions of the generation that included Bill Clinton as well as Mr. Bush.

Every time Mr. Obama urged Americans to “choose our better history,” to reject a “false choice” between safety and American ideals and to recognize that American military power does not “entitle us to do as we please,” he was clearly signaling a commitment to remake America’s approach to the world and to embrace pragmatism, not just as a governing strategy but also as a basic value.

It was, in many ways, exactly what one might have expected from a man who propelled himself to the highest office in the land by denouncing how an excess of ideological zeal had taken the nation on a disastrous detour. But what was surprising about the speech was how much he dwelled on the choices America faces, rather than the momentousness of his ascension to the presidency.

Following the course Mr. Obama set during his campaign, he barely mentioned his race. He did not need to. The surroundings said it all as he stood on the steps of a Capitol built by the hands of slaves, and as he placed his own hand on the Bible last used by Abraham Lincoln.

Mr. Obama talked, with echoes of Churchill, of the challenges of taking command of a nation beset by what he called “gathering clouds and raging storms.” As a student of past Inaugural Addresses, he knew what he needed to accomplish. He had to evoke the clarion call for national unity that Lincoln made the centerpiece of his second Inaugural Address, in 1865, married with Franklin Roosevelt’s warning that the market had been allowed to go haywire thanks to the “stubbornness” and “incompetence” of business leaders. And he needed to recall the combination of national inspiration and resoluteness against new enemies that John F. Kennedy delivered in his Inaugural Address, just over six months before Mr. Obama was born.

As his voice and image resonated down the Mall, Mr. Obama spoke across many generations stretching to the Washington Monument and beyond.

Mixed in the crowd were the last remnants of the World War II generation, led by the all-black Tuskegee Airmen for whom Jim Crow was such a daily presence that the arrival of this day seemed unimaginable.

There were middle-aged veterans of the civil rights movement for whom this seemed the crowning achievement of a lifetime of struggles. And there were young Americans — and an overwhelming number of young African-Americans — with no memory of the civil rights movement or of the cold war, for whom Mr. Obama was a symbol of an age of instant messaging, constant networking and integration in every new meaning of the word.

For those three generations, for the veterans who arrived in wheelchairs and the teenagers wearing earphones and tapping on their iPhones, Mr. Obama’s speech was far less important than the moment itself. Many of those who braved the 17 degree chill to swarm onto the Mall at daybreak had said they would not believe America would install a black president until they witnessed him taking the oath of office, even if they had to see it on a Jumbotron a mile from the event.

By the time Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. administered that oath (and stumbling on a few of the words, leading the new president to do the same), Mr. Obama’s ascendance was so historic that the address became larger than its own language, more imbued with meaning than anything he could say.

And yet what he did say must have come as a bit of a shock to Mr. Bush. No stranger to criticism, over the past eight years he had rarely been forced to sit in silence listening to a speech about how America had gone off the rails on his watch.

Mr. Obama’s recitation of how much had gone wrong was particularly striking to anyone who had followed Mr. Bush around the country, especially during the re-election campaign of 2004, when he said it was his job “to confront problems, not to pass them on to future presidents and future generations.”

Blamed era 'of greed'
Yet Mr. Obama blamed America’s economic peril on an era “of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some,” and talked of how “the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.” It was an explicit critique of an administration that went to war in the Middle East but rejected the shared sacrifice of conservation, and reluctantly embraced the scientific evidence around global warming.

When Mr. Obama turned to foreign policy, he had a more difficult task: to signal to the world that America’s approach would change without appearing to acknowledge that America’s military was dangerously overstretched or that its will for victory would wane after Mr. Bush departed for Texas.

Mr. Obama never rose to the heights of Kennedy’s “pay any price, bear any burden.” Instead, he harked back to the concept that gave birth to the Peace Corps, noting that the cold war was won “not just with missiles and tanks,” but by leaders who understood “that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please.”

The new president skirted past the questions of how he would remake American detention policy, how he would set the rules for interrogation and how he would engage Iran and North Korea, beyond promising to “extend a hand” to those willing “to unclench your fist.” He simply promised to strike the balance differently, as America tries to hew to its ideals while pursuing a strategy of silent strength.

Whether he can execute that change is a test that begins Wednesday morning.

This story, "Rejecting Bush Era, Reclaiming Values", originally appeared in The New York Times.

Copyright © 2009 The New York Times

Welcome Mr. President.


i have waited 8 years for this...

Eight LONG years I have waited for this day!

I can't even explain how happy, proud, and hopeful I am right now. All that this "changing of the guard" could mean.

Today is a great day!

Pictures courtesy of Pundit Kitchen.

thrilled to be uncomfortable

The smell of the ramon noodles, which 1.5 hours ago was absolutely delicious, is now making me nauseous. But I'm starving at the same time.
I want goldfish crackers, or a cheeseburger... but not a cheeseburger, maybe a sandwich. Even though I ate 1.5 hours ago. Hmm.

I almost threw up in the shower this morning.

Also, I put off going to the bathroom for about twenty minutes because I feel like there is no way I should actually have to pee ever hour. But I was wrong. I did. And all I got for my troubles was a sore bladder.

All in all. I'm absolutely thrilled. :-) Keep growing blobby-baby!!

6w, 2d


this and that

Its Monday, and I'm lucky enough to have the day off. So I'm relaxing, waiting for Trav to get home, watching some TV and trying to stay warm! This weekend was a nice one. Saturday Trav & I set up the dog crate that we got for free. Its huge! I fit in it easily. That will be nice for when Daisy grows up, but for now... we'll have to figure something out. Luckily Trav's brother said she'd be arriving in a crate, so that might be what we start off with. We also figured out what kind of dog food we're going to get. That was actually a harder decision then we thought it would be. But we're happy with what we chose... Iams... which is not too expensive, but has healthy, quality ingredients (chicken is the main ingredient). So now we just have to pick some up, plus a Kong, a bed for the big crate, and eventually a gate. A week and a half to go!

That night, Trav & I, plus Ro & Pat, checked out a restaurant in the city (on South St.) that we'd never been to before called L2. It was good... but I wouldn't go out of my way to go there again. We had a great time though... especially when we played pass the dessert at the end. :-) I took some shots of Ro that night, 38 weeks:

She's definitely uncomfortable, but trying to relax and wait for the baby to come. I headed there today so that we could take a snowy walk around the neighborhood (brisk!). The baby already dropped, and she was having some good contractions after our walk, so she's hoping it helped! Maybe I'll get some baby news soon.
Sunday was a day of football. And snow! The Eagles are out... but I can still route for the Steelers for the rest of the year. As for that snow, its still covering the ground and for part of the day, still coming down. I enjoy it as long as it doesn't make driving difficult.

That's about it for the weekend. It was nice, just what I needed. I don't want to go to work tomorrow... its always harder after the longer weekends... but at least the weekend was nice. And tomorrow is a big day!!


5w, 5d

I'm nauseous... and my back is killing me.

It's not fun, but I'll take it!! :-)

i'll admit... i cried a little

This is so sweet, how could you not:

In Ro news... she's out of the hospital and officially on maternity leave, and modified bedrest. We're going to head there tomorrow for dinner.

Now, back to work. Then, enjoying my three-day weekend.


this is why i love my job (UPDATED)

I ran out to pick up some lunch today for myself and two of my coworkers, courtesy of my "work mommy" Jan... miso soup, salad with ginger dressing, a shrimp tempura roll, and an avocado roll... so good! As I walked up to the one end of the office to deliver food to one of the coworkers, I heard her on the phone chatting away in Hebrew. Then as I walked back down towards my side of the office, I heard Miyano at her desk chatting to her husband on the phone in Japanese. I love that. I love that our office is very "international", cultured, and diverse. I don't know if I could be happy somewhere that wasn't. And thankfully I won't have to anytime soon either as there was a Staff meeting called yesterday to let us know that while raises are going to be put off until later in the year, no one is being laid off. I wasn't worried, but that's still hugely nice to hear!!

Another reason? A different coworker from the aboved named ones just dropped by my office to give me a package of almonds that she picked up for me at Trader Joe's. Just because she thought I would like them! :-) What great people I work with.

What else? Trav and I hit up the hockey game on Tuesday, which was a lot of fun like always... even though Philly lost. We had a great time, and he enjoyed laughing at me when I would yell at the players. He was also a huge sweetie and sent me a gift that day from Harry & David's. A pear tower (mmm, I love pears). Such a sweetie I have.

My only other update at the moment is Ro. I emailed her to ask how she was feeling and if she was still up for dinner this coming weekend... and this was the reply: "Dinner sounds good if I am not in the hospital. My blood pressure is pretty high. I have to go into the doctors [today] to have it checked again. Other than that the doctor said that she wants me to have the baby soon. I measured at a 41 cm on Tuesday and the doctor thinks the baby is over eight pounds now. So she is hoping I go into labor a little early. I hope so too because I am hurting pretty bad."
So sent Ro some labor thoughts! Maybe for dinner this weekend we'll whip up something spicy. Maybe she'll go into labor for dessert. ;-)

Okay, back to work I go!

UPDATED AT 2:10 to add: Ro just called to let me know that her blood pressure is still high, so they are admitting her to the hospital for observation. Hopefully, it will just be some observation, then she'll be released... but if her BP goes up anymore or she has any other problems, they'll be inducing her! Best case scenario at this point, hopefully she goes into labor on her own! I'll let you know what happens!


the babymaking

When Trav and I first started to try for a baby, I remember feeling elated. It was our turn! At any point we could have been pregnant! I couldn't believe that I didn't look different to match with how different I felt. Of course, maybe I did, since I'm sure I walked around with a very stupid grin on my face. ;-)

Then we got pregnant. The stupid grin got bigger. Another blogger said it best (many many months ago):

She described a feeling of sitting at work, shortly after learning she was pregnant but before she and her husband had announced anything, looking around her and being stunned at the ignorance of her co-workers. She said she constantly felt like yelling, "Hey, this totally amazing thing is happening to me and you don't even know about it! How can you not know? How can you not be aware of this huge, incredible thing that is going on in my life?"

... I feel like I *must* look different somehow, even though I know that is impossible. There is an intense dissonance there, between how I am thinking about myself and my life right now, and how everyone else around me is. It's weird when you think about something for so long, want something for so long. To actually be in the midst of it...

Everyday I feel like shouting, look at me! I'm pregnant! It's so hard not to burst and just tell everyone. Here's hoping the next 7 weeks speed by.

5w, 2d pregnant


drawing a blank, ramblings

I've had this window sitting open for hours now and I just can't find the words to actually put together a post. Work is busy, but that's boring and I complain about it enough. You don't want to hear that I'm sure. The weekend was great, but that was mostly because it was super relaxing and lazy. Makes for a great weekend, but not a great post. We enjoyed the hell out of it seeing as we only have next weekend free, then we have plans the following weekend, and the one after that is when we get Daisy! So... our days are going to change. Relaxing will look different. Although I'm sure she would have enjoyed the two long walks I took this weekend... one with Trav on Saturday, and one with Ro on Sunday. Ro's doing good, getting big, very ready to meet her girl. I told her she had to wait at least until next weekend though so that I can get one more pictures of her pregnant, since I forgot my camera this time. I don't think there is anyway that she'll make it to her due date... she's had some spotting and has been having contractions on and off for the past week or so. But who knows, maybe little GG will enjoy pulling a fast one on all of us and not come until a week late?!

Oh! i did think of one thing I meant to write. Not anything great, but just how psyched and proud I am about the Eagles win yesterday! It might not have been the best game ever, but we pulled it off in the end, which is all that matters. I'm happy for the Steelers too. Obviously we're a household divided, but we can agree on one thing... which is that an all PA SuperBowl would be awesome!! :-) So that's what I'm hoping for. Chances are there will be at least one PA team in the big game, but I think both would be even better. Lol.
Of course, the Super Bowl is the day after Willy's birthday party... for which Trav's parents and two brothers will be in town. So heaven help me if it is a PA game, since I will be sorely outnumbered!

Okay, I'm going to go eat some chow. Hopefully I'll be back soon with more interesting things to say.


week 5

This week our little blobby-baby is the size of an apple seed:

And! towards the end of the week, its little heart will start beating. A beating heart!! Already! I can't believe it.

Its so weird to walk around still pretending that nothing is new, nothing is different... when in fact, as of the end of this week, I will have something living inside of me. A little being with organs and a beating heart. Our baby.



Dinner was great last night... a lot of fun. And this morning was interesting as I started my morning off by splashing water all over my pants. BUT! I don't really have time to write about any of that right now since I have to get ready for today's event. I did, however, want to stop by and share this column with you. Its great, well written... I love the Dove campaign of loving yourself and your flaws... and the author and I share the same "flaw". We both hinge a lot of our self-confidence on our (pimply) skin. I wish I could post the text of the article here, but their share button isn't working for me and I can't copy and paste it... so I'm just hoping you'll give that link a click. Enjoy and I'll be back later.


into the swing of things

I think I'm finally getting into the swing of 2009, about a week after it started. My coworker, Miyano is home in Japan for a visit until next Wednesday... and coincidentally, things are really busy until then. So that means some extra work on my part. Honestly though, at least it should make the week pass quickly. Tomorrow there's a morning meeting, then I have dinner with a friend, followed by events on Thursday, Friday, and Monday. Tuesday is the hockey game I got Trav tickets for. After that it should calm down a bit. And the weekend should be nice and lazy. We have to enjoy these lazy days while they last... since we're getting Daisy very soon, and then lazy will have a whole different look to it! I'm excited for it though, that's for sure.

We did get a Daisy update last night from Trav's brother. When she was first picked out for us, she was one of the smaller pups. Well, apparently now she has bloomed and she is the biggest! About 10 lbs! At that rate, she won't be our "little one" for very long at all. :-) From what we hear, she's a sweet girl... but definitely loves to have the attention on her. Luckily for her, no other dogs here to share the spotlight with. She'll get all the attention.

Okay, back to work for me. Later!

Ps. Almost forgot, and completely unimportant... tonight is the Season Premier of Scrubs! Woot! I can't wait for two new episodes. :-) Interview with Zach Braff here.


another bpf and appointments

I took another test this morning... because 1) there were two in the box, so why not... and 2) because I really wanted that extra reassurance. Not only was the second line there, but it was definitely darker. Woot!

See... here's both for comparision:

So, that being done, I called the Birth Center this morning to set up my first appointment. We are scheduled for a orientation on the 29th at 7pm... and my first actual appointment is February 3rd at 8am. Can't wait!!

Also, in case anyone is wondering... my symptoms so far are sore boobs and more gas. I've also been peeing and eating a ton! :-) I'm so psyched for every part of this pregnancy.

This week our little blob of cells is the size of a poppy seed:

Holy crap, I'm pregnant!

to extend the holiday a little more...

The only pictures I took with my camera this holiday season:

Trav's Bacon Chocolate bar!!

Salty, sweet, delish!

Trav got me some "blooming" tea. You put the little pod into a pot, add hot water and watch it bloom into a flower.

We decided it kind of looked like something from the X-files or Alien. A little creepy... but neat. :-)

Daisy stuff:
I used up one of my gift cards to pick up a bunch of stuff for our girl. A leash, brush, furminator, dish, treats, a tag for her collar, a toy, and a stocking! Also, a "place mat" that keeps the bowls from sliding... and has a lip to trap any spilled water. We already have the cage, so all we really need now is food and nail clippers. Plus I want to get her a Kong.

I couldn't resist this guy... he's the toy from all the commercials and I think he's adorable.

Ro & Pat got me these for Christmas:

And here are ones I took with my mom's camera:

My mom's Christmas pudding.


The tree.

And of course, have to have one of the puppy and my bro.

I had to extend the holidays a little bit here. Trav and I packed up the Christmas stuff this weekend, and that always makes me a little sad. But its 2009... I can't believe it. Time to get the new year going.

Okay, back to work. Have a good one!!

Ps. GO EAGLES!!!!!! I'm so proud of my team, and can't wait to see how far they go!


first belly picture!

Pregnant belly, 4 weeks:

I went walking with Ro this morning and told her with this picture:

I told her it was the first picture of us both pregnant! She's thrilled for us.

I also called my best girl, Babs... she is over the moon for us. We'll wait on almost everyone else... I want to tell my parents in person, most other people won't find out until the first trimester is over. I don't know how I'm going to do this... I'm about to bust!!!

holy shit... bfp

HOLY SHIT... I just got a BFP. I'm pregnant.

It looks a lot lighter in this picture then in real life... but it is definitely there.

pregnancy week by week

I'm in complete shock right now. It hasn't even sunk in yet. But I'm going to be a mommy!



Happy 2009!!!
Welcome to the New Year!!!!!

May tonight, and all 364 nights to follow, be ones of happiness, joy, and prosperity for you, your family, and friends. Have a safe celebration... and a fabulous first day of the new year.