Monday, December 22, 2008

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Regularly Scheduled Programing

Okay, most of my holiday shopping is done, most of the decorations are set out, the tree is up, and now I'm ready to start blogging again. I think I'll have to divide this into several sections.

1. Grandma and Grandpa Come to Visit

My mom and step-dad made their second annual Thanksgiving trip out from Iowa. It was a wonderful visit. We made the trip down to DC to check out a new ocean exhibit at the Natural History museum and see the newly revamped American History museum.

My step-dad made an amazing Thanksgiving spread.

And otherwise we pretty much just hung out.

2. Grandma Comes to Visit

Pete's mom came out for a quick visit shortly after that. She happened to time her visit to coincide with a concert by the symphony I'm playing with, so we got all dressed up for that.

We also got to visit Great-Grandma again briefly, and Ellie got to meet Pete's mom's cousin and his wife. It was so nice to catch up with them.

3. Ellie Learns to Explore

Ellie is probably the most cautious baby I've ever seen, not that I've been around a lot of babies. Generally, she spends more time watching than trying new things. I'm more than fine with that. Recently, however, she's getting more daring. She's discovered, for example, she can actually climb into the cabinets. So, she spends quite a bit of time going between her two favorites.

{here....there.....back again}

She's also learned to climb the stairs.

And, most exciting of all, she's taken the plunge and starting to walk! It started with a single tentative step while my parents were here. Then she started walking between two people while Pete's mom was here.

And over the last couple of days she's really started taking off and just walking whenever she feels like it. I wouldn't call her a walker yet, but she's getting dangerously close. It occurred to me the other day that, while I'm very excited for this milestone, it means she's turning into a more independent person who will soon be wandering off while our backs are turned. I'm not sure I'm ready for that, but there's no stopping her now.

4. Beauty

Finally, I just can't help showing off my beautiful little girl.

Her personality is really starting to shine, her laugh is horribly contagious, and best of all, she thinks her dad and I are hysterically funny. I've heard that doesn't last, so we're getting in as many bad jokes as possible.

{Three men walk into a bar. The fourth one ducks.}

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Kids Cancer Crusade Needs A Little Help

I know it's been awhile, I'm sure you're all anxiously awaiting an update. It's coming and it will be grand as it's been a busy busy busy couple of weeks. For now, you'll have to wait because I wanted to get the word out on something I think deserves a little visibility.

If you've spent any time at all on the blogosphere, you'll know that upping the visibility of your blog and increasing the number of comments is the name of the game, and people do all sorts of things to get your help. My favorite is give-aways, people give a prize to a random commenter or hold a little contest. You also see people asking you to advertise a give-away on your blog for an extra chance to win (this is kind of like shooting yourself in the foot, of course, since it means more entries). There are also all sorts of awards floating around, which are also a lot of fun. I received one and never did anything about it, thank you so much, Bug, for thinking of me (I love your new holiday look, by the way)! Maybe once I catch up on baby stuff I will follow through with that.

Up until now I've refrained from doing any solicitations on my blog and I'm kind of proud of myself for that as the temptation is very large. After this I will no longer be able to say that, but I think it's worth it. This is a really simple little thing, and I don't get much traffic here. But my hope is people who do get more traffic will pick up on it and repeat it and maybe this little organization will get the support they need.

Here's the dealeo (copied and pasted from their petition site):
To: Kids Cancer Crusade Supporters

For two years the purchase of the domain was kindly donated to Kids Cancer Crusade, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization by the owner of NgiNeThemba Designs & Domains. The company was recently sold and the new owner felt that since the company purchased the domain for the organization, Kids Cancer Crusade should be required to purchase it from him for $2000 (matching another offer he had received for the domain) in order to continue its use.

However, the new owner agreed to the terms that if Kids Cancer Crusade could supply a petition obtaining 1500 signatures declaring that, although not illegal, what he has demanded of the organization was unfair and hurts the organization and the services they provide, a judge can rule that he must repay the $2000. He agreed to the terms because he doesn't feel Kids Cancer Crusade has the support. Please help us to not only show him he is wrong but to get the money back so it can go to where it should - to our children and their families.


The Undersigned
To sign this petition please follow this link
Here is some information on what Kids Cancer Crusade is
And a link to a blog where they track kids' progress
And finally a link to the petition site's FAQ page so you can see exactly what this is. I've signed one other petition and have never received any junk mail resulting from it.

I understand this new owner doesn't have a responsibility to donate the domain, and I suppose a better way would be for them to find a new donor. But something about the way the new owner appears to have treated them makes me want to show him they can get the support they need.

Thanks for reading this! A baby update is coming soon, I promise.