Friday, March 27, 2009

Take This With You

Of all the things that happened today, I hope that when my kids are recounting their childhoods on the therapists' couch, they remember this rather than their Mom throwing away a popsicle when time out didn't seem to be working. Because, kids, this is the kind of stuff we do, even if I was not as skilled as my pregnant friend to safely take you on the scooter ride myself.
As for you, Will, who was tortured by being a spectator only to this scooter thrill ride, I let you do this.

White House Easter Egg Roll Tickets

For the first time, the tickets to the White House Easter Egg Roll were not available on a first-come first-served basis. So instead of hordes of people sleeping out on the ellipse every year to be as early as possible in line for tickets, parents instead had to get lucky yesterday in checking the ticket website at a time that the website was functioning.

It is nice, I guess, that people didn't have to go to the trouble of sleeping out, but gaining a ticket became a process of luck rather than effort, or at least, luck was far more important than effort. You could basically guarantee yourself a ticket in past years; you just had to make the appropriate sacrifice (get in line early enough and sleep out). This year, effort didn't count nearly as much as luck and, sort of ironically, as being of sufficient means to be able to have access to the internet all day, something that manual laborers, cashiers, restaurant workers etc do not have.

The decreasing impact of personal effort and sacrifice upon what a person can achieve and acquire is pretty symbolic of a lot of changes in our country right now, I believe.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Tuppence a Bag: Two Weeks in Photos, in Reverse Chronological Order

Will on the National Mall shouting "Boo!" to the pidgeons Papa was feeding.

According to the FBI, Brigham's prosecution of Edward Okun (guilty on all 24 counts!) was the 8th most important thing to happen in law enforcement this week. The #1 most important thing to happen in our family this week was that, on Thursday at 11:30pm, Brigham finally returned home for more than 36 hours. We had been living on a Saturday-visitation this whole month.

And here are the things we have been up to while Brig was away, in photos.
Will at the National Gallery on Wed, after Andrew's class. We saw an underwhelming photography exhibit but had a delicious lunch in the cafeteria.

Andrew's class was about sunlight. While Andrew was doing this . . .

Will was attending his first political protest. My dad couldn't resist talking with a few of the war protesters, who got in a tangle over whether or not they supported Obama, whose war policy has gone distinctly Right in many respects, whether there is any war worth fighting, and learning basic history of the 20th century (like the difference btwn North and South Korea). One of these pacifists got so worked up he just about attacked a 65 year old disabled veteran (holding a tiny, sleeping, tube-fed baby on his shoulder) for disagreeing with their views. What a world. Will broke by awakening and crying. We also visited the UdVar Hazy, where Andrew got the treat of his life (a $7 space shuttle that I resisted buying until I saw it was half the price of the simulator ride I was about to take him on.) Will, too, loves the "shuttle! me! me!"
Doing some yard work.
The Smithsonian gemstone craft (complete with hammer, chisel, safety goggles, scratch plate, magnifying glass and identification table) was $8 at Michaels. Andrew had hours of delight.

We've kept busy with lots of outings. Did you notice how often my Dad was along? About half the mornings when Will wakes up, his first request is "Papa, Nana, house. Go." This morning he added another command: "Move."

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Andrew at the Botanic Gardens

This has got to be one of my favorite photos of Andrew. Taken last Wed at the Botanic Gardens downtown.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

A Little Sunday Night Politics

A big reason a lot of my friends have cited for their support of Obama was that he would supposedly be far superior to Bush in our War on Terror policies etc. I think it is really interesting to see how Obama has in fact turned out to be: change more in word or term than deed. That makes me happy, but I am curious if anyone besides the ACLU is disappointed? Here is what Andy McCarthy had to say:

Obama wants to have the advantage of — and take credit for the security provided by — the Bush post-9/11 policies. However, he has a rabid left-wing base that rejects the notion that there is a war and wants terrorism returned to the courts (and by the way, if/when that happens, that base will immediately go back to arguing that the court proceedings are inherently unfair, which is what it did for the eight years before 9/11). Throughout the campaign, Obama stirred this base — which consequently voted in droves for him — by trashing the policies he now wants to leave in place. So now he is in a quandary: "How do I keep these policies while preventing a revolt from these crazy people — er, I mean, my voters?"

What Obama, Holder & Co. have done on "enemy combatants" is a somewhat more elaborate version of what they've done on Gitmo, rendition, state-secrets, interrogations, etc. Call it, as the editors of NRO have called it, "Change George Bush Could Believe In."

Essentially, we're no longer going to call our captives "enemy combatants" ... but we're still going to detain people without trial, and Obama claims the unilateral authority to decide who gets detained.

We're no longer going to rely on the President's Article II authority to detain these enem — er, whatever we're calling them (how about "undocumented freedom fighters"?) ... but we're not saying there is no such authority either — and meantime, we're relying on Congress's post-9/11 authorization to use military force and on international law principles that, under these circumstances, are so overwhelmingly valid that Article II is just icing on the cake (notwithstanding that it was our basis throughout the campaign for saying that George Bush was destroying the Constitution and the United States).

And we're going to tell everyone that, because we're much more careful vetters than that bad old administration, we're only going to hold onto undocumented freedom fighters who provided substantial assistance to al Qaeda ... even though we realize that this is exactly what that bad old administration meant, and did, when it held people who it said had provided plain old assistance to al Qaeda. (And, by the way, Obama reserves to himself the power to decide what constitutes substantial).

In sum, Bush's policies are validated, and Obama is banking that his base will be content with a few rhetorical crumbs. Of course they won't be — the ACLU, which is crazy but not stupid, is already blasting this move. That being the case, what I continue to be very concerned about is the likelihood that Obama — to meet or at least be close to his ill-considered one-year deadline for closing Gitmo — will start releasing droves of the remaining 240+ undocumented freedom fighters to countries where they will promptly rejoin the jihad. And, yes, I know we're not supposed to say jihad like it's a bad thing either, but I just don't think what these guys will be rejoining is an internal struggle for personal betterment.

Saturday, March 14, 2009


"No, Mommy! Don't eat him because then we won't have him anymore!"

And that, Andrew, is the only reason why I don't, for either of you.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Cookie Time

Calories. Whatever it takes.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A Boy Hero

We spent Monday in West Va with the cousins. Will spent a lot of time on this horse and never napped.
Andrew was justing sitting like this with me. I love it.
While Papa was putting some new quilts on the boys' beds, he found and helped put Andrew into this Spiderman suit. Andrew was so excited to show me his surprise.
He added a cape later. The cape was made by my grandmother for my uncle, who is now in his 50s.
We jumped on the trampoline and picked up the older cousins from the bus stop. Andrew could only be enticed off the trampoline for this trip by the lure of showing his costume to the kids on the bus.

It was cracking me up all day, every time I looked over at him in that costume. He wore it over his clothing and it made him look pudgy and hilarious. And he was wildly happy about it.

The best act of heroism, though, was giving his brother a ride around the house in the back of his trike. They usually just fight over it, but they seem to have worked out an arrangement. Andrew has been very sweet and tender with Will ("Cute face! Little bunny rabbit!") lately. I love it.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

The Return of the Father

Brig had been away for 10 days before returning on Friday evening. We spent Saturday at the park since the weather was so nice. As a bonus, Andrew consented to wearing something besides his track suit. They were the best-dressed little brothers in the park, in my estimation.
Brig took the boys to McDonalds after dropping me off at the C&O path. I was to run down into Vienna and meet them at our favorite park, pictured here. I guess is was not as many miles as I hoped, because I beat them there. (As an aside, please take note of the figure in the other swing to Andrew's left. It looks like a doll but it was actually a little girl. Does it make anyone else laugh, too?)
I just want to add that in the 60 hours that he was home, he easily reinserted Will's tube (something a nurse failed to do after 20 min of trying), he woke up early with Will on Saturday, did the dishes, played in a basketball game and scrubbed two toilets. My Saturday went the way many women's Birthday Saturday or Mothers' Day Saturday would have gone.

Showing off the gifts Daddy brought back from Richmond (mini monster trucks, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle for Andrew and Hot Wheels for Will). Will is actually crying here.
And here. We waited too long before pulling out the camera. He really had been happy to see his dad at first.