Saturday, May 31, 2008

An Eyewitness Account

One of the candidates at the Washington State Republican Convention made a joke about the "elephant in the room."
The elephant was finally confronted on the second day of the convention.

I am an eyewitness of the event. I will try to avoid putting my personal spin on the event.

From choosing delegates to discussing future candidates, the entire convention was rife with calls to points of order or inquiry, people exercising for the first time their "Personal privilege" or heart privilege. A congressional incumbent was booed after putting forward a motion; his enemy was cheered after speaking against it. People were threatening each other with fights, and the peacekeepers were rare but equally threatened.

On the second day of the convention, the selection of at-large delegates had just passed. The Ron Paul campaign proposed to push that through - to vote the McCain candidates into the positions - just so that discussion on the platform and on the resolutions, which perform the same function for Republican candidates.
That was what happened.
Then, the discussion went to the platform. For about two issues, it seemed both campaigns were on the same page. After that, however, the issues become too wild -- the war in Iraq, the child-protective-services -- for the division to stay calm.
Someone moved to get the platform done with.
By the time it was done, another hour had passed. About nine calls to points of order had slowed things down.
Then, in the resolutions...
Understand, the platform committee (Party leadership) had already gone through and said to vote yes on some and no on others. Those recommendations were made based on the current party policy.
The McCain campaigners resisted passing the Yes resolutions.
The McCain campaigners made two motions to adjourn the convention early -- before resolutions.
In the end, the yes resolutions were voted to be passed by the body at large.
The McCain campaigners resisted the count.
The chairman ruled that the vote was well over two-thirds.
The McCain campaigners raised an appeal of the chair's decision.
The appeal was held to a two-thirds vote, and the chair's ruling was upheld by the body.

At this point, about five to six people got up and walked out. More people, as the motions on the floor were being proposed.
Finally, one lady called a "point of order."
The chair recognized her.
She said, "There are lots of people leaving."
Chair said, "I see it too."
She replied, "I hate to ask, but do we have a quorum?"

Definition: A quorum is having enough people present to actually vote. If five people are going to eat pizza, three people make a majority. If only two people only show up to vote, then they're not a majority. They don't have 'quorum.'

Around me, McCain supporters said nothing as they were leaving. Then Ron Paul people around me were asking, "Where are you going?" Regular replies were "None of your business." "It's a free country."
Replies were worse as they left.
Almost all of them left the room.

The lady sitting beside me went out the room and then pretended to return. She, a Ron Paul supporter, asked three ladies she didn't know, "Is it time to go? Did they give the signal?"
Their reply to her baited question was "Yeah, it's time to go. They told us to leave now."
For a separate reason, I went to the front where the the McCain delegates were departing. As I walked around, one gentleman (wearing a McCain yellow hat) was on his cellphone and trying to go back to his seat.
Another McCain delegate, a woman, was pulling him toward the door.
the man said he had left something at his chair.
The woman said, "No, you can go back and get it when its over."

All motions were suspended until a quorum was established.
While they all counted heads of remaining delegates, all Ron Paul people were on the convention floor. One person started a "crowd wave," which lasted 12 minutes. Random bouts of singing the Star Spangled Banner, America the Beautiful and at least one other patriotic song I can't remember. (I was trying to take notes.)
The remaining delegation laughed pretty hard when the Washington State Republican Party icon showed up on the screens. The icon was elephants walking to the right: the words above the elephants said "A Party On The March."
The Ron Paul delegates had to have 676 people still sitting. There was serious concern whether we would have enough delegates to continue the convention.
Eventually, the chairman said there was actually a quorum.

The McCain delegates tried to return. However, to reenter the hall, delegates had to prove their identity over again (like at airport security.)
That gave the remaining delegate the time to pass one resolution, the only resolution passed at the WA convention: The Republican Party requires the President to have a declaration of war before going to war for more than 180 days.
When it passed unanimously, the cheers were loud.

Once the McCain delegates returned, it was 6:30 p.m., about an hour and half after the originally scheduled time to end.
For another half hour, the fight to continue the delegation's existence was fought. It ended without a two-thirds majority in favor.

I witnessed the passing of that resolution.
I saw the McCain delegation attempt to end the convention without resolutions by removing the delegation's quorum.

Our congresswoman and Spokane city councilwoman both said they haven't seen this happen in their time in the republican party. The councilwoman said she was a member of the Republican party in 1980 - a year before I was born.

The most beautiful baby in the WORLD!

At least till we have another. They just get prettier and prettier!

The little jumper outfit is a 6-9 month! And it fits just right!
I think she jumped from a three month size to a six month in just two days.

It looks like she's giggling, but she hasn't giggled yet. Almost, but not quite. ;)

Lily was crawling on the couch and Renna likes to smile at her sister.

She's so beautiful!
I think we're growing a family of heart breakers. ;)
(Not that they'd mean to break a heart.. but one look like that.. and.. what can you do?)

My Most Wonderful Piano!

I've been so terribly excited and grateful to my aunt for giving me a piano!!! I've been playing it every day and as you can see... so has Lily. You might be wondering why she is on her knees to play it? That's just because I was on my knees taking pictures. She copies me.. what can I say? I need to buy some more piano music though. I've been playing harp music on it and some sound better and some sound worse... also some are harder on the piano or easier. It's really fun though, and it's so beautiful that I took many more pictures that just these so that I could scrapbook about my piano!

I'm insane...

I actually took Lily and Renna by myself to a free showing of the Nutcracker today. I don't know that I want to remember it enough to scrapbook it so I'll put the pictures on here. Lily LOVED watching the first few dances, but then she got a little to energetic. We had to stay till a little after the intermission though because a girl from our church was going to do the Arabian dance (and I like that part the best!) Well, shortly there after Renna was acting colicky and Lily wasn't really watching it anyway (mostly just goofing off), so I decided to go. Then on the way out Lily gets all weepy and said, "Princess dare?" and indicating that she wanted to go back and watch it. I told her that we could if she was very quite and stopped whining and so forth. Well, when we went back in she wanted to sit closer up front... She probably would have been fine if I didn't have to get up with Renna (who wanted to go to sleep but her tummy was bothering her) ... Anyway, we left a little early. I sort of saw all of it, but it's really hard to watch ballet or figure skating and things like that when you are distracted. I like watching things like that and feeling like I'm in a different world, memorized in a way. I should have just left when I tried to the first time, but I thought it would be a good learning experience for her to sit quiet. *sigh* I really need a tiny break once a week to regain my sanity... and didn't get it today because Youssef was at the republican convention... so.. I vent on the blog. ;) .. and eat cookies....

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The perfect helper

Lily has started helping now! When Renna was first born she was interested in the baby (sort of), but mostly ignored her. Now she's actually been noticing (even before I do sometimes) that Renna needs a burp rag and will say, "Oh no, spit-up!" and will run to get a burp rag saying "burp-wag" the whole way and will even wipe her mouth and everything. Also, when Renna sneezes Lily will say "GowbEss you!" She is talking so much now! And is really interested in her little sister and helping. Now she'll pet Renna's head without any prompting. And today when they were getting into the car to go to the library Lily had picked a flower and was sniffing it and then held it to Renna's nose to sniff to (Renna didn't know what to think of that). It was quite cute.

So, the other day I'd put Renna on her new quilt from her great grandma Anna and got my camera out. Lily saw what I was doing and ran to get her toy camera and took pictures of Renna too! I wish someone else was there to get pictures of me taking pictures of Lily taking pictures of Renna.. but we can't have everything. ;) Now when I talk to Renna and so forth Lily comes over and copies me. Talking to her like I do. I think this is all a good thing. :)

Renna's holding her head up super good!
(And now weighs almost twice as much as she did at birth!)

Lily's camera was a $2 one from Walmart that is a princess one and says
"You look pretty as a princess." "Smile, say cheese." And Lily says all of that too!

Renna obviously thought that the two camera thing going on was a little trippy.

The youngest photographer in our family...
And the last picture is one that Lily took with the real camera!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Funny Lily sayings (and Renna grows up)

We were just at the Library and as we were returning our movies into the slot she said, "Bye show." (I always tell her to say bye to things because it helps her to let it go.. but this was the first time she said it completely on her own.. and usually when I tell her to say bye she doesn't say it.)

Youssef came a day later to my Grandparents house and when he came I took Lily outside to see him. I came back inside first and he carried her in. Right when they came in the door Lily looked seriously at everyone in the room and pointing at Youssef said, "This is the Daddy. This is the Daddy." It was SO cute (and I'm sure made Youssef's heart melt.)

A few days ago when Youssef was putting Lily in her car seat he said, "You are a princess." Then she said to him. "You are a princess!" After that we all started saying that to each other over and over. "You're a prinCESS!"

It's really fun to see how she's started to actually talk to me more. Today she wanted something to eat and I told her we were going to the Library. "Do you want to eat it in the car?" And she said, "Weeeell..." Of course her favorite phrase is to say, "This is a ____" with some object in the blank. It's pretty hard to understand unless you know that that's what she's saying all around the one word that is understandable.

Renna has been getting more interested in her toys and even pulled one off of her bouncy chair. She smiles at me even when I'm not smiling at her! She's already just fitting her 3 month old clothes. AND last night she slept for almost SEVEN (count it) hours in her bed without wanting to nurse! Her total sleep time was longer.. more like 12 hours, but with only 4 very short nursing times. Pretty amazing!

two year old logic...

Lily dumps out all the Q-tips.
Mommy says to put them back, but they don't all fit.
The next logical step is to put them in between her toes..

Doesn't everyone do this?

It feels kind of weird..

But in a good way..

Quite fashionable really..

Thoughts #2...

I was thinking about how I do things and what needs to be done and so forth.. feeling overwhelmed and inadequate. I talked to Youssef about all of that and some how it came up that he told me he thought I was a really motivated person.

L. *surprised look* "You really think so?"

Y. "Well, you appear that way."

L. "Wow, I always feel terribly UNmotivated and feel like I have to FORCE myself to be motivated."

Then I got to thinking about motivations... how I force myself to do something. Usually by guilting myself into it, but I came up with something better.

When I know that I need to clean my house, rather than telling myself that it NEEDS to be done, it's disgusting, whatever (drag my feet, complain, complain, get annoyed at the toys everywhere or the husbands socks left in the livingroom)
My new thought to motivate myself for that is that I want to clean my house because it blesses my family and other people that visit, and I like it straightened and tidy.

When I need to bake bread, rather than looking at it like a chore and wishing we had more money to justify buying the bread (pizza dough, pita's, whatever) I can look forward to making it because I do enjoy baking. Fresh bread tastes wonderful and fills our house with a lovely aroma, etc. etc.

You obviously see what I'm getting to. I've been trying to do that with everything lately. There are so many things as a homemaker that could be annoying to do. Yet when I think about what my life could be.. I know I don't want to work outside my home. I like working from here with art and so forth... I could complain that I don't have time for those things now because of having young kids, but even with the spilled milk (again) today that I had to mop up and so many other little things that could be annoying, I really do like where I am.

That's what God has been teaching me. To be content. When I think about where I am though, I can't think of any reason why I wouldn't be content. Yet I was complaining in my head about things. Woe is me, I have too much to do. I really don't though. I mean, I can't plan as many things into one day as I could before, but this is just a season and I'm learning to adjust how I do things with how I can do things around the two kids.

There are so many things (that I didn't realize before) that can get on my nerves. Youssef has had to put up with my finickyness for the past 4 years.. and I'm tired of being this way. I want to enjoy where I am. It seems like every stage in my life I've been wanting the greener pasture in the future and when I get to that "perfect" future I look back with fondness to where I just was... how it was better in certain ways back then... or I'll look to the future again.. if Youssef just had a different job, if we just lived in a different place, if we just had more money for whatever. Those thoughts are not where God wants me to be. Being discontent and easily annoyed is walking in darkness. Ironically, I pointed out this fault to Youssef at one point in our marriage. That he wasn't enjoying where we were, but this fault is much worse in me I think.

I've been trying to stay in the light. Actively changing those negative thoughts into thanksgivings. And believe me... I have a lot of negative thoughts to deal with, but I think just till recently I didn't realize just how sinful discontentment really is. How rude it is to act that way about all the things God has blessed us with (especially if you are like me and have gotten pretty much all that you've asked for and dreamed of.. and some of it is even better than your dreams.)

The result so far? I've been so much happier! I haven't felt as stressed and self induced with guilt and like a looser (like how I felt most of the time before.) I've also been getting a lot more things done.. and doing a better, more complete job too.

So, if anyone wants to try doing that ("that" meaning, becoming an optimist ;) with me here's how you do it. When you get a negative thought about doing something.. for instance, cleaning the kitty litter box. That's not a fun job, but perhaps you love your cat. Or if you don't, are you blessing someone else who does love the cat? Then you think about that positive thing instead of the negative. Of course.. maybe no one likes the cat, but the Bible says that a righteous man takes care of his livestock and animals. So it's pleasing God when you take care of your cat (that everyone hates.) *chuckles*

I need to start working more on those thoughts about my post-pregnant self and not fitting many of my old clothes yet. That's a LOT harder to be optimistic about than doing chores. I just need to keep enjoying my baby though to know that it was all worth it, and of course doing exercise type stuff is easier when I'm thinking positively about it rather than the negative/annoyedness that I felt before. Exercising doesn't have to be annoying... *tries to think of something good about it* .... I do always feel better afterwards. My back doesn't hurt as much and it makes me feel tired in a good way.. and sometimes energized. I sleep better too. Ok *phew* I thought of something good about it. ;) And.. the Bible says that if you are born again than you are the temple of the Holy Spirit... so, if we take good care of ourselves physically (healthy habits and so forth) then it glorifies God.

I wish I'd known how to be content earlier in my life. I used to always strive to understand how to be a better person.. how to do things that would please God.. how to love Him and other people better. And.. I "accomplished" that by guilting myself into righteousness? No, God has a better way. I knew that too. I knew the verse that says to take His yoke, "Because," Jesus said, "My yoke is easy and My burden is light" .. but what does that mean (I thought). How do I take his yoke? How do I give up mine?

I think I'm starting to finally understand...
It really is wonderfully light and easy to carry too. :)

Hot Day!

And in the pool for the first time!

I think she liked it over all...

Lily LOVED it of course.

Renna was a bit unsure, but seemed to like being cool (she was really hot)

The water (by-the-way) isn't super cold like hose water.
I suctioned it out of the bath tub so that I can make the water cool, but not cold.

It's too cold again now to play in the water, but I love spring weather.
It's nice and summery and you start to think that it's getting too hot and that you won't be able to cook in your kitchen for a long time just to keep the house cool.. and you wonder how often your husband will really like to barbecue if he has to do it every day. Then there are days like today.. just the right temperature.. cool, but not cold... rainy, but not depressingly so. I made bread today and did inside stuff. I also bought myself some flowers and had fun arranging them last night! Yes.. spring is wonderful. :)

The trip to Grandma's house!

Renna actually smiled a LOT at her Great Grandma (and everyone else),
but I downloaded the wrong picture.. anyway..
the quilt is what my Grandma made for Renna! I love the different colors.

On Friday Lily had loads of fun playing in the water (it was HOT down there)
.. But on Saturday she started freaking out when she went outside without her shoes on.
I suspect she was freaking because of the bugs... or because the day before she might have burned her feet a bit on the hot patio.. or both.

My Grandpa isn't doing so well, so it was really nice that Lily went to him so much.
She loaned him her toys and crawled up on his lap and sat by him a lot.
He just ate it all up. She got a little annoyed the next day when he was ordering her to pick up some toys and started to not hang out with him as much as she did, which was a little sad.
She always gets a little weirded out when someone other than me tells her what to do.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


When I was a teenager I looked forward to growing up because I thought all my troubles would be over. Not that I really have any troubles now. What I mean is that I always struggled with things personally.. like procrastination... or disliking how I looked (needing to exercise more and so forth) and other things that always torment me.

But as I've grown older I've come to realize that those things aren't going to go away.. maybe ever. What does that mean? Will it ever be easier? Maybe it's a muscle memory thing and as we keep fighting back the flesh it will be easier to fight back as the muscles get stronger? But... it never really goes away does it?

I don't know that my normal solution is very helpful though. Normally I torment myself about something to sort of whip me into shape. What is it like to do things just because you really want to? I'll feel like I want to do something (some project or music) and I won't because of something else that I need to do, but then I don't do that thing that I need to do usually and end up doing nothing. Silly.. I know.

.. Maybe there should be a sort of balance to doing fun things and doing things that need to be done. Does the Bible talk about "balance"? I always heard that I needed balance in my life when I was a teenager (That I shouldn't spend all day doing primarily one thing till it was done.) It's really hard for me to do stuff when I only have short amounts of time for things. But is "balance" the answer? Maybe if I stopped tormenting myself about what I should or "shouldn't" do and just enjoyed what I can or can't do I'd be happier...

--- As I was typing this, Renna spit up on me and then grinned like she'd given me a special gift.. or like it was a practical joke. Cracks me up.

uhh.. where was I? Oh yes, torment. Right.

I'm sure it's annoying to the people around me when I'm so often trying to eliminate distractions and try to improve my life all the time. I guess I figure that things can always be better because I'm not perfect. I wonder if I wasn't so tempted by electronics (eg. computer, blogging, facebook, movies, phone, etc.) that I could use my time more wisely? I'm sure I could use my time just as poorly even without those things though... because the problem is mostly just me.

*shrug* I don't know...

My house smells weird because I'm cooking beans. (That might be the most profound thing I've said.)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

(a bit over) TWO months!

The cute happy baby! Who already fits into these 0-3 month clothes!
They looked so gigantic when she was first born, but she's grown really fast.

This is her look most of the time... big eyes... curious expression.
(Her eyes are still blueish gray)

And here are the proud grandparents on Mother's day!
(Renna was asleep.. even with my mom trying to wake her up.. ha, ha..)

For some reason, on Mother's day my Mom came over and we cooked together. We made taco salad. It was really yummy, but as we were cooking we were wondering why we were cooking on mother's day. We just figured it was a motherhood bonding thing.

Youssef was quite struck the other day when I showed him a picture of Lily standing up and said, "this could be Renna in FOUR months!" Lily pulled herself up at 6 months old. I'm hoping Renna isn't quite that adventurous. It is a little shocking to realize just how fast Lily grew up though, and Renna is really liking to push up with her legs and has really strong arms just like Lily did. I suppose if she is an early walker too it wouldn't be so bad. ;)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Thoughts on Motherhood...

It feels like I've been a Mom for a reeally reeeeally long time. Yet, Just over 2 years ago I wasn't. I didn't have a child. My life wasn't ultimately, substantially changed by another being so completely reliant on me. (Scary considering how much I mess things up.) There are days when I'm so relieved when Youssef is home just to hold a child for me so that I can finally finish the dishes or fold the laundry. And of course, as any parent will tell you, it is SUCH a relief when the kids go to sleep.

Trying to keep a toddler busy and happy not involving something electronic is another thing all together. I'm glad that Lily likes to bead with me and help make bread and so forth. It doesn't necessarily "help" me so much as give her something good to do and learn. Typing is always a little more complicated with a baby on one arm, and some days I wonder why men and women actually want to reproduce. Over all, kids are probably much more trouble than any benefits we get back from them. Some days I get so tired of being a homemaker and picking up the same bath toys every day, or vacuuming the floor again for the cheerios/raisins/snackfood/spill/whatever and a hundred other mundane chores that need to be done as a stay at home mom. I wish that I played my harp more... or had time to do more art work and other projects. I ask myself, what is it? Why do we like being moms?

But... as I take the journey of motherhood I've come to realize that it's not what you get back from your kids. Upon becoming a mother, I became acutely aware of how I've never appreciated my Mom enough for making the sacrifice of staying at home and raising me.

But it's not what we get back from our kids, and we do get a lot back just in a smile and desire that they have to play with us. The time we wish we could be doing something on our own is when we could get the most rewards from them if we just play with them or read to them like they've wanted us to. I know my kids are going to grow up too fast. I know this is a short season in my life that if I'm not careful I could miss out on. I suppose what I've learned on this journey of motherhood is that if I want to be happy I need to stop thinking about me. True joy comes from giving my life to my family and children. I can do that on the outside and still be discontent on the inside, and that's what I've been learning, to be content in all parts of my life. I know that if I don't learn that now, some day when my kids are grown and I have all of my days to spend on projects or any other thing that I want to do, I will look back and wish for this time of craziness to come back again.