Saturday, August 30, 2008

Saying Goodbye to KC...

Gosh, I am already tearing up! This is going to be a hard post to write...

As Nicky announced in his blog last month, we are moving to East Grand Forks, MN. In fact, Scott started his job there the beginning of this month. Its been hard to have our family separated like that, but we talk on the phone and video cams lots, and Scott was able to fly back to visit last weekend. We were very blessed that our house sold quickly, even in this not-so-great housing market. I could go on and on about the complications and drama that led up to the sale and are continuing as we try to negotiate an earlier closing time on the house we have on contract in EGF, but I won't. Despite all the stress of moving so quickly (we closed on the sale of the house in only 3 weeks!) and the still unknowns with our new home, I am feeling a bit more at peace now that my house is all packed up and ready to go. Yes, I am sitting in a house filled with boxes. Sorta like a ghost house. The only thing that isn't packed up is the computer, my bed, my dissertation stuff, various important files that need to be on hand, our suitcases, and stuff that can't go on the moving truck like candles, cleaning supplies, photos, etc. Oh, and a laundry basket filled with toys and books for Nicky. That basket is really important!

I am hopeful that our transition will be fairly smooth and Nicky, Scott, and I will all settle into our new surroundings as individuals and as a family quickly. But, I have to say, I am nearly heartbroken over leaving Kansas City. I really like this place, but what I really love are all my dear friends I will be missing. I can not put into words who much these people mean to me and the feeling in the pit of stomach when I think about not seeing them often. Many of them are mom and dad friends that I've met since having Nicky and Nicky is friends with their kiddos. I know I am not really "losing" them, but they will be so far away, and the thought of starting over with meeting people in a new place is a little daunting. I just can't imagine meeting people as great as these. I'm trying to approach the move with a positive, hopeful attitude and see it as an adventure and learning experience, though.

To add to my stress, my junky car's air conditioning went out so the ride back to ND/MN is gonna be a little harder. I am going to try to break up the drive a little and drive during the cooler times of the day to make it easier on Nicky and me. We'll see how it goes.

The next week or so will be a transition period. The moving truck arrives on Tuesday and once they have everything loaded, Nicky and I are going to go stay with some friends of ours for a few days. I need some time to settle after the stress of moving/packing is over and it will allow us to say goodbye to our friends. Also, I need to finish up some stuff on my dissertation before leaving town, things that I just couldn't do when moving activities were taking priority in the last month. Its gonna be interesting living out of suitcases in our friends' guest bedrooms and then in Scott's apartment. But, we will survive.

We are moving for a couple of reasons. First, this job should help advance Scott's career, and I am so happy for him for that. Second, it has been hard being so far away from our family and friends back in North Dakota, especially since having Nicky. It will nice to be able to have people visit us more often and us them, and be able to host birthday parties and family get-togethers and holidays. I can't wait to have family at Nicky's 2nd birthday in November. It was really sad for me that none of our fam was able to come down for his first birthday last fall. Now, they have no excuses, ha ha! I am happy that Nicky will be able to get to know his grandparents and have close relationships with them.

Also, we do miss some things about living back in North Dakota. Well, this is technically gonna be Minnesota, but its right across the border so practically the same thing, right? Although KC really still feels like a big small town to me, I know its going to take some readjusting to smaller town life up in EGF. Its just going to be different. I hope we all like it and come to love it.

As tears fall from my eyes, I find solace in the thought that all these great friendships and wonderful people that I've met mean that my time spent here in KC was well worth it!

Here's to old friends and new journeys.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

As School is Starting...

Here is another hilarious story from our friends at The Onion. This may all be sarcastic and meant to make you laugh, but kids, I'm warning you that's its true!!!!! I've been imprisoned in school for 26 years now Photobucket . Run, kids, run!!

6-Year-Old Stares Down Bottomless Abyss Of Formal Schooling
August 15, 2008 Issue 44•33

CARPENTERSVILLE, IL—Local first-grader Connor Bolduc, 6, experienced the first inkling of a coming lifetime of existential dread Monday upon recognizing his cruel destiny to participate in compulsory education for the better part of the next two decades, sources reported.

"I don't want to go to school," Bolduc told his parents, the crushing reality of his situation having yet to fully dawn on his naïve consciousness. "I want to play outside with my friends."

While Bolduc stood waiting for the bus to pick him up on his first day of elementary school, his parents reportedly were able to "see the wheels turning in his little brain" as the child, for the first time in his life, began to understand how dire and hopeless his situation had actually become.

Basic math—which the child has blissfully yet to learn—clearly demonstrates that the number of years before he will be released from the horrifying prison of formal schooling, is more than twice the length of time he has yet existed. According to a conservative estimate of six hours of school five days a week for nine months of the year, Bolduc faces an estimated 14,400 hours trapped in an endless succession of nearly identical, suffocating classrooms.

This nightmarish but undeniably real scenario does not take into account additional time spent on homework, extracurricular responsibilities, or college, sources said.

"I can't wait until school is over," said the 3-foot-tall tragic figure, who would not have been able, if asked, to contemplate the amount of time between now and summer, let alone the years and years of tedium to follow.

The concept of wasting a majority of daylight hours sitting still in a classroom when he could be riding his bicycle, playing in his tree fort, or lying in the grass looking at bugs—especially considering that he had already wasted two years of his life attending preschool and kindergarten—seemed impossibly unfair to Bolduc. Moreover, sources said, he had no idea how much worse the inescapable truth will turn out to be.

Shortly after his mommy, homemaker Ellen Bolduc, 31, assured him that he would be able to resume playtime "when school lets out," Connor's innocent brain only then began to work out the implication of that sentence to its inevitable, soul-crushing conclusion.

When pressed for more detail on the exact timing of that event, Mrs. Bolduc would only reply "soon." At that point, the normally energetic child grew quiet before asking a follow-up question, "After [younger sister] Maddy's birthday?" thereby setting the stage for the first of thousands of rushing realizations he will be forced to come to grips with over the course of his subsequent existence.

Madison Ellen Bolduc was born on Sept. 28.

After learning that the first grade will continue for eight excruciating months beyond that date, it was only a matter of time before Bolduc inquired into what grade comes after first grade, and, when told, would probe further into how many grades he will have to complete before allowed to play with his friends.

The answer to that fatal question—12, a number too large for Bolduc to count on the fingers of both hands—will be enough to nearly shatter the boy's still-forming psyche, said child psychology expert Eli Wasserbaum.

"When you consider that it doesn't include another four years of secondary education, plus five more years of medical school, if he wants to follow his previously stated goal to grow up to be a doctor like his daddy, this will come as an interminably deep chasm of drudgery and imprisonment to [Connor]," said Wasserbaum. "It's difficult to know the effect on his psychological well-being when he grasps the full truth: that his education will be followed by approximately four decades of work, bills, and taxes, during which he will also rear his own children to face the same fate, all of which will, of course, be followed by a brief, almost inconsequential retirement, and his inevitable death."

"Even a 50-year-old adult would have trouble processing such a monstrous notion," Wasserbaum added. "Oh my God, I'm 50 years old."

The first of Bolduc's remaining 2,299 days of school will resume at 8 a.m. tomorrow. On the next 624 Sundays, he will also be forced to attend church.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Wanna Go Green? Breastfeed!

This article has an interesting spin on additional benefits of breastfeeding - its good for the environment. No packaging, no resources used to make or deliver it, no waste. I like that!

Ask Eartha Steward: Mammaries for the planet

High Country Conservation Center

Dear Eartha,
In honor of National Breastfeeding Week Aug. 1-7, can you tell me why breastfeeding is good for the environment?
— Elyse Jones

Thanks for your question, Elyse. It was really interesting to learn just how important breastfeeding is, and provided the perfect opportunity to re-emphasize something that babies have known since the beginning of existence: mama’s milk is awesome!
There are plenty of medical reasons why breastfeeding is recommended for most mothers and babies. It helps strengthen a baby’s immune system and fight off sickness, and it can help reduce allergies. And for new moms, breastfeeding helps shed those extra baby pounds.

On top of that, breastfeeding is the ultimate example of an ecologically sound food — it comes to us from the most local source available, is delivered to its consumer without any pollution, and is the first step in a baby’s understanding of nature’s interconnectedness.

Only 16 percent of all women that gave birth in the United States 10 years ago breastfed for the entire first year. And although goals are set to get that percentage to 25 percent by 2010 in the United States, it is still only a small percentage. With even 25 percent of mothers breastfeeding by 2010, that still leaves 75 percent of babies being fed formula, and this means a pretty big impact on the planet.

Bottle feeding pollutes our air, water and land, wastes resources, and creates disposal problems. When a baby is bottle-fed, their tiny feet leave a huge carbon footprint.

In their first year, a baby on formula consumes an estimated average of 14,500 ounces of formula. That divides out to more than 60 canisters that are thrown away in a year by a single baby (well, by mom and dad, at least). Those canisters are made of packaging that includes tin, paper, and plastic, all materials that are resource-intensive in their production.

Then we get to the feeding bottles and nipples, which are made of plastics, glass, rubber and silicone. In the U.S., most formula-fed babies have at least six bottles each, meaning that in the U.S. alone, there are more than 20 million plastic feeding bottles sold each year. Bottles and teats must be sterilized before every use.

This uses water and energy, and while those seem to be readily available, we all know that’s not necessarily the case here in the arid West. And unfortunately, when baby finally makes the big move to grown-up food, many of those bottles are not recycled, so they either end up in landfills or incinerators, where they create more pollution.

Baby formulas are the end product of some pretty destructive industrial processes which require a tremendous use of energy and natural resources, and that’s before you consider the energy that goes into packaging and transportation. Most baby formula, before it reaches those adorable little mouths, travels thousands of miles.

It’s always fascinating to me that some of the best things we can do to help the planet are often the simplest, and that it often takes us an inordinately long time to realize what’s been under our noses (or in this case, under a stylish maternity blouse) all along.

Breastfeeding is one of the most natural processes in the world. It produces no waste, and it produces exactly what a new baby needs. Mothers need only a small amount of energy to provide milk for their babies, and this often comes from extra body fat. Breastmilk requires no extra packaging, comes out at exactly the right temperature, doesn’t need to be shipped around the world (yet, conveniently enough, mothers have a ready supply wherever they are), and provides a boost to a baby’s immune system.

It’s almost as if nature planned this whole thing out!

Eartha Steward is written by Carly Wier, Jennifer Kirkpatrick and Heather Dodd Christie, consultants on all things eco and chic at the High Country Conservation Center, a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to waste reduction and resource conservation in our mountain community. Eartha believes that you can walk gently on our planet, even if you’re wearing stylie shoes.

Submit questions to Eartha at or to High Country Conservation Center, PO Box 4506, Frisco, CO 80443.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Too Funny

This trend is pretty silly (kids songs sung by rock bands set to rock music) when you think about it. It really is more for the parents - pretty selfish of us:) Anyway, hope you have a laugh like I did.

Kids Songs Sung By Rock Stars - Watch more free videos