Friday, November 30, 2007
Shopping at Sam's Club
Emma managed to do it without her feet ever touching the floor.

Uncle B's Happy Day
He's waited a year and a half for this baby. He got up early with Noni and went and stood in line early at the PX. Their dedication paid off and they got to bring home a new HDTV. We christened it with a Redskins game. A loss of course.

Thursday, November 29, 2007
Photo of the Day

M's photo, my editing.
Flu shot
M took Emma this morning to get the first of two she'll need. I sent him because I'm a coward. I know she'd forgive him for just about anything. I've always sent him to do the shots. He planned to take her to the store afterward for ice cream to make it all better.

I waited a while after appointment time and called the store. He reported that she hadn't made a peep. She didn't cry at all. She got a Snow White band aid and was on her way. They were at the store playing already.

Now I'll be paranoid about her getting sick. Last time we did the flu shot she got sick with her first ear infection about ten days later. That's the only ear infection she's ever had. Coincidence? Maybe...
The tree
I tried to catch a reaction shot but it's pretty lame. Emma was pretty excited. M seemed blase. Almost immediately she was worried that she didn't have anything to decorate it with. It took some convincing that we'd have some ornaments for her to use this weekend. Then she was thanking me over and over, unprompted too. I left the tree lights on for her to fall asleep to. The first thing she said this morning was that her tree lights were off.

I think we'll have fun with it.

Mommy has a surprise
Today I went by the evil corporate entity and bought a little Christmas tree for Emma's room. It's about 3.5' tall. I've put lights on it and plugged it in. Neither Daddy nor Emma know about it so when they come up from bath to get Emma dressed they'll both be surprised.

This weekend we'll use the leftover ornaments from the big tree to decorate Emma's tree.

I can't wait till bath is over...
Playing dress up
Emma puts most of this on by herself. The only thing she asks for help with is the skirt which velcros in the back. Then I helped her put the dress over the skirt. I think she likes being a pretty princess.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007
I found out today that my ex-father-in-law died. Apparently they had moved away to Maryland years ago after he retired from his job. From the obituary I gleaned that he had been in a nursing home and then in hospice care. He was only 69 so it had to have been a debilitating illness. Cancer? Alzheimer's? I have no idea. I hadn't seen him since 1993.

How do I feel about it? I don't really know. A chapter in my life that was pretty much closed is now more closed. I liked my ex's family but his Dad was odd, to me, and in retrospect I'm not sure how I felt about him. I had insider knowledge of the character of the man that I'm not sure he knew about. First-hand info. So I'm ambivalent. I know I liked my ex-mother-in-law.

Anyway, I am sorry for the family because it appears that the end must have been difficult. The thought occurred to me that he's with his son now (my ex) but then on second thought he's probably not.
My grandmother
She's directly responsible for Popi and two of the commenters on this blog. She's indirectly responsible for me and Emma. So basically you can blame her ;)

I took this picture this weekend in my brother's "magic corner." We had a large family gathering at his house on Saturday and shared a wonderful Thanksgiving meal. I took on the little project of asking each person in the family to sit for a photo for me in the corner. I was relying entirely on natural light so results varied depending on the cloud cover. Amazingly, everyone cooperated. They were very gracious about letting me practice my photography on them. My dear grandmother even stepped away from the sacred Virginia Tech vs. Virginia football game for her short session. I'm sure she was exasperated but she was cooperative and indulged me. Hers is not just a passing interest in that football game, she's an alumnus of Virginia Tech from back when women were a rarity there. That's where she met my grandfather.

My overriding goal in this project was to collect THE picture of Emma for our Christmas card. Unfortunately that was a big FAIL. But here are a few photos that redeemed my efforts.

Monday, November 26, 2007
Holiday traffic
Yesterday we returned home from Maryland on the busiest travel day of the year. We were somewhat prepared for delays on interstate 81. Last year we had to detour to a secondary road to avoid backups there.

This year we hit our first snag in the middle of nowhere on 66. We crawled along barely registering on the speedometer for six miles or so. There was no exit to provide us with an escape. When we finally passed the flashing blue lights it looked like someone had gone way down over an embankment. They were funneling all traffic down to one lane.

When we hit 81 it was pretty packed. I came to the conclusion that the worst hazard on the interstate is people who drive slower than the flow of traffic in the left lane. They stay in the left lane like they own it. This creates a situation where people in the left lane behind them follow too closely and eventually decide to pass on the right when they've had enough. That makes the cluster around the slow car unpredictable and scary. I saw that situation too many times last night. When people are blowing by you on the right you are the problem.

We hit another slowdown on 81. There was apparently a fender bender and the people involved parked on both sides of the interstate. Only one cop car had arrived by then. Once we got past that and up to speed we had to hit the brakes for another accident. It was insane. I was never so glad to get off the interstate. We were actually fortunate because we must have hit those two accidents soon after they happened. The emergency vehicles were on their way and weren't there slowing traffic to an absolute crawl yet.

I'm just glad to be home in one piece.