27 July 2008

Family Stories

With the threat of afternoon thunderstorms for the past week, I was afraid Benny's birthday party in the park may turn into a sweaty gathering in our apartment. Luckily, Benny picked a fantastic weekend to be born so that his afternoon first birthday party would be fun AND dry.

My parents drove into town yesterday afternoon (after staying the night in Sterling and then lunching in Fort Morgan - for anyone familiar with the three-hour drive from Brule to Denver, you'll understand why that is ridiculous). Nonetheless it was great to see them and they were ready for a party. My brother, Jeremy, flew in from Argentina on Wednesday and stayed through the weekend for Benny's party. Benny's great-great-aunt and uncle (my great-aunt and uncle) joined the party along with some of Nate's co-workers and Benny's friend, Emma, and her parents. Just about everyone we know in Denver.

We grilled at Montclair Park and chased Benny through the grass many times. Benny and Emma "interacted" with each other by standing next to each other and mostly examining each other. I love the way babies, er, toddlers play together. My mom baked - appropriately - a chocolate bear cake for the occasion and surrounded the cake with blueberries and strawberries. Benny didn't give a second thought to the cake - he just picked the blueberries off and munched on them. Not what I was expecting for his first foray in the world of sweets.

All in all, Benny had a great day (as did everyone else)!

25 July 2008

No More Baby Bear

It's official. A toddler is toodling around our place now in place of the baby we once knew. Although Benny has been walking for some time now, it's still hard to believe he's ONE and has entered the world of toddler-dom. Of course, he doesn't know that anything has changed, aside from all the attention he has received today.

Nate and I reminisced about the whole birthing process last night. I woke up with contractions at around 3 a.m., woke him up to make sure they were real at 3:30 a.m. ("Sara, you can't move while you're having contractions. It's the real thing.") Then we drove to the birthing center (two awkward contractions away) and waited for the Bear to arrive. I cried last night. I've experienced such a roller coaster of emotions in the past year. I suppose that's what being a parent is all about. But, trust me, these were definitely happy tears.

We have a small bbq planned for tomorrow afternoon. My parents, brother, great aunt and uncle and some friends will be there to celebrate all of Benny's accomplishments in the past year:

Holding his head up, eating out of a bottle, sleeping through the night (that's a BIG one), sitting up, eating solid foods from a spoon and then with his hands, crawling, cruising along the furniture and WALKING!

That's a lot of milestones! Stay tuned for more :)...

22 July 2008


Well, clearly this expirement didn't go very far. Only three posts this month. I am a bad blogger. I suppose I have my reasons, which I will not divulge.

Suffice it to say that I had a fabulous time in southern California with my Pretty Girl friend earlier this month. We drank, played foosball, drank, went for a hike, drank, went shopping, drank, ate at Soup Plantation, drank, and then I boarded a plane. Fabulous times! Crazy what you can do when you can sleep in in the morning!

I haven't posted an update on my dissertation in ages. There's not a lot to update as of yet. I did finish a really horrible draft of my literature review, but after moving forward with my theoretical framework, I'm not even sure that the lit review makes sense. I'm reading a lot about the public/private spheres with some specific concentration on Hannah Arendt and her definitions of political life. For those of you who are familiar (which probably numbers somewhere around one since this stuff is so heady and pointless no one in their right mind would actually check it out) Arendt has been criticized for defining the public sphere as a man's sphere and the private sphere as somewhere where women hang out and do all the wifely and motherly things women are supposed to do. As you can imagine, faithful reader, feminists don't look too kindly on Ms. Arendt.

But, I digress. The damn dissertation is still looming over my head like a 10 pound bowling ball.

In other news, we still don't have a house. Bummer. We put another offer in on another house, but we got REJECTED big time. The owner didn't want anything less than her list price. Sorry, lady, no one is going to that house for that much. We're re-evaluating our wants and needs now and might consider a duplex in the neighborhood. I'll keep you posted, if possible, on our home-buying shenanigans.


Oh, and most importantly, Benny turns one on Friday. ONE whole year. As Nate tells Benny, "That's a lot of months." And it is, but fabulous, challenging, amazing months at that.

11 July 2008

Living the SoCal Life

I'm hanging in Riverside, California, with my Pretty Girl friend this weekend. We spent last night playing foosball with her roommates and drinking mass quantities of beer. I have to admit, I'm fairly impressed with my drinking skills. Haven't done that in awhile. And, while I'm a bit hungover today, I'm feeling fairly fresh. The two coffees I've consumed may have helped.

We'll move on to LA tonight to hang with the other Sykora sister, Kathy. And, for those of you who know the Sykora sisters, there will be stories! I'll update at the end of the weekend.

So, while I'm living the SoCal life, where is The Bear, you ask. The Bear is having a "boys' weekend" with his papa. I'm sure they're having all sorts of fun and he doesn't even realize I'm gone. I'll be ready for a big hug and kiss when I get home. He doesn't really give hugs or kisses yet, but luckily he's still small enough to manhandle affectionately :).

Yay for vacation!

01 July 2008

Heat Spike

A new Phat Pat quote for your reading enjoyment...

Last week I was in Brule to write. I did some writing, but I mostly watched Benny hang out with my parents. I cannot describe how happy I am that Benny will know his grandparents so well. He already looks for them when we enter their house. He follows my dad around the house like a little puppy and often wants to "go" to my mom more often than he will "come" to me. Having a child certainly makes me appreciate my parents more.

But, I digress. When we were home last week, the temperature rose. It's summer. That's to be expected. One particular morning, however, my dad came home at around 2 in the afternoon and declared that there had been a "heat spike" that morning and that the temperature had increased from 65 degrees to 95 degrees in 10 minutes. My BS-o-meter went off instantly. But, I wanted to give my dad the benefit of the doubt. Stranger things have happened, I suppose.

It was 95 degrees at 2 p.m. However, I had been walking in and out of the house all morning and never noticed a distinct shift in the temperature. Just to be sure I looked up "heat spike" on the internet. No such thing exists. Plus, my limited knowledge of weather patterns and such leads me to believe that such a drastic shift in such a short period of time would be caused by a change of weather patterns that would result in some type of storm.

Anyway, just another humorous nugget from Phat Pat. What a character!