Saturday, January 29, 2011

Bam's House

I love this photo. Maybe because it's at Bam's lakehouse. Bam and her husband Mike have been very special people to my family for many years, and her very sweet house on Lake Texoma is one of the best places in the world to be. We originally met because her grandson played hockey with my brother Billy. Over the years, our families spent much time together on hockey travel trips, and we've been close with the entire family, including Bam, since that time. Her name isn't actually "Bam," but this name is what her grandchildren call her, and since she has allowed me to 'adopt' her as my own grandmother, this is what BJ and I call her as well. At least once a year BJ and I make a wonderful trip for the weekend down to Bam's house, which is a couple of hours from Oklahoma City, and we spend the weekend eating, relaxing, playing, and eating. Have I mentioned that Bam is a gourmet chef?

This weekend has been Silas' inaugural trip to Bam's house, and boy, has he made a time of it. This little guy has been nothing but smiles all day as he has explored every room of the house and every tree on the point of land they own. We even took a ride around the neighborhood in one of the golf carts. In the photo you see above, Silas is crawling away from the hubbub in one part of the house to the other enticing living room, and mommy couldn't help but sneak behind him and capture the moment. A big-time thanks and 'love you' to Bam and Mike...and to Lori and Kolby: wishing you were here too. The lake just isn't the same without you. =)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The 10

January 27, 2001: A sobering night that I'll never forget. Oklahoma State's basketball team had played Colorado at their place earlier in the afternoon, a game I watched from my parents' living room because I had decided to come home from Stillwater that weekend since there wasn't a home game to attend. A few hours later, my dad called to me from that same living room and my parents and I watched in horror over the next few hours as we learned that one of the three planes carrying OSU players, staff, and associates had not survived the return trip home. Mechanical difficulties resulted in a crash that killed all ten men aboard. I remember initially feeling the shock and thinking, "Did the entire OSU team just die?" No one but those who were on the planes knew in the beginning who was on that third plane...we only knew that it had gone down. Names were finally released, and this was the list we saw: Nate Fleming, Will Hancock, Pat Noyes, Bill Teegins, Jared Weiberg, Denver Mills, Brian Luinstra, Daniel Lawson, Kendall Durfey, and Bjorn Fahlstrom. Ten lives suddenly gone, forever known on OSU's campus as "The 10."

Of these ten gentlemen, Bill Teegins was the only one I had ever met. Even at that, our meeting was brief and had occurred five years prior, but he had been friendly and had helped put me at ease in the News 9 TV station, where I felt uncomfortable and intimidated.  Despite the fact that most of the OSU Faithful did not know these men, though, it didn't stop the pain from being personal for thousands of people. I saw students in tears for days, and when OSU played their next home game versus Missouri, the electricity in Gallagher-Iba was absolutely unreal.  Gallagher-Iba remains the loudest place I have ever been on Earth, but that night it was one solid unbelievable roar in our narrow win against Mizzou.

Nine more January 27th's have come to pass for us since OSU's loss in 2001, and this year we remember a decade gone by. Each of these anniversaries has been sad for most of the OSU Faithful as we remember the accident and the lives that our university lost. I think I've cried on each of these ten days, but friends and family of these gentlemen have cried many days in between. As this ten-year anniversary comes to pass, I'll be prouder than ever as I sport the orange and black...proud to be an OSU Cowboy, and thankful for every moment I've got. RIP 10.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Crappy Morn

My friend Amber writes a pretty amazing blog. It's fairly new, quite well-written, and amazingly authentic.  In this blog, which can be linked to here, Amber chronicles her journey about recurrent miscarriage and her opportunities to learn and grow. One topic that she covers that has struck me is the use of the "mask" to cover feelings that one is experiencing beneath the smile. Now, typically I am pretty lucky and honestly feeling pretty happy, but in the spirit of Amber's authenticity, I'll be honest about the fact that this morning I was very unhappy...

First off, Tuesday is really my Monday, and I hate hate hate it. Now, to be fair, most people don't enjoy their Mondays, and most people don't make an art of bitching about it like I do. But come Monday night, I begin the dread of the work week, of leaving Silas for three whole days in the care of someone besides me, and of leaving my peaceful nest-of-a-home and replacing it with my office. The truth is that I shouldn't gripe because I only have to work three days a week, and my job really is a nice job with good pay.  So why do I gripe? Because, my friends, I am being authentic with you and reporting that I wish I worked less than I really do. This has been a surprising revelation for me to come to, nearly as surprising as my revelation in 2009 that I suddenly wanted to be a mother (well, in nine months that is...I wasn't ready to be a mother immediately!).  A stay-at-home mom is always a job that I have valued, but I figured that such a thing would never appeal to me because I so value adult interaction. Nevertheless, my identity since May 2, 2010 has become so much of being the female show in this house: wife, mommy, chef, menu-planner, merry-maid, organizer, playmate, you name it. I feel so fulfilled by this role and absolutely love it.

So here I am, grumbling inside about having to go to work. I overslept a bit and was going to be late to work. As I'm about to pick up Silas and walk out the door, BJ noticed that the small cut on Silas' finger that we have struggled to keep clean the past few days (baby fingers are so hard to keep clean, by the way) is now infected and oozing. Although he is showing no distress about it, all I can think is, "My poor baby! His poor finger! And now I have to drop him and his poor finger off for the whole day! And tomorrow and the next! Boo-hoo-hoo!" I make a mental note to call the pediatrician for recommendations, and then on the drive to work I spend the entire 25 minutes ruminating on the failure I feel as a mother for letting my son's finger get infected (hey, it wasn't rational, I know) and the failure that I feel as an employee for being late to work.  Even the galloping doe that I saw in the field didn't cheer me up, and I remained in an unhappy mood for much of the morning.

I've simply got to let this go, this unhappiness that I put myself through each Tuesday morning.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Random: Take 2

Hello friends. Today is another of those days when it's probably better to just post a random assortment of life tidbits rather than blather on about a subject for longer than is warranted.  So here goes:

1. Regardless of who wins this game between the Jets and Steelers (which I hope is the Jets because I can hardly handle the personality of Roethlisberger), I'm rooting for the Packers to win the Superbowl in two weeks. I really wanted the Bears to win it, but it was not meant to be. I only wish that we could be watching the Superbowl with Jordan and Adrienne in Chicago once again like we did last year...they made it my favorite Superbowl ever, without a doubt.

2. We've taken to calling Silas "Blake Griffin" because of the tricks he pulls with his pacifier. Followers of LA Clippers' player Blake Griffin know that, in addition to his amazing ability to dunk the basketball, he also has quite a tendency to play ridiculously with his mouth-guard and let it hang out of his mouth when action is not taking place (i.e. the free throw line, time outs, etc.).  Silas has begun identical antics with his pacifier and it can often be seen in all directions in his mouth, as depicted here:

 3. Also in the way of Silas antics, this took place while I was attempting to clean the kitchen today:

4. I finished knitting my scarf! I love it! I still need to get it to the shop and learn how to bind it off and weave in the ends. After that's done, I'll post a pic of it. Can't wait to get going on my next project, but first I promised my friend Erik that I'd read a book that he recommended, so I'm in the first part of that.

Hope all is well with everyone. Happy weeks to you!

Friday, January 21, 2011

The King's Speech: My Journey to the Movies

Wow, it seems like so long since I last blogged. Life has been somewhat hectic since then, but it's also been a very good week. BJ returned from his boy trip, thank God, so life is back to usual in our little family of four (this includes Tex, of course).  It's not as though we actually have been 'home' much since his return though, so there has just been no time to sit and get my thoughts down on paper, er, screen.

One interesting thing that has been different about my life in the last year is the lack of movie-watching.  BJ and I sadly joke about how we used to enjoy watching good movies, and how we have frequented the movie theater in the last several years of our marriage (which was basically when we could afford it). However, a journey into my movie-going recollection led to the shocking realization that I only watched three movies in the theater in the whole of 2010! Three! For those of you who might be interested, these movies included Avatar, Toy Story 3, and the latest Harry Potter movie. Sadly, BJ dragged me to the first two of these, I must admit. The last trimester of my pregnancy with Silas began in February 2010, and at that point my restless leg syndrome had gotten so uncomfortable that sitting in an upright chair for two hours without getting up sounded like supreme torture, not to mention the fact that my belly was too big to kick my feet up on the seat in front of me to get comfortable. Then Silas was born in the beginning of May, and of course that made the journey to movie theaters nearly impossible. When we did get a babysitting opportunity from a family member, we typically spent the time eating in peace, catching up on some household business, or sleeping. Feedings were three hours apart and, since I was breastfeeding, I had to be present for them, so movies at the theater were few and far between.

This being said, today we had a Silas-sitting opportunity, thanks to BJ's mom Sus. BJ was intent on seeing a movie and I definitely did not want to see a movie, but 1) I couldn't figure out why I didn't want to see one, and 2) I couldn't think of any better alternative. So, resigned, I went with BJ to the movie theater to see The King's Speech. Oh. My. Goodness. I so loved this movie! I can't even tell you how thrilled I am that BJ talked me into going. I have no idea what my problem was: this movie cast includes two of my very favorites with Helena Bonham Carter and Colin Firth, so what's not to love? The piece is a historical account of King George VI's experience with a speech impediment, with Firth playing the king and Bonham Carter playing the Queen Mother (whom I suddenly liked for the first time).  The film was touching, witty, and absolutely hilarious. I can't even say how many times I laughed out loud in the theater, although admittedly this script was right in line with my sense of humor.  All in all, it was an excellent day with many thanks to Sus for taking great care of Silas, and many thanks to BJ for forcing me out of the mommy-box that I sometimes accidentally carve for myself and then close myself into. I give The King's Speech an A+, and the popcorn was righteous too.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Eskimo Joes

Well, today is day 3 of BJ's 5-day trip to Tahoe with his friends. Silas and I have had a good time without him, which I am kind of surprised about. Silas is doing a great job though and has been extra laid-back, which leaves me feeling not nearly as much stress as I thought I would. Today, to help alleviate some of the home-bodyness that can occur when a spouse is gone, my parents invited Silas and me up to Stillwater for an errand they needed to run there, and then they treated me to lunch at my favorite restaurant in the world, Eskimo Joes. In my trustworthy opinion, Joes is worth driving the 75 miles to Stillwater for. Their cheeseburgers and chocolate shakes can't be beaten, and don't get me started on the delicious chili-cheese fries. Don't EVEN get me started. So so delicious. So here is a picture of Silas sitting in his high-chair clearly enjoying his first trip to Joes as well.

You can tell by that happy face that mommy gave him several bites of her chocolate shake (sorry BJ! I know you're reading this! I'm causing our son to become a chocoholic!). I remember going to Joes on Wednesday nights in college with BJ and our friends, enjoying $1 Little Joes (mini-cheeseburgers) and having good times. Thanks for lunch Mom and Dad! Silas and I had fun getting out of the house!

In other news, I spent a long time fixing a knitting mistake today, which is frustrating for me. I'm just not good enough yet to know how to fix things when I mess up! I corrected it adequately, but at one point in this scarf you can tell that something isn't perfectly right. It's not incredibly obvious at least or I would have had to make another trip back into the yarn shop for help. They are probably getting sick of me. Despite my griping, I really am loving knitting. Also in other news, I'm on steroids now to treat this cough so that hopefully I can start jogging again! I seriously can't wait!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Life With Silas As He Gets Older

Even the title of this entry, "Life with Silas as he gets older," stirs conflicting emotions within me! At times it feels like yesterday that he was born, and now he's nearly nine months old. At other times, I look back on those early days with him like they were an eternity ago. Just last night I had a sudden flashback to the days when he was a newborn and I spent 20 minutes in the middle of the night trying to burp him; now he just rips them out on his own, thank goodness. As Silas has gotten older, he has also gotten more fun, which I didn't necessarily expect (for some strange reason). I remember looking forward to the day when he would someday smile, but beyond that, I wasn't sure what to expect! Would playing with his silly baby toys with him be fun? Would I resent that I might miss some of my beloved OSU games because I had him to care for (thank goodness for DVR, by the way)? The truth is, it has gotten better all the time. Amazingly enough, playing with him and his baby toys really IS fun. And, no, suddenly HE takes precedence in my mind, even when OSU is playing football or basketball. It just works that way. Below is a medley of pictures depicting everyday life with Silas as he has gotten older. You will notice that in most of them he is up to mischievous acts...

In this picture, readers will notice that Silas has discovered the toilet paper, particularly how fun it is to roll it right off the reel. 

Below you will see his new "old man" smile. Recently he has frequently stopped smiling his old open-mouthed smile and is now biting his lower lip and smiling with his mouth closed. Whatever that's about, I have no idea.

Now that he can stand easily in his crib, when he wakes up in the morning or after a nap he typically plays by himself in his crib for a while, then stands up, hollers in his most winning "goo-goo ga-ga" voice, and teethes on his crib rail. Here is what his crib rail looks like from the inside...

He has also been practicing drinking from a cup. I swear, this boy may go straight from a bottle to a real cup, skipping that whole "sippy" thing. He shows intense interest anytime I drink from a glass, so we practice with water. Here is Silas practicing drinking while laying in his tub.

And finally, below you'll find my view of when I try to get a diaper, or clothing for that matter, on Silas these days. That boy is a naked bandit and will wriggle and crawl away as fast as possible, preferably for him if he's still unclothed. Please note in this photo that there is some serious bun-action still hanging out.

All in all, we really couldn't ask for a better baby. We hope fervently for a baby #2 someday, and it would be beyond our wildest dreams if our next baby could be as good of a baby as Silas is. And that's my brag-book for the day.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Well, there just doesn't seem to be much to say for some reason. I don't know if I have writer's block or if life just hasn't been exciting lately. I'm taking an idea from a friend; since I seem to have no complete topic to discuss today, here's a random assortment of my life lately:

1. I haven't been able to jog in forever because of this nasty bronchitis. I really miss jogging and I'm start to feel out of shape, especially since every time I laugh or try to tell a story of semi-decent length I end up hacking up a lung. I'm headed back to the doctor on Friday morning to see if perhaps there is something else I should be doing to spur recovery along.

2. Blackmon and Weeden have stated that they are planning to return to OSU's football team next season. Need I say more? I'm fully in agreement with my husband's cousin Trish, who texted me, "I pretty much screamed when I found out." Go Cowboys!

3. Silas is hell on wheels. That boy is not only crawling at a maniacal pace, but also walking around while holding himself up on furniture and pulling up on everything in sight, typically things mommy doesn't want him to pull up on (i.e. the toilet, TV trays, Tex, etc.). He's also taken to waking up in the middle of the night and wailing if we try to leave him after putting his pacifier back in his mouth. This is a new and exhausting development. Sleep has been poor lately, when you combine Silas' antics with Tex's snoring, plus incidentals such as the dishwasher completing its cycle with a cheerful "BEEEEP" at 4:30 in the morning. It all led to me sitting up in bed the other night, whispering "For the love of God!" and then immediately having a coughing fit. We're crossing our fingers for a good night tonight.

4. Last night we mailed off a check that pays in full the smaller of my two student loans. Getting that degree was expensive, but at least one of those payments is now gone. Thanks to Dave Ramsey for his inspiration.

 5. I said I'd never talk about work, but this one was too funny. I'm seeing a teenager who was telling me all about a social event she was going to attend last night. As we were walking out of our session yesterday, I said, "Have fun at your event tonight." Just to illustrate the seemingly enormous gap between myself and a 13-year-old, she tried to be nice and said in return, "Thanks. Have know...being a psychologist."

And that's been a week of life, Jenny-style.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Linda Cohn

Well, I told BJ this morning as we watched "Sportscenter" that it seemed high-time to dedicate my blog-writing of the day to a role model of mine, Linda Cohn. He laughed because he thought I was joking (or maybe because he knew I wasn't), but I was serious. So today, I'm going to talk about Linda Cohn, "Sportscenter" anchor and, in general, a kick-ass lady for a girl like me to look up to. Good friends of mine (which is most of you) know that I'm interested in feminist issues, so naturally I take to women who boldly enter male-dominated fields and then demonstrate their ability to hang with, and often even surpass, the boys. The area of sports seems particularly difficult to break into, but many female athletes have made their sports worth watching and celebrating (Mia Hamm, the Williams sisters, Diana Taurasi, Jennie Finch, and Annika Sorenstam, to name just a couple). Even I must draw the line when it comes to hearing some women do play-by-play during a men's sporting event though, although of course there are some amazing exceptions (i.e. the great Mary Carillo). Linda Cohn, however, is the only voice I want to hear when I turn on a sports talk show. Let's face it, the lady knows her stuff; that's not even worth debating. She's funny, doesn't sound stuck-up, converses comfortably and naturally with her male co-anchors, and she is NEVER ignorant. Ms. Cohn really belongs there, and therefore, she's my role-model.

Sometimes I get incredibly frustrated when I think about the state of things with regard to women, even today. Although things in 2011 are improved, women continue to be subjected to penalty simply for being women, and that totally sucks. Women are still underpaid, their clothes are more expensive, pornography is rampant, and they are still evaluated entirely too much based on their looks. A simple Google search of "female athletes" will yield numerous top results not of talented female athletes, but of lists of the hottest female athletes. You've got to be kidding me. But just when I start to think the road ahead is simply too long to pass, I think of gals like Linda Cohn, who are paving the way and showing their smarts while doing it. My hats off to you, Ms. Cohn.

Friday, January 7, 2011


First of all, Leslie is younger and hipper than me (it's hard to imagine anyone being hipper than me, but Leslie is). My images of Granny from the Beverly Hillbillies dissolved into thin air as she introduced herself. Despite her youth, or perhaps in part because of it, she did totally school me in knitting, which was exactly what I went to her for. Leslie is so good at knitting, in fact, that she told me she even takes her knitting with her to the movie theater. I was incredulous! Right now, if I'm knitting while watching a football game, my concentration is 87% on my knitting and 13% on the game. I did anticipate these percentages to even out somewhat over time, but I never expected the possibility of not even looking at my knitting. In fact, she said, "If I ever go blind I'll spend all my time knitting."  She maintained that she can feel her work, which I'm sure she can.

I was completely enamored by my lesson today. It was absolutely fantastic and I loved being there and learning. Leslie was very patient and friendly, and it was quite a relief to be able to ask an expert about a knitting snag as it was actually happening, rather than doing what I have been doing, which is guessing about what my next move should be (typically incorrectly) and then proceeding while pretending that I didn't just mess up, despite growing evidence to the contrary in my scarf. The scarf that I'm working on now is in the stockinette weave, and the yarn is a very pretty purple. When it's all finished, I'll post a pic of it. You can be sure of that, as readers can attest to the fact that I rarely miss opportunities to brag. Thank you for the lesson Sus! I'm on my way to becoming a knitter...

Thursday, January 6, 2011

I'm Getting Schooled By Granny

Two days until I turn the big 3-0, which is exciting. The other night I was at my mom's house and she gave me a friendly reminder that "you're going to be 30," and I think that is when it actually hit me how weird that is. Aren't I supposed to be 17? Or 12? Or even 23? I clearly remember many of my birthdays and how old I felt at each of them, and now look at me.

Unlike many comrades of mine, I haven't experienced a desire for the whole "30 things before 30 years" or however the adage goes. Maybe I secretly have though... In the past few months, I have picked up several new hobbies (jogging, blogging, etc.), but didn't really stop to analyze this until now. Why have I done this? I thought it was because I felt inspired to stop watching so much TV and instead do something productive, but maybe it's more Freudian than that...maybe I fear old age and stagnation. 

Speaking of new hobbies, BJ's mom got me a very cool present for my birthday this year. She's sending me for a one-hour private knitting lesson at a yarn shop in Norman tomorrow. I'm excited about the one-on-one attention to my skill (or should I say lack thereof), but I'm also nervous about it. The appointment is with Leslie... I wonder what she's like. I bet you she's an old stitching fool. With a gray bun and a knitted shawl around her shoulders.  Now I'm picturing Granny from the Beverly Hillbillies. Okay, if she doesn't look like Granny I'll be excited. Look at me, fearing old age and stagnation again.

I'll keep you updated, fo sho.

Monday, January 3, 2011

A Pox on Our House

Seriously, I'm starting to think that we are becoming a high-frequency illness family. This isn't usually the case, but this past year it really has been! BJ has just departed for a business trip to Virginia, and I suppose who can blame him for leaving since Silas and I have both been cranky? A trip to the doctor's office today revealed that Silas has his first ear infection, which is why he began running fever yesterday. Despite getting my flu shot like the responsible citizen that I am, the doctor assures me that I quite likely had the flu when I was sick all week last week, and that it has settled into what is now an upper respiratory infection. When I protested, "But I got my flu shot!" he lamely replied, "That doesn't seem to mean much this year." Grr. Needless to say, Silas and I are both on antibiotics.  This reminds me of three years ago when I got my flu shot but actually contracted a second strain of the flu which kept me out of work for the entire week. Thankfully (and this is a very big thankfully), it does not appear as though Silas got the ear infection is bad enough! I can hear him coughing from his crib right now. The Orange Bowl is on, and though I love college football with all that I am, I am going to have to retire early tonight.

The title of today's entry comes of course from Arthur Miller's The Crucible. I believe it is Giles Corey that shouts the curse "A pox on your house!" as he is being crushed to death by stones, although memory may not serve me correctly. I read this play as a junior in high school, and in my 17-year-old ways I just thought it was hilarious that he would shout a curse that sounds so silly. Of course, I didn't live 400 years ago, so maybe it was taken more seriously back then. But while we're on the subject of Arthur Miller, I may as well share my favorite quote of his which, incidentally, is not "A pox on your house!" When asked why he wrote The Crucible, part of Arthur Miller's well-composed response was "What terrifies one generation is likely to bring only a puzzled smile to the next." The quote needs no follow-up from me. Thank you, Arthur Miller, for this bit that I have hung on to for the last who knows how many years.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Sports Extravaganza 2011

I love New Year's Day. It's really one of the greatest days, especially if you're a college football fan like I am. January 1st really is like my March Madness.  It's so great to wake up to the Rose Bowl Parade, and then you're in for a spectacular day of bowl after bowl after bowl. Throw in the NHL Winter Classic game as well as an Oklahoma City Thunder game, and you've got a great day for a sports fan! Typically on New Year's Day, BJ humors me and we plan a whole menu of football foods to graze on all day long, including wings, dips, cookies, potato skins, and deviled eggs. This year, however, I am sicky and didn't feel like making all that stuff. I'd had a 24-hour break from the fever, but it even returned this afternoon. So instead, I never got out of my pajamas and we made meals based on ingredients that we already had in the pantry. When Silas napped, I alternatively napped or knitted, based on how much energy I had. (All this occurring, of course, with the television displaying good sports in the background.)

I haven't considered New Years resolutions yet, and I feel too tired to do it right now. The only resolution that I can certainly state for now is my goal to keep jogging and to complete the 10K in the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon Relay. That thought in and of itself is enough to exhaust me right now. Happy New Year to you all, and may 2011 be your greatest year yet.