Thursday, August 28, 2008

Si Se Puede Barack

Lucy, Mitch, and I watched Barack Obama's nomination acceptance speech tonight. Lucy didn't watch all of it because we had to get in a little Sesame Street before bedtime. But it was music to my ears to hear her saying, "I want to watch Barack Obama!"

I have been listening to some of the speeches from the Democratic convention as I drive home from work in the evenings. There have been some great speeches. But tonight it finally sunk in what an incredible opportunity we have with this election. Finally, after more than 200 years, we can fulfill the promise of America. We have claimed for so long that anyone can be president. We have claimed the Horatio Alger myth of economic, political, and social success - of pulling yourself up by your bootstraps. And for once, especially now, it would be so great, so amazing, so affirming, if we could have a president who was NOT an old white guy. No offense to the old white guys, some of my closest friends are old white guys (my dad, little jimmy, and many others). But haven't you had your turn for the last two hundred years? Isn't it time to say, "Hey, I think there might be other people out there in our nation of 200 million who might be able to do the job. Maybe a non-white guy, or a non-white woman, or a woman period. Maybe we should let someone else take a shot."

To be perfectly honest, I don't even care if Barack Obama is a terrible president. I don't think he will be. I think he will be an AWESOME president. More on that later. But even if he was a totally ineffective president (think Jimmy Carter, sorry Jimmy, I love you, but history suggests perhaps you weren't the most effective president...), he would still be someone other than an old white guy as president. His presidency would still affirm the best feelings we have ever had about America, but were afraid weren't true. A Barack Obama presidency would say, "Hey, we are the country we always thought we were!"

So why do I think Barack Obama will be a great president? First, he isn't afraid to tell the truth even when that truth is unpopular. Case in point. Both Hillary Clinton and John McCain supported rescinding the gas tax while all of America was freaking out over high gas prices. This despite the fact that every economist on earth agreed that this move would do absolutely nothing to lower gas prices. What did Barack Obama say? He said something along the lines of, hey, I'm sorry but that idea isn't going to work. This isn't an easy problem to solve.

Second, I think his youth and newness to the government is an attribute in his favor. As a young, unseasoned, but enthusiastic government servant myself, I think there is a lot to be said for people who are new to the business and are still idealistic and think big things can be done. As Van Jones said,

"I want to break people out of their cynicism, because the level of cynicism that we have been indulging in is a luxury that we cannot afford. It is indulgent to live in the richest, most advanced technological society in history and say, “We cannot do it.” We have the best shot of anyone at solving the big problems. We have technologies that thirty years ago people couldn’t have imagined: the Internet, laptop computers, cellphones. You and I have better computers on our person than the U.S. government had when it landed a man on the moon. Everyone you know is a walking technological superpower by the standards of thirty years ago. To be playing helpless and throwing up our hands when we haven’t even tried to solve these problems is totally unacceptable to me." (Van Jones Sun Interview March 2008)

It is time for an realistic optimist. Not an ostrich head in the sand idiot like some current presidents who shall remain nameless. But also not an overly experienced, potentially jaded guy like John McCain either. And that's not even touching on pro-choice, or whether you think people who make millions of dollars are still inside the middle class or whether you think tax breaks will really solve our health insurance crisis. (come on John, that is your solution? really?)

That's enough for now. I will write more about Barack Obama in later weeks as I figure out what I am going to do to help his campaign besides buy a bumper sticker and put a sign in my lawn. For now, let's just say "Si se puede." And please, America, for once in my freaking life, could we be on the right side of history on this one? If we pass up this opportunity to live up to our promises, I might have to start looking for a different homeland.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Accuracy in all things

On the way to the park today.

Christy: "We need to water the garden when we get home."
Lucy: "Why do plants need water?"
Christy: "Plants use water to cool themselves and to move food through their bodies."
Lucy: "And then they poop?"
Christy: "No, plants don't poop."
Lucy: "When people eat then poop comes out of their butt."
Christy: "Yep. That's pretty much it..."

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Taking it up a notch in the home decor department

Well I've been complaining for the past several months that our eleven foot yellow couch was starting to show its age. The cushions were getting dingy (they can be washed but have to be done by hand and so don't get washed very often). Some of the cushions were starting to sag a bit when you sat on them.

Mitch has been searching Craig's List every day for a piece of furniture to put all of his guitar amps and other music accoutrement into so that Josie won't eat it. In his regular perusing of home furnishing he stumbled upon a couch and love seat set that he liked. I liked it too so he went and bought them. The yellow couch is now in our garage waiting for a new home via craigs list.

All the new furniture makes the living room look really nice, when it isn't covered three feet deep in tossed off cheerios, alphabet blocks, toy trains, dirty baby socks, and unfolded laundry. Unfortunately, those moments aren't very often. The little fleas biting your ankles also take away from the chic look. But still, we like it. I even got new accent pillows for the new couch. Although I was on the fence about them and now that I see them in the picture, I'm going to take them back to pier one and look for ones I like better (the white one on the love seat I am keeping. The green pillows on the couch are out).

Mitch is even going to sew some of those granny-type couch protectors for the arms and back to keep the cats from destroying them. By the way, Mitch also found a crazy piece of furniture for his guitar stuff. It is a home bar that he reconfigured . Check it out below.

Yes, it is all trivia. But I think blog entries can be trivia. Most of mine are anyway. Hope you are all enjoying your furniture as much as we are.

Pictures of the Girls

Josie plays the kazoo. Seriously, she actually puts it in her mouth properly and plays it. Wearing going to video this soon so we have it for prosperity. Here she is sporting a hat that Mitch bought for her while she was in the womb. Isn't she cute? She still doesn't have any teeth but she still manages to eat a lot including, for dinner tonight, ravioli, banana, parmesan cheese, toddler stars, and more.

Lucy has a great imagination and enjoyed playing "hair dresser" with Big Josie when she came to visit with her mom Mia last weekend and this weekend. Mia and Josie actually babysat for us while Mitch and I went out for dinner and a stroll on the beach. It was very nice to have some alone time.

Mitch is playing the guitars a lot these days including his Gretsch electric guitar (not a gibson, sorry about that), his Fender stratocaster, and more. The acoustic has disappeared for the time being.

Has it come to this?

I guess it has. I have never been a super organized person. I have lost a lot of things in my life. My parents drove over my glasses. I lost lots of contact lenses. I have a ton of single earrings and single socks. But this is really over the top. This is a first. Now, when I go running (as I did yesterday morning), I have to wear the "pair" of shoes shown above. It may not leap out at you, but this "pair" consists of one running shoe and one nike light hiker. I have managed to misplace both of the matches to these shoes.

It truly is crazy making. I blame this all on the fact that Josie's freaking crib is still in our bedroom, parked directly in front of my dresser. This means that I have not been able to open my clothes dresser for the past 11 months. As an adaptation, I am now storing my clothes in crates in front of my closet (takes me back to my undergraduate days...). The consequence of this strategy is that 15 tons of clothes are also piled on top of my shoe storage area. I had managed to keep track of the four pairs of shoes that I am regularly wearing (my running shoes, flip flops, slides, and some doc marten mary-janes) but now one of my running shoes and one of my light hikers have disappeared into the void.

Some of the details of my life kind of suck right now...

Sunday, August 17, 2008

My Daughter, Myself

Tonight at dinner:

Josie hucks three pieces of croissant and four pieces of salmon on to the floor.

Christy: "Josie - stop throwing your dinner on the floor."

Lucy: "Why is she doing that?"

Christy: "Sometimes she just throws her food on the floor."

Lucy: "That sucks dude."

It Just Wouldn't be the Weekend Without....Craig's List???

Those of you who know Mitch, know that he is crazy bargain guy. One of the biggest bonding moments that Mitch and my mom had was over their mutual enthusiasm for garage sales and a wonderful garage-sale-ing Saturday that we all had together. Mitch is the guy who buys his cereal based on what is on sale (he claims he doesn't have any preference among cereals, but come on - we all know that honeynut cheerios is better than regular cheerios).

Craig's list has given new meaning to Mitch's bargain hunting. It allows him to combine a multiplicity of his talents, hobbies, and personality quirks. Craig's List combines: computer research (M loves it), bargain hunting (again, loves it), infinite e-mail exchanges containing multiple inquiries (at least tolerates it), item research (loves it), the consideration of multiple options (loves it), recycling (loves it), and avoiding the need to contribute to manufacturing of new goods. Combine this with the actual obtaining of an item once a deal has been struck, and you pretty much have Mitch's ideal transaction. My ideal transaction, on the other hand, involves knowing what I want already, finding it on the internet, ordering it, and waiting for it to arrive. No need to interact with anyone, no need to comparison shop, no need to spend more than a minimum amount of time on the whole process.

Anyway, Mitch has pretty much become a Craig's list FIEND. I swear, not a single weekend has gone by in the past 2 months (maybe even three) that either Mitch, or the whole family, hasn't gone on a Craig's list quest. Here for your amusement are just a few snippets:

- there was the time we spent half a day in Simi Valley helping a single mom move in order to purchase her daughter's old loft bed for Lucy (Christy's review: hell on earth. Mitch's review: delightful adventure getting to know new people).

- how about the 2 hour adventure trying to get on to Port Hueneme naval base so we could buy a crib for Lucy from a nice woman, her navy man, and their 11 month old son who was now too big for the crib (Josie is also 11 months, but is petite). (Christy's review: mildly annoying. Mitch's review: fabulous bargain!!).

- then there was the time Mitch drove to Thousand Oaks for a double whammy: a baby bouncer for $20 from one woman and his dream Gibson guitar from some out of work, recovering drug addict drummer.

This weekend we had a Craig's list first, we are actually trying to sell our old 11-foot yellow couch via Craig's list. We'll see if anyone buys it. We've had two people interested but no takers so far.

At this very moment (9 PM on Sunday), Mitch is in Oxnard trying to buy an old liquor cabinet to convert into his music cabinet. Maybe some day Mitch will regale everyone with his litany of Craig's list adventures and give you all the finer points of why Craig's list is one of the best things on the internet. Me, I pretty much only looked at Craig's list to try and find the perfect dog. And now that I am out of the dog business, I don't anticipate much Craig's list reading for me.

Friday, August 15, 2008

A Quick Note About Jeb

I've been waiting a while to write a post about my failure to adopt a dog. Having Jeb was a real challenge. It put quite a strain on the old marriage - me wanting a dog, mitch having to deal with a dog every day, and mitch being pretty darn happy about our decision not to keep a dog plus me being depressed about having to give up the dog.

The time really wasn't right. It is too hard to have to deal with anything extra when one of your kids is making sure you only get about 4 to 5 hours of sleep per night and that this sleep is broken into two separate periods. I think if you can only keep the absolutely perfect dog, then you probably shouldn't have a dog. My experience has been that all shelter dogs have some sort of quirk that needs to be worked out, whether that is chewing up your shoes (miya), or being afraid of everything (cleo) or various other endearing oddities.

I don't know what will happen long-term. I still would really like to have a dog. Not today, not tomorrow, not next month. Not until Josie is walking and sleeping better and the world is more deal-able (like in a year maybe?). But the fact that Mitch is home and I am not and that Mitch isn't too crazy about the dog idea and I am, those will continue to be challenging realities.

I'm glad I had the opportunity to foster Jeb and I'm extremely bummed that it worked out the way that it did. Even though it is easier to kill the fleas without Jeb as a refuge for them and even though it is easier to put Josie to sleep without Jeb's scratching and heavy breathing, and even though it is nice not to feel trapped in our house because we can't leave Jeb alone, I still miss the furry guy. I hope he gets the loving family that he deserves. And soon. He really is a great dog.

Girls, Girls, Girls

Here they are in all their momentary glory. Josie is crawling up the playground equipment these days and going down the slide, by herself. Lucy is potty queen and only uses diapers when she's sleeping. Josie is still making us crazy on the sleep front by waking us up for long hours at night. Mitch tried to ferberize her last night but he couldn't do it. We decided she is too sensitive of a soul. When you let her cry, she acts like you have left her and are never coming back...

Lucy was typing letters on the computer today. She left for a while and when she came back, the screen saver was on. She said, "Oh NOOO, my blog!!"

When we were at the wedding last weekend, there were a couple of really cute little girls there (other than Lucy, Josie, and Ava of course) that were dressed to the nines. They had clean hair with pretty barrettes and they had on tights and super frilly dresses and shiny shoes. They were loving twirling around in their shiny shoes. Ava and Lucy and Josie had on their cotton casual dresses with pants underneath. And although we had recently wiped off their faces, I wouldn't say that their hair was particularly "styled" One of our friends at the wedding asked Becca why she didn't dress Ava like these other little girls. I'm not sure what Becca said to this person, but when she told Rob and me about it, Rob said, "We don't own that much wrapping paper. And it wouldn't be very environmentally sound to buy that much wrapping paper either." To which, Becca and I both replied, "We knew there was a reason why Becca married you."

We took Lucy and Josie to the zoo today. Lucy really wanted to see a python since we have been reading about a python in Egad Alligator. Lucky for us, they had a very spectacular python at the Santa Barbara Zoo.

Not for the Squeamish, Better than Juice

Back when I was in college, both undergraduate and graduate, I had several friends who at one point or another, did a juice cleanse. What is a juice cleanse you ask? Well it is some crazy hippie thing where you fast for a couple of days or so and just drink juice. The point of the experience is to clean out your colon or intestine or something along those lines. I pretty much maintain a 2 hour rule concerning my own eating or else I and everyone around me really regrets it. So there were no juice fasts for me. Plus, as you can guess by the way I framed the whole discussion, I am unconvinced as to the medical reality of the juice cleanse.

Anyway, this post is to advise those of you who are looking for a good cleanse for your old colon, I have just the thing. Mitch took Josie and Lucy to the beach the other day and Josie ate about 2 lbs of sand. I don't know whether it was the saltiness or the scrubbing on the gums, but whatever it was, she was really digging the sand (literally and figuratively). And let me tell you, her colon got a good scrubbing.

So for those of you thinking about a juice fast, I recommend sand. You don't even have to fast, the other foods you eat just act like the base on the sandpaper.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Cold Cereal Connection

I have been going back to my roots this summer. I picked up the remaining dregs of my mom's ashes out of the dirt floored basement at my dad's house when I visited there earlier this summer. Since then, I've been having some good dead mom bonding experiences. I've been doing a lot of gardening with Lucy which always takes me back to my mom, in her overalls, out weeding the garden after work. I was never into gardening growing up so doing all this gardening now (even if it is only in a 6 feet wide by 10 feet long strip in my front yard) reminds me a lot of my mom. My only disappointment is that she isn't around to see me weeding and watering along with Lucy picking our tomatoes.

My other summer mom connection is a recent nightly ritual that Mitch and I have gotten into since we don't have any ice cream in our freezer. We have started having a bowl of cereal around 9 PM every night. We are having honey nut cheerios which is sweet enough to feel like dessert. My mom always used to have cold cereal around 10 o'clock at night. She usually had rice crispies, but still.

It is nice to have these connections to the missing.

All Chiefs, No Indians

This week I received a temporary promotion. The division chief of Interpretation and Education at our park is leaving to become the park superintendent at a park in Idaho. It is going to take the park a while to advertise and fill this vacancy so the park management advertised an opportunity for a temporary assignment (we call them details in the NPS) for this job. I have been contemplating whether I might like to eventually go into a park management position so I jumped at the chance to test drive this kind of a job. Lucky for me, no one else even applied. So, ta-da, come September 1st, I will be the Chief of the Division of Interpretation and Education for four months.

It should be a grand adventure. It will be a little like a sociological field trip. Think Margaret Mead in Samoa. The institutional cultures between my current division (planning, science, and resource management) and the interp. folks are wildly different. They like to hug, we like to argue. They like to plan WAY in advance, we like to plan today for tomorrow. We like data, they like good photos. Well, we like good photos too, so maybe we have that in common. I'm sure I can't mess up their gig too much in a mere four months. I'll do my best to help them out however I can and to learn more about what it is like to be a park manager (does it totally suck or only partially suck??).

For now, since it is only temporary, I won't make you call me Chief.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Weekend Update: Davis Summer to Marin Summer

We spent last weekend visiting friends in Davis and Marin. We drove up to Davis first and it was a relatively painless drive. Lucy watched 5 hours of Monsters Inc. and Nemo while Josie put whatever I gave her every five minutes into her mouth for exploration time. We arrived at Scott and Carrie's house around dinner time. Scott thoughtfully picked up dinner from Dos Coyotes (Mitch's pre-req. for any visit to Davis) and we hung out for a bit before bath time and bed time. It was hot and bright in Davis. Even though Davis isn't that much farther north than us, it somehow seems so much brighter there longer into the evening and earlier in the morning. Anyway, we had a nice time with our short visit with Scott and Carrie and Charley the dog. Scott and Carrie's house was the cleanest I have ever seen it. One nice thing was that it was still almost as dirty as our house which gives me hope that there are people on earth, even people without kids, whose houses are as dirty as mine. I missed out on my Davis pre-req.'s because we were only there for 1/4 of a day so visiting Bogey's books, the Davis Food Co-op, and the Nugget grocery store will have to wait until next time.

After Davis, on Saturday we drove over to Fort Barry in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area for our friend's Michael and Sarah's wedding. The wedding was at the Marin Headlands Center for the Arts. It was an amazing wedding with all local food (including local wines, produce, and....BACON!), carbon credits for all of us travelers, lots of great toasts, and I even got in an hour of dancing with Lucy and friends before I had to whisk the wee ones off to bed in the hostel. Lucy had a fantastic time playing with her friend Ava and doing topless pole dancing with the old pillars in the reception area. Mitch and I had a great time seeing old friends like Peter and Nathalie, Martha, Sudeep, and, randomly, people I knew in high school like Dan Zeichis and Liz Hammond. It was an adventure. Michael and Sarah had a lovely wedding with beautiful vows, lovely readings, and a generally groovalicious vibe.

Now we need to stay home next weekend and try and kill all the fleas in our house (yes, they are still here, and are still multiplying). We came back to lots of ripe pear tomatoes and lots of fleas. P.s. we also ate our first home grown ripe red pepper today. It wasn't that sweet... I'm still waiting for our japanese eggplant to get bigger than my big toe, but it has been weeks and it doesn't seem to be getting much bigger...

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Sucked Into to Watching Heroes: a show with possibly the worst voice overs EVER

So friends of ours convinced us to watch some episodes of the t.v. show Heroes, claiming it was very entertaining. I was so appalled by the first three episodes that I couldn't believe that anyone would enjoy such a stupid show. The sheer number of totally unbelievable, wrong-headed, totally crap pseudoscience voice overs in every episode concerning evolution were simply horrendous. But the same friends swore that the voice overs became less frequent as the show went on, so we watched a few more episodes.

Well the pseudoscience remains, and the majority of the "abilities" that people are supposed to have evolved make absolutely no sense, but somehow it is completely compelling. The plot moves along at a good clip, some of the characters are utterly charming (namely Hiro Nakamura), and in season two they even try to throw the ladies a bone by cutting Peter Petrelli's hair and making him wear muscle shirts for a little eye candy.

I am still pretty annoyed by all the stupid crap that gets spewed in some mumbo jumbo totally unsound hollywood approximation at a modern magical take on human evolution, but it is a fun show to watch. If you decide to check it out, you really have to break on through the first about 6 episodes before it becomes addictive and you learn to ignore the lame references to evolution (as if your average person didn't already have enough wrongheaded ideas about evolution, now we have to add to that list people thinking that humans will be able to evolve the ability to communicate with pay per view t.v. or melt metal...).

anyway, if you are looking for one hour blocks of entertainment, check out Heroes, the first two seasons are out (season 1 on DVD season 2 on netflix).

Hippie flea trap: 0, Christy's samurai flea catching skills: 12

Now is not a good time to come and visit us, unless you are recruiting for a flea circus. The sad departure of Jeb (who Katafanga and I miss, but whose absence is being celebrated by Kathmandu and Mitch) back to the kennel has apparently left a major void in our household flea ecology. I think the warm weather may have also generated some major flea egg hatches.

Despite applying massive doses of flea disrupting hormone and flea killing chemicals to the cats, spraying the outside flea habitat, and several episodes of rug washing and vacuuming, even brief episodes of sitting on our furniture or touching our carpets result in several fleas hopping all over a person. Mitch has been picking three to four fleas off Josie every couple of hours. It reminds me of the massive flea episodes in our house growing up (thus clearly explaining why our chickenpox was initially misdiagnosed by our parents as flea bites).

I don't want to use crazy chemicals on the carpets since Josie is crawling all over them and putting everything in her mouth. I tried a hippie flea killing trick of a light bulb over a pan of water. So far, zero fleas in the hippie death trap. Using myself as a living flea trap, has, however, resulted in the capture and death by drowning of 12 fleas in one short hour.

Parenting is not for the faint of heart

You have to ask yourself, how far are you willing to go to keep your one daughter from eating the other daughter's cheerios? And how will you prevent your ten month old from pulling a giant potted plant onto her head? What about keeping track of your three year old and your ten month old while you take 70 seconds to pee? Is that really enough time to get all the way into the kitchen while crawling and pull a glass bowl off the second shelf onto the hardwood floor (no, it didn't break). And what does scary monster, scary monster really mean - is that actually an indication that your older daughter has covered your younger daughter with a giant laundry basket???

As Mitch says, you try to be the shepherd. But some days you aren't even the sheep. In fact you're not even the grass the sheep is eating but would be more accurately described as the fine dust that the sheep have walked on for centuries, grinding it down until a slight breeze can blow it away.

Which isn't to say that parenting doesn't have its upside. I'm just saying, its not for wusses.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

One last Saturday morning blog hurrah

Both Scott and Tiffany posted comments to my lamenting the loss of my previous life (check them out yourself by clicking on the comments icon below that post). Big thanks to them for chiming in from the blogosphere. Tiff suggested that what really eats up one's life is a 30 minute each way commute and putting in ten hours a day working for you, the American Tax Payer (she calls us the Man, but I prefer to call us The People). I like her spin on things. So let me say, I'm doing it all for you, my people, whoever you are, for you and the last remaining sliver of the Mediterranean Ecosystem that is hanging on down here in Southern California despite our efforts to pave it over, run it over, or poison it out of existence.

So after I save the world, help my daughters pick tomatoes, and change a few more diapers, I'll get back to you with some exciting climbing, reading, tea drinking, yoga posing, traveling, spanish-speaking posts, I promise.

Now what is hanging out of Josie's mouth?

Yes, the photos are slightly blurry and would never make it on to an Allen blog. But this is a Brigham blog and if you are reading it, you are well aware of my 60 grit approach to living. It is 8:15 and Josie's tolerance for wreaking havoc on her own is about at its end. Lucy will be awake any minute now and Jeb needs to go out for his jog before we take him to the dog adoption place for 5 hours of public viewing.

So let me just take a moment here to document one of the more hilarious and adorable things that Josie is currently doing. Like all 10 month olds everywhere, she loves to put everything in her mouth. The Josie spin on this that Lucy never did and which is hilarious, is that she puts things halfway in her mouth and then crawls around with the other half hanging out. Recent half in half out objects have included:

15 different kinds of seaweed
chocolate bar wrapper
pacifier clip (shown above)
foam animals

And that is all I can think of right now. You should see it. It is cute and hysterical at the same time.

Nothing in the mouth here, just an extremely cute baby. Check out those big eyes! She has the biggest, clearest, love me eyes ever.

I need to go and get my breast pump so I can feed my baby...

Life in modern America. Whoa betsy it can be a trip. The other day Lucy and I were discussing the ever present fleas in our house (thanks a lot furry people) and Lucy asked if her nipples were flea bites. I told her they were, in fact, nipples, and that one day they would be boobs (yes, maybe not the best choice of words and a little bit anatomically incorrect but cut me some slack here, it was 7:30 PM at the end of a long day). So after this announcement Lucy goes, "Oh, I will have boobies? Then I can use them to feed my baby!" And I said "Yep." And I'm thinking to myself, "Ah what a keen observer, naturalist, biological genius". And then Lucy says, "Oh, now I need to go in the living room and get my breast pump so I can feed my baby." And off she goes, carting her stuffed naked baby to find some item to use as a pretend breast pump...

It's 8 AM Saturday Morning, Do You Know Where Your Daughters Are?

One of them has been up since 6:41 A.M. and is currently dismantling the tupperware cabinet while simultaneously playing with the dog toys. The other one is still asleep on her mattress on the floor since her previous evenings unsanctioned climbing off the end of her loft bed resulted in exile from the big girl bed for one night.

Dog People, Cat People, And Little People

Is nature or is it nurture? What is the G x E interaction (genes by environment) in the cat loving versus dog loving realm? As a person who has typically lived with both cats and dogs, one might think that I would be a neutral party or a generally fur loving Switzerland when it comes to the cat people and the dog people. But, in fact, I must say that I do give my love for dogs a slight edge over cats. Don't get me wrong, I love all the beasts be they furry or feathery or even scaly. But something about the unconditional love and devotion of the dog feeds my secret or not so secret megalomaniacal tendencies (or insecurities or neediness or whatever). Anyway, suffice it to say that I do like dogs a tiny bit better than cats.

But, despite its appearances, this post isn't supposed to be about me. It is supposed to be about the girls and the possibility for early leanings towards dog people and cat people. Lucy had a dog in her formative years since we had Cleo-the-best-dog-ever when she was born. Cleo and Lucy were very tight and Lucy always loved hanging out with Cleo. One way to get Lucy to accept the end of a trip or vacation that she was really enjoying was to talk about going home to see Cleo (if Cleo wasn't along on the trip). I thought that she would be devastated by Cleo's death. But in the weird resilency of the young ("I live in the NOW NOW NOW"), Lucy seemed to barely notice Cleo's absence. Now she says things like, "Our dog died of cancer and now we are fostering Jeb dog." Anyway, the point here is that Lucy really likes dogs. She plays with Jeb and calls him and likes to give him treats. She doesn't pay attention to him all the time (and who does, really. that is part of the problem...) but she does seem to like him quite a bit. She also likes the cats but pays less attention to them. So for now, I am tentatively calling Lucy a dog person. Only time will tell if this is true (maybe she's really a goat person or a computer person or a person who doesn't like animals at all...).

Josie, on the other hand, LOVES the cats. I must say that Lucy also used to be cat obsessed when she was about Josie's age and would let out enormous squeals whenever she saw a cat. You can see how that the cats her biggest fans (not). So maybe the cat person dog person thing at this age is merely differences in early development...Regardless of Lucy's early leanings, Josie seems to be a big fan of the cats. She is always trying to chase them down with her high speed crawl (the fastest crawl ever that she only breaks out when a door is open "escape to the wilderness, escape to the wilderness" or when she sees the cats). When she does occasionally manage to get a hand on Katafanga and he subsequently bites her, she yells and cries but is still not deterred in her ever present quest to be one with the cats. She is not, however, an equally big fan of Jeb. Although she does like to crawl up to Jeb and yard on his fur and poke him in the eyes (another part of the problem...) she doesn't seem as interested overall in the dog. She doesn't really squeal happily at the site of him and looks fairly disgusted and annoyed when he whacks her with his tail, accidentally bowls her over (another part of the problem...) or licks her on the face, hands, legs (Lucy on the other hand, loves it when Jeb licks her). So my tentative ruling is that Josie is a cat person.

A side note about the photos in this post. Lucy took the pictures of Jeb at the top (see how much she likes dogs). Mitch is the keeper of Lucy's photos and posts many of his favorites on his webpage. You should check them out. They are super cool and they remind a person of how the world looks when you are three feet tall and three years old. They remind me of my own memories of trying to find my mom in stores by how her legs and shoes looked and of not being able to see over the kitchen counter and of having to sit on phone books to reach the dining room table. Look for yourself here.

Lucy also took this picture of Josie. And this picture of a grumpy mama trying to reconcile herself to the fact that a family dog is not in the cards right now.